|Photo by Little Man|
I haven't been writing because I have been completely caught up in effecting some huge life changes, and writing moved down on the priority list. Very far down. I've been preoccupied and lacking inspiration, and I don't have the eloquence of the lovely Leonore, who recently wrote a brilliant post about that exact issue.
At the beginning of this year, D was struggling and I posed a question to the universe as I pondered a course of action. I grappled with the urge to throw caution to the wind and make a big life change, balanced against the desire to be prudent in a bad economy. My mental wranglings were compounded by doubts about the stability of my relationship and the potential for regrets about any big decisions made in the face of these issues.
Do I leave a good job and a bad house and the comfort of a life where I'm from to follow D into the great unknown?
Then in the spring, my company got acquired and my job was scheduled for elimination. As I've previously wrote:
I really couldn't have received a clearer answer. It's like the universe was saying, "So you're not sure whether you should give up your job for the good of your relationship? Bam, problem solved. Now go sort it out with your man!"
This is where the blessings start. You see, we felt couldn't leave the little shack on the prairie without completing the major renovations we had undertaken and left half done. We needed some time before the big life changes could commence. I got such a soft landing, because I didn't lose my job - originally scheduled to wrap up in June - until the end of July. Then I spent three months working as a part-time contractor, mainly from home. This afforded time to get the renovations underway again while still making an income.
November rolled around, and we had secured a good contractor (that rare commodity!) and progress had resumed on the renovation in earnest. I had substantially wrapped up work with my old company at the end of October when the blessings continued: I got a call asking if I had interest in going back to assist a company I'd worked with for four years before moving on to a better opportunity in 2008. My old position was vacated and they were looking for some help while they find a replacement. I get to work with a few of my favorite people in the world and secure an income for a bit longer.
That extra bit of money is going to come in handy, because D and I are moving back to the UK to be closer to his family. This is a huge move. Although we lived there briefly after our wedding, I'm leaving career security in a city where people frequently call me about job opportunities. My accounting specialty is valued by the small population of companies that need my skills and my reputation in this town is a good one. Those skills won't be as applicable in the UK and I'll have to start building a professional network all over again. Our plan to move there without jobs in a struggling economy could be considered foolhardy. But D and I are so excited that any career sacrifices are worth it to me. Looking forward to the move, together, has changed the dynamic in our relationship resulting in a huge improvement. That is priceless.
Here, the blessings begin to rain down. Before I was laid off, I spoke to the VP of European operations to see if he could introduce me to people in the UK that might be good contacts as I search for employment. His words: "I'd like to hire you!" Thus we began discussions about creating a position for me in the UK, though in a different function that will require some growth and expansion in my skill set. There were budget constraints to overcome and it has taken some time for matters to progress. All signs are go, and I'm now waiting for the final offer letter and the start date to be determined. If it all comes together, it looks like we will be moving very early in the new year.
Ah, but the house... we are still a couple of weeks away from putting it on the market, and a very poor market it is. However, I have this optimistic conviction that if we can just get it listed, things will simply work out. Everything else has. This house will turn out to be a spectacularly bad financial investment - we will have lost a substantial amount of our life savings on it. But you know what? I don't care. We are so very fortunate that we can get out of it without having to resort to a short sale or foreclosure. That is a blessing too.
Looking back to the beginning of the year when I knew this change needed to be made, but was hesitant to take the actions to accomplish it - I can hardly believe how fortunate I am. In part, you make your own luck. We are in this position because I have been a dedicated employee and because we took on the purchase and renovation of the house with fiscal prudence - well, as much prudence as possible when you pay top dollar in an overheated market, invest a ton of money into renovations and then sell after a 20% drop in real estate prices.
But bad things happen to good people all the time, no matter how much one tries to "create your luck." So I know that I am also very, very lucky that things have worked out this way. Lucky...it's a word I generally hesitate to use, because it reminds me that I can't control everything with the simple force of my will. But lucky I am - pure and simple - and I'm going to own that admission for a while. 2011 has been a tough year - one that has forced me into some big decisions that needed to be made. That is yet another blessing. 2012 will present its own set of challenges, but because I can count so many blessings, I'm facing the world with a grin I can barely wipe off my face.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!