I’m starting to very slowly get over losing my job. I’m still mad about how it went down and what happened and I’m still incredibly mad at the person who took my job because they were unhappy in another area on campus. (See I’m clearly not over it yet!) But I had an unexpected text conversation Monday that made me feel a lot better about things.
One of the hardest parts of my old job was sorting out pool use during Covid when many area facilities did not reopen. I ended up working very closely with several area swim club coaches which I enjoyed. I miss that part of the job and the chance to reconnect with these coaches that I formed good relationships with.
On Monday I got an accidental text from one of those coaches who after apologizing for the text asked how I was and how the baby was and said “we have all been thinking of you and praying for you” and asked how me and the baby were. So I told her I was good and declared cancer free, sent a picture of my little man who is doing great and let her know I returned to work but in a different role. Her response to this was “You worked too hard. Work is not important now, your health is. And that’s all that matters.” And she is 100% right.
This text exchange made me feel so good. She still wondered how I was doing and she appreciated and noticed all the hard work I had put into the job. I think that’s what was hard about the loss of the position is that it left me feeling unappreciated. It made me feel like all my hard work was for nothing and you can just plug anybody into the position.
But if I hadn’t done as much as I did the pool would have been left a mess when I had to suddenly go out on leave. I had worked so hard and set up such a good calendar and usage pattern that the pool practically runs itself with rentals. It reached this point thanks to lots and lots of emails and phone calls between me and the coaches and after lots and lots of drafts of schedules and laying out time slots that made the most sense. If I hadn’t done all this, things wouldn’t have continued to run smoothly after I went out.
Do I still care way too much about how my replacement is doing? Yes. Am I still struggling to move on from the loss of this position? Yes. But am I slowly recognizing that even though I was replaced it doesn’t mean my work wasn’t appreciated? Maybe. It doesn’t mean I was replaceable. In fact I’m not, as my job was split between my replacement and another coworker because I did so much.
One person couldn’t do all I did. I was good. One of my favorite lines in a movie is Liam Neeson in Taken when he tells the kidnappers who took his daughter hostage that what he does have is “a very particular set of skills.”
And I do too. I can do compliance, budget, sports information, strength and conditioning, staff management, management of facilities, event management. I have such a diverse skill set I can adapt to wherever I end up in Athletics even if it’s not where I necessarily want to be.
I’ll slowly move on. I’m trying but it’s so damn hard. But just maybe that conversation started by an accidental text from a club swim coach was just what I needed to feel a little bit better about what happened. The club coaches know I busted my ass to reopen in September 2020 and that I worked incredibly hard to get all the inquiring clubs time in the two years I worked with them.
But work is not important. My skill set isn’t either. My health is important. My family is important. The fact that I got a complete response to my treatment is important. That I still have a job that gets me the benefits I need to continue to have the great medical coverage I do is important. And my baby is doing great and is healthy. All these are important. Not work. And I just need to remind myself of that.
And maybe on occasion I can pat myself on the back for that particular set of skills I have and still have even after all I’ve been through. I still have a very particular skill set even if my job was taken (see what I did there!) from me.
#breastcancerbattle #changesfromcancer #pregnantwithcancer #chemobaby #taken #particularsetofskills #movingon #jobchange #onetoughmother