Sunday, November 2, 2014

First Christmas card of the season

Hi friends,

How are you.   I starting working on Christmas cards last week, but never had time to post. The below card is a fun winter scene using a vellum top layer and some glitter glue for snow.  It's cold here and we had flurries today so it's getting to be that time again!

Anyway, how was your week?  Mine was exhausting.  I switched to full time (40 hours a week) from 30 hours a week a few weeks ago.  I have been working 30 hours a week (Four 7.5 hour days) for the past 15 years.  Around July I started working 40+ hours a week and by the time September rolled around it seemed appropriate to ask the company to start paying me for 40 hours instead of 30 so I asked for the change.  I did think about it, but my motivation was primarily that since I was already working the hours, I should be compensated for it.  I did give some consideration to the longer term implications of the decision.  I thought, do I really still need one day off in a week?  Since we are empty nesters now there wasn't really a driving force to have me remain part-time so I took the plunge.

I officially switched to full time on Oct 13th and have enjoyed one pay period with the extra money. But I'm not sure I like it and I'm not sure it's worth it.  Our project goes LIVE Nov 10th so most of last week I worked late.  Then Saturday I went in from 9-3 and today (Sunday) I worked 3-6.   My boss asked the whole team to put in the extra hours and it wasn't optional.  I wasn't happy but tried really hard not to complain.  Tonight, my eyes hurt from staring at a screen.  My shoulders hurt from hunching over a desk/table. My hands, elbow, forearm and neck hurt from repetitive strain injury.  I took a muscle relaxant last night and it helped, but the ache is still there.  So I'm wondering if I was crazy to ask for the change.

However, it's kind of hard to judge how well I'll like full time based on a recent episode of full-time plus a ton more!  So I'll try not to make a quick decision and see where I'm at once the project is done and the workload settles.  My fear is that the workload will never settle.  Next time I have a one-on-one with my boss I'll ask if the option exists for me to go back to part-time.  It's good to know what options I have.  My boss and I have had a few conversations recently about a new opportunity in our group.  It will mean more responsibility, but as far as I can tell, not an increase in pay.  Sigh.  It's kind of hard to know what to say in that case.  I'm flattered?  Thank you?  I'm also not sure that saying no thank you is an option.  Not that I'm a big career women, but generally saying no to more responsibility and more opportunity is a death sentence for advancement.  Sigh.  I hope I know what to do when the actual opportunity is formally presented.  I have my bible study and church friends praying that I'll have wisdom about it.

The funny thing is that around the time I decided to go full-time I also starting reading the book 'Leaning In' by Sheryl Sandberg.  The theme of her book is that women need to exert themselves in the workplace and desire and ask for promotions and raises.   We need to be ambitious and go for it! She talks about a lot of stuff, but the theme lean in resonates throughout.  She says that often women tend to 'not sit at the table' or not lean in when opportunity knocks. I can relate to not sitting at the table.  A few months ago I was invited to meeting and one of the big bosses showed up.  It was a large meeting with probably 28 men and two women.  I tried to sit in the most inconspicuous place of all - far from the big boss.  If there had been seats on the edge of the room, not at the conference table, I would have taken one.  She says women often do that and it's not healthy.  I deserved to be in the meeting I had something to contribute to the meeting, I was invited to the meeting so I should 'sit at the table.'  But I hesitated in the foreign environment.

So, interesting that I read this book at the time in my career.   Based on her book, I was motivated (on behalf of all working women in the world) to not miss my opportunity to lean in.

But I also have to be emotional wise.  Leaning in at this moment of time in my career, with my personality and other factors may not make sense.  This might not be my 'lean in moment.'  I have to figure that out.

Remember, when you say yes to one thing, you automatically are saying no to many others.   So by choosing to work full-time and/or taking on this new opportunity, I have to realize that it will close the door to several other things.  I can lead in several places and can certainly volunteer (if I have the free time.)  I also need to be aware of my health.  I don't want to say yes to an ulcer from taking on more than I can handle.  Below is a link to an interesting article that takes the opposite stand from lean in, it says lean back.  It's a good read... check it out.  Of course it helps if you read the book...

Recline, don't lean in.

So I have some thinking to do.  And some relaxation to do.  It's Sunday night and as my husband would say I"m wound tighter than a 7 day clock would 8 days."  Whatever that really means.  But no matter what, it's not a great way to start another work week.  Even though it's late I think I'll go do a bit of yoga, brew a cup of herbal tea and snuggle up with the dogs and watch stupid TV.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  If you have any sound advice, leave a comment.


Jacqueline Hodges said...

That's alright. At least you were able to have a good bead on how your time was spent. You're also managing your posture well, which is great. You should contribute what little you can in order to manage your pain, as support for whatever chiropractic service you may need to acquire in the future. Thanks for sharing that! Take care!

Jacqueline Hodges @ Dr. Koziol

Karen said...

LOVE that card - did you stamp on the vellum (front or back?) or is it an overlay?

As far as your work inclinations, I'm guessing you'll be leaning in...

Laurie Unger said...

I really like your card! Wonderfully done! Relax, breath in and out,lean in and Namaste!