Posted by Annie Kayser, Working Mommie | Posted in Working Mommy | Posted on 03-07-2011
Tags: Annie Kayser, change, photography, single mommy, transition, work
Hi! I’m newbie blogger Annie, writing to you as “Working Mommie”… boy am I a working mommy… or was up until this last Friday… or wait, I still am… have I got a story for you. I suppose I should give you a little background about myself first, I’m a single mommy to almost 3 year old Allie. I’m a 34 year old Peninsula native that adores this area and is so grateful to be able to raise my kid here (aren’t we all! I don’t have anything past my 2 year Associates Degree, but after the job I just left, I feel like I graduated with my Masters. Let me explain…
For the last few years I’ve been involved in something bigger than I ever could have imagined. I was part of the Mills-Peninsula Hospital Replacement Project in Burlingame (see here), helping to build and coordinate every aspect of the brand new state-of-the-art medical center. I am not sure how I ended up in that role, but I did through moving up in the organization and finally landing on that team. In the beginning I thought I was nuts for taking the position, for the learning curve was so steep. I knew nothing of FF&E (Furniture, Furnishings, Equipment)… I knew nothing of Construction or Signage or planning a transition of moving hundreds of staff and patients out of an old hospital into a new one… I knew nothing of space planning or hospital technology or what Stereotaxis was or a Hill-Rom Nurse Call System or a Liko Patient Lift, etc. etc. etc. etc. Believe me, there are a LOT of etceteras. Anyway… here it is 4 years later and it’s done. Complete. Finished. Everyone is moved in, patients love it, community loves it, we’re proud… and I’m done with my job. But wait… I forgot to mention…
During this time I’ve also been running my own part-time photography business (dragonflyannie). How? I HAVE NO CLUE! It is my passion, my one true love (aside from my daughter of course). I just kept going. I scheduled shoots when my daughter was with her Dad, and I only post-processed photos and worked on orders after my daughter went to bed at night. This meant going to bed sometimes at midnight, 1am, 2am. I have barely slept in the last couple of years. I thought about quitting the photography a number of times, but something greater was pushing me. I’ve never thought of myself as a workaholic, and don’t consider myself one at all. I didn’t like it this way, but knew that I had to keep going. Even though I tried so hard not to let my two jobs interfere with my time with Allie, every other part of my life suffered ~ my “me” time, any exercise was out the window (thank goodness I walked around the under construction hospital miles a day to help me lose my baby weight!), no time for dating, no time for much of anything else… but I still. just. kept. going….
Now here it is, present day. Project has come to an end. Part of the project team was let go, not because of budget cuts, not because we were fired… far from. Our jobs were just complete ~ project funds were up and we had nothing left to do. We knew when we started that this would be our fate. Friday was my last day. I’ve never in my life felt more sad about leaving a job – leaving the people. My project team was amazing, they became family. The experience was mind-blowing not to mention mind-boggling. I always asked myself how I got so lucky!? This crash course in project coordination / management of a project of THAT scale is why I feel like I just graduated with my Masters, or at least what I would imagine it to feel like. I feel an immense sense of accomplishment and contentment. So anyway, back to this Transition thing…
I never would have taken this leap of faith if I wasn’t forced into it. When I finally learned what my last day would be at MPHS I was scared, a bit depressed and honestly couldn’t believe it was finally approaching. Part of me thought it would never come. Then one day, someone said something to me on a facebook post that made me stop and think – like SERIOUSLY think – that wait a minute… this was happening for a reason and that I was finally getting a chance to do ONLY my photography. WHOA! Hold on a second… ummm, can I do that? Really? I don’t know, but in that moment I decided to embrace it and gosh darnet I’m sure as hell am going to try! I guess I really did keep going with my business for this reason. I knew deep down, even though subconsciously, that I would need this business when the end of my project came along. If I had stopped, I wouldn’t have had the momentum to make this leap feel logical and not so scary… well wait, I am scared that is for sure, but not as much as had I quit my business when I was in despair many nights about being so busy and stressed out.
At the end of the day, I’ve had MANY transitions over the last 4 years: the transition of becoming pregnant, becoming a mommy, becoming a single mommy, transitioning an entire organization and patients into the new hospital, transitioning out of my role as a project coordinator and into a full-time photography business owner. I’ve had quite enough for a while, I’m really hoping life can level out for me now (or is this even possible ). My main fears / doubts stem from wondering if I’m doing the right things for my daughter. Am I making a mistake by not having the “stable” paycheck? Should I be looking for at least something part-time? Will Allie benefit more from me doing the “safe” and “normal” thing with my life and should I just go find another job? Or will she benefit more from seeing her Mommy follow her dreams and go after what she truly wants and is passionate about… because isn’t that what we teach them? I want her to be whatever it is she wants to be… I suppose it’s time I start leading by example.
Deep breath. Next chapter. So happy to be here to share in this journey from here on out.
Wish me luck!
Many beautiful blessings,