Priorities and Perspective

Anyone who reads my little blog with any regularity should know my love of pretty much all things Disney. As long as I can remember, some aspect of Disney has been part of my life – from my first movie, “Bambi”, to Sunday evenings with TV dinners and The Wonderful World of Disney; from numerous vacations to the parks as well as wonderful cruises, to the site of both my first half marathon and full marathon.

Disney is a huge part of my life in many ways.

I have come to realize over the past few weeks that in terms of my “part-time” job, it was becoming way too huge of a part.

It’s been building for a while. I realized over Spring Break that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a day where I wasn’t working one job or the other – where I’d had a complete day off, at least without requesting it. Our store manager kept saying “Hang in there. We’re working on hiring people.” but the hours were never decreasing – put this way, my availability was supposed to be set at no more than 25 hours, preferably 20-22 but they have been consistently scheduling me at 28-30. And yes, they hire people, but it’s the proverbial inchworm in the well where they’ll hire 5 and 3 people will leave. I’ve had to pass on doing things I’d really like to do, not the least of which is hanging out with friends. Two of my friends have lost their moms in the past 6 months or so, and I’ve been so scared of calling out and dealing with “occurrences”, I don’t feel like I was able to be there for them the way I’d like to have been. I’ve had to plan far out in terms of when I’d like to be off, and then just take some guesses when doing things like signing up for races. But basically all these swirling thoughts boiled down to two major things…

1) I really, really miss my friends and need to be able to spend time with them, sometimes spur of the moment and without requesting 90 days in advance, trying to find someone to switch with me or take a shift, or calling out.

2) I signed up for the Goofy Challenge. A half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday of WDW Marathon Weekend. When training for this year’s full marathon, I was so tired from essentially working two full-time jobs, my training suffered badly. I know I cannot go into Goofy that undertrained, and I don’t see any of the issues at the store changing.

So I did a lot of looking at budget and stuff over the weekend. I realized that now that I’ve gotten some things paid off, I honestly was just using the money from the store as extra – and often just as funding for meals before work on weeknights or during work on weekends. It’s not essential income. And so I set up a plan in my head.

Like a race, I set an A-goal and a B-goal. The A-goal was to turn in notice so that my last day would be just before leaving for Seattle and Alaska. My B-goal was to have my last day just before Labor Day weekend.

Then when I got to work yesterday, my friend L informed me that she had turned in her notice. She’s been there longer than I have, and she loves Disney just as much. The proverbial straw got to be too much and she also got another job with more reasonable hours and better pay. Seeing the relief on her whole person made me really think. There was very little reason I set the A-goal and B-goal as far out as I did. Yes, the intention was to just use that money to pay off my February cruise, but paying that off (even early) is highly doable with just my teaching income (even before whatever is going to happen with contract negotiations happens). And so…

Last night I turned in my notice at the store. My last day of availability is Thursday, May 15.

It is bittersweet, and there were some tears when I turned it in, but there was also an overwhelming sense of relief. I still love Disney, and I want to keep loving Disney…and I could feel myself beginning to walk an edge I could have tumbled over.

Now I can spend the time I want to spend with my friends. I can train at times other than 4:30am. But mainly I can breathe and feel like I’m in charge of my own life more than I’ve been able to in a long time.

Priorities. I feel like I can say I haz them now.

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