I don't want to be a cheeseball, but sometimes I just can't help it.
I was leaving work tonight, walking to the elevator and out to the parking garage alone, 20 minutes after my day officially ended, thinking how much I enjoy my co-workers (except that One) and how much I enjoy going to work each day. Don't mistake that to believe that I enjoy my work every day. Sometimes it's draining and exhausting and overwhelming and it makes my cry, and the Very Last Thing I want to do is walk through those doors and see the mess of work that I left on my desk the previous night. But in general, interacting with the Good people I get to see each day is worth braving the Bad.
I like seeing the same people each day and laughing about the Insanity Du'jour. I like that each co-worker has a different personality and I like knowing what kind of conversation will come from interacting with each one. I like my supervisor. And my director. I even like the silly nickname I mistakenly incurred last week. I like knowing that after a year, and after trying to resign 6 months ago, that I belong there.
I don't think I've ever talked about what I do. I'm an investigator with Ch!ld Pr0tective $ervices. (Trying to hide it from search engines.) And last September, I became overwhelmed and felt that I was putting the children of my county before my own children. I was having more migraines and getting less sleep. I was obsessing over a mom I feared would harm her children and the lack of evidence I had to do anything about it. I was tormented by fear each time I had to testify in court. I dreaded the ring of the phone when I was on call and the sound of a police officer on the other end. I hated having to make decisions regarding someone else's family.
So Tim and I decided together that I needed to resign and find something less demanding and part-time so I could give my family the attention that they deserved. Except that my director would have none of that. She gave me one of her Famous Pep Talks and told me that I was a keeper and that she would create a position for me to prevent me from leaving. And she did.
So. Since October, I have been off the streets and in the office fielding every report of ch!ld @buse or negIect (being incognito again) that comes into our county. And during that time at my desk, I have gained confidence in my understanding of state child welfare code and in my assessments of child endangerment. I have learned when to give more of myself and when to not. I have learned when to go home at 4:30 on the dot and when it's important to stay late.
In less than a month, my position will be obsolete and I will be going back to investigations. I am strangely looking forward to it, grateful that when my position changes yet again, the people who make me laugh from 8-4:30, Monday-Friday (and after-hours on-call and the occasional weekend) will still be in my life, still cracking me up with our twisted sense of humor.