Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Many Blessings

Photo by Little Man
There's nothing quite like posting memories of September 11 and then not writing again for over two months to highlight a blogging lapse.  However, since it's a holiday, I've decided to take some time to count my blessings and get back on the horse with this here bloggy thing.  In light of major upheavals in 2011, I have so many things for which to be thankful and today is an appropriate day to reflect on them.

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.

The question:  
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.'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!


  1. KB!

    I love this post. What fantastic news and a terrific revisioning. You've been through a lot this year, and you've handled the challenges with class. Things will work out, because they always end up working out, and because you're YOU.

    Hugs and thanksgiving wishes from Canada!


  2. Such lovely words and news Krys. I am so happy for you and Derren. I really think you are doing the right thing and so glad for Derren that he will be able to spend lots of time in future with family and friends in his home country. That will mean the world to him. Krys, you are so adaptable, so I know you will do very well and make the most of your new life. Wow, so exciting!!! Well done guys on reaching this tough decision and for feeling so positive about the future. You will find jobs, it just takes time, and if you can set one up beforehand how fantastic. Well, we wish you the very best and will track your progress with such interest, so do keep us posted. Happy Thanksgiving and love to you both, Julie & Steph

  3. Thank you. I wasn't sure I could keep my mouth shut much longer. Whew! And I'm so excited for you. Love seeing the progress. Love hearing the hope and determination and excitement. 2012 is going to be amazing for you. Can't wait to see what happens next!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving KB! This post was so exciting to read and I'm so happy for you! I can't wait to read about your new adventures in the UK. I have a feeling 2012 will be an awesome year!

  5. I hope that your move goes smoothly and that you get top dollar for your house.

  6. Leanne - Thanks very much for your very sweet vote of confidence!

    Julie - Lovely to hear from you. The move that you and Steph made to New Zealand served as great inspiration and encouragement to us.

    Nicki - Cheers to a fantastic 2012 for both of us!

    Krysta - Oh, thanks very much. I hope your wedding plans are coming along well - 2012 will be awesome for you too!

    Rebecca - Thanks for the well wishes; we'll need all the luck we can get in the real estate transaction!

  7. I'm finally getting my butt over here to say congratulations! How exciting is this? I'm happy and just a wee bit jealous (I do often miss living overseas and I think England is pretty awesome!)

    I have to say also that this is inspiring. You've worked hard and made opportunities for yourself, and you have the guts to make big changes. Don't be surprised if this has a ripple effect :)

    Love the redesign!

  8. Hi Leo! It's hard to find time to comment, isn't it? I can usually manage a furtive peek at posts on my phone now and then, but catching up on comments is another thing.

    Inspirational? Moi? That's very sweet of you - and means a lot coming from someone that up and moved to Turkey on her own! Thanks very much for stopping by and wishing me well.

    P.S. I owe the redesign to a standard blogger template, but since pink is my signature color it just works!

  9. I love how everything worked out so well for you - you deserve it after being prepared to make such big changes. Can't wait to pop over the bridge and meet you in person!

  10. Helen - thanks so much! I look forward meeting you too, though it won't involve popping over the bridge. We've had to shelve plans of moving to Cardiff as the job is just west of London. We'll be around for visits to Bristol, though, and I'll be sure to get in touch!

  11. Congratulations on the big news! I'm so jealous--I spent a semester in London in college, and I would move back in a heartbeat. Guess I'll have to live vicariously through you!

  12. Hannah - How fun to spend a semester abroad in London! I'm happy to chronicle my adventures over there for any vicarious pleasure I can provide.

  13. I have missed you! I kept checking and checking and was so glad to see a new post :)

    WOW KB! Now I'd say that is some serious guidance and favor from above you have going on there! How wonderful to read. Thank-you for this has so encouraged me. And Pleeease post on life (good or bad) in the UK as I have such an infatuation with living the UK and living abroad! Maybe the bad experiences will keep me grounded. I have traveled abroad to a variety of countries and I do realize that it is not ALL THAT but still....

    I'll keep your transition in prayer!

  14. Beth - your comment made me smile... I'm glad it's encouraging to others as well! I'll definitely keep posting about our adventures abroad. Thanks very much for your prayers - I can use all the support I can get in this hectic time leading up to the move!