Monday, June 13, 2005

Life is Semi-Normal Again

The conference is now over . . . and life is back to semi-normal again. I tried to post to the blog on Saturday morning by e-mail and, of course, this time it didn't work. It was actually well thought out first too . . . major bummer!

We have today off since we had to work on Saturday, and I was at the conference all day both Friday and Saturday - from 7:30 AM to 10 PM each day. By Saturday night I was exhausted, and you could see the tiredness in my face and hear it in my voice. I am a shy person by nature, but I can be "on" when I have to be. However, 14 hours straight of doing so just drives me to major depression and tears. I won't be less friendly, but my brain will just start to shut down, and I start feeling like life really sucks.

Many good things came out of this conference . . . everyone told my husband what a wonderful job he's been doing with all of his publications and what an asset to the organization he's been for the 11 years he's worked there. He totally deserves the praise, by the way, and I was so pleased to finally see him get recognition for all the late hours he puts in for the place. My colleauge in my department, has started to come into her own finally being recognized for all the fabulous work she's done on children's issues and juvenile justice over the past 7 years. I am so happy and excited for her!

But when I get tired and sad, I feel like - well, what the heck am I doing? What contribution am I making? The program that I manage, because it is so broad based, is not getting much funding anymore - and anything that I suggest that might change that fact - you know, do decent outcome measurements of the work the sites do, make sites reapply every few years to get rid of the dead weight, change the grant structure a bit - all have been met with, well, not derision, because my boss does think they are good ideas, - but they organization as a whole doesn't want to put the resources into making those changes at this time. Because of their financial sitiuation, they are looking fot the short-term bucks, which means dooing small "shiny"programs, which may or may not mach up with what we have been trying to do in the larger program.

It is very frustrating, and I probably should look for a new job and take my talents elsewhere and stop beating my head against the wall. But . . .

Ah, yes, the siren song of the non-profit. The hours are pretty sweet normally. I get a pretty good amound of sick and vacation days. When it is time for maternity leave, they have a pretty sweet deal, and they know my work well enough that I could probably wrangle a part-time/work from home schedule afterwards. Since my husband works there, and has for a long time, things are quite flexible for both of us. If I leave the place, I doubt I would have such flexibility for a long, long time. The work would be more rewarding, mind you, but I probably would not have the time I do now to persue all of the things that I like to do in my off hours - which mean a great deal to me. The pay sucks, but it is still pretty good for the non-profit world.

So I spend many a sleepless night and daydreaming day, turning these facts over and over in my head, wondering what to do. Writing this down doesn't seem to help much, but maybe if I keep sharing, the answer will appear one day, and I can stop thinking about this and move on with my life . . .


Anonymous said...

Career decisions can often be the hardest. I recently got an offer for a job in London, and I agonized over it for weeks. The decision finally came to me one evening after talking to my parents about it..hopefully this shall happen to you also.
-Virginia Gal

Random Kath said...

So Virginia Gal, are you going to London?!? Do tell! :-)

Anonymous said...

Nope - staying put in Northern VA for now, job in London was a serious pay cut and no guarantee past a year. But I'm still looking to get out there - I'd love to live in London!
-Virginia Gal