If you don't try you'll never know if you can fly

Panda can fly

You would think after everything we have been through with Rory over the last 11 years the ultimate goal for our lives would be to exist within a comfort zone.  For life to be routine and safe, smooth sailing with minimal anxiety.  Rory has been in remission a second time for 16 months.  Again we have managed to find a new normal and achieve something close to what a comfort zone looks like for our family.  But it would seem we are not satisfied with comfort.  We wish to try new things, tackle new challenges and grow.  This has resulted in our household being in a heightened state of anxiety for the last four weeks.  There was a vacancy at Taranaki Regional Council for a Programme Lead in the Environment Services team.  I had a taste of the position while one of the managers was away and I really enjoyed it.  It awakened the career spark within me.  For the last 12 years I have made Rory and our family my number one priority, and I have worked part-time to fit around their needs.  My life is currently at a cross road.  Sam has left home, Rory is 19 and currently stable (touch wood) and Colt will be at intermediate next year.  The timing is right for a change of direction.  However, applying for a full time level 1 management position wasn’t a decision I could make on my own, it had to be made in partnership with Sean.  One of us needs to take primary responsibility for Rory and work part-time to fit around his needs and care for Colt.  Sean was very supportive and encouraged me to apply.  It was a scary roller coaster of emotion waiting to hear if I had been shortlisted for interview and then offered the position.  When an offer was on the table I behaved in such a way it was obvious which road I intended to follow, yet I struggled to sign the letter of acceptance.  My mind kept going over the things I will lose; close involvement in Colt’s life, keeping our home just how I like it, being Rory’s wing man, time to keep fit and relative freedom.  My mind also sowed seeds of doubt; will I cope with fulltime work hours, will I be happy ‘away’ from my family and will the pressure cause me to crack?  There is a lot at stake if it doesn’t work out.  I had to trust my behaviour was indicative of the right decision.  I had to remind myself I still have plenty to offer in the years until retirement.  I had to believe I could do it, and do it well.  I have taken lots of deep breaths.  It has taken me courage to accept the offer and to keep putting one foot in front of the other to reach the starting line tomorrow. 

It has also been a time of turmoil for Sean.  He decided to resign from his position at TRC.  He was in a good job and has been a valued member of staff for the last 11 years.  He felt working part time for TRC wasn’t going to work, although he has agreed to work reduced hours until Christmas to help progress work on his plans.  From 1 November Sean will become Rory’s primary care giver.  In 2022 Sean plans to return to contracting to deliver biodiversity and biosecurity work in Taranaki.  Coincidentally he heard about a Reserve Manager position with NZ Native Forest Restoration Trust https://www.nfrt.org.nz/.  He applied for the position and was successful.  It is only a small number of hours per month but it will add to his work portfolio and give him a break from Rory.  I have been spending hours in front of the computer completing the mountain of documents required to reverse Sean and I’s roles.  I have worked hard to ensure everything is in place, or is as best as it can be, so we can make the transition. 

Mother duty this week included extra shifts due to changes to our usual routine.  Colt had a Teachers Only Day then later in the week was involved in an incident giving us quite a scare.  He was dump trucked (picked up and dropped) by an angry intermediate boy at school.  I received a call saying he had been hurt and could I pick him up.  Thankfully he only had a sore shoulder, it could have been a lot worse.  Natasha was away, still mourning the loss of her mum, so I attended an extra session at the gym and Doggy Day care with Rory. 

Thank you to Stu at Smokeylemon for helping me with my CV and Stephen H for the advice.  Thank you to Cashy for the job heads up.  Thank you to cousin Arron for printing Rory’s Christmas cards.