This is going to be a long blog, so I'll break it into two parts:
One of my unfortunate personality quirks (those of you who know me, quit snickering at the "one" and "unfortunate") is that it takes me a long time to build up the courage to do something about negative situations I find/get myself into. Even though I experience the stress, I grit my teeth and hang on until I am so frazzled, the rope breaks. Recently I hit my "I am done with this" point in two areas of my life. One was an additional part of my job and the other was not promoting Spindles and More.
The first was an additional part of my job I took on a few years back because I was tapped and they "needed me." Perhaps what should have clued me in to the potential for crazy was that the one person they offered it to before me looked them in the eye and said "Heck NO."
This additional part involves being in charge of checking over sets of legal paperwork for the SpEd department (so far this year I've checked close to 145 sets, in addition to writing my own sets), facilitating the monthly department meetings where I got to continuously break the never-ending bad news that yes, we are being asked to do more, with less time, resources and money and no, there is no way to "trim the fat" because we are already cutting into muscle, oh and that they now want us to start using the new format last week... Additionally, due to my exalted position, I was gifted two years in a row with a client who's parents were beyond obnoxious. I do not say this lightly, I've taught SpEd for 12 years and have been dragged to the doorstep of needing to slap a parent due to their ignorance on very few occasions, but these just obnoxious just to be nasty.
And yes, there was a stipend, I suppose I shouldn't complain, I was paid for all this extra work. The stipend was, drum roll please... $1000. Total, for the year, before taxes, stretched over 12 paychecks.
So, when I really took the time to look up from pedaling as fast as I could and evaluated the situation I realized a few things: 12 hour days at school were ridiculous, the people I was covering for still weren't doing their job and I was still covering for them, all the extra effort I was putting in was not being acknowledged by those who needed to acknowledge it, the pay was NOT worth the time, my health/mood was deteriorating, I was NOT happy with all the stress involved in the situation and finally, my husband and friends needed to be part of my life, not an afterthought squeezed in when I didn't have someone's paperwork to check. So I thought about it and I told my boss I wouldn't be doing it next year. They are not happy and are not sure who'll they'll get to replace me, but as my husband reminds me each time I worry "it is no longer my responsibility." "It is not my problem, It is NOT my problem, It is not MY problem." And the funny thing is even though I have another 4 months of serving in this capacity, my health/mood/relationships has already begun to improve and I smile and want to laugh every time I break that news that I won't be doing this next year. I try not to smile too much in front of my boss...