I was nervous about going back to work. I knew they were a lot of changes. I knew going back was going to be hard. I knew since I was out so long I faced the possibility of being reassigned. But I didn’t know it was happening/had happened and I not only would have to adjust to returning to work but adjust to a new job.
Initially I was shocked, hurt, mad. This isn’t fair. I just dealt with a life-threatening illness and now I loose my position. This was a job I busted my ass for, a fairly new job (three years in) that I poured my heart into. And just like that it was gone.
But it’s how sick leave works and how life works. It’s not always fair. After the initial shock and anger, I realized I have a new position that actually sounds like a really good fit for me. And more importantly I still have a job with really good benefits that have helped pay for my treatment.
I will move from Coordinator of the Fitness Center and Swimming Pool to Coordinator of Sports Information and Special Events. Same department and boss I love working with and same salary.
And it gets better. I shouldn’t have nearly as many hassles. I won’t have to worry about staffing and covering shifts like I was constantly doing with the pool and fitness center. I won’t have to rush up to the pool to fix chemicals or other issues that may crop up. I won’t get constant complaints about the locker rooms, the cleanliness of the fitness center, the pool temperature, the hours, the availability of the facilities and I could go on and on.
This new role won’t be as physically demanding which after having four surgeries in the past year is a relief for my already beat up and still healing body.
I can do a lot of remote work which will be helpful as I still lack the energy I had prior to all my treatment. If I’m tired I can work from home if needed and adjust my hours based on how I’m feeling.
The job remains flexible. There are deadlines but there’s also a lot of research I can do on my own schedule. There will be a lot of sports to cover so some days I may need to cover nights or weekends but wouldn’t need to work during the day.
I am doing a job I sort of started when I was Department Specialist prior to working in the pool and fitness center. I wrote articles about our athletes and teams, created our Athletics Facebook page and did some conference athlete of the week nominations. But now I won’t have to worry about purchase orders, travel expenses and compliance on top of all the sports information stuff. The sports information and events will be all I get to focus on.
I lose my office and need to clean out my board of pics of my kids that I loved looking at every day. I go back to an open desk and no name plate and have no privacy. But that only applies to when I come in. A lot of what I do does not have to be done in the office.
I will of course go in when required and even when not because it’s good to physically see what is going on. And socially it’s good to see coworkers especially since I’ve been out so long.
I’ll miss seeing some of the pool and fitness center members I would frequently chat with when they came in. I’ll miss the many swim coaches I interacted with and got to work with. I had some good lifeguards but they all left since I’ve been out so guess I won’t have to worry missing them because they’re not around anymore.
I got my certified pool operator license but at least I got to use it for three years. I‘m sad because I tried so hard to make things good. Do you know what I was working on shortly before I went on leave? We were finally opening up the locker rooms after having them closed for almost two years due to Covid. I was scrubbing shower stalls, emptying out old lockers, putting in all new shower curtains (all while 20 weeks pregnant and I’m sure my obgyn would have killed me if she knew I was doing this!) and I’m thinking why and for what?
But it’s ok. Because when one door closes, another one can open. I have a position that is brand new so I don’t have to go through what changes were made while I was out. I can take this new position where I want it to go. ironically I started a blog during my cancer journey so I’ve been writing and get to continue to do that.
I do believe in fate and that things happen for a reason. Despite my initial disappointment and my continued struggle to get over things and let them go (damn it why can’t I be like Elsa!) I realize how great an opportunity this is for me. It will be utilizing some of my strengths with less physical work and less hassle (from complaints from members and from covering staff shifts). It’s flexible, I still have a coordinator title and I can work from home. I’ve been so nervous about my return to work and still am but I know this is a new opportunity that I can look forward to.
One door closed for me, but a new one has opened. But I got this. I’ve overcome a lot this year and can figure out this new job and return to work because I am one tough mother.
#returntowork #medicalleave #whenonedoorcloses #anotherdooropens #cancerbattle #jobchange #doublemastectomy #breastcancerbattle #chemofatigue #cancerfatigue #staypositive #onetoughmother