The Other Side of Overwhelmed.

Okay, so my last two posts have made my life seem pretty one-sided. It’s true, there’s a lot of stress and juggling and Life Tetris, and Monday morning was a very low point for me in terms of the juggle.

(Which, as an aside, I ended up taking up an offer to help by a friend, who got Owen off the bus and brought him to her house to hang out, buying me an extra hour of work, which was EXACTLY enough to help me feel a lot better. Seriously, it takes a village, and I’m super thankful for her.)

But it’s also true that I am happy, too.

First of all, I really like the work I’m doing right now. I like seeing firsthand the operations of a business; paying bills and employees and then accounting for them. I like that the company is small enough that I can really get to know the entirety of the business through the details of every transaction. I like that I’m back in the industry in which I started my accounting career – biotech. I like that I’m working with numbers again, which can actually be reconciled to real transactions and therefore give me some closure. I like being in the office every day and being able to talk with my boss before I go off and do a bunch of work which potentially could be wrong.

And I like the company. I work with really smart people who have a lot of other interests outside of work. The two chief science guys here aren’t just science guys – they’re business people, too. The Chief Science Officer, with whom I have a lot of dealing with as I’m going through contracts and invoices – is a born teacher; whenever he approves an invoice he’s sure to tell me what it’s for, which project, etc. The Chief Medical Officer and I have had more conversations about skiing and triathlon and book writing (no joke!) than we have about medical affairs. The VP Finance and I share musical interests and pandora stations and talk about cycling. And he likes and values my work – and tells me so!

I haven’t felt this engaged in my career in a really long time; long enough that I can’t remember the last time I felt engaged.

So some of the overwhelmedness I feel, I think, is related to wanting more time at work, more time to delve into details and really understand things.

I’m discovering that I am actually not naturally a balanced person. I start something new, and it becomes my focus and I want to learn ALLLLLLLL the things about it. Everything. I want it to open up to me and show me its secrets and then I will be a master of it. And I will spend every waking moment of my day thinking about it, wondering about it, waiting for it to click. I am an immerser.

Of course, then, it’s hard to juggle Life Tetris when you are an immerser. There’s just not enough TIME for it all.

So even when I’m writing about how stressed I am, there’s also an equal part of me which is stimulated and thrilled and joyful, because I’m thinking, Wow! I really, really, really like what I’m doing right now. This job is great.

It’s much easier for me to feel overwhelmed and tell you all that than it is for me to write about how damn happy I feel lately. As hard as it’s been to juggle everything?

I’m happy.

And that is SO much.

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6 Responses to The Other Side of Overwhelmed.

  1. noemi says:

    Yay! So glad to read this. The people at your new job sound great. I’m so glad you are doing work you find fulfilling. I hope, that as the newness wears off and you feel more comfortable with your responsibilities, the overwhelm becomes more manageable.

    And I hope you have a great weekend. 😉

  2. Catwoman73 says:

    That’s great Karen! It’s nice to see you feeling engaged and happy!

    I’m an immerser as well. If I can’t do something 100%, I don’t do it at all. It’s a blessing and a curse, really- it usually means I get good at things fast, but it also means that a lot of other things slide when I’ve taken an interest in something new. It’s not easy, is it?

  3. Turia says:

    I have been saving this post in my reader until I had time to comment because it makes me so happy to read this! You should be so proud of yourself for taking the risk and trying the new position. I’m really glad it’s working out (even if things are crazy right now).

  4. Mel says:

    That is absolutely so much. I’m happy to hear that the job is working out. Not just “working out,” that you’re happy, too.

  5. Ana says:

    Wow. what a fantastic post. And what great self-knowledge. It’s truly amazing to be so passionate, so all in. I had that at work once—which is why I chose this career—and yet it eludes me these days, and I’ve been spending the better part of the last few years chasing it! Its a really wonderful feeling, to be part of something & feeling like you are integral and making a difference. So glad to see you so happy!

  6. A says:

    I recently started a new job as well, and it makes ALL the difference to feel appropriately challenged and fulfilled in your work!

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