There’s one more story to tell of Things That Happened on My Recent Vacation – and it’s a big one.
Late in the afternoon on my last day in the office before my break, my closest colleague dropped by to firm up some details on a project we were working on together. And then he shared with me an idea that rocked my world.
He’d been turning over in his own mind a proposal the two of us might make that would significantly shift the focus of our current work (children’s ministry and youth ministry), in which we create a department together, supervise a new hire to take on a major portion of the work we do now, and allow us to work together to tackle some much-needed ministry areas in the congregation that have been going wanting for years.
Side note: I’ve been increasingly unhappy and unmotivated in my work, which I’ve been doing for almost 12 years, since January. Some seriously bad decision making and lack of communication on the part of others in the congregation were the catalyst for my discontent, but I’ve since come to realize I’m also just burned out from doing the same work for so long.
So I started on my week-long vacation with a burning hope of creating something new in my work life. My colleague and I agreed to put some thoughts down on paper and meet again the day I returned to the office, with an eye toward presenting our proposal.
And then…one day into vacation another job opportunity fell into my lap. It sounded like a good fit, and it appealed to me for the pull I was feeling toward social justice work.
Second side note: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a risk-taker. Suddenly there was risk coming at me from all sides, so throughout the week I had to think pretty carefully about how much risk I could live with, without self-destructing.
Wow. Reeling with confusion (and a heavy dose of excitement) I looked into that second opportunity, while at the same time texting my colleague to let him know. I suggested that he and I should get together earlier – while I was still on vacation, for Pete’s sake! – to nail down our proposal, while at the same time I was gathering more information about the feasibility of the second job.
It all made for an awesome week off, having my dear ones around me to hang out with AND having the burning excitement of new possibilities.
We haven’t reached the end of the story yet. But we’re getting there. It turned out the second opportunity, as interesting as it was, would have cost me too much in loss of salary and benefits. It just wasn’t practical. So my friend and I have presented our proposal, received enough interest to keep moving forward with it, and have another meeting scheduled this coming week, to nail down potential details.
I feel great about creating an advancement opportunity in a job that was, in reality, a dead-end. About the prospect of working closely with an awesome colleague and friend. About working closely with a new hire, whom I’ve already identified and had a conversation with. About new challenges. About the minor risk involved, heavily supported by a trusted co-worker.
Can’t wait to see what happens next…