So, how was your day?

I have long workdays. I know I’m not the only one, so let’s commiserate for a few moments…

I usually have more piled up on my desk than I have time in one day. Papers never seem to get cleared from my workspace because, at any given moment, at least 2 people are expecting something from me. Sometimes it’s as easy as printing out a dozen copies of a letter; sometimes it’s a webinar that will monopolize the next 2 hours of my day. I’ve learned in Development that EVERYTHING IS A PRIORITY. When somebody comes and asks you to prepare and mail out 250 letters to potential donors, they mean PRONTO. When somebody hands you a check for thousands of dollars, you’re expected to drop whatever you’re doing and cash it. NOW, PLEASE.

I’m beginning to learn and understand all this. It’s not super easy to dive head first into a job that you have no idea how to do. It’s not something I can be trained at because there’s simply no time or money for the school to supply me with training. It’s learning as you go. It’s trial and error. It’s hectic, frantic, and tiring. I can’t wait for the day when I feel like I’m on schedule and don’t have to ask a bunch of questions to complete a seemingly easy data entry or donor phone call.

That being said (I told you that story so I could tell this story), when I’m done at work and someone asks, “How was your day?”, happy, positive vibes do not ping off my body, and I usually don’t answer, “WOW. It was super fantastic and I feel like I got a lot of things done.” Because, really, I never feel like I get all the things done that I was supposed to and because I’m usually bone-tired and looking forward to cooking dinner, relaxing and watching TV before bed. And I think it’s perfectly ok for me to love the part of my day when I get to watch Project Runway reruns with my roommate, sit with a book on my porch while dinner cooks, or lay on the couch with a cat (or 2 or 3) and close my eyes while the laundry dries.

It’s not that I dislike my job – please don’t misunderstand. I love that my job directly helps kids in the Richmond community get a terrific education. I am so grateful to be working here and know that I’m gaining valuable skills and marketable knowledge every single day. It’s just that it’s hard work, and I get worn out a lot these days.

Please remember that next time you ask me about my day.

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