And Then Life Happened
November was the craziest roller coaster of a month. Never in my life have I seen something go from rosy and perfect to miserable and horrible so quickly. One week Chris was cooking in a cabin in the Big Horns for Dick Cheney and just a week later everything was turned upside down. Honestly, when I think back on everything, I still have absolutely no idea what happened. I’m mystified at how the owners of Jordans acted (and still are acting) and I am more than a little disappointed that something we were so excited for and were thrilled to be a part of ended in as it did, so quickly and unexpectedly. I guess that is life…or something.
I had planned to write a post today about the logistics. I can imagine many of you were wondering how it was that Chris could just up and quit his job when he is our main income source, and so I thought it might be worth addressing. Essentially, between his one-week paycheck delay and the vacation pay that was owed to him, plus some income I have coming in, when he quit we knew that we had enough income to budget our way through December. After December, the plan was for Chris’ family to help us out and for me to make whatever I could building websites.
I’ll not say that relying on family was something I really wanted to do. It is a point of pride that we managed to navigate last year’s unemployment without asking our families for help, and though they have certainly helped us out with clothes for the girls and the occasional financial gift along the way, we have been proud to have brought ourselves to where we are in life on our own (in contrast to much of what you read about millennials). Thus, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be putting ourselves in a position of relying on family for the first time, but the help was offered and when it came down to it (accepting help from family versus continuing down the current road), putting pride aside sounded much like the lesser of the two evils. As you can imagine, there was a lot, and I mean A LOT, of anxiety about putting our family in such a precarious financial situation. I’m not good with change even when it is clearly beneficial to me — I was scared three years ago to quit my job and move to Nantucket, and we all know how awesomely that turned out — so voluntarily (if you can really call it that) putting ourselves in a situation with no income, relying on the generosity of others, was considerably more worrisome. But given the situation that we were in and the impact it was having on our family, especially Nora and Zara, we decided to take the plunge no matter how scary it felt.
I will be eternally grateful for the family who offered to help us get ourselves out of a bad situation. If we had not had the family support we do, quitting without another job lined up never would have been an option. I cannot express how lucky I feel to have had this option. Many people do not and spend lifetimes slogging through misery as a result. I am so thankful for the family who made it possible for us to enact change in our lives at a reduced risk.
When Chris quit, we had our hopes set on a different job opportunity so we weren’t completely without an idea of what might come next. As it turned out, that job possibility did come to fruition and Chris will be starting his new job Monday morning, exactly two weeks after he pulled the plug on JORDANS. I cannot tell you how lucky I feel that this opportunity worked out. Not only did come quickly (before we ran out of our own funds and had to ask for some from family), but it also is going to be a great change of pace for our family. This new job, still in the food industry but no longer in a restaurant, is going to going to give Chris something we have much needed in the past months: time at home with family. He is going to be working on a school schedule, Monday-Friday, summers off. After eight months of him seeing the girls less than 12 hours per week, sometimes seeing them for only minutes each week, this is going to be like heaven on earth. It may not have all the glory of restaurant life but it will definitely come with some pretty amazing benefits.
Of course, the sticky part is that Chris’ new job is in a town about four hours away from us. Sooo…here we go again. It’s time to move again. When I thought we were done. And, of course, this time we own a house, which we now have to sell and hope we don’t lose too much money on. I’ve been kicking myself a little for rushing into buying the house, but really what can I say? There is no way we could have foreseen the situation that arose. Absolutely none. This wasn’t something that happened gradually over time with warning signs, it literally sprung up overnight when we thought everything was fine and dandy. So now I just have to do what I do best, which is stay optimistic and find the joy in it. I’ve been telling myself, this is just one twist in the road of life and it will be something to laugh about years from now. It will all be worth it in the end.
So, uh, anyone want to buy a house?