I have now completed almost eight weeks at my new job, and it’s high time I tell you how it’s going. The week before Thanksgiving is an odd time to start a new venture, with nearly two full weeks out of my first eight being holiday time off. That’s countered by the days being shorter and (especially this week) much colder, and the holidays dumping a ton of extra things on my To-Do list. My trusty alarm clock (my husband) wakes me up quite a bit earlier than when I did freelance work at home, which I remember fondly as being unemployed.
Commuting is the hardest part of my job; it’s the first time in my life I’ve done it any distance. I now leave the house when it’s dark and return when it’s dark. I’ve had longer commutes before – longer in time not distance – but they’ve always been stress-free ones by foot on campus. My commute is directly due east, so I drive into the rising sun each morning and the setting sun each evening. I’ve learned that it’s best to live to the east of your workplace and, if you can’t, make sure the visor in your car works. (Mine didn’t.)
Each evening, I’m only awake at home about two hours before I fall asleep sitting upright on the sofa. The majority of my day is no longer spent with Steve but with all new people in my life – my colleagues. Learning a new job is like learning a language. It takes a tremendous amount of mental energy and I’m depleted by the end of the day.
But I enjoy the work, the campus, and the people. And I’m so grateful to have a job. My first day, I discovered that three of us on my floor were raised on chicken farms. It just doesn’t get any better than that. My second day, everyone greeted me with, “You came back!” I spend each day trying hard to prove that I’m indispensable, or I did until my husband reminded me that everyone can be replaced. He told me I’m very efficient, definitely unique, and a joy to be around, but indispensable – not really.
I was surprised to find that I’m one of the youngsters on my floor. The bad news is that I don’t have the pool of computer knowledge available to me with younger co-workers, but the good news is that somehow I’m viewed as tech-savvy. However, it is a college campus and so the enthusiasm and energy of students is everywhere. I was thrilled to learn that 10% of the student population is involved in a student-led Campus Crusade group – probably a record – and hopeful that I’ll be able to help mentor some of the student leaders. Could this be part of the reason God positioned me here?
To me, work is never about making money; instead, it’s a place of ministry. I see this job as a calling, the location God chose for me to serve Him as I trust Him to provide for my needs. My aim is to work here for the next 10 years and then join my husband in retirement from the workplace, never retirement from God’s work. I’m hoping this will be my last job. I only have 9 years and 10 months to go. I feel tired already.