Long time no see! Not here, anyway!
I started my new job. It's been 3-1/2 weeks! I love it. Oh, how I love it. Last summer, when I got to do for a week what I am now doing all the time, my husband told me it was the happiest he had seen me in a long time. I think part of that may have been the result of coming out of probably the most difficult 7 years of our lives. But I think part of it was also the work.
I am so very thankful for this opportunity. Who gets their dream job at 53? Not many people. May I never stop being thankful for this gift.
I have been thinking about why I enjoy it so much. A big part of it is the work itself. I am a writer, and I somehow got a full-time writing job. Wow. Not only do I get to write and edit, but I get to do so in the service of my church. I can't imagine much better.
But I think there is something else at play. I have realized, finally in my fifties, that I have a very strong need to belong. I think it may come in part out of a lifetime of not really feeling like I belong. In a blended family, I grew up as "half" sibling to 10 others. My father had 4 children; my mom had 6; they had me. In a family with two "sides," it is hard to know exactly where you fit.
When I was in junior high, we moved. I was bullied and ostracized in my new school. That experience exacerbated my shyness/introversion to the point that I worried way too much in high school about being liked and fitting in. I had friends, but I think I could have had more if I had just relaxed and enjoyed people more.
As the wife of a church worker, I have found it difficult to know where I fit in at church. As nice as people are, when you're on staff, there's a bit of a wall, a feeling that you need to be on guard. It's just the way it is. So you turn to the staff for friendship. When that doesn't pan out as you hope, it can be discouraging.
Some years ago I found a group that I thought were my "tribe": confessional Lutheran homeschooling moms like myself. And in truth, they are my tribe more than about anyone else I've ever known. Which is why they became so important to me, resulting in my not handling it well a few years ago when I suddenly didn't feel like I fit there either.
Back to the job. To be surrounded by not just a few but an entire department full of people that seem to care about so many of the same things I care about has been a joy. To spend my days working with those people on shared goals, and to see those goals come to fruition, is indescribable. I know many people never get to experience that sort of reward in their work. I am still pinching myself that I am getting to do so.
I'm sure there are going to be stressors, disagreements and problems along the way. When those things come, I need to not let them make me feel like I don't belong. And if I do end up feeling that way, I need to remember that it's probably due more to something inside me than anything else. Most of all, I need to remember that in the eyes of my Savior, I do belong, and that's really all that matters.
(Sorry for the "me me me" post. This is for my friends who might be interested in how things are going. They're going great!)