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Finding Happiness During Transition

Written By Maddeline Thomas, a Compass community member.  Article was originally written on Maddy’s Blog – Abilist Resilient Balance

Happiness is precious because if I do something every day that makes me happy, then situations will be easier to resolve. Being happy is the top priority because it gives me confidence and a positive outlook. When life gets busy, it is easy to forget about happiness. Reminding myself and taking action on what I truly want will bring me joy.I recently went through transitions with my job and relationships with people. It was overwhelming because there were so many expectations and responsibilities. I thought opening up to everyone would be helpful, but it was draining. I listened to people’s opinions, but I did not set boundaries to protect my feelings. My friends and family tried to help, but some do not know the whole story because we do not talk regularly. 

Taking On New Responsibilities

In December, I received a promotion at one of my jobs with a conversion from a temporary to a permanent employee, more hours and responsibilities, and became an accounting associate. I was happy about this opportunity because it was my next step in my career, and I learned to manage a heavy workload. When I have job interviews in the future, if companies question whether I can handle the workload, I have the experience to answer their questions and concerns.

Before the promotion, I was only doing social media, and then I was designated to take on most of the accounting responsibilities. The six-week training for accounting tasks was an adjustment. I also work accounting 25 hours a week at SJSU, so working around 50 hours a week at both jobs was daunting. It means doing double the accounting work. With my disability, transitions take longer to get used to because I use more energy to control my muscles and spasticity.

During transitions, it is nice to sit by the fire and destress. Figure out how to incorporate the new changes in my lifestyle.

Social Life Under Stress

My job transition happened during the holiday season. Spending time with family and friends that I do not talk to often and talking with new people during a stressful time was exhausting. I was not ready to talk about things I was going through. I felt pressure doing well in my promotion and pleasing others. It got to a point where the weight was too heavy and I needed to make changes.

Happiness With a New Routine

After the training and learning the tasks, it got easier because I created a new routine and managed my stress levels. I started to do daily workouts, walking on the treadmill, or hiking. I ate fewer sweets and more fruits and veggies. This healthy routine gave me the energy to do my work and extra activities. I took a little break from scheduling calls, except for the people I talk to weekly. I can let my guard down with certain people who understand all aspects of my life. They can specialize how they can support me.

With the others I don’t talk often to, I have to enjoy the time with them without telling them everything at once. They can help in certain aspects and everyone has their capacity. They might be going through something too, so I have set boundaries even with the people I live with. When I reach out to people again, I have a different mindset and avoid topics that unsettle me.

Sometimes I have to take a step back and figure what makes me happy and do what feels right. The contrasting opinions from people will cloud my mind and I will get stuck. Building my mental fitness will help filter my thoughts and I can overcome each challenge.

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