Monday, December 27, 2010

Debbie Downer At Your Service

The other day I was on Facebook and was using this "My Year in Status" application. I thought to myself "Hey self , it would be fun to see how this application summarizes your year in statuses, perhaps we should check that out." So I allowed the application access and it whipped up a summary of my year via my status messages and the outcome was somewhat alarming. On the positive side I'm completely in love with my fiance. Additionally I amuse myself regularly with some of my statuses based on my worldly observations. On the not so positive side I really dislike my current state of affairs at the paycheck place. This was noted not once or twice or even 20 times, but like 50+ times throughout the year.

If you take into account there are only 52 weeks out of the year, with 5 working days a week, 15 vacation days (yes I've only taken 15 days off even though I have 20), 10 holidays, and 2 sick days (yes I also have unlimited sick leave and I've only taken 2 full sick days), that leaves you with 233 days to complain about my job. But I have to add in the weekends that I worked (6 weekends = +12 days) and we are back at 245 days to complain. If we conservatively say that I've complained about 50 of those, that's only a 20% unhappiness rate. That seems reasonable right? Apparently not.

This morning I woke up at 8:30. I should have left the house for work 30 minutes prior. I showered, got dressed, and sat on my stairs (it was 9:12am at this point). Then I cried. I poured my coffee, fixed my lunch, got in my car and started driving. Only to get to the 495 exit and make a u-turn. I couldn't do it. I couldn't go there. I started crying again. But can't out my finger on why. I'm sitting here working from home (well I mean shut up yes I'm blogging, but I just finished creating a technical requirements document that I spent 3 hours on and that's torture enough, believe me) and I'm completely fine. I'm not stressed out. I'm not feeling overwhelmed. I mean this might be due to the fact that in response to every email I send, I receive an out of office message. So there isn't a soul to throw me into my usual 11am - 4pm tizzy. But still, the minute I knew I was going home to work (thanks to Coal Miner's text message suggestion, love you babe) I was fine. I was relaxed. I was calm. I was fine. So why am I still so uneasy.

Let's be real, this isn't a new thing with me. Its been going on for years. I have a total love/hate relationship with my paycheck place. Yes I get rewarded for my performance, but just a week ago they sent us an email telling us no raises, no bonuses this year. Never mind the fact that yet again this year I received the highest rating an employee can receive. but will I be rewarded for that? Not this year, so what's the point? I'm the only person working my tail off. Everyone else is on vacation. But not me.

I was asked to work, to make sure I got everything done over the holidays. And I said yes. I went along with it. Why? What makes me so unable to ensure my own happiness over other people's objectives. I know, I know, I should be happy to have a job, I get paid really well, blah blah blah, says the people who are currently not working and enjoyed the holidays with their family. But for once I'd like to really take some time off. Not spend my time traveling somewhere to make time for people who don't make time for me. Relax, instead of spending my time in a car/airport stressing over arrivals/departures/etc. Disconnect instead of picking up my blackberry to read through the 90 emails I get within a 5 hour period so I'm not spending hours upon hours sorting through them when I return. Stop bitching. I just need to stop bitching. I'm annoying myself with the constant bitching. Just shut the eff up Megan and do something about it, right? Right. Now, what do I do?

I just posted about this, whats going to make me happy? Is it going back to consulting? Maybe. Is it moving out of this concrete jungle? Maybe. Is it embracing what I have and living for the moment instead of self-inflicting stress on myself and worrying about things I have no control over? Probably. Or is it simply just crying uncle? Do I finally just need to tell everyone at work I can't"? I just can't do this anymore. I'm exhausted. I'm always exhausted. My brain never stops. From the minute I wake up until the time I go to bed I'm systematically devising a plan for some piece of some project at work. It never stops. And its exhausting.

Someone told me on Facebook I should make it my New Year's resolution to be a little happier in my status messages. That crushed me. I'm a generally happy gal. Or at least I thought I was...*pondering* Perhaps my New Year's resolution will be to end this cycle with the paycheck place. Not like I have put that on the list before. insert heavy sigh But maybe this year will be different.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer peeps, that was never my intention. I shouldn't have used Facebook in that manner. I shouldn't have brought you guys down with me. I really hate that it happened. But rest assured I'm going to change that, I promise you. And in the spirit of change I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Make sure you toast to an amazing 2011, its going to be a year full of change and happiness for all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WHAM Did Tell Me: That's what you get

I was recently promoted at work. I have a whole team working for me now. I report up to a Director who reports directly into the SVP. I talk to the SVP daily. I'm moving up the food chain. I've been doing it for years. It's the reason I've spent so many hours at my desk, after they turn the ac/heat off at night, and I'm the last car in the garage. It's what I wanted. So why now, after I'm getting what I want, do I not want it anymore. I find myself most mornings longing to stay home, go for a run, pick up the house, and fix dinner for Coal Miner. Am I having the 5 year itch at work? Am I starting to realize perhaps being the SVP isn't exactly what I thought it would be?

Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that I've made a name for myself. I've built a little empire, all by myself, without any advocates at work. I ensured that I attended the right meetings with the "big guns", I went to those Happy Hours, I was adamant about my promotion, my ability to run a team and manage a multi-million dollar project at the same time. I was and am a superstar at work. I know it, everyone else knows it as well, its not a secret. So what's going on? What happened? Am I burnt out at the age of 30? That can't be. I'm too young for that. Have my priorities changed? Or am I just trying to do too much? I've come to the conclusion its the later.

Most days I find myself sitting at my desk, head swirling, thinking "how on earth am I going to get all of this done?" I need to ask for help. I need to start delegating. I need to slow down. I'm doing way too much, way too fast, and putting unrealistic deadlines on myself. Why do I need to be a VP by 40? Seriously, why? What does that prove? Why do I "need" that title? Yes, I get it, I want to be important. Hell my whole generation wants the same thing. We were brought up to believe that you need titles, cars, houses, things, etc. to be important. But what if I just want a simpler life. I like nice things, but I don't need them to be happy. I like money, but...I can't say what I just said about money. I don't know that I need it to be happy, but I do know that I need it to feel okay.

I grew up watching my parents live paycheck to paycheck. Wanting more than what they had. Juggling which bills to pay to ensure that our electricity stayed on and we could still charge groceries to the credit card. They refinanced their house multiple times. My mother worked two to three jobs at a time. She was exhausted. She was never around. Neither was my dad. And it wasn't their fault. They came to what they could, they were home when they were needed, they were always there when I needed them. It didn't take anything away from my parent's parenting skills or my childhood. It was an amazing childhood (almost storybook if you don't count what I just told you). BUT, I don't want that for myself. I don't want that for my family. I don't want my little girls (if I have them) to have a memory of me sitting at the kitchen table crying trying to figure out when the last possible moment is to pay this bill or that bill. Or hear me say to my mom on the phone "We are in the red again." They didn't think we knew. We did. So, after psychoanalyzing the shit out of myself, I know why I "need" money. I know why it makes me feel safe. And I know why I feel like I have to die trying to earn as much of it as possible. But still, I long for a simpler life. I long for a slower life. I long to enjoy my days, each of them, instead of wishing them away. I yearn for less traffic and more "us" time. I just need to find a way to feel safe and at ease. Got any grand ideas?