Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Neurotic craziness

My sponsor sent me a link to a new job. It is a secretary job for an outdoor education school near where I live. I went to the website and looked it up and its a "real" job with benefits and paid time off and a boss and my own desk. Like I fill out an application, I have to take written, verbal, and computer tests, I have to pass levels to make it to the interview process. When I got to the page where I had to enter my education....which is my beautiful and quite grand I might add, high school diploma.....I freaked out!

My sponsor was of the opinion that I am "capable of so much more." But I love what I do. I feel like its important and I am fine with it....proud of it even. I love its flexibility and I love all of my clients. I started texting the dad and he, thinking he was being encouraging, told me to go ahead and apply. I took that and jumped right to the idea that he wants me to make more money, do something more stable, be a grown up!

I emailed my sponsor several times, obsessing. I decided I would apply and just walk through each door as it opened. I thought of how if by some miracle I did make it to the interview process, I wouldn't really be nervous because I really don't care if I get the job or not. I have never ever in all of my life considered being a secretary.

I was unsettled all day....thinking that what I do is worthless, but that I had built it up in my head to compensate for the lack of skills it really does take.

The dad sent some reassuring texts, very kind that made me cry. Saying things like I am capable of so many things, that is true, but not everyone can do what I do, and especially do it well.

I talked to my dear friend whose also a caregiver....and she said, "Annette, you are the best caregiver I know. You working in an office would be a waste of all of your wonderful natural skills. I can't even imagine it."

I finally confessed to the dad that I am terrified to apply. But I will because I hate to be afraid of anything and the only way to not be afraid is to walk through it.  He told me I don't need to face this fear, unless I really want to. He is fine with whatever I want to do, where ever I want to work....and being a secretary probably wouldn't be very fulfilling to me....YES! (No offense to any secretaries who read here.)

The bigger picture here is that one little well meaning idea rocked my entire sense of self, and my world for an entire day.

The final conclusion....I am not applying, I am going to continue to do what I am happy doing. If I ever changed jobs it would still be in the geriatric world. If I was younger I would go back to school to be a social worker or a senior advocate. But I'm not younger, so I will continue with what I have until it needs to change.

And to my sponsor, if you read this....I love you! These were my issues....you did nothing wrong by sharing that information with me.

Ok, I'm taking my neurotic self upstairs to get ready for another night of work. BTW, my night job ends Nov. 30. I will then have a regular daytime schedule like a normal person. I can hardly wait. This will be the first time in 10 years that I haven't worked at night. When I homeschooled (I know....scary) night work was perfect, but now little one is in full time school AT school, so now day work is better.

Whew.....what a day.


Signe said...

I'm glad you did what you felt at peace with. And I agree, after reading all that you do and how you care for this unique population, you surely do have a wonderfully, unique and special gift of caring for others.

notmyboy said...

Just from the little I know you it is clear that you are made for service. You would not be happy behind a desk. I often fantasize about a desk job...especially when cold and flu season hits my classroom. As much as I know I am capable of making a whole bunch more than I'm making as a teacher, I can't put a price on doing what I love.

PS. All those school jobs (around here anyway) are hand picked for certain hires, and the postings are just for show. I've sat on interview committees where I've wanted to warn the candidates that the spot was filled before the posting went public, and they are wasting their time. UGH!

Mary Christine said...

It is NOT neurotic craziness!

I don't see how being a secretary is "more" than being a caregiver. You do something so very important, that not many people are capable of doing. I don't know how that wouldn't be something to feel extremely good about.

I could see you becoming a CNA or LPN or RN, but not doing office work! There are millions of us, and few of you. We NEED you!

Hattie Heaton said...

OK because I'm married to a vet, I always have an animal analogy....."Approach and Retreat" is a method of training horses ( which are very fearful "flight or fright" animals). Your approach them with what makes them afraid for a bit and then allow them to retreat. Then approach a little more and retreat...allowing them to see bit by bit that the item they are afraid of (like crossing water for the first time) is not going to swallow them whole. I have always used this approach in dealing with my own fears. Just a thought!

SoberMomWrites said...

Oh you crazy, neurotic woman. And I say that with the kindest of intentions.

You do what the rest of us couldn't even if we wanted to. Your skill set is compassion, and patience and unending capacity to love in the most difficult of circumstances. You give dignity to those among us who lose every ounce they ever had on a daily basis. You let them feel worthy and human and ADULT when everyone around them is treating them like a child.

You give them grace. You give them moments of feeling like they are worthy. You give them hope.

I've said this before but I think it bears repeating here...you are an angel and there is a special place in heaven reserved just for you.

Love and hugs...

Anna said...


You have blessed so many people by what you do. It is just like nursing but with less schooling required.

Your verbal skills are very good as evidenced by your writing. We know you have patience and a nice way with people so the only thing left is organization. You could also be a secretary if you want or need to do it.

You are already making a big contribution to the world.

Mrs D said...

Oh what Sherry said. What you do is such great work Annette.. hugs to you from New Zealand xxx

beachteacher said...

Oh my goodness -- as the kids say,...you've got mad skillsz woman ! What struck me was that story of you gradually getting that woman to take a shower -- you have the patience of Job & kindness of Jesus. Most all of us aren't as talented to be able to do what you do -- not even close. And it matters SO MUCH.

Syd said...

I think that caregiving is one of the hardest jobs, and I have no doubt that you are excellent at it. If you are happy doing what you are doing, then it's good to stick with it. More money doesn't equate to more happiness.

Brad said...

My sister is a nurse. She loves it so much that it's keeping her from continuing her education as an administrator of a healthcare facility. Though she will be an excellent administrator, her heart lies where it lies.