So, tomorrow is a very big day.
In the previous post, I alluded to big changes in my life. The biggest one is a new job that I've been offered at my company. The second big news is my birthday, which has caused me a lot of reflection. I've been thinking about what I have achieved and where I "should be" in my life. And my advice is to not think about these things as they will take you to the verge of a nervous breakdown!
But seriously...I have been thinking a lot about who I really want to be and how I can achieve my dreams, and why I haven't achieved certain things so far. I am still in my 30's but as each birthday looms, it seems the future is coming way too fast.
But back to the job front. I was not asked if I wanted this job - I was told that I was being moved due to the economy. I work in a corporate engineering function and there is simply not enough work to keep us all busy. My boss has been scrambling to find work for various people around the organization and found me a position at our research center. He is so excited about this job, but I'm terrified!
I will be moving from our downtown office to a big university-like research center north of the city. I love our research center, as it's filled with all sorts of big brains and fascinating characters and academic people. There are chemists and scientists of every stripe and practically everyone has a Ph.D. It is a wonderfully creative and challenging environment. Lots of people there are into hiking and glacier climbing and outdoorsy pursuits and organic/local eating and have various other cool hobbies, like running marathons and making movies. Many of these people have invented things and have patents (there is a whole long wall of patent certificates there!) and are renowned experts in various fields. For some reason, these academic environments are always filled with successful, fun, wacky people. Our research center is full of characters and people who care less about how you look/dress (judging by how most of them look/dress) and more about what you are DOING with your life and where your passions are. They are a very grounded community, for the most part!
I will be doing technology transfer work and more coordinating and managing than I do now. I will be responsible for getting research done for our engineers and for getting engineering done for our researchers. Science and engineering will come together through my role. It is an awesome job, just terrifying.
Right now, I am more of a detailed technical person. I do hard-core engineering every day, lots of calculations and looking at data and working alone. But my new role will mean I have a lot more meetings, deal with a lot of people, and will be coordinating more. I will be doing more "idea generation" and big-picture thinking, which I really hate. I am not a "pie in the sky" person and like concrete, detailed work. But I will adapt and grow these skills. I will sink or swim. I'm excited about the new role, but scared to death I will not have the skills to do it. It isn't my cup of tea. But it is also full of potential and in a really neat environment. So we shall see...I am giving it a chance, and in this economy, there isn't much choice.
The new job will mean the same pay, but the bonus is that I will get a better office! Our research center has great offices! Large, quiet, huge windows...
But I will have to drive the highway to work every day, about 30-45 minutes each way, depending on traffic. It will be similar to my current commute time (on the train). I really hate driving to work, for various reasons. And the highway in winter gets some wretched, icy days. But like any good Canadian driver, I will adapt. I will just be paying a lot more for gas, as my car sits in the garage every day now. And I can listen to the radio, but I won't get as much reading done, which is why I prefer the train.
I am sure it will all work out. I'm both excited and sick with worry. But I fully intend to ask a million stupid questions and try my best. I am also going to switch over to a longer work day schedule, so I can have every second Friday off.
In the meantime, tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY too!
I love birthdays, even if it means getting older. After all, I seem to be improving with age. And there is always the alternative, as my Mom says.
David and I are going for lunch at a beautiful downtown restaurant, and this coming weekend we will go to his Mom's house in the country. I'm thrilled for my big day, but I'm also reflecting on where I want to go with my life and how to get there. I have had a lot of career dissatisfaction in the last while and I often find myself wishing I had done other things. It is hard to redress these mistakes, especially when we are face-to-face with deciding whether to have children or not. Lately, I have been feeling so rushed to fix my career but also decide about a family. Suddenly, it's all come down to a crunch!
And I think a lot about retirement, about having enough money, about investment decisions. I do not leave things to chance generally, so I want a firmer plan now. So it seems like a lot of things hinge on this year - to get my career in order, to decide on family, to make bigger financial plans.
I would rather just think about decorating, but for the last few months I have been engrossed in worry and insecurity. I am sure the future will be bright, but I really want to spend more time setting goals in the future and less time drifting in the wind. Sometimes it is good to drift in the wind and settle for what life brings, but I am tired of that and don't want to get down any wrong paths and find myself lost again. I know I can't control everything. Life brings unexpected things - death, illness, sick children, fires, crises of various kinds. But I think a wise person plans for these things (financially, building a community, etc) so this year I plan to invest more in my career (I would like to get a coach eventually), in my financial future (we save a lot but need some new advisors!), in our family (whether that means a baby, or a dog, or both?), and in my community (finding more friends).
Pray for me and wish me the best as my big new year begins!
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