...at my job that is. Today is the one year year mark of working at the Roundup. I'm not sure if I was more tired, stressed and overwhelmed then or now...well it was probably then to be honest.
I had just photographed two friends weddings on the two weekends leading up to the big first day of work. In fact, I drove from my parents to the second wedding in Pine Bluffs with all my stuff packed for the move to Casper. I Photographed a beautiful ceremony for Lesley and Heath, then stayed with a friend in Cheyenne prior to driving to Casper on Sunday.
I met my boss in the parking lot of his daughters apartment, which I was renting by the month until I found a more permanent residence, and got the keys to the one bedroom, kermit the frog green, third story walk-up apartment with a very leaky window in the bedroom. I packed my truck full of necessary items across the windblown, ice packed parking lot, up the three flights of stairs, and unpacked them on a frigid Sunday night and Monday. I also furiously edited on the almost 2,000 pictures I had taken over the course of the last two weekends.
There's nothing like just diving in, and that's how I started. My first official day of work was spent at the Wyoming Stock Growers Convention, which is one of the busier conventions we attend. I was handed a laptop (a mac, of which I have mixed feelings about), a recorder and a name tag and told to go record a water meeting and try to type notes as it was going.
I can say with complete confidence my note taking skills have increased exponentially since that first day.
I was introduced to about 15 Jims and 10 Johns that day, given a lot of directions and sent home exhausted at the end, with instructions to have one article typed by morning. I think that first article probably took me five hours to write, then I edited pictures.
The next day was vaguely similar. After the convention I settled into my new desk, and spent a couple weeks learning the ropes during the day and editing pictures at night prior to Christmas break.
Just before the break was the office Christmas party, which included more liquor than half the college parties I've ever been to.
At this point I was seriously wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I was worn out, trying to absorb everything being thrown at me (I might ad that I had never written for a paper before in my life), and was still editing pictures, with the first bride asking regularly when her's would be arriving (I did have them to her within 3 weeks of the ceremony I think).
Things really didn't slow down after that, and the last year has included a lot of stuff, including:
-Getting stuck, and unstuck, regularly in the snow and ice packed apartment parking lot in my 2 wheel drive, diesel truck.
-Walking into the school across the street from the apartment to ask if I could plug my truck into their exterior plug-in, because last winter was miserably cold, and being stopped at the door and informed you can't just walk into an elementary school unless you have a student attending. Ok....now what...a teacher in the parking lot informed me she didn't think the school would mind, so long as I was gone by 7:00am so the janitor could park there. So, every night I would drive my truck across the street, plug it in, walk home in sub-zero temps, then go back every morning shortly after 6:00am, start it up and let it warm up for 20 mins in the cold, then drive it across the street before getting ready for work for the day.
-Living in a third-story walk up apartment right at the corner of two of the busiest roads in Casper, and being paid back in full for every single time I even thought about revving my loud truck.
I was really loving Casper at this point...
-Getting chewed out by someone that quit working at the paper in a sneaky way, and for something only my real superiors should chew me out for. That was a big first there...getting chewed out by someone that doesn't even work with you in a way only a boss should.
-Finding out the Yellowstone Cutthroat trout is a threatened, not endangered, species after listing it as endangered in an article.
-Trying to buy a house, and having one bought by someone else within the realtors agency a couple hours before they had to tell me if they accepted my offer.
-Meeting guys at the Beacon in Casper...you understand if you've been through it, and it's worse than Laramie.
-Learning how to put a flipping book online, and classifieds online, and pictures with classifieds online, and various other things about websites I never knew before.
-Getting approved for a loan, and having an offer accepted on a house.
-Packing everything back down the three flights of stairs at the apartment.
-Having my divorce finalized at 11:00 am, and my house closing at 4:00 pm, all on the same day. Also moved into the house with parents help that night, and spent the first night in my house on the pull-out couch.
-Having my wallet and purse stolen out of my truck in my driveway.
-Getting it all back, and trying to deal with delinquent teenagers responsible.
-Furnishing and decorating house throughout the year.
-Various photo jobs, including the largest I've ever booked for a 2-day event near Alcova.
-Traveling home probably about half the weekends to keep sane.
-Sanity is in question not only for all the reasons listed, but from sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, which I've learned I hate.
-Transcribing hundreds of hours of notes for work, which I also hate.
-Driving all over the state for hundreds of interviews, and meeting some amazing people and getting to see some great country, which I love.
-Driving over 1,000 miles a week for a lot of weeks...which I'm not sure how I feel about. I do know I like them better when they start in a town with a coffee shop most mornings.
-Attending a variety of informative meetings and seminars, and meeting and visiting with people at them, which I love.
-The paper moving to a new office in July.
-Going from being able to write one article a day to whipping out five if I have to.
- Weeding out a number of "friends," and finding out who my real friends are in addition to making some new ones.
-Trying a number of churches in Casper.
-Moving Emmie and Pearl to town, which I could write a whole separate blog on.
-Trading my pickup off for an Acura car, by myself, and not enjoying the process.
-Running most evenings all summer and finding I don't mind it.
-Starting this blog
-Purchasing a new camera and camera equipment after all the photography jobs.
-Attending my first weekend party in Kaycee.
-I'm sure there are many more, and they may come to me later, but you get the idea.
So here I am today, trying to have an additional 13 articles done by Friday, in addition to everything for the regular paper, gearing up for Wyoming Stockgrowers next week, and taking my sister to a concert tonight for her Christmas present. I have guests coming to my house this weekend, and a mountain of Christmas shopping to finish.
I feel so very blessed to have a job I enjoy so much of the time, and for all the opportunities it has afforded me in the last year, but I am also missing the days of feeding calves, chopping ice and taking pictures I lived prior to starting my job last year.
We'll have to see what new, fun and exciting things the next year brings! I'm sure it won't be boring : )