A Low Point
This transition has been scheduled since the fall to take place at the start of the new year, however, we began to get inklings in early December that, while I was ready on my part as an administrator, their side was lagging behind. When I gave the required notice to state licensing, they had no record of an application from the other agency; other indicators surfaced over the month of December, but we tried to hold on to our faith that everything would work out well, under the terms of the agreements already in place. We all showed up to work on January 3rd for this new employer, but things quickly went awry.
The new agency had already arranged in early December to begin receiving our funding, and with most of our old bills paid off, we suddenly were facing a cash shortage. There were many other issues, and my stress level and lack of sleep at nights climbed together. I worked closely with the "old" Board of Directors, who will be holding the two licenses for a few months yet, to make sure we could remain open.
This week finally brought written employment offers for the staff, and I have chosen not to accept mine. I had stated from the beginning of January that I would continue to serve as Director until the license transfer process could be completed, no matter whether I agreed with the wages offered or not, so that everything remained legal, but that I also have a big obligation to our town's medical clinic to help them through an upcoming audit in early February, and our essential annual demographic reporting, which must be submitted by February 15.
In our tiny town, agencies often have to collaborate in order to get such important services, and to maintain them, and I have been a good student over the years, both of problem-solving and of collaboration. Therefore, a more heirarchical style of management, with no discussions or sense of helping other agencies out came as a bit of a shock to me when I learned yesterday from our current Board Chairman that the new agency has refused to make an accomodation... something along the lines of "making other arrangements" and "no longer needing your services" has been passed along indirectly to me, but the jist of it is that I will be out of a job by Wednesday.
I am feeling sad mainly for the children I will miss, and my staff, who I am afraid are getting steamrolled over the top of, but I realized as this process unfolded that one of the deepest lessons I learned last year, when going through school closure with Pliocene Ridge High where I had taught for eight years, was that I was capable of moving through something very sad, something that didn't turn out the way I had planned, and going on to recreate a new life that I loved even more. This thought gives me hope, and allows me to move with little resistance, towards the next thing that is going to unfold.
I will continue to take post-grad classes, aimed at teaching Human Development at the college level, and still plan to teach a Humanities course each semester through our local community college, Lassen College... I also will have some of my own time back, to return to learning how to use the circular sock machine, train the burros, create a dyer's garden this coming spring. I am pleased to find that even in middle age, I am much more courageous and resilient than many of those around me. I am also relieved that I am choosing integrity as the higher value, as I am always the one claiming it is important to me, and I sure better "practice what I preach".
Friends have written in the past few weeks giving encouragement and wondering what I would decide. To those, especially Margene, Eva, and Sallee, I cannot tell you how grateful I am to know you care. Each of you has helped me to keep my focus on what truly matters, when it was the political issues, and when it was the personal. Friends are such a wonderful thing, and I am also happy to be resilient enough to keep making new ones.... my "F" will be about friendship.
I have pictures, yarn shopping, and gifts to post about, but that will have to wait until tomorrow... right now, I am heading off to put my feet up and read about "nourishment", something I really could use after all of this depletion. The cycle continues....