Here we are again, back at my in-laws' place in southwestern Florida. This week has been a roller-coaster ride, not only for us but for all those closest to us. It was supposed to be a vacation, one which started last Sunday, but everything got all muddled up around the middle of last week.

It started with a telephone interview for a job I very much wanted. The interview went very well, and they asked me to come to Bethesda for an in-person interview. Had it happened, that interview would have taken place yesterday. Instead, I spent yesterday (and the day before yesterday, as well as today) driving my way back down the coast from our vacation in upstate New York. The organization wanted someone to start far sooner than I could have managed to relocate my family from Florida and the majority of our stuff from storage in New York. One potential new beginning, ended.

Fast forward, then, to Sunday night. We were due to leave central New York the following morning, making a quick stop in western New York before beginning the trek south. This is where the real turmoil began. I don't know why it was so much harder to say goodbye this time. Perhaps it's that my son (now 2 1/4 years old) is so much more verbal than he was when we last visited, and was so vocal about his goodbyes and how much he missed his grandma after we parted ways. Or perhaps it's that his grandma (my mother), broke down sooner than usual - while she was still in my arms, sharing a farewell hug. Whatever the cause, I was a wreck, and I was convinced that I simply could not return to Florida. Hours later, after he held me as I sobbed, my husband had agreed to contact his former employer in western New York, and ask for his old job back - the job he hated, the job we had agreed was going to be an absolute last resort. But, my emotionally-charged self insisted, perhaps after 7 months, we were at the stage of "last resort."

Before we left our motel room the next morning, my husband had the name of someone to talk to in a different department from the one he left. It was in a whole different building, and I was convinced it would be better. This would be the new beginning we've been needing. Why, then, did all signs seem to be pointing against it? We turned onto the Thruway, and my eye caught the sign in the other direction, saying, "Wrong Way." My stomach felt queasy all morning and afternoon, and when he called me from the office building, the words, "So I appear to have a job," did not fill me with elation. Nor were they particularly enthusiastic in tone.

Yet it wasn't until hours later - after visiting with a friend and suffering a near-panic-attack when my husband told me it was snowing outside, and after utterly failing to find anything remotely within our price range for apartments - that I finally said to him, "I don't want this." All day, I kept shaking my head, seemingly at random. In truth, I was reacting to the myriad thoughts flitting through my head. Desperate though I am to get on our feet again, this was another false start.

Now, this evening, we've arrived back to our temporary home, armed with to-do lists and with goals firmly in our minds. Somewhere, there is a new beginning waiting for us. Sometime, and I hope it will be soon, we will open the right door, and we'll start to get our lives under our own control again.
This is one crazy-assed road I've been on for the past 24 hours. Last night was mostly composed of sobbing on the floor of the motel room, cuddling with O, letting him hold me as I sobbed uncontrollably, and saying lots of, "I can't do this!" In the end, we agreed that he would call his former employer (pre-Xerox) and ask what opportunities might be available. He did that this morning, got a name for someone in a department that was hiring, and met with him. He was offered a job.

We made a snap decision, and started telling people that we were moving back here. While talking to Beth, though, I became more and more aware that ... this doesn't feel right. This isn't where either of us wants to be, the job isn't one he wants to take, and we're just FINALLY starting to see results in FL. Plus, there's a job fair in Tampa next month, so that holds more potential, too.

If all this wasn't enough... the job would barely pay more than O makes on unemployment (about 1/2 what he made at Xerox), and living anyplace that wouldn't require at least a 30-45 minute commute would cost more than we could afford or be in neighborhoods we feel safe in. Plus, he was miserable there. Not so much in the second department he was in, but he still wasn't himself.

We aren't saying no to the job. Not yet. But we're no longer jumping at it. We are going to go ahead with our plans to drive back down to Florida, and make our decision by the end of the week. We're scared, both of us. We're scared to take it and be stuck right where we were before L was born, or worse. And we're scared that if he doesn't take it, nothing else will come along. (I'm more scared of that than he is. He has a really positive outlook, based on the fact that things were starting to look up for us, before we took this vacation.)


I REALLY need a vacation from this vacation. I'm actually looking forward to the 3 days in the car on the way back because it will be more relaxing than what the end of this vacation has been.


(Comments disabled because there are ALREADY too many conflicting thoughts in my head, and O and I just need to figure this all out for ourselves.)
dmsj: (working)
( Mar. 19th, 2010 08:17 pm)
E-mail received today, re: my aforementioned interview )

Logistics got in the way again. Following the schedule she would need, I would be in Maryland until Friday, drive for two days back to Florida... to then pack everything up and be moved to Maryland by the following Tuesday. That's just not possible.

Job hunting from out-of-state is hard. :/

Right now, I'm leaning towards continuing work on our own business plan while also searching for work in FL itself. I think that will be easier to manage. I don't want to close any doors, obviously, but that is my current feeling.
dmsj: (working)
( Jan. 25th, 2010 11:49 am)
Alright, I'm getting desperate. O lost his job in July - 6 months ago. We moved to FL in August. In the past 5 months, I've had a 3-week temp assignment. And nothing else. No interviews, nothing. O has had not even a bite, either. We need a new plan. I want to move back to NY. O would rather end up in the DC area. The Boston area is also a consideration. These are the areas we're now concentrating on, all but completely abandoning the FL idea entirely because it is just not panning out.

What I am asking of my readers is this: boost our signal, please. If you know anyone in NY (specifically upstate, ideally Albany or Ithaca areas) or the DC/MD/VA areas who might be in the market for an part-time office assistant/writer/editor (any or all of the above, and full-time will be considered, for the right position) and/or a jack-of-all-trades IT guy who specializes in web design, social media marketing, and UNIX administration... send them our way, please.

Feel free to repost this, ideally with a link back to this post, or copy it into an e-mail to send out to everyone you know, or whatever you need to do to get the word out.

A couple of you have already responded to similar request I put out via e-mail, and I thank you wholeheartedly for your help. But the further we can spread the word, the more likely it is that the message will reach the right ears and eyes.

Thanks!
dmsj: (working)
( Dec. 8th, 2009 01:27 pm)
At this point, we're not moving to CA. O got an automated e-mail last night, telling him he didn't get the job he'd interviewed for. He found 2 others on their site this morning (and I found one as well, but mine is in their DC-area office, so obviously we couldn't both accept offers), and e-mailed his friend again.

It seems like we're spending an awful lot of time at square one. :P From here, though, we just redouble our efforts in the DC-area, the RTP area, and here in FL until something eventually pans out. It will, sooner or later.
I'm not sure the "one year in Florida" plan is actually going to come to fruition. We've both changed our focus a little since coming back from NY and me starting this temp. job and such. It started with a resume-request from one of O's friends, for a position in Palo Alto, CA. This is the same company he was considering during the summer, but we ruled it out because of location. Now, however, we're starting to wonder if we need to change location because let's face it - things have not been all that promising for us here in Florida. We'd both been hoping this possible position was in the company's DC-area office, but it turned out to also be in CA.

However, the company does have a similar (though not identical) position in their DC office. This realization got some wheels turning for both of us, and we're both feeling like maybe that area is the way to go. If anywhere is going to have a decent job market at all, it's going to be that area first. And we have friends there. And the seasons, while much milder than NY, still change there. And it's closer to NY. And there are long-term opportunities there in fields we both desperately want to get into.

And it's not on the west coast, which is looking to be our other major option. If we have to do that, we will. But neither of us want to, particularly. (The thought of it still makes me want to cry; I'm just afraid of closing any doors right now.)


I am posting this as a desperate plea for prayers/positive thoughts/etc. Please keep us in your thoughts in the coming weeks as we try to put this new plan in motion. Please pray that this works out for us in the way we are hoping. I am praying as hard as I can, myself.
dmsj: (kolystar)
( Sep. 20th, 2009 09:15 pm)
Day #3:

Today I am very thankful for a long conversation with my husband about forgiveness, putting the past behind us, and giving FL a chance. We attended church again this morning (and L did great in the nursery, giving us a chance to actually pay attention to all of what was being said!), and the topic was “Making Amends, UU Style,” in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Once we were back home and L was napping, we took the opportunity to sit together and really talk about what was on each of our minds.

It was a great day overall, really, but that's the part that stands out in my mind right now as something for which I am particularly grateful.



(Note: Though Nisha's initial meme was to do this for 8 days, I'm going to try to extend it beyond that point. I'm starting with 30 days, and we'll see how it goes from there. I challenge you all to do the same!)
My Bethy commented earlier that I've been pensive today. There are 25 minutes of "today" left, and I'm not done yet. I've spent the last half hour or so crying on, and then talking to, O about The Future. About where we want to be, what we want to be doing, and how to get there. Because that is really what everything is all about right now.

If I had my absolute ideal job, I would be doing copywriting/editing for a not-for-profit group dedicated to a cause I believe in - GLBT issues, environmental issues, AIDS or cancer research, breastfeeding awareness, etc. Life is not necessarily all about ideals, though, so I've stated other, related options, as my goals. I want to be a writer and/or I want to work for a nonprofit. (I would also accept working in the education field, though not directly as an educator of any kind.) And I've always thought that the "writer" part came first, but ... I'm not sure that it really does. After all, I can be a writer without being paid to do it. I am a writer without being paid to do it. :P

Now to move forward, finding places where these jobs are more easily found, and figuring out how to get there. Moving forward with my own goals in mind, not with a head full of "shoulds" and "what ifs."
I deleted my other post because, well... this one is going to be a clarification of what led to that. The big thing here is this: I keep finding jobs that require qualifications I don't have. And when I find those, I think, "I wish I had X, Y, or Z." But ... getting X, Y, or Z takes too long to be practical, in a lot of cases. I'd been researching the HIM/HIT programs in the area, thinking it would at /most/ take me a year to complete, hopefully less. And that would open up new doors to me that my current qualifications do not. Unfortunately, it seems like that is likely to take at least a year and a half to two years. Plus I wouldn't qualify for in-state tuition rates until I was almost done with the program, if I started this term (which is, of course, looking less and less likely). So while it's not totally ruled out, it's going on the back-burner (with so many other options and half-options) because I can't justify the time and money expenditure for something I'm not truly passionate about.

The MBA is still a possibility, though I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it full-time. It may be a matter of "wait and see," which is hard right now because so much is up in the air. My big hesitation with the MBA is financial as well. It's even /more/ of a time and money commitment, so I'm hesitant to do it unless I'm REALLY sure it's what I want.

Part of me wonders if I'm just trying to find any excuse to go back to school. And if it's about /that/, rather than really, truly furthering my career ... then no, it doesn't make any sense.

It's also somewhat about control. I can't control the job market. I can't control how long it takes for O or myself to find gainful employment. Returning to school is something I /can/ do for myself, rather than being dependent upon so many outside factors. But again, that's not a good, solid reason, either. I know the MBA makes sense in a lot of ways, but it's very overwhelming, and I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready/willing to take it on at this juncture.

And part of me is afraid of getting stuck. I don't necessarily want to keep being "just" a SAHM anymore. If O finds work before I do, then I'm afraid of feeling trapped. Afraid of stagnating. Please don't read that as, "I don't want to spend time with my son." I do. I love him. But I need a change (ironic, considering the past two months).


... I think I'm having a mid-30s crisis. Where's my shiny new sports car? :P
Things are definitely better today. I'm less sick and miserable, we took a walk in the park (and let L run around on the playground) this morning, and then I got to talk to my mom, Gramma, and two aunts all at once by pure chance.

I know this is going to be a difficult transition, and there are going to be down points. But in the end, it's all going to work out. It always does.


At this point, we're both very much hoping we can make it work to stay here in FL. It's just easier than trying to relocate out of state /again/ and go up to NC. It means we can go ahead and renew licenses here, get FL plates on the car, etc. Not to mention, it means not taking all the stuff we drove down here with on another out-of-state drive! While I do like the idea of NC's slightly milder weather, and its potential in the IT field, etc. ... convenience wins. Again, assuming we can make it work (read: find job(s)).


I am, however, having some hesitation about the MBA idea, but I don't know how much of that is apprehension just due to the enormity of it, and how much is real doubt. In the immediate future, my plan is to go ahead and prepare for starting a program in 2010 - including taking some business classes wherever/whenever I can (going to look at MCC's online options today, seeing as they already have all of my information in their system from when I was a student there before), and beginning preparations for taking the GMAT. I'm sure that as I go about the process, I will be better able to sort out my feelings about it.


Time to finish my lunch and nap a Bug. Hope everyone is well! Drop me a line. I miss you all!
dmsj: (fireworks)
( Jul. 6th, 2009 03:58 pm)
Things I/we did:

* packed up Buggie's closet, the remaining books in the attic (well, O did that), more kitchen stuff, some desk stuff
* sold one of O's guitars and took away more stuff for Goodwill
* attended a 4th of July gathering, wherein I was reminded how much I don't like being around people who are drinking and not minding their children (but did manage to enjoy some of the company there, anyway)
* took Buggie to a playgroup
* started to feel like myself again, proving (again) that yes, Life Is Better when I'm on Lexapro
* ate more sweets than I should have
* baked bread
* took a meal to a couple of new mommies I know, and saw their teeny-tiny little girl
* dishes, laundry, assorted miscellanea & mundania
* cuddled with my husband
* played with my little boy


Things I/we did not do:

* smack the living daylights out of the child who tried to kick my son, or yell at the people who were drinking and setting off firecrackers
* get out to the house to take measurements (not for lack of trying, mind you)
* do as much packing as I'd have liked
* go home to Ithaca, as I'd really love to be able to do one of these weekends soon
dmsj: (run)
( Jun. 10th, 2009 06:22 pm)
Been busy. Last week was "hell week," and my concert. The day of the concert, we had a member pass away after a week-long stay in the ICU due to alcohol poisoning. Her memorial service was last night, and was a beautiful tribute to someone I can only wish I'd had more time to get to know.

Next Tuesday is the postponed (due to the above mentioned memorial) chorus potluck, and Thursday I have a board meeting.


Weekends aren't much better. O & I are planning a date sometime this weekend (because we've barely seen each other lately, given all of the above). Next weekend we have a 2nd birthday party to go to, and the weekend after that we may be going to Ithaca. And if we /don't/ go to Ithaca, I have a baby shower to go to.

Phew!


Somewhere in there, we're needing to do more packing and preparing for the move. Our inspection is (finally) scheduled for Friday afternoon, after which point we'll know whether or not our proposed closing date (July 31st) is going to stick.

Speaking of which, we're seeking locals to help us move, though we can't yet tell you what the date will be. If all goes according to plan, it will be either August 8th or 15th, but obviously that will depend on when we close.


Liam has decided to un-wean. We'd been nursing just once, usually a couple hours after he went to bed. Now we're back to 2-3 times per day. Heh.

OTOH, he's night-weaned now, so I can't exactly complain about this.


Stalled out on exercise/diet progress (also due to the above mentioned busyness), but am trying to get back on track. O is wanting to do the same, so hopefully we'll both see some results.


Dinner time! Away I go!
at 6:30ish this evening, we signed the paperwork to make the offer on The House! O has to stop by their office in the morning with our "good faith" deposit, and his cousin (our mortgage broker) will be faxing/e-mailing all the paperwork from his side of things. By close-of-business tomorrow (probably a lot sooner, but that's the deadline), the ball will be rolling yet again. Our buyer's agent doesn't expect they'll even counter our offer. I hope he's right!

Now the waiting game begins again. Things may take an extra day or two longer than they usually would because the sellers are in Florida rather than local.

So glad we got this taken care of today, though. As I've mentioned before, this week is Dress Rehearsal week, so busier than usual. Spending an /extra/ evening out of the house would've been less than ideal. Hopefully the buyer's agent is right and we won't have to meet again to sign counteroffers, etc.

With luck, we'll be moving in August.

zOMG!



... and I wrote about what that means to me, too.
.

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