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Ooops, I did it again.

Yes, I realize that the title of this post is tremendously hackneyed, but it simply fits. In case you are wondering, this post has nothing to do with the lovely Brittany Spears–nor her infamous song.

Queque collective sigh of relief.

What I am actually referring to is my inability to say one of the most powerful words in the English language–NO.

Yesterday, I accepted another job offer. For those of you counting, this is on top of the other two jobs I already have. Right now I work 30 hours a week at job #1, 25ish hours at job #2, and job #3 will take anywhere from 15-20 hours per week. Can you tell I have a problem with boundaries and saying no in this area of my life. You see, the problem is that I have no idea what my true professional passion is anymore. I knew that I wanted to go into education after getting my undergraduate degree here:

I decided to further hone my career by becoming a professor after receiving my MA in Literature from here:

And then decided that I had no idea what I wanted to do after getting part of my doctorate here:

Midway through the program, I found myself miserable.  The ivory tower of academia seemed to be an acrimonious series of hoops one must jump through. I had completely lost my passion.

Lehigh has allowed my to take a sabbatical, and in the meantime I have been an adjunct literature professor and a nanny. I have literally seen the twinnies go from this:

(2 weeks old)

To this:

(14 months old)

I love these little girls with all of my heart. But I have struggled with the fact that I am probably the most over-educated nanny on the block. I have enjoyed adjuncting, as it has kept me “in the field” and provided a nice balance–however, the schedule is very irregular and I only teach about 6 months out of the year.

Consequently, when a graduate school asked me to become a writing specialist full-time (with benefits!), I jumped at the offer. The problem is, writing is NOT my passion. I like it, but I prefer literature. I prefer teaching students to love reading.

However, yesterday I received an offer for another adjunct literature  professor position at a different university–and I said yes. I want to take it–however, I don’t want to sacrifice my secure full-time job, or my nanny job (because those babies are my heart).  The problem is that once Chase returns from his military rotation, he will have the easiest, most available 6 months of the next 15 years. Plus, we will probably be having our own little kiddies in the nearish future, so Chase/Sally Anne time is coming to a close. I don’t want to be working 18 hours a day for the next 6 months and miss this quality time. What the heck am I supposed to do?!

So I am basically going crazy trying to figure out how best to achieve balance. I am so thankful to have these opportunities and I want to be a good steward of both them and my own abilities.  Um, this whole “being an adult” thing is positively exhausting!

Earlier this week I gave y’all the cake analogy regarding the things you see on this little bloggy.

Today I felt like I needed to show you some of the other layers of my life (I think this is my orange layer). Don’t worry, I will be back to blogging more “frosting” topics tomorrow; however, if you have any words of wisdom they would be very much appreciated! 🙂


About paleorunnergirl

I am obsessed with cooking, running and reading! I teach American Literature at the college level, but enjoy books of all kind! After years of GI issues and being prescribed numerous medications, I found perfection in eating Paleo! I am no longer bloated, nauseous, or miserable on a daily basis. I have delved into creating Paleo recipe-making and embracing an active and playful life!

26 responses »

  1. I’ve had similar challenges in life so far. I once had 3 jobs but sadly no benefits at the time.

    The benefits and security of a full-time job are important but so is happiness. I say take a chance and do what you love! If the benefits are too much to sacrifice and the nanny position has to go, I know you’ll miss those adorable kids but keeping your finances afloat while at the same time getting more experience in your true passion could be the best decision. You definitely don’t want to overload yourself to the point where your marital life is being compromised. You and Chase from all appearances have a great thing going, and time together is precious!

    I’ll say a prayer for some guidance! I know we all need it sometimes!

  2. Oh my goodness, I feel like I need to take a deep breath for you!

    Work life balance is such a struggle. For one, we require at least some money to live, so for most of us, not working is not an option. I personally think that it is so important that we follow our passions with work so that it is a fulfilling part of our lives, and not just a necessary action.

    For me, as much as I love my job (and I really, really love my job!), family has to come first. If work is cutting too much into my personal life, I might start to not enjoy it so much. And in the long run, that benefits no one!

    • Goodness, I agree about family being #1. I just know that once we decide to have kids, I will HAVE to find a job that allows me to spend GOBS of time at home with them. I think knowing that I want a more flexible job in the nearish future to allow for babies is definitely spurring me to explore all options.

  3. Ekk! To start … just breathe.

    Life and work are so hard to balance! I don’t have as many jobs as you, but I LOVE volunteering, which takes up a LOT of time.

    My only tips … planning, and when you start to wish you constantly did not have to do anything, quit. I hate the word quit, but sometimes, you have to.

    • I am working on the breathing part…I never have been very good at it! 🙂 I totally agree with your sentiment towards quitting. It sounds just awful–but sometimes it is the smartest and best choice!

  4. You are an in demand lady! I hope you are able to figure out how to balance your very full professional life with your personal life.

  5. My two cents— Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the real show. 🙂 Do what you *want* to do, do what you love….. If you can balance all of that- amazing. If not- amazing (my way of saying that’s okay too!), do what you can do and do it well. *huge hug*

  6. Whew take a deep breath girl! My advice would simply be to take care of yourself. You have a lot on your plate right now, but think about what you really want and the parts of your life that you WANT to balance instead of that you feel you need to balance.

  7. I want that CAKE!!!!! You temptress, you! But I must say, “NO!,” and you must, too! :o)

  8. That balance is soo tricky! I can understand the appeal of taking great job offers. Congratulations on the new job, by the way. You will get the hang of it and make the best of everything. I don’t have any wisdom, because I’m still totally figuring it out! 🙂

    • I always used to think that I was the only 20-something without life figured out. It is so nice to know that I am not alone! It has been hard to flounder a bit since Chase knows EXACTLY what he wants. The boy has a 20 year plan! I am learning that trusting God with my future is a very tough lesson, but I am sure it will be well worth it!

      • Ladies, you aren’t alone! I’m still trying to figure things out too! Ash is like Chase, has it all figured out with like 10 back up options while I am trying to work on my number one option! Whatever happens, I know it will work out just the way it should, after all it has thus far! I say listen to your heart. 🙂 You’re such a go-getter! Congrats on another job opportunity!!

  9. Hi there beautiful! Oh im sure ALL of us can relate! Im in the same position – took voluntary redundancy from social servies – which I did for ten years – wanted to do this health writing thing, finding it all VERY hard, not sure whether I should try to re-train as an RD which will mean being very poor for a VERY long time, doing something Im not 100% sure I believe in… but good benefits – but then what do I want to do!? I think the truth is most any job can get boring after a while – they all start to feel a bit like work and that the truth. My current idea is that most anyone should either have a few different jobs (if they can make it work!) or plan to go through a few careers in life. Its my experience that very few people can do one thing forevr whithout getting very bored….
    Im not the best person for advice though… Im still trying to figure it all out – and sometimes its so very stressful! My other key piece of advice is to remember the line from that super cheesey song about not worrying it you dont know waht you want to do with you life when you are 23, some of th most interesting people dont! And some of the most interesting people also dont know when they are 40!
    Its such a struggle and Ive decided I have to attach my sense of self worth to being a good person (not ness a career successful, or even esteemed person). IN the end thats the only thing you have control over – so choose the jobs that will let you be the best person, the best wife, the best daughter and the most fulfilled within yourself. Even if that means being a full time nanny til youre 60 (nanny with a PHD is cool!) then thats fine too! Good luck! xoxo

    • Emmy, yet again, we are soul sisters! 🙂 I have always put my self-worth in what I DO school or career-wise and I cannot do that! I know that in my heart I need to simply follow my joy, but it is so difficult not to get caught up in the rat race!

  10. Dear Sal’,
    I made a very tough decision in July 1984 that forever changed my life. I chose to quit a VERY rewarding progressive career, to stay home and raise your husband. I have not one day ever looked back and wished I had more money. Not a dime can be exchanged for a single moment I shared with my family. I was offered numerous prestigious jobs in those 12yrs I remained at home. Some were quite, quite tempting, (which served to boost my Mom/Wife drowned ego), but I turned them down. We lived VERY frugally, (just ask Chase)…..but the peacefullness was my reward…my paycheck. As you know I did return to my career, and fullfilled my every professional dream. But I did not do this until I knew my career would not hinder my family, instead help it (send the kids to the colleges of their choice). I have since lived life with more money than I could spend, and I too have lived life with next to nothing, (going to Sam’s club on Saturday’s for lunch, garage sales for holiday outfits, etc.) But Sal’ I promise you, I have not found happiness greater on either side. Happiness I learned is based upon our relationships. If saying “no” would bring more peace to your relationships, then say no to the job, and say “yes” to your peace. You have, and always will be a successful woman. These opportunites will still be there in the seasons ahead. As the scriptures say, “There is a time and season for everything….” In every decision, ask yourself what is the best decison for THIS season of my life.

  11. i know that whatever you do, it will be best 🙂

    p.s. i gave you the liebster award!

  12. Wow girl you are in HIGH demand! It’s actually a great position to be in 🙂 My thought is that you can’t do all three and stay sane and happy. What I would do is figure out what your ultimate professional goal is and pick the job(s) that will help you get there! Good luck!!!

  13. I love that your mom-in-law reads your blog – mine does too! she’s totally the best!! xox

  14. Take the ONE job with benefits to pay for the little Chase and Sally Anne offspring. Time is always, always, always more valuable than money. ALWAYS. your a frugal frog, so you can make up for whatever income tradeoffs there may be. It’s a no-brainer. Take ONE job, focus on the wonderful relationship with which you’ve been blessed, and your health. Period. And the sooner you learn to say “NO” the stronger your mental health will be. Believe me, I’m almost 40, and that is like 100 in blog years.


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