How do you know if you’re in career crisis?

I am trying to decide if right now I am in a career crisis, or if I’m just having day to day burnout. Sure, it’s really hard to be a mom to 3 kids (one of whom is about to start First grade) and still do well at my job. But I’m finding myself feeling stuck and trying to think of where I want to be in 5 years. Are the things I’m doing now going to get me there?

I am feeling a lot of frustration with my current position. Maybe it’s the slowness of summer, but I feel awfully insignificant. I especially feel insignificant when I have to work a 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm shift so that I can sit at the desk from 6:00 – 10:00, and I get no questions at all that whole time. (It’s worse on days like tomorrow, where I have to put my baby with a babysitter she’s unfamiliar with, just so I can sit at the desk for 4 hours and do nothing).

I look back at the start of my career, about 7 years ago, and wonder if I’ve made the right choices. I’ve made choices that put me in stuck positions. Most of the librarians I worked with at previous jobs have achieved tenure, but since I spent so many years in a non-tenure track position, I am years away from that. (It doesn’t help that we don’t have faculty status here, so we don’t really have a tenure and promotion system. We recently passed a document explaining it but that’s as far as we’ve gotten).

In the seven years since I entered the profession, what have I done? Well, I had two more kids, and that’s sure to take up some time. I’ve served on several committees. I’ve attended a few conferences. I even presented at one.

This time last year I was already feeling the “stuck”-ness and decided to start work towards my doctorate. I’m now about a year into it with 18 hours, and a 4.0. But what is my goal? Well, ultimately I would like to be a director or a dean of a library. I want to move into leadership. But my current position has absolutely no leadership opportunities. I do not supervise anyone. How will I get the experience I need to move towards my goals unless I do something differently?

For the moment, I *am* stuck. I can’t move my family anywhere. I need to stay here until I complete my coursework, which is about 2 years away. So, what can I do from right where I am to change things? How can I become more significant? What great ideas or accomplishments can I produce from my position as Reference and Information Literacy Librarian? I guess that’s the big question.

I welcome any mentoring anyone can offer. I have big goals and I’m not giving up, but it’s hard to accept that this is it.

What a crazy, random happenstance!

I just wanted a chance to say “crazy” and “random” together, because that’s kind of how my life is right now. Oh, that reminds me…

captainhammerMy “do whatever I want” workout is going well. I am running again, surprisingly, and I kind of like it. I’m working back up to 5K right now…

10474218_10102747539231390_2506215616566056613_nThis was today, Week 2, Day 2.

Serena

 

Considering the last time I bought running shoes I did not yet know I was pregnant with this girl, who is about to turn 4…. I should probably buy some new running shoes soon. What are your favorites? I honestly have no idea what I want. Besides something cute. And maybe flourescent.

Oh, and something else crazy happened. I kinda sorta GOT AN A IN STATS!

tumblr_inline_mqp6ygsmMl1qz4rgpI couldn’t believe it. In fact, when my instructor sent me my grade through email, I replied, “Seriously?” with the same face as Doctor 10 up there…

Seriously, though, I have been in college for most of the time between 1992 and now, and I have NEVER worked as hard for a class as I did for this one. Thank you Baby Jesus for helping me pull this one off. I just have to deal with Stats 2 and Qualitative research in the Fall. Without dying.

It. Is. Finished.

I just (less than an hour ago) turned in my final assignment for my statistics I class. I am hoping (praying) for a B in the class, so I don’t ever have to take it again. Of course, that just means Stats 2 in the Fall… but I’ll deal with that when I get there.

I started running again, and I’m doing a 5K runner program. But so far, I did Week 1 Day 1 last Thursday, and Week 1 day 2 last Monday. So I’m not really with the consistency here.

It’s like this (pretend each line is a day):

Run

Oh no I have to study/see my professor during my lunch

Oh no I’m sick.

Still sick.

Well enough to be at work but still sick-ish.

Can’t run no childcare.

Run

Hey it’s time to study

Wait, am I sick again?

 

Do you see the pattern?

But stats is now officially over and I can have my life back for a little while.

I’m going to put it out there: I’m going to run 3 times a week (preferably Monday, Wednesday and Friday) to the 5K program (which I will start over on Monday). I also plan to do yoga or piyo after my baby goes to sleep (since every morning I wake up at 4:30 and she senses it and demands to be held). Oh, and I ironically used some Beachbody commission (yes, I still get that) to buy the new Zumba program. So I’m going to be partying at my house….At least until the fall when Stats 2 comes around…

On Food and Exercise… or “I have issues”

I am head-deep in stats insanity (only 3 more classes to go!!) but during this stressful time, my eating has been bad. I have accepted that I may have an eating disorder. I have been doing research (because I love that stuff) and I seem to fit all the signs. I started to read a book (in my spare time) called “Life without ED” and it all seems so familiar to me.

I have been attempting to diet since January. So, like Most of the Year. I do well for a few days, and then I binge. Sometimes I purge (there I said it). I realize this is NOT healthy behavior. So, I have decided I need to heal my relationship with food, and I’m going to do a Whole 30.

(You can read more about the Whole 30 here)

I was in the midst of a Whole 30 when I found out I was pregnant with Lil A, and while some people can control themselves while pregnant, I found that the only thing that helped with nausea was eating massive amounts of Cheezits. It was a stressful time, and I think I can pinpoint that as the start of some of my not-healthy food behaviors (although if I really look back I’ve been dealing with this since teen years).

So for 30 days, I’m not going to weigh or measure my food. I’m going to practice awareness. I’m going to eat until I’m satisfied, not until I can’t sit up straight. And I’m going to eat quality whole foods.

Now, when it comes to working out, well… it’s pretty much non-existent. I am so burned out on weightlifting and cardio. I need to enjoy exercise again. So, I have some ideas. Zumba. Piyo. Maybe running (I *did* sign up for a 5K in November so I should probably train for that). But my main thing is I’m not going to freak out if I don’t get the exact workout on the exact day that I was supposed to.

Stats will actually be over soon (there is an end in sight!) and I’ll have nights free again and lunches. I just need to train my baby to stay in bed when I wake up.

I feel a huge relief having written all this out. It’s like I’ve given myself permission to just exist for a little while. I’m not going to diet, I’m going to eat mindfully. I’m only doing workouts that are fun. Let’s see how I feel at the end of August.

Something incredible happened…

So, we had our first stats exam on Thursday night. I went in to see my professor on Thursday morning and felt strangely calm, like I kind of knew what I was doing. I was still nervous though.

I took the exam, and finished first. This happens to me with every exam. I don’t know why, I’m just always the first to finish. I took my time and checked and rechecked my answers, but I still finished first. I was tempted to feel good about the test but I didn’t want to be over confident.

Our professor had told us he would try to get us our grades Friday but if not it would be Monday. I waited for them on Friday until getting the email that he would send them on Monday. So I was in for a long weekend.

I did some homework and went to study group, which was challenging since I brought all three children

.10525793_10102676949573630_7421537138542088574_n

I made a collage of them during their best moments…

This morning, our professor sent this email:

Dr K exam email

I was caring for a sick baby and so I dictated a response to Siri and sent it. Later I noticed that instead of “Dr. K.” I had addressed him as “Dr. Kay.”

I waited for a while and hit refresh on my email ever 6 seconds for what seemed like forever.

Then I got this:

Dr K 2

So, while I may have looked stupid getting his name wrong, I did get some pretty good news.

 

Maybe I will pass after all :-)

I’m scared of failing stats…

I know I said I wouldn’t blog much this month, but I felt like I should at least have some company in my pity party.

Stats is bringing back all kinds of childhood inadequacies. I was bad at math. Really bad. And I tried to learn. But I guess I didn’t. So here I am at age 40 feeling that same frustration again. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I just don’t have the ability to understand it.

I feel worried that I will fail. If I fail, I’m done. No doctorate for me.

So I’m sitting here crying and trying to snap out of it because crying about it doesn’t help anything. But I have all these kids and this job and money problems and now I’m 10 years old again failing at math.

 

I have issues.

Stats!

Well I’m in the midst of the Summer II 2014 Insane Challenge (or whatever I’m calling it). Stats is as hard as I thought it would be. I’m also taking another class and trying really hard not to let Stats overshadow it.

To be fair, I do have moments in stats that I enjoy. I have light bulb moments. Aha moments. Those are great moments. I also sometimes want to pull my hair out.

 

10354165_10102651573317850_833134274975855033_n

What the heck is that ^^^?

One of the things that messes me up the most is when people in class ask questions. That shouldn’t bother me, but I feel like I have a very tenuous grasp on the material, and then they ask questions and I get confused and my tenuous grasp is gone….

I have to admit I’ve been seriously wondering if I can do this. The odds are against me. But I am going to continue to do my best. Failing this class is really not an option.

Here’s a picture our professor took of us at the beginning of class Thursday night. He says it’s his first ever all female stats class, so he wanted to take a picture. That’s a topic for another day….

10402466_10102653889126950_1678532099994105089_n

 

I’m the one in the Superman shirt. (I almost said, “I’m the one in blue” just to mess with you…)