August 9, 2016: Preparing to Return to Work

I haven’t had to report to work for nine months. I haven’t had a set schedule or a strict routine. If I wanted to sleep in, take a long nap, or go to the grocery store in the middle of the day, I could. That all changes on Thursday when I return to work full time, so how have I prepared to return to the workforce and will it be enough to keep from sinking into the murky waters of stress and long hours? 


What I’ve Done to Get Ready to Return to the Workforce:


The truth is my sister-of-the-heart and I have started a business, Courage to Conquer Cancer, and run a non-profit, Courage Conquering Cancer, so it’s not like I’ve been laying around eating bom-boms and watching soap operas for nine months. But I also haven’t had to be anywhere at a certain time each day or put in 12-15 hour days for weeks on end, so I needed to practice doing life again when everything seems to move at lightning speed and there are never enough hours in the day.  


I started running, errr jogging, again. It’s HOT in North Texas, so my husband and eldest daughter do this form of “fun” at 5:30am. It’s still hot just not as hot. This has been good practice for rising before the sun. Today, we started training for a triathalon. I won’t actually be participating as my plastic surgeon doesn’t want me riding a bike until it’s been a year since my last breast surgery. That’ll be the end of April. The tri is in 3 months. But I need to lose some steroid pounds I packed on while going through surgery after surgery and the heavy stress doses they gave me during chemo, so I’m training for a tri I’ll never do. K’Lee just hopes I learn to swim properly as she states I waste way too much energy trying to keep my head above water. She’s going to be my swim coach. I’ll be spinning alone on a stationary bike, and running with Jonathan and Chelsye. It’ll all work out, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find myself back in shape before Christmas. Maybe. 


I cleaned my house room-by-room. I literally took everything down to the bare bones, deep cleaned it, threw away tons of junk, reorganized, and put it all back together. I gave myself deadlines and put in some very long and physically demanding days. It was hard work, but it’s nice to feel like we are no longer drowning in clutter. I started a day-by-day cleaning schedule too. I needed to return to a routine. This was a good way to do that. I’m hoping I can keep that up even after I return to work, but let me just state that being a full-time mom and wife has me putting in 8-10 hours a day. Everyone in our house is going to have to pitch in to keep this machine running smoothly because there just aren’t any extra hours in my day. 


I try, let me stress TRY, to get 10,000 steps in every day. I also try not to stress over the days I fall short. I’m a work-in-progress. 


I know many women are great cooks and can go to the grocery store, pick up a few things, go home, and POOF! a great meal has been prepared. Yeah! I’m not that kind of woman. I hate cooking. I’m not very good at it, so I hate it even more. But my husband was an amazing caregiver and took care of my every need. Then, he went back to working at an extremely physical and mental demanding job. He came home exhausted every day and still found a bit of energy to whip up something for us to eat or we would eat out. I decided I needed to help out more. So each Thursday morning, I’d sit on my patio and peruse Pinterest and recipe sites in search of a week’s worth of dinners. Then, I’d plug everything I needed into my Wal-Mart app because I totally HATE shopping, especially at Wal-Mart, and send it off into cyberspace selecting a pick-up time and day that worked best for me. And I started cooking. Nothing spectacular but food somehow finds its way on the table and only a couple of things haven’t been to our liking. Along the way, I’ve gotten better at cooking and even find it relaxing at times. I’ll have to change my meal planning time on my patio and my pick-up times to accommodate my work schedule, and my kids and Jon are each going to plan and cook a meal too. We will see how it all comes together. 


Thankfully, my district allows us to sign-in and start taking the hours and hours of online training early. I’ve taken advantage of that. I’ve managed to get a few other things marked off my school to-do list too. I’m hoping my transition back to work will go a little smoother and be a little less stressful since I’ve already completed some things. Crossing my fingers and toes. 


So naps have been few and far between, and I’m back running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I think I’m in good shape going into the craziness of back-to-school. 


About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
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