"Always have a plan, even for the little things. Don't just go out and say you are going out for a Coke. Decide ahead of time - if they don't have a Coke, then have a Pepsi. If no Pepsi, then a Fanta. Don't ever get caught by surprise, learn to always think ahead, be prepared." Carlos Fonseca.
Sandinista: Carlos Fonseca and the Nicaraguan Revolution; Matilde Zimmerman
I have always been one to have a plan and goals. I remember my earliest ones starting in high school. Get the hell out of there. So I doubled up on classes and graduated a year and a half early. It then moved into getting a job that pays at least $8 an hour (in the early '90's that was a decent pay and gas was still under $1 a gallon). Then my goal morphed into getting a promotion. Did it. I floundered a bit because I did somethings backwards and got married and had a baby. Got divorced at 20 so I moved to Idaho to begin again. Started the job thing all over. My goal changed from getting a promotion (although I did get raises) to going to college. After three (3) years of working, I was finally in a place where I could work part-time and go to school full-time. While I was in school my goals were educationally attainable. Get a 4.0. Done. Dean's List. Done. Scholarships. Done. Go to Oxford. Done.
After college, I just had my part-time job become a full-time job. I then advanced a few times from that position. I got bored with Idaho. I changed my goal to moving and finding a job at the same time. Done. Then it was the regular milestones of monotony: make more money. Government jobs are good like that. My goals meshed with moving up so I became a certified floodplain manager; certified residential building inspector; and finally a certified planner. I think I was also certifiably stupid because even with all the credentials I didn't foresee the economic downtown in construction. I wasn't prepared to lose my job. Metaphorically speaking it was as much of a shock as taking your dog for a walk and a car jumps the curb and runs over your dog - killing it in front of you while the leash is still in your hand. (That is a real scenario too. My friend, Bad Luck Amanda, had it happen to her).
Had I prepared, I would have had a plan in place rather than flailing around and collecting a pitiful amount of compensation in the form of unemployment benefits. I would have been able to walk out of the planning department, breathed a sigh of relief and jumped into my next adventure. I never would have ended up at the assisted living facility wiping asses for almost a year. I wouldn't have ended up in the comfortable position I am in now and thoroughly enjoy, even though it does nothing to promote my job interests resume-wise.
I am so frustrated with it all right now. I could wish for a break that lets me use my strengths (e.g., typing, writing, customer service, analytic thinking and research) or I could actually do something about it. And that's what I'm going to do, dammit.
Right now I have a part-time position on the horizon. It is back in the planning field. I can work it around my existing job. It would allow me to use my brain again and I would be continually learning. Honestly, that is what I miss the most about my former line of work. I was learning every day. I had to research trends and apply them to a local community level. I had to memorize them so I didn't look like a bumbling idiot answering questions on the public access channel that replayed the videos of the city council meetings. It was as if I was still in school.
I am also applying for a part-time position as a research assistant. It won't require ever meeting my boss. It would involve researching material for that person to write a book and communicating online. And typing, loads of it. Transcription. Tons of it. F-U-N! Plus, it would be something that would allow me to feel like I am contributing something by no longer being idle and just preparing paperwork. If wishes were fishes, the sea would be full. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
*Note: I am afraid I have lost my sense of humor. I still love to smile but not much is funny. I am beginning to think it is the winter. Maybe I have S.A.D. or maybe I am bored from not thinking. Either way it needs to stop. I will have to figure it out. Lately my only source of enjoyment has been pinterest and trying out new hairstyles including fish-bone braids and no heat curls. For Christ's Sake! Somethings gotta give*