Sunday, September 4, 2011

Change and the power of letting go...

I don't do change... at least very well. I am the type of person that needs advance notice when my schedule is going to change or when I am adding something new to my daily responsibilities. I am not the spontaneous one in my marriage whereas Brandon can pick up and go on a moment's notice, make plans five minutes before those plans are to take place, etc etc. No. Not me. I am the type you have to ease into something if you want me to agree. I know many of you are now thinking back to many Friday nights where we turned you down for a last minute dinner invitation or movie night. Yep. My bad. 

Now that the confession has been made it's time to let you in on a little fact that I have not yet mentioned on the blog. Why? Please refer to the paragraph above. I resigned from my job at DePelchin Children's Center.  On July 28, 2011 to be exact. This is a decision that I have been contemplating for many months now. Yes you see since I don't do the whole change thing I just sit on my thoughts for months and months and continue to weigh the pros and cons until I am blue in the face. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who supports me, will talk things over with me one million times yet who ultimately (and very gently) encourages me to either make a decision or "get over it." 

DePelchin is an AMAZING organization. The past 4.5 years have been a blessing and some of my coworkers are now my dear friends. Yet there are times in life where we must make decisions that are best for our overall mental, spiritual and physical well being. Since starting my fertility journey two questions my OBGYN, fertility Dr, acupuncturist and therapist have all asked over and over again is "Is there any way to lower your stress level?" and "Can you quit your job?" Seriously... you do not know how many times they asked me these two things. At first I totally dismissed the idea of quitting my job. I mean why would I quit? I would reason that I should continue to work in my role as a social worker b/c 1 - We didn't have children yet so why would I leave now? and 2 - Why would I not contribute financially at a time where I can continue to bring in money and save for the future? and 3 - Why in the world did I get my MSW at one of the top social work schools in the nation, only to work for 4.5 years? Plus I love my job, my role in the agency and my clients. I love the satisfaction I get from assisting clients as they add to their family through adoption. But, you see... there is this little bitty factor called S. T. R. E. S. S. 

Now I am not dumb nor am I naive. I know each and every job in this world comes with stressful situations, deadlines and dilemmas. But I will say boldly that the stress that comes from being a social worker, working directly with people & their raw emotions on a day in day out basis, can over time become completely consuming and overwhelming. Some days I feel I am able to leave work at work when the clock hits 5pm, while other days I am not as easily able to disassociate. Brandon has even mentioned many times over the last year that while I don't think I am stressing about work he can read it all over my face and knows that my mind never stops. Ugh... he knows me too well. Plus, working with women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy (or yet another crisis pregnancy) all while I am trying so desperately to conceive, can bring out a whole new realm of emotions. But that is an entirely different post for another day. 

I was talking with my therapist one day about my  fertility journey and she looked me straight in the face and said something like "Brittnie, do you understand that the level of stress your body continues to endure (from work) plays just as big role in you not getting pregnant as any other health factor? It might be time to rearrange your priorities and focus in order to meet your goal of pregnancy." Hmmmm. So I went home, did more research (therapists opinion was confirmed in this book), prayed and came to my final decision (with Brandon's urging and support). 

I can say with 100% peace that this decision is right. I feel it is the right time and that I am ready for  a new adventure. Yet while I know this peace is coming from the Lord, I am finding it hard to slowly let go and walk away. Yes... it goes back to the whole I don't do change very well thing. I find myself worrying about my clients, my role at the agency and all the tiny little details I handle on a daily basis. I ask myself  "What if they forget x, y or z?" or "I have worked so hard the last 4.5 years to make this program the best it can be...what will happen when I leave?" My mind explodes and I have to literally tell myself to STOP. I need to let go. I need to give up the control. Yes... I am also a control freak. I guess that is confession #2 or 3 for this post. Not surprising that this little personality trait of mine is what paved the path for my battle with anorexia. Through my ED recovery I have learned the importance of giving up control (when needed) and just letting go. Life is not about extremes. Life is not about living in only black or white with no middle ground. It's about learning to lean on a God that is bigger than myself and trusting Him to take the reigns and drive my future towards His will. Oh how freeing this is! I did it with anorexia and I can do it now with my job. 

So while I will continue to give it my all until October 7, 2011 (my last day) I will not let my controlling nature take over. I will not stress about this change and I will not become fearful. I will choose to take a step back, take a deep breath, let go and actively watch and wait for God to do His thing. Oh... and eagerly await the day I start my new job as a nanny for two adorable toddlers! Bye bye working nights, weekends and 24 hour on call. Hello Houston zoo, Children's museum and picnics in the park. :)

Do you struggle with change?
In what area of life do you have a hard time letting go?


  1. Congratulations! I think it is great that you are taking your stress level and health so seriously! I think that too often, women in particular, we ignore those little inklings of "enough is enough" just to keep going because we feel like we should. I used to be an accountant. I never expected to leave work, or have any need to leave work, but then in month four of my pregnancy I had high blood pressure...super high blood pressure...and my doctor said I needed to work half days, which eventually meant me being at home on bed rest for the final 3 months of my pregnancy. And my second child? No high blood pressure at all, no complications, and I really think it was because I had the time to concentrate on being healthy, and not being stressed from work :-) I hope that this helps you in your journey to becoming a mama. Good luck!

  2. I am the same way with change! I also turn people down for last-minute plans all the time. Drives me nuts when people refuse to ever plan ahead. :) I'm glad you're taking a step toward a less-stressed you - it's always so nice to step back and realize different parts of yourself are there when you're not so focused on things that are super stressful! -Katie {My Paisley Apron}

  3. So happy for you and could not possibly be more excited about your nanny job! Looking forward to many fun playdates!!!

  4. I can totally relate to this post... and thankfully, I, too married a more laid back, spontaneous husband to help balance out my craziness :)

    Sounds like leaving your job is a good decision and I know that everyone that cares for you must be very proud of you for taking that step!

  5. Brittnie- I'm thinking this is the post you were referring to when you commented on mine? And even if it isn't - wow, way to go, girl! You made a major life decision and made it beautifully! Can't wait to see what's in store for you next, and I'll be praying that this reduction in stress will make a difference in the results you are looking to achieve! (and that WILL be hello nights, weekends, and 24 on call 24 hour duty! But it's so worth it!)

  6. change is good, especially if it means less stress. One day at a time friend.

  7. Hello and thank you so much for your sweet comment on my post over at (in) courage. It means so much :)
    Congratulations on taking such a big step in your life. I'm sort of like you - I contemplate something to death before jumping in to do it. I know it probably wasn't easy for you to resign, but just as God gave you the strength to do so, He'll be there to pave the rest of the way. God bless you in this new chapter of life!

  8. Brittnie, I can't tell you how much your blog has blessed and enriched my life and my journey. I have gotten to know you through it...have gotten to see you. I'm so pleased for you and Brandon about your decision and what it will mean for your future. I imagine you have asked yourself many times why you can't handle stress like other people and lots of other similar questions related to your ED, your journey toward fertility etc... Please just continue to be perfectly you. We are each on a journey and the more dependent we are on God in that journey the more blessed life will be for all our loved ones and spite of the difficulties along the way and because of the difficulties along the way. You have helped so many families and now it is time, and an incredible blessing, for you to be able to concentrate your energies toward your own. Love you, dear girl...Trisha Clark

  9. Having left teaching after 21 years, I hear you. Good health is very important and you cannot have it if your job is making you crazy.

  10. Brittnie, I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your encouragement on my blog! As soon as I read your comment I thought back to your decision here. I know that you understand how draining it can be to work with others' emotional needs all the time AND I hear you when you say "God never promised life would be easy" because I know that you are living that! I just really appreciated your thoughts and wanted to let you know what an encouragement you have been to me. Thank you! I hope your nannying job is going well. I nannied throughout grad school and some summers in college and high school. It is a fabulous way to make money, help a family out, and have the kind of low-stress that you need!


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