So, it's officially day three of being back to work. I don't count Monday, which was my orientation day, since that was sort of an oddball one--early morning, out early in the afternoon, not at my actual office--but I've now been at work for three days, and so far so good.
My boss is wonderful, a best-possible scenario given that I was coming from a super awesome, understanding boss at my old job. My new one had an adorable arrangement of flowers waiting for me on day one, and she's just really nice and checks in often and wants to make sure I am comfortable. She's also a mom of two boys close in age to my kids, so that's another nice bond. My closest co-worker is just a little younger than my parents and totally different than me, but she's an Excel person as well so it's really nice to work with someone who "speaks" Excel. I've followed pretty well so far with what I've seen her do, so it makes me feel like we work similarly. My primary job in the long run is to take a ton of work off of her plate, and hopefully make what she does a lot easier in general, so I'm hopeful I can do that soon. She's been really great, though, in that despite being crazy busy, she's been really good and patient about going over things and letting me take it all in. Everyone else has been really friendly and helpful, so that's been such a nice introduction to this job.
Getting back in the swing of things has been okay. It hasn't helped that I've been sick on and off, though it seems to be getting better. Last night was the first night in a while that I felt normal, so it was good to get a few things done. Still, it's a bummer to spend time in the evening doing dishes or folding laundry, since I used to be able to get that stuff done during the day. I've made a concerted effort to stay offline during the day (except at lunch), so I spend a lot of time in the evening catching up on social media and email. Waking up early has been a challenge, but I'm pushing myself to go to bed earlier, and so far adrenaline gets me moving quicker in the morning. Today was the first day I dropped Carter off at daycare myself, as I've been taking things very slowly to ensure I'm not late. Slowly but surely I'm getting back in the groove, including digging back into the frozen meals that have been waiting in my freezer since January and getting back this morning to bringing a four-day supply of milk for my morning cereal. The photo arrangements that I finally finished a few weeks before I got let go have been unearthed and hung in my new cube, and I was so happy to get my beloved Chihuly calendar back up on the wall after missing a couple months of pretty pictures. In some ways it's been nice to get back into a new version of some old routines, but certainly I miss the freedom of my time off and look longingly at the pictures of the kids. I do miss post-nap smiles from Carter and day-long random hugs. But I know this is a really great scenario for all of us, so I can't really be too sad right now.
I've felt all along that I've been led to this place. The way I felt three years ago when my friend tried to get me there, the way the timing worked out this time, the ease I felt with the interview process, my comfort level with all of the people I met, all of the signs were leading right there. The signs have continued in these first few days, too. Some of the elements of my cubicle are nearly identical to my old one, which makes me feel right at home. I found out the other day that the namesake of the building I am in (he and his wife donated money and their names are on it) made a lot of his money in the Yellow Pages industry! I did more research today and it turns out he was involved with a regional independent publisher that sold out to Yellowbook a year before I got into the business. I've been appreciating a slightly better commute (a lot of slow traffic at times, but minus the merge I hated and a few minutes shorter), a longer lunch, and a more relaxed structure, time-wise. So many things about this job feel so comfortable right now. I have yet to get into the real work, obviously, but nothing I've seen has scared me yet! In fact, today I got a little preview of some of what I will be doing and my brain was already churning about how I could possibly improve the process. It's still a bit of a stretch since I don't know all the details, but everyone got a little excited at the prospect. I just love that I can possibly bring something new to this position, and I can already tell that I'm going to learn a lot of very valuable skills.
Still, there is a lot of "new" going on. I've met a ton of new people, and I'm learning to navigate a very confusing new building. There is a whole lot of new terminology to learn, practically a new language, in fact. Today a woman in HR gave me a helpful guide of common acronyms and a few other abbreviated terms used around the university and medical center, and it was many pages long. Imagine, they use enough of those kinds of things that it fills pages! That is a lot to learn right there! I've had to learn the names of the different schools and entities around the university and medical center (and their acronyms), and look into certain campaigns and other happenings around the university so I know what people are talking about in meetings. And all of that is before I even get into my work and start learning processes to work with the data! On top of that, I'm exploring the world of new clothes, new jewelry, and a new purse! Having to dress up has been sort of fun--it feels fancier, you know? I work with a lot of well dressed women, so I'm relieved that I got some new clothes and bulked up my collection of statement necklaces so I feel like I fit in a little better. That said, I'm really looking forward to casual Friday tomorrow! Oh, and any woman can tell you how disorienting it is to start using a new purse!
I feel like I'm feeling my way around a lot of stuff right now, but so far it all feels like a lot of positive change. There are drawbacks and challenges, of course, but I know what the alternative is and I feel so blessed to be where I am right now. All of the good signs all along have kept me moving forward confidently, and I'm so grateful for that peace. I pray it continues, because this is a good place to be right now!