So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's the Plan, Stan?

"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*

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