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How’s This For Square One?

19 Jan

I’ve got two feet firmly planted at Square One, effective today, all because of one quick call from an employer who spoke the words that went something like this: “I’ve got some bad news. Your position has been eliminated.”

Such a crappy feeling to have given my very best and to have it all terminated by phone in a quick minute. Employer wrote in a follow-up email, “I will miss your energy, cheer, willingness to take on tasks, and attention to detail.”

I know these traits don’t matter in the whole unraveling of my job — the position just went away, nothing personal. I understand. Still, it stings.

It also presents an opportunity for bigger and better. Maybe this means a different and more exciting job, or, perhaps, I’ll give 100% to the position of unemployed mom + master of family-budget balancing (because the loss of income is no small matter), and I could ramp up my itty-bitty freelance editing career, too. I’ll soul search for a few days, weeks, months before diving into anything new. For now, I will focus on little-boy perspectives, which always enlighten and remind me life can be simple and sweet:

Danny (he’s 8): “Mom, why don’t you just get a job that comes with a lot of money? Or can you get a job at Schlotzsky’s so we can get free pizza?”

Joey (he’s 11): “You could always work at Sports Authority. Or how about McDonalds?” (says the boy who could spend money all day long on sports and fishing gear — and burgers, too.)

Also, I’ve got my eye on the timing of it all, which just sorta works out, because our new credit card billing cycle begins today, and what better chance is there to start tracking our spending than right now? My freelance calendar shows two projects coming my way this month and next, and the work should be stress-free without a job forcing me to push my edits to late-night hours. It’s middle-school open house and application season, too, and, now, I can give Joey my focused attention as I assist him in his sixth-grade pursuits. Oh, and tomorrow my kids don’t have school, which means we can all sleep late and do whatever we want all day long!

Square One is scary.

It’s also liberating. It was two years ago when I quit a job, and it will be again.

I just know it.


The 11-Day Challenge

9 May

Artist, author, and poet Chrissie Grace made this. Click on photo for more!

Eleven days.

I’m giving us 11 days to kick-start some new routines in this household.

The first is financial — our credit card statement closes in 11 days, and we are committed to slashing all frivolous spending in that time. It basically boils down to nixing out-to-eats (oh, how we love restaurants!) and dishing out cash for just groceries and gas — the essentials (for us). Of course, we hope to keep the frugality going long after 11 days, but in the short term, we just want to save a little extra this month.

The second is food — it’s kinda always food, because we know there is forever room for healthier eating, but we’re putting a little extra emphasis on nutrition right now. The not-eating-out-so-much challenge will definitely help in this area, but also, there will be less snacking, smaller portions, and better food choices all around.

And while I don’t have an official third, let me not forget about fitness, which isn’t so much a challenge (I manage to move strenuously most days) as something I will purposely keep as high priority.

Eleven days — what can you accomplish in that time?