I'm still immensely overwhelmed. I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to be doing. But holy cow, I wanted a change and a change is what I got.
My first weekend here there was a hurricane. Really in this area it turned out to be more like a big rainstorm. Not much different from tornado weather at home, except that tornado weather you get dramatic clouds and flash-bang thunder and lightning, whereas here it seemed like just wind and rain. We were luckier than the rest of New England, though - a lot of folks lost power around here but there was relatively minimal damage.
That weekend, having just arrived, I was utterly alone. I got here on a Friday afternoon, they showed me where I'd be staying, and then all the staff went home for the weekend. The storm was expected to hit on Sunday. I got myself settled in, I unpacked a bit. You don't think about it, but for most of us spending 48 hours with yourself can be a bit overwhelming, especially after being in the car for two days, especially when you've been advised not to go out in the storm. I was sure I'd go insane. But then the solitude was part of the plan, something I knew I was facing when I picked up and put a thousand miles between myself and everyone I know and love. More on that in later blog post, I think.
The day of the hurricane was the only day since I've been here that I had no responsibilities, no hours logged. Tomorrow, Saturday the 24th, will be my first official day off. Seriously. I've thrown myself into this job, partly because it's up to me to make it worth my while and partly because I don't really have much else to do and sitting at the tea shop on Facebook gets old quick.
So the first week I was here was spent getting things ready. Cleaning the houses, outfitting the kitchens and living space, developing school and residential policies. It was a blur. I remember a lot of coffee - including my first foray into the cult of Dunkin' Donuts. No comment.
The second week the kids arrived. That was a whirlwind too. I think for my own sanity I've blocked a lot of it out. Week two was suddenly week three, and I started to realize a couple things. First, I needed boundaries. I had worked two sixty hour weeks and I got really sick really quick. Because I'm me, I still put in fifty hours last week, but spent the rest of the time trying to sleep my way back to wellness. During that time I made myself a rough schedule that would hopefully help me steer towards 40/wk. So going from no structure to a set of hours and tasks has given me a sense of ease and ownership and I'm back to being really excited about what's coming up in the next month.
Next post will be more about what exactly I'm working on and some Maine trivia. Get excited!