The Shape of Things

I’ve been in my new job for just over three weeks now. I feel like I am starting to get a handle on what the shape of my days will look like, which is a comforting feeling. I find the first few weeks of a new job so uncomfortable, the knowing that I don’t really know what to do, that I don’t have any email to check, that I am here but not yet able to be helpful or useful or productive.

It has been interesting learning the culture of my new workplace. It is, in many ways, the opposite of where I came from. People here (new place= NP) close their office doors to work something that, unless you were on a private call or disciplining an employee, was totally frowned on at old place (OP). At OP, I supervised 35 staff members and much of my day was spent with a steady stream of traffic in through my (open) door. At NP I don’t have any direct reports and I can go hours at a stretch without talking to anyone while I do the research component of the job. NP may, in fact, be the quietest place I’ve ever worked.

My boss here at NP is the polar opposite of my boss at OP. NP boss is new too so we are figuring out together how we’ll best share our work and how this place operates. She has already dropped an F-bomb in front of me, so I’ll take that as a good sign that she feels like we are connecting well.

The best part of being not quite a month in the job here at NP is that I haven’t had, even for a moment, a minute of regret about taking the job. I miss some of the people at OP but I don’t miss the job. I realize I am still deeply in the honeymoon phase of NP but I feel good about this job being what I hoped it would be.

Now, I just need it to hurry up and get to the end of the month so we can move into our new house and I can begin settling more fully into life in our new city. The official hunt for a friend outside of work starts then.

(Please be my friend, some nice and funny person in my neighborhood! We can go to Target and complain about the winter here. It will be great.)

Links and Pictures

So, please allow for a moment of shameless self-promotion. I’ve been working on some posts in some other places, so just wanted to share here too. Feel free to click over and “like” them. Or, you know, not…I’m not in charge of the internet :)


In other news, I am falling quickly in love with our new city. This is no doubt enhanced by the fact that the weather was ridiculously perfect this weekend and so we got to spend tons of time outside, exploring nearby parks and even doing some hiking/walking down by the Mississippi River.

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By the end of the weekend the kids were brown from dirt and sun, smelling like sweat and grass, totally worn out from climbing trees and playing soccer. While the kids played, I started and finished a fantastic book (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I highly recommend!) and didn’t do enough homework. It was pretty great. How was your weekend?

Moved: Day 13

My husband, my stuff and (hopefully) our deposit check are all on their way from Des Moines now. My husband will be joining the kids and me at the hotel for one night before we move to a furnished apartment for a month, our stuff will be going into storage for September and that check will be going right into the bank because moving is REALLY freaking expensive.

We no longer live in Iowa.

In a lot ways, the move hasn’t seem quite real to me. Being in a hotel with only half my family there gave it an air of just being on a long trip. But on Thursday I took Miles to back to school night to meet his teacher (school starts on Tuesday) and I found myself getting choked up. Seeing him in his new classroom made me feel the weight of the change. We live here now. He is going to go to school here now. We don’t live in the world’s best neighborhood anymore. I don’t live across the street from my best friend anymore.

There is some grieving to do, certainly, but there are also good things happening already. My work is interesting and challenging. I am starting to be able to drive to some places without the GPS on my phone guiding me. Things look really good in terms of closing on the house on time and I think we are going to love our new house. I just wish we were a little closer to move in day.

But tonight and from now on we’ll all at least go to sleep under one roof, even if is just in a temporary home. I’ll take it.

Moved: Day Six

You know what is a fun way to celebrate your first weekend in a new town?

Taking your child to Urgent Care!

Oh, did I say “fun”? I mean the opposite fun.

M., who is fine now, was practicing his American Ninja Warrior moves (he is fully obsessed with this show, which I confess I enjoy as well) at a local park and managed to poke himself in the eye with his own finger as he slid down a pole. He cried right away but then settled down…until a little while later when he started crying in earnest and couldn’t seem to keep his eye open. We were already in the car so we could run an errand and I knew I needed to take him somewhere to have the eye looked at so I did a quick search on my phone for clinics.

And then realized that I didn’t exactly know where I was and had no idea which clinic I was closest too…or even which suburb. Geography and navigation are not my strong suits but it sucks to have to deal with that awareness while you kid is in the backseat crying and saying he can’t see.

We eventually made it to a clinic (not the closest one, I’m 99% sure) and wobbled through the registration questions (address? Uh, the hotel? Or the house we don’t have yet? Or the apartment we’ll live in until we get the house?). We thankfully didn’t have to wait long to be seen and then the real fun started.

Miles was on the table and was already nervous about the the concept of eye drops when the doctor walked in. With a shaky voice, Miles asked him if the drops would hurt and promptly freaked the hell out when the doctor said “Yep, they are going to sting!” (really, asshole?). Like a flash Miles was off the table and making a run for the door. I blocked the door and tried to calm him down as he begged to “go home, just let’s go home! It is okay if my eye hurts at home!”. The doctor, so super helpfully, said “you know, it will hurt longer if you don’t cooperate” (Ass. Hole.)

I finally got him back on the table and held/laid on him for the numbing drops and the eye exam that revealed the he had a scratched cornea (ouch). He’ll be fine in a couple of days, which is good, with the application 4x daily eye drops, which will be a challenge.

Holding down a writhing six year old four times a day should count as a workout, right?

Moved: Day 2

Things I accomplished today:
1. Oil change for the car which has had many, many miles put on it due to move related back and forths between Iowa and Minnesota.

2. Eyebrow waxing for two eyebrows that were not quite at a crisis level of grown out but getting close. They look very well groomed and- best part- I found a place that did them for free as part of a promotion for new residents (welcome to our state…please don’t look like a slob)

3. Got a PO Box set-up as we’ll be in four different locations in the next two months. I’ll be darned if I lose any of my magazines in the transition.

4. Went into work for a staff meeting and the start of introductions. Other than parking in the wrong garage and a wee bit of…well…underwhelment (that is totally a word) at the size of my new office, it went well. The atmosphere seems very, very different than old job. That is just an observation at this point and not a value judgement. We’ll see if it is a good or bad different in the next few months.

5. Played on the semi-gross hotel floor with M, building a castle out of clay. I’ve never been less concerned with clay getting in the carpet than I am here…this is not the cleanest place ever. Between that and the fire alarms going off, which totally freaked Miles out, I will be glad to move to new digs tomorrow.

6. Got a little teary eyed about missing Mr. Monkey, the baby and my best buddy E.

7. Foolishly allowed the boy to fall asleep in my bed, so now I am typing this from the edge of a king sized bed while he is in full starfish mode in the middle. He is also snoring and keeps scooting close to me every time I move away. I love him but I am not a cuddly sleeper. He may get airlifted to the couch before the night is through.

It was a good second day. I have tomorrow to get some more stuff done and then the first full day of new job on Thursday. Here’s hoping I find the right parking garage this time.

Moved: Day 1

My son is snuggled up next to me, huddled under the thick white duvet cover of the hotel bed (the room temperature is in the 60s. I love an ice cold hotel room for sleeping). We are watching American Ninja Warrior and in the corner of the TV screen is a graphic showing the current severe thunderstorm warning in the area. There are five counties under warning and it occurs to me that I don’t know if I am in one them.

Today has been full of little moments that make it clear to me that I’m new in town. I don’t know what county I’m in, I don’t know which radio stations I should program in to my car radio, I need directions to get anywhere…mostly, though, I just feel kind of anonymous. There is virtually no chance I’ll run into anyone I know because I don’t really know anyone here. That changes tomorrow when I meet my new colleagues at the new job but I do wonder how long it will take to meet my first friend.

Tomorrow M. goes to a day camp and I spend my first few hours at work. I’m looking forward to seeing my office for the first time and figuring out where to park and starting the long process of getting up to speed in a job for which I’ll have a pretty steep learning curve.

I don’t live in Iowa anymore. I don’t feel like I really live here yet. Give it time, self, give it time.

On Leaving

I have four more full days at my job. I’ve been working here for three and a half years and have probably never been more challenged in a job than this one. Those challenges have been both good and bad; the highs in the job are very high, the lows are very, very low. I am mostly excited to be leaving, though sad to leave behind people I consider friends and faces that I look forward to seeing every morning.

There is a going away party for me on Monday morning and I am already squirmy feeling about it. I hate goodbyes and being the center of attention for something like this. I would prefer just to quietly sneak out the back door on my last day and pretend it isn’t happening. I also know that, in truth, there are some people who will be sad to see me go and will be coming to say goodbye but there will also be some people who are just there for the snacks. I’ve been the boss for 35 people and I am sane enough to realize that there may even be those who are happy to see me go.

I feel like I haven’t really started processing the fact that soon I’ll be saying goodbye to my best friend and to the neighborhood I love so much. I was filling out paperwork for M’s new school and had a bit of an “oh, shit, this is real” moment when it came time to fill out who is emergency contact would be…I have no idea. Here we have friends that are like family and there we don’t have anyone yet.

I’m worried that I’m in for some lonely months.