A few days ago I accepted a new position at the hospital I work at as the palliative care social worker. As of February 9th I will no longer work in the ER. I will no longer work overnights or every other weekend. Part of me is so completely ECSTATIC about this! I have really struggled with working nights. I am not someone who can just fall asleep anywhere, anytime. In fact, even with many medications on board, my body is all like."time to get up" four hours in, even if I am dog tired. This makes for one grouchy me. This does not contribute towards happy mothering and spousing (new word). Jeff has being saying for awhile that maybe I should look into finding a day job. The hard part was I LOVE my job. I have never adored a job more. I love the people I work with. Even on the incredibly hard and sad days, I have felt so grateful for this job. I have learned more in two years working as an ER social worker than I ever thought imaginable. If I didn't have a family, I think Jeff could deal with grouchy Susie a little bit longer. I have had many thoughts of "what if" the last few months as I contemplated bidding on and eventually accepting this offer. What if I would have followed my original plan and went to graduate school back when I was 24? What if I would have figured out how much I loved medical social work back when I was unattached, no husband, no kids? What if I can just keep on doing this and will it really do damage to my kids to have the world's grouchiest mom? Then, as is par for course for me, I had a "come to Jesus" talk with myself. It basically went something like this, "The ship has sailed on the past sister. You didn't do any of those things, you chose this path. And, yes, your kids and your marriage will suffer if you keep screaming at them because you are dog tired all the time". Part of me was annoyed that I was having to consider my family. I know that sounds harsh and selfish but it was part of the process. But, then I realized how maybe I should look at this path as a blessing, not a curse. Who knows if I would have liked medical social work back in 2000? Maybe all the lessons I have learned from living life the past 14 years brought me to this very moment. Maybe I will love palliative care social work and be joyfully passionate about it? I am hopeful this will be the case. I bid on the job because if I wasn't doing ER social work, palliative care equally appeals to me.
I can hardly wait to rejoin the living. I can't wait to have every weekend to watch Matthew play hockey, Caroline play soccer, Ellie do something eventually! I can't wait to always sleep when it is dark out. Still, when I think of leaving this place where I have worked the last 20 months, tears literally come to my eyes. The people I have met through this job have blessed me beyond measure. From my first day of FAINTING and getting a concussion and stitches, they have made me feel like a part of a family. It is likely I will never experience that close of a comradery again. Instead of letting this depress me, I am grateful that I have had such a wonderful almost two years. I am grateful. I hope to take the wonderful lessons I have learned as an ER social worker and bring them along with me as I transition to the palliative role. I know there will be challenges and it will take awhile to get in the groove. I'm game. If the ER taught me anything, it may just be that I can do hard things.
I don't start my new gig until February 9th. I plan on using my free time during the next month to get my crap together because I will be working full time in the new role. I know it will take some adjusting to not having any free week days to get those pesky errands and chores done. We will all have to find our new normal. There will certainly be some growing pains. But, in the end, I think this decision is the best for me and for my family. Here's hoping for continued good things for the Simpsons in 2015!