March 1, 2014
February has been a month of big change as I started my new job. The transition came with more drama and frustration than anticipated, and it wasn't as smooth as I had hoped.
Some people have asked me when I started, and it's not an easy question to answer.
Officially, technically, I started on February 18th.
That's the date I signed my transfer paperwork, the effective date for my new title and salary.
But that first week, for Reasons with a capital Drama and a side of WTF, I worked half days at my new job and half days at my old job.
I couldn't do much at my old job because all of my old authorities ceased on my official last day, and I couldn't learn much at my new job because 4 hours just isn't enough time to learn peoples' names, let alone what processes to follow when.
It was an unproductive and frustrating and exhausting week.
This transition has been very challenging, more challenging than I had ever expected. But this past week I worked full days at my new job, and I've made progress.
I've learned peoples' names!
I know where pens are kept!
I've found files and spreadsheets on the shared drive!
I changed my computer wallpaper!
I'm looking forward to focusing all of my attention onto my new position and kicking some ass, professionally speaking.
February 8, 2014
I spent a day in Valdez this past week. Before my meetings started, I found a coffee stand and parked at Dock Point to watch the sun rise while sipping a mediocre mocha and eating a less-than-mediocre bagel.
It was beautiful
The best thing about Valdez is that it's completely surrounded by mountains, and is so very quiet in the winter, much like most Alaskan fishing cities.
Except two weeks ago Valdez had more than its share of winter excitement when multiple avalanches crossed the only road into Valdez and cut the city off from the road system for 12 days. The avalanches also dammed the river next to the highway, flooding Keystone Canyon.
The Department of Transportation reopened the highway the day before I flew into Valdez, and I was glad to find time to drive out of town and take a look at the avalanche area.
I wasn't the only one on the highway playing Avalanche Tourist. Many vehicles were driving very slowly through the canyon between towering piles of densely packed snow.
There were large construction signs on either side of the canyon warning people: AVALANCHE AREA / DO NOT STOP. Some people stopped their vehicles right in the middle of the canyon, and others even exited their cars to get a better look.
I did not stop my car in the avalanche area, and I did not get out of the car. My husband and the rental car company would not have appreciated that.
But I understand the desire, even as dangerous as it is: an avalanche is a huge and powerful force, and it's amazing to be close to that power.
I did get some amazing photos as I drove through, even though it's hard to see the sheer amount of snow because there's nothing really to compare it to in the images (had I stopped and gotten out and used my camera timer and done an avalanche selfie...).
Here is one way to gauge the size of the roadside snow: in the last three images you can see dark poles with yellow tops. Each of those poles stick out of the ground about 10 feet.
January 28, 2014
I'm pretty terrible with making decisions.
Wait, let me qualify that.
I'm pretty terrible with making important decisions. Also decisions about which restaurant we should eat at while we're out. I don't care what we eat just pick something no I really don't care I just ahhh.
What I am good at is seeing both sides of the decision possibilities and arguing how each of them is the superior choice until I have two or three obviously superior choices to make.
This last week I had a Very Important Decision to make. So I spent time free writing all of my feelings, listing the pros and cons and kinda-pros and kinda-cons, and whining a lot to my husband and brother and friend about what am I going to dooooo?
Cue more whining and sleepless nights and gastric problems of stress.
Today is my birthday: I'm 33. I don't mind birthdays, don't mind getting older. And I have high hopes for my 33rd year, because I finally made that Very Important Decision.
Even now that the decision has been made, I am still hyper aware of the unknown variables and ways that this decision may backfire - what if I hate it? what if they hate me? what if I'm bored? what if I'm put at a tiny desk in a dark basement and assigned questionably-ethical tasks and I get ulcers and my husband leaves me and my dogs run away and I lose my house and die cold and sad and alone?
Because that could totally happen.
But I have this quiet calmness in my soul that I have made the right decision. And I'm trusting my quiet and calm inner voice, because my inner voice knows shit.
I have accepted a position with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and I will start after Valentine's Day.
I am excited for the new opportunities to learn and grow, excited for my work to bring meaning into people's lives, excited to order a mocha for pleasure reasons instead of Grar Feelings reasons.
Here's to 33, my inner voice, and new beginnings.