I've been really stressed out lately about work and the house, so I've decided to take a little time off. Next weekend my sabbatical will be over, but the R&R has helped me come to an important realization: I'm not sure that I want to work in law enforcement anymore. It's not that I don't enjoy it, because I do most of the time. I'm just tired of the stress. I'm tired of not being able to make a difference. I'm tired of seeing what drugs do to people and how they refuse to get help. I don't get enough time off, I don't get paid enough for what I have to put up with (is there such a thing?), and I'm just plain tired. And that's probably the worst of it. When I come home at night, I'm exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. I spend 8 hours keeping my guard up, and it wears on me. I know things will be different if/when I get promoted to patrol officer (the jail is an evil, life-sucking monster), but I'm not sure anymore if it's what I want. It's hard to tell when I've got a bad taste in my mouth for my current job. I'll be going through the next part of the promotion process soon, which is a ride-along/field training with an offcer, so that should give me a better idea if I'll be happy as a patrol officer. I know for sure I don't want to spend any more time than necessary working in the jail, and I loved going on ride-alongs as a police cadet, so time will tell.
If I don't do law enforcement, I have no idea what I will do. My degree is in criminal justice, and there are no programs at the local colleges that sound interesting. I like old houses. I like being outdoors. If I could just buy houses, restore them, and resell them to loving owners I'd be in heaven. But starting that process requires money, which we don't have enough of right now. Maybe if I just stay where I am for a few more years, get promoted ($10K+ per year raise) and save a massive amount of money, I can start down that road.