Saturday, November 03, 2018

Lessons Learned in 110 Days On The Job

I've now been at my new job three and a half months. People ask me all the time, "How do you like your new job?" I still say the same response, "I LOVE IT, NO HOMEWORK!" *giggle* Those of you who are teachers know what I'm talking about. *grin* Honestly, people who can relate typically giggle when I say that and smile. It's not that I hated it, I didn't. I just didn't know how hard I was working until it was all over. *grin* I don't regret it at all, I am just enjoying life in a new way now. *grin* I'm also involved in Bible Study, book club, and am visiting with friends more. I love it!

Throughout my 110 days, I've learned a lot of unexpected lessons. I have pondered this post for a couple weeks and am excited to share what's been on my heart the past few days. *grin*

I lived in a classroom the last 19 years of my life, and never had a window in my classroom. This mattered to me the last few years, and no matter how hard I tried I never was given a classroom with a window. Now, I have windows nearby in BOTH offices. Granted, at the Missouri office, I need to turn my chair to see outside, but I can see outside much easier than I did in the classroom. *grin* I smile every time I look outside my office. It's legit. *grin*

That's small, I know. Don't worry, I have more to share. *grin*

I'm now on an amazing team. I was on good teams at school, so don't read too much into that statement. *grin* I remember sitting in my classroom in May, wondering if my next team would be as supportive and cool. Parts of me fought fear on levels I've never experienced as an adult. At the same time, my faith was strong enough to walk forward. I'm so glad I did. God has blessed me beyond measure in the team I'm on now. One member in particular is blessing my socks off, and for that I smile daily. We are a true team, and I love going to work daily. Yesterday we worked together to serve some disabled adults, and I just smiled the whole time. It was one more moment of confirmation that I'm where I'm supposed to be for now. *grin*

My job requires some travel around the Kansas City Metro area. I wasn't sure how much I would like that, but I am. I have learned a lot of things through my travels. One thing I learned is how beautiful the Metro is, especially with fall leaves changing and falling. This has been something I never thought about before, but now I think daily about it as I drive around. It's very nice. *grin*

Something else I've discovered is how to drive in rush hour traffic. In the beginning, I had to figure it out. It stressed me out initially. I have learned that the key to driving in rush hour is to look ahead A LOT. This allows me to know if we're stopping or going. *grin* I've also learned that Waze is the BEST app for travel ever. Sometimes I avoid traffic and go AROUND a wreck. *grin* It's so good. And it's a FREE app. *grin* I've also learned not to get comfortable. I could do a whole post on near-miss wrecks.

My new job has also brought me into the world of YouTube. Yes, I knew what it was before the job, but playing music wasn't a focus for me in the classroom. When I attempted to play K-Love on my work computer, it was blocked. I know, shocker, but I can pull up Youtube. So I initially put on Bethel, because, well, it's Bethel. *grin* What I didn't know was that it would play other similar artists. This has changed my world!!! Yes, if you know me, music is important to me. I've now discovered Upper Room in Dallas, and Influence Church in California. Yes, they've now been added to my bucket list. *grin* I have also discovered Will Reagan and United Pursuit. *grin* Talk about a BONUS to the job. I live in a cubicle in Missouri, and I wear headphones while I work. *grin* I have plenty of documentation to keep up with, so it's less work with music going. *grin*

I have also learned a lot about diversity in my new job. I never realized how much my world was comprised of white people. (Don't worry, no politics here, I promise) I don't care what color people are, I love everyone. At the same time, I've typically been in the majority, not the minority (in terms of skin color). In many of my work environments, schools, committees, and overall staff, I am in the minority in terms of skin color. This has been an entirely new experience for me. It has given me a heart for those of different ethnic backgrounds. It has taught me things that I cannot put into words. I believe this is a really good thing.

It has also led to some of the best conversations I've ever had regarding skin color and people. I realize this is a huge topic and something that in 2018 is still a thing. At the same time, healthy conversations are a good thing. That's where solutions start, with a healthy conversation. *grin* I love that! I can't solve this world problem by myself, but a conversation is a start.

I've also met some incredible adults with various disabilities. It has taught me a lot about differences and how beautiful being different can be. I am different and obviously have always been, but it has been fun to hear different life stories in terms of physical disabilities. The older I get, the more I enjoy just sitting and listening to people's life's stories. It has also been fun to be able to relate on different levels with the challenges that a physical challenge brings with different people. I have always thought being different was good, but this job has solidified that thought on so many different levels. *grin* I love it.

I found myself looking around a lot this week, and thanking God for the people that are now in my life. Yes, I miss my students deeply, but this change has been refreshing and fun on so many levels. Truly. I'm blessed. *grin*

I do enjoy taking time off and not writing sub plans. If I'm out, I'm out. No homework or worries about being gone. I can't put a price on that, and it has relieved so much stress for me. *grin* I love it. Again, I wasn't miserable, it's just a nice change to be in this season.

Finally, I was made to wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and hoodies daily. I dressed up for the first time on Thursday for a Transition Fair, and was reminded how much I love my jeans and casual wear. I can dress up, I'm not grumpy, but jeans and a hoodie are my ideal. On a daily basis, the company I work for has a casual dress policy. We're encouraged to wear appropriate pants/shorts, and a shirt with the company logo on it. I spent quite a bit of money (because you typically have to do that anyway when you get a new job) and now have a hoodie in each color, so I can rotate them. *grin* How cool is that? We're all wired a certain way, and no one way is better than the other. However, I am now in a season of rest, relaxation, and love. I love it.

I'm so very glad I walked into this season. I love the people I work with, the students I teach (I'm in schools and teach an eight hour transition course), and the lack of homework. I don't know how long He has me where I am, but I am going to enjoy it as long as I'm there. *grin*

AWESOME. *grin*

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