Thankful Thursday + November Challenge Update

Happy Thursday!  I hope everyone’s day is going well – can you believe it’s exactly one week until Thanksgiving?  I, for one, am totally amazed by this – I think time really does go faster with each passing year.

My November Challenge update goes hand-in-hand with Thankful Thursday, which is hosted by the lovely Jessie from Jessie Loves to Run – so this might be a bit convoluted, but bear with me.
My most recent November Challenge task was to have an honest conversation with my boss about my career plans. I’ve long been interested in transitioning out of the national security field and into global women’s issues, and last week I decided that it’s time to take action on trying to make that switch.
The thing that really compelled me to take action was the realization that my job stress is negatively affecting my health — and it can only get worse from here.  
I have Celiac disease, which in and of itself isn’t a huge problem.  However, Celiac patients are automatically at high risk for other autoimmune diseases like Chron’s, colitis, MS, and lupus…all of which are things I’d rather never experience.
My health has been on the slide during the last year or so: my stomachaches are more severe and more frequent (despite having identified and eliminated my food allergies), I get more migraines than I ever have before, and I often wake up feeling like I got run over by a truck in my sleep.  There are days when my whole body inexplicably aches — bones, muscles, and even my internal organs hurt.  And that ain’t good.
I know the cause of all this has been job stress. I also know that chronic stress further increases my risk of getting other autoimmune diseases.  And I don’t want to go there.
I realized while visiting my old roommate last weekend that if I’m going to be healthy, I need to reduce my chronic stress.  
And if I’m going to reduce my overall stress levels, I need to make the switch from the high-stress, uber-urgent, hair-on-fire-all-the-time field of national security into a realm of international relations that I feel excited about and edified by: global women’s issues.
Before sending out feelers for job opportunities, though, I felt that I needed to tell my boss what’s going on. While I know this would normally be career suicide, I feel my boss deserves better than to have me sneaking around behind his back and trying to make a covert career change, only to blindside him once it’s a done deal.
But, as you can imagine, such honest conversations with one’s supervisor are more than a little bit intimidating, especially since people routinely get fired for being so transparent.
I decided it was worth the risk, though. I went into my boss’s office, shut the door, took a deep breath, and dove in.
I explained the whole situation with my health, my long-standing interest in global women’s issues, and my desire to work towards making this transition.  I explained that I don’t anticipate anything happening soon, but that I wanted to be honest and above-board with him so that he wouldn’t be blindsided when I do make this change.  I told him that I felt he deserves better than to have me furtively sneaking around and that I respect him too much to start doing all this behind his back.
He obviously wasn’t pleased (I’d be seriously freaked out if he were happy at the thought of me leaving), but he understood my logic and was really, really nice about the whole thing. Although it was unnerving to be so honest, I’m really glad I did it.
That said, I think you could probably hear my sigh of relief in Timbuktu when I left his office.
This brings me to my Thankful Thursday list:
1) Obviously, I’m really, really, incredibly thankful that the conversation went as well as it did, and it’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
2) My friend’s baby is out of the hospital and is thriving at home — what relief that is!  
3) I’m thankful for my little brother, Mike, whose 22nd birthday will be this Sunday. I can’t believe he’s turning 22 — the day he was born was one of the best days of my life, and I remember it like it was yesterday. 
I’d wanted a sibling more than anything for years. In fact, when I was really little I used to carry my dolls around and pretend that I was helping take care of an imaginary younger sibling.  I was almost 10 years old when Mike was adopted at birth, and it was an amazing and wonderful experience.  
When we found out that his birth mother (whom we love and keep in touch with) had chosen us as his family, I jumped up and down, shrieked at the top of my lungs, and danced around the house for hours. I love that kid more than I can put into words, and I’m incredibly grateful that I get to be his sister!
Me and Mike at my college graduation, back when *I* was 22oy, how time flies!
4) Hopefully I won’t jinx it by being thankful in advance, but we’re probably going to sign the lease for a new apartment tonight…and I’m absurdly excited about it. 
The hunt for a new apartment has been long, drawn out, and fraught. I was only able to find one building that meets our needs, and we loved it there when we visited.  The catch?  They didn’t have anything available in the timeframe that we’re looking to move.
I emailed them yesterday, and lo and behold, the perfect place for us had just opened up.  And, even better, it’s slightly cheaper than we’d anticipated. We won’t move until January, but this place basically fell into our laps, and I already love it.  Hooray!
With all that being said — and oy vey, this was a long post — I hope you’re having a phenomenal Thursday!

4 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday + November Challenge Update

  1. Caitlin Helsel November 16, 2012 / 12:31 am

    WEEEEEEEEEEEee!!! Congrats on such good news all around!! That was quite a courageous step you took with your boss, and I'm glad that it worked out as best as it could :)I get nervous even thinking about talking to my bosses about something like that…when the time comes, I'll be a nervous wreck till it's over. And yay for a little brother getting older, a healthy baby, and a new place to live! We're moving in May…I'm already dreading it! Ok, not really, since I'm excited to have a bigger place together…but I thoroughly dislike moving…so I'll be glad when it's over!

  2. Lillian November 16, 2012 / 2:38 am

    Right?! Moving is truly awful – at least once its all said and done, the new abode will be better than the ones we're moving out of! (Really, that's the only redeeming factor, but hey, I'll take it.) 🙂

  3. Susie November 16, 2012 / 7:07 am

    Well done! And congrats on the apartment. I'm sure you're going to love it 🙂

  4. jessielovestorun November 16, 2012 / 10:23 am

    I'm so happy to hear that your meeting w/ your boss went as well as it did. You deserve to be working in a place that fits you to the T girl. You are too talented to do anything but what makes you the happiest. Congratulations on the new apartment. January is just around the corner 🙂

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