Track.

The only thing I feel on top of is my new job — and even there, I have a never-ending to-do list. The takeaway: It’s really hard to take on a full-time job while you’re still doing another one. Between college teaching and Hebrew school teaching and freelance writing and PTG-boarding and classroom volunteering and parenting, I had cobbled together a more-than-full-time job (which unfortunately only paid like a very part-time one). And then I added an actual full-time job on top it all that.

The good news is that I love my new full-time job. The tasks I have to complete are varied and interesting and fun and allow me to be creative, which I love. I also have swell co-workers and the environment is very chill. I definitely feel like I hit the jackpot with this one. Unfortunately, I also feel like I hit a brick wall.

I am overdue on a freelance article, my Hebrew school progress reports were due two weeks ago, I haven’t gone grocery shopping in nearly a month, I burst into tears at Little League games, and I haven’t made nearly as much progress on my Candy Crush as I am accustomed. It’s pretty much a shitshow.

Plus, I’m sick. The Who, busted on lack of sleep and a different playdate at a different house each day for a month, caught a cold a couple of weeks ago and because he thinks it’s funny to lick his lips before he kisses me (gross) I got it, too. Of course, because the stakes are higher for me and the universe is a bitch, I got it much worse than he did. It’s going into the second week now and I’m still regularly peeing my pants with every cough. (Another thing for which I have The Who to thank.)

I am really looking forward to this long weekend and one whole day off by myself on Tuesday (mostly — I did volunteer to babysit for a friend’s kid — a deposit to the village from which I have been making many withdrawals). I’m going to use the time to recuperate more fully and tie up loose ends and maybe make a grocery list and a meal plan so that I can pull this train back on the track before it derails entirely.

2 Weeks.

Job redux: two weeks in.

I never knew how good for me working could be. I mean, I have had full-time jobs before, but they have never made me feel this way. They always felt like just the thing I was doing until my next thing, which, in effect, they were. With the exception of my first job out of college, teaching kindergarten, every other job was a placeholder. Either one I wasn’t good at (ahem-Explore/homeschool aide-ahem) or just one to pay the bills (ahem-Cahners/CellOne-ahem). Aside from teaching six classes a semester across three different institutions, I have never worked at a job that felt like it might be a career — and even then.

Is this new job a career? I don’t know that I’d say that. Not in this current position anyway. Do I think I will be an admin forever? I hope not. But the field feels right. The work feels right. The parts about working for a non-profit, working for children and families, working with digital design — none of that feels like a placeholder. And that has made a huge difference.

I feel respected and appreciated in a way I haven’t felt since…ever? I don’t know that I’ve ever had a job where I felt like my employers believed I was just the person for the job and were so glad to have me. My jobs have all been of the dime-a-dozen ilk. A million replaceable customer service reps. A million replaceable adjuncts. That’s not to say that I’m irreplaceable in this job; everyone’s replaceable. But just that I’m not disposable. That’s how I have always felt at work — entirely disposable. And having spent the last 15 years feeling disposable, it’s no wonder that now that I don’t, I’m happier, calmer, kinder, and more peaceful. Of course, the tripled paycheck doesn’t hurt either.

Just two weeks in. Still in the honeymoon phase, maybe. But also, maybe it will keep being a honeymoon. Or maybe not. Either way, now I know how it can be and I feel like I won’t settle for anything less again.