Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Dreaded Job – Done!

At some point during my journey I started throwing all pens, post-its, erasers, pencils, Sharpies and such into a shoebox. I was saving it for later…and later.

too many to use.

too many to use.

We don’t use red pens. They were the first to go. Then I randomly decided I didn’t want any pens with caps. Those went next. A bunch of the dry-erase markers can go to my office. As quickly as I could I pared down the stacks.



The blue bins were to separate the pens/pencils into kitchen and desk storage.  These are the only two places in the house where we ever go looking for pens, so that part was easy.  I held onto a ton of mechanical pencils for D, but I never use them.  Later on I’ll ask him how many he wants.

OK, this last part sounds silly, but I did hold back some pens and pencils to throw into the office supplies shoebox.  Mostly because I really don’t want to have to buy another Sharpie or pen if I can avoid it.  I know, silly, but there you go.  I suppose that box is my next dreaded job, but for now I’m pretty happy with myself.

One for the desk, one for the kitchen.

One for the desk, one for the kitchen.


An Open Window

I have had a very interesting summer and it would be impossible to not be amazed at the series of events.

Previously, I had been feeling dissatisfied at work. My career had stalemated at an organization where I had worked for four years. It looked as though I were really and truly stuck. It was difficult to find anything else because, truly, the employer is pretty decent. If nothing else, I was able to ride my bike to work and come home during lunch breaks.

In June I was offered a job with a different organization. It sounded great. It sounded like I would not only use my existing skills to help the organization in areas where they were struggling, but I would also learn a lot of new ones. The new skills would line up with where I want to take my career. The job change meant spending an hour a day commuting, and it was even a slight pay cut, but I was eager to press on and grow my career. So, feeling adventurous, I took the job.

It quickly became apparent I was a square peg trying to go through a round hole. The new job – though everyone was very kind hearted – was just not what I thought it would be.

About the same time I came to the realization that I regretted my decision to take the new job, my church started a sermon series called “The Journey”. The first sermon was titled “Let’s Get Started” and it was about listening to what God wants for our lives. The over-arching theme of the entire series has been to simplify life. It has been very good for my soul, and perfectly timed. In fact, after that first sermon I met with my pastor and told him the entire story. He prayed with me and encouraged me to keep my eyes and ears open.

Not much time passed before I was contacted by my former employer and offered another job.  My dream job – the one I had expressed interest in pursuing two and a half years ago. However, this one is just a part-time gig.  I ran the numbers repeatedly and kept coming up with the same conclusion: we can do this.  It terrifies me to willingly cut my earnings in half. The financial impact on the family could be difficult to foresee, after all.

On the other hand, the impact on the family’s overall satisfaction with daily life is also difficult to measure. I daydream about taking more time to play with Rie and cook wholesome meals for the family. And Maile! Poor girl could stand to be put back on a walking regimen (as could I).

D expressed confidence early on that we would be financially capable of managing the changes as well as much excitement about my increased availability at home. He hopes for more alone time to pursue his archery habit, er, hobby.

So, with my nose pinched and my eyes squeezed shut, I decided to jump ungracefully into this incredible change. I felt good about “walking the walk” when it comes to pursuing a simpler life, though a small part of me was cringing.

Then something else happened. Last week D received a phone call from a friend who owns a small business. This friend offered D a part-time job purposely created to work around my new schedule. D hasn’t accepted it yet, though it is a reassuring offer worth considering. In other words, we are going to be just fine. I’ve stopped cringing.

Like I said, it has been an incredible summer of events. I’m thrilled to be starting my new job next week – and so thankful for this entire humbling experience.

As always, thanks for reading!