Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Home at Last

The saga of my life since January 14 is coming to a new episode: Home At Last!

Since I started this job nearly 3 months ago I have been home, not counting weekends, 11 days. Nine of those days were in January, which leaves 2 days in 2 months at home on a weekday.

Of the 12 weekends that I have had in that time period, I have been flying or driving more that 4 hours away on a Sunday afternoon/evening for SEVEN of them. That has left me with 5 relatively unadulterated weekends for my family since Jan. 14.

Valentine's Day, JeepMan's Birthday, My Birthday, St. Patty's Day, Easter....away, away, away, away, away.

Its been hard on me. It's been hard on JeepMan. It's been hard on Plato and Lulu. But lest you think I am bitching, let me summarize:

The last 12 weeks has been the hardest and yet the most rewarding of my career to date. The company I am working for has established a top-notch training regimen for new employees. The sacrifice I have made, my family has made, is small in the big picture of things. I am prepared now to pursue my future, and in so doing my family will also greatly benefit. Because of this 12 week investment, I feel truly competent to go out and do what I gotta do ON MY OWN. Hey, I'm in no-man's-land. The nearest "helper" I would have is 4 hours away! "On my own" is my new mantra.

I love working on my own!! I can be a team player if I have to, and I can do it well. But really, I thrive as a lone wolf (grrr...). I want to be solely responsible for meeting my own standards, yet have a heierarchy in place that can recognize my efforts and pat my back. I know, it's a weird combination. In one sentence, here is the profile of my career persona:

"Perfectionist loner; motivated by extraneous recognition and reward."

It sort of feels like a confession to admit that. Ideally I would like to be above it all, independent and "self-motivated." In fact, I have used that very word to describe myself for years. But when it gets right down to it, I am not "self-motivated." I am motivated by recognition and/or reward.

Wow. Is that bad? Am I morally aberrant? Selfish, even?

I suppose it spills over to my personal life too. Many an argument has ensued in my marriage that is traceable to that very source: I feel underappreciated. It's a little different with my kids, but inherent in my wanting to give and give and give to them is a tiny selfish bit that wants them to recognize that I am giving. Hugs and kisses and "I love you Mama!!!" are all the reward I need, but still...well.

Maybe this isn't so odd. Maybe I'm just more aware/honest about it than most people?

I love personality tests and the like. I recently took this Enneagram test at the suggestion of my sister (take the classic test, longer but better). I found it to be one of the most revealing personality tests I have ever taken. Guess what? Turns out I'm a Type 2. A Helper who Needs to Be Needed. Go figure. I also have a Type 3 component (wing), which means I am an Achiever that Craves Validation. Yup, that's me too. Finally I have a strong Type 1 component: Perfectionist, Responsible, Fixated on Improvement. So true.

Not bad, Mr. Enneagram man.

OK I totally digressed, but it's a good digression. I truly believe self-acceptance and honesty can only improve us and help us to present ourselves, not necessarily better, but in an AWARE manner. Knowing about yourself allows you to try to anticipate how others might see you and how you can best approach others. It also affords you the freedom of acceptance of yourself, neutralizing, at least in part, the internal struggle (conscious or unconscious) that comes from denial of self.

Whoa, baby. That was deep.

Anyhow, hopefully I will be posting more. For those of you who have stuck with me, thanks from the bottom of my (selfish) heart!

And let me know, if you take the test: What's your Type?

And a Shout-Out to my girl SUV Mama: Happy Birthday, Girl! No April Fool's jokes, folks....she'll kick your ass!


EE said...

You're allllllllllllllllive.

Monnik said...

SUV Mama has the same birthday as your sister? Weird.

Off to take the test.

Monnik said...

I'm a type 2 also. Go figure. But I have an 'achiever' (type 3) wing. Whatever that means...

Mom In Scrubs said...

Me too. I left that part out the first time. We're soul-sisters, monnik!

Mom In Scrubs said...

Yes, EE, just like fronk-en-schteen...

Monnik said...

We're twins! is it the pisces in us or just the overall marvelousness? :)

Tiff said...

But, but, my birthday? Whew, there's a whole other post dedicated to me!

That Enneagram test is scary accurate. If you recall I'm a type 9 with a 1 wing. A peacemaker (or pushover - see other post :-) ) with an anal side. Anything to keep the peace. Comes in handy being married to a challenger (type 8).

Debbielou said...

Welcome back!!

Interesting stuff - I'm also a Type 2 but with balanced wings (?)

I'm going to try it out on the rest of the family!!