Last week, I caught a cold, but was able to completely recover in a day just by taking some rest time. Last night, I got sick to my stomach and had to leave work early today because I could not hold it in. The main frustration with this bouts of illness is they seem to completely arise from fatigue. My body becomes too tired to cope with the side effects of my disease and its defenses drop. I have been struggling to find a job that requires less lifting/standing, because the amount of exertion is what's keeping me from being a good employee. But this is the only job I have currently. I was so exhausted and frustrated I almost began to cry when speaking to my new boss today, trying to explain the situation. It was humiliating. I've been having trouble with getting there on time and this is because my schedule is routinely upturned from sudden intrusions of pain/nausea/dizziness/fatigue/etc.; it makes arriving on time slightly difficult. So, on top of this, I have to explain I have a crippling disease that's keeping me from doing my job.
This may sound a little more dejected than my standard posts. Generally, I spell out the optimism line and advise everyone to keep an upbeat attitude. The truth of this situation is it is not a great one. It is a kind of depressing situation to be put in. But fear not. Because the point of this post is not to try and pander to anyone and pick out the silver linings. Really, right now, the only good thing I've got going is that I am not unemployed.
Here is where the positive comes. Because rather than wallow in how dejected and frustrated I am, I am going to make a plan of escape. Not only from my current job that is clearly destroying my fragile body (okay, not fragile, but still--transitioning from full time student to full time employee has been crazy difficult), but from how endometriosis is ruining my job prospects. Rather than throw my hands up and mope, I am going to change my situation.
I am going to write out a list of things I can do now and things that I can work towards to be able to improve. Goals, ideas, new rules, etc.. Probably, some of these are too mundane or personal to put here. But I am happy to provide some examples.
- I am going to write an apology and a few ideas of how I am going to change my current tardiness, sign it, and give it to my boss. Its how I am going to communicate that I am serious about changing how endometriosis is intruding on my ability to function. In two weeks I have been tardy twice. It would not happen if I was not sick, but I need to stop it from happening anyway.
- I am reducing my hours and going to form a plan to work up to forty hours a week. Maybe start around 25-30. I desperately need the higher income of 40 hours, but I would rather retain my health and work towards more hours. This way, I can have a more positive experience and be a better employee, as well as retain my health.
- I am going to continue submitting a reasonable number of resumes/applications/cover letters for potential jobs. I have had a couple interviews but it has been a difficult process. However, I am just going to continue at a steady pace. The stress of flustered job searching does not help my goal, so I am just going to be patient.
- I am applying for grants/subsidized loans so I can finish my degree. With only 14 credits left, it is best that I finish ASAP so I can put my bachelors on my resume. Even though these classes are mostly religion credits/GEs, employers do not care. They want that piece of paper. So I should give it to them.
- I am going to pursue goals and follow through with self improvement outside of work/school. Things like making weekly menu plans, following a cleaning schedule with the house, learning Spanish, writing in my book--things outside of high pressure money needs. Because if everything of value is tied to my job, and I do not like it, well--I'm not going to be very happy, am I? So I need to do things outside of my job.
Obviously this is not a fill out list that applies universally to everyone who reads this. For most, it may just be a mildly interesting story of my current situation. What I am trying to get across is this: although I am in a frustrating spot, I am doing my best to change it. And that is the only thing that is keeping me positive right now.
If I was completely stuck in thought about where I am, I would be depressed. There are moments where I can only think about the negatives of what is going on and I become very dejected. But I've got my goals, my ideas, and I look forward to realizing them. So if you are in a situation with little bright spots, with insufficient silver linings, do not focus on them--focus on how you can change them.