Welcome to the {Real World}

Working two jobs is hard! 

Seriously, I have major respect for everyone out there who has to do just that, or worse & work THREE or more jobs, in order to make enough to get by in today's society.  Everyone always asks me, "Why do you still work at HEB?  Didn't you get a job with your degree?"  Well, the answers to those are: Yes, I got a job with my degree, and I still work at HEB because it's a great place to be employed, and it's good money that I can earn in addition to my new, awesome salary job.  Let me explain...

For two years, I had been working at HEB part-time while attending college.  It was great, easy money to be honest.  It's not difficult, other than standing on your feet for 6+ hours at a time without being able to walk around...  Other than that, you ring people up, bag their groceries, deal with the attitudes and tempers of customers, hand back change if applicable, and wish them a great rest of their day!  Simple.  I'm truly and eternally grateful for the opportunity that I've had to be a part of the HEB team! 

Instagramed last week!

So, last year around this time, I got the phone call that I had been chosen for a position as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal (where I currently work, they do not differentiate between the two).  Of course I said yes right away!  How amazing to have secured a job only 2 months after obtaining a college degree?  Needless to say, I was so excited!  Funny thing was that I got the call while I was at work at HEB.  Immediately, I went to my manager and told her the great news!  She was so awesome about it and worked with me to figure out where to go from there.  I didn't want to quit, at least not right away.  Most jobs nowadays, there is a 90-day probationary period - and if I quit my secured job, what would I be left with?  I definitely didn't want to find out!  So, I told her I'd work the following weekend, as orientation for the new job was on Monday (the call came in on Thursday).  She made the necessary notes and was sure that my schedule the following week only had me working Saturday and Sunday.  I changed my availability to only weekends, in the morning, and that was that.  My parents helped in my decision to work two jobs.  The main points: I'm young, with financial responsibility, with no children, and the mental and physical ability to perform my duties well with both employers.  Point taken.  And welcome to the real world! 

The next few months went smoothly.  I was fitting in at the new job and was learning about my role therein, and I loved it!  To this day, almost a year later, I've not once dreaded going into work.  And that's special, people!  I'm so blessed and thankful that God has given me this opportunity - to enjoy what I'm doing and to love my co-workers!  I know how rare that combination is, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!  With that said, it was a long 6 months working 7 days a week!  It was also difficult on our new marriage, seeing as all of this happened only 3 months after our wedding day.  So, for a big part of our first year of marriage, we hardly got to see each other!  I was literally working all of the time, and when I wasn't, I was going back home to visit with family because Colten's work schedule was sporadic, but he always worked on weekends.  When he wasn't working, he was going to school to finish his degree.  Talk about hectic! 

We take advantage of any and all time we get together!

Fast forward to that 6-month mark, and I was exhausted.  Seriously.  I was so worn-out and didn't have any time for myself or my hunny.  So, a decision had to be made: either stay miserable because we really couldn't afford me not to work two jobs, or do something about it!  I made the decision to work the same number of hours (12) a week, but to work during the week instead of on weekends, so that I would at least have 2 days a week to be off and take care of others things, such as myself, our marriage, my husband, my family, my friends, housework....I think you get the point here.  So, now I work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights after job #1, for four hours a day.  So, I'm making the same amount of money, but I have my weekends free! Yay!  However, recently, this has proven to be difficult.  I don't know why, but those 16-hour days have really been getting to me lately!  

So, for the last 6 months, I've worked on this schedule, and it's really proven to be loads better than working 7 days a week!  Yes, I have three extremely long days during the week, but it's worth it to have those few days off - even if Colten works every single weekend...we at least get Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning together!  I take any time we get together!  But I won't try to hide the fact that it's still extremely stressful.  It does put a strain on my life and our marriage, and I see it.  My husband sees it too.  He would love to have me home more often so that we could spend more time together, and he feels the brunt of this situation at home.  He takes on a big part of the home-life responsibility - cleaning, cooking, laundry - and for that, I'm so grateful!  I've really been trying to be more well-rested and energized lately so that I can help out more around the house.  I accomplished the kitchen yesterday, and it felt great!  Needless to say, it's been a challenge, but it's also been worth it.  You make sacrifices when and where you can, and it's so important to keep your priorities straight!  Colten and I are stronger than ever and are more in love than ever.  That's not to say that some days are harder than others, but God has seen us through so much, and I know that this is His journey for us at this time in our lives.  We have had our differences in opinion during this time of change, but we always talk through it, agree on an answer, and learn more and more about each other along the way!

The end will come, and I know that.  I know that I won't have to work two jobs forever and that Colten and I's schedules will one day be the same, if not similar, where we leave for work and come home every day roughly at the same time.  Man, that sure does sound amazing right about now!  But, I am thankful for the opportunity to work two jobs, especially in this economy when most people have difficulty finding one job.  I'm also thankful for my husband.  He has been so understanding with everything and has supported me through this time of change.  We've grown closer together as a couple through all of this, and we know that change will come again in the future.  It's part of life.  And I'm also so very thankful for my family.  They have supported me 100% through this difficult time - and let me tell you, there were many days when I didn't know which way was up or what I was doing anymore.  It's emotionally and physically exhausting, and I'm learning to cope with that.

Job #1 is very emotional, as I work with victims of violent crime on a daily basis.  But, I love what I do!  I truly get to feel that I'm making a difference in people's lives, and I get to perform legal duties every day, working alongside other legal assistants and attorneys!  I've been getting more and more responsibilities, and I love it!  I also have to 'dress up' for this job every day, so my wardrobe has also improved :).  What girl wouldn't love that!?

This is me in the office today!  Loving my pearls :)

Then, job #2 is physically draining, being on my feet for so long, stuck in a little square box.  But, on the good nights, I get to go home to my husband, knowing it was all worth it, and when I'm lucky, I get amazing back massages :). 

So, my mid-week consists of going straight from job #1 to job #2, complete with changing clothes in HEB's restrooms every single one of those days.  I go from office chic to HEB grunge (as I call it)!  Haha.  It's pretty funny, I suppose.  But, such is life, and as I tell myself so many times, WELCOME TO THE {REAL WORLD}! 

In addition to that, I just want to throw out there that I'm in the top 5 fastest cashiers at HEB right now - #2 to be exact!  I'm pretty proud of that, seeing as I'm pretty exhausted by the time I get there, and my energy only fades...

So, I'm living life in the real world, with all of the ups and downs that go with it!  I just wanted to share this part of me, as it's a biggie!  And if anyone wishes to offer any advice or opinions on how to cope with this situation, I'm all ears!  We've got a handle on it, but ones situation could always improve, right?!  :) 


Steve Finnell said...

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Martina said...

I agree with your mom... You are young and have no children so you can do it!

I'm glad they were able to switch your schedule around because working 7 days a week had to be tough. Be encouraged... I think this is something we all go through in the beginning stages of marriage where we have the finances, sacrifice, and sometimes being in uncomfortable situations but it gets better.

You already have such a great and positive attitude about this situation so I believe things will get better where you both will be able to spend more time together.

Kalyn Randolph said...

I feel your pain, girl! These are the years aren't they! :) Just kidding, I think Martina said it as best as it could be stated. Life is fun but oh so rewarding when having a positive attitude like yours. Keep it up, sister! It wont always be this busy and tiring.

Rachel Silski said...

One..I did that for a while...You are amazing to still be doing it. 2...I work as a Paralegal..woot for us!I work in for a big college for attorney generals..small world right?

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