Friday, September 20, 2013

From Paycheck to Paycheck

During the Great Recession, many people, some for the first time, might have experienced the humbling living of stretching a home, a family, and a refrigerator paycheck to paycheck. It's stressful, and I think a majority of us have been there at one point or another. I'm blessed to not currently be in that situation (I think you have to make a paycheck to be a part of that crowd), but I have been reflecting lately on what it was like to work and live on an emotional paycheck to paycheck regiment. I might have just made that up, so here's my explanation.

A person gets a new job. This person is glad to have a job. And a job that offers lots of growth and promise, at that. Yay, job! New job is wonderful. Boss is wonderful. Coworkers are wonderful. Life is good. Over time, boss shows a new side that is less wonderful. Job promise starts to dwindle. Growth shrinks. Soon new job feels more like new prison. Yikes. But, hey, no complaining because person has a job. Except, person does complain. To coworkers. To spouse. To friends. To parent. And worst of all, to self. Once person begins examining job to self and seeing the whole picture, each paycheck seems farther and farther away. Because the paycheck has become the only perk. The only good feeling. Between checks, person is stressed. Person is not sleeping well. Person is battling an inner struggle. Person is feeling guilt for being so negative. Person tries to put on a good front for others, but that just makes person feel worse inside. Then the next paycheck comes, and things seem okay for a few days because maybe that's the price to pay for taking care of bills and splurging on retail goodies.

See? Living paycheck to paycheck emotionally. Sometimes there isn't a choice. Or it doesn't feel like there is. But, for this particular person, (can you guess who?) there was a choice. It was just a hard one to make. After making the choice, every step of the way has only served to show this person that it was the right one. God has a funny way of answering our prayers for relief sometimes. We think we need to conquer our emotions, but our emotions are there for a reason. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

That's a lesson I continue to learn with jobs. If the interview doesn't go well, even though the job seems to be perfect for you, it wasn't meant to be. If you can't find the job you're looking for, it's not the right time or you aren't looking in the right place (meaning something is available for you, you just don't know or see it yet). If you hate your job between paychecks, it's probably time to take the lessons you gained from that job and pack 'em up to find another. Change is always uncomfortable, but it's also the only way to grow.

I know several people seeking jobs, looking to change jobs, trying to get hired for jobs right now. And every. single. one. has struggled with the "right" job whether it be in the search, in the change, or in the interview. It's okay. I've struggled too, and I know I'll struggle again. The thing that must happen is relinquishing control (ideally you are giving it to a power much higher than yourself) and acceptance that all things really do come when they are meant to. That doesn't mean the next job will be the perfect one, but that's okay because you might still have a lesson or two to learn before you find THE job. After all, getting what you what too soon, while you aren't ready and ultimately lose it is worse than never getting it at all. But keep the faith! It is out there, and you will find it. It just may be a few paychecks down the road.

Happy Friday! (Cue mass resignation letter writing!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

From This to That

So...I had a great idea for a post a week ago. Unfortunately, like the planes over my house, the idea flew past me two minutes after it arrived. Rather than wait on another strike of inspiration, I thought I'd put together a random list of things for you. All kinds of things. A cornucopia of thoughts, if you will. Happy Friday!

  1. The Mom of the Year nominations keep rolling in. Okay, I know every kid gets into things/gets hurt. But sometimes they manage to cluster those things into a few day span. It's quite humbling what a mom can fail to prevent, even under close surveillance. A sampling: iInjury. It's an injury to the eye caused by an iDevice (in this case an iPad. Falling from a speaker. Because someone yanked the cord.) Oops. It has almost healed. In the meantime, the gash reminds me daily of the dangers of listening to uptempo bluegrass.  Next up: Soapatizer. This was my first encounter with the Poison Control hotline. I hope it's my last for a very long time. She's fine, and it wasn't a toxic substance. Can't blame her...who doesn't like a little Palmolive before dinner?? Side note, it would have been a bigger deal had I purchased anything but the original formula. 
  2. It's Fall. Starbucks, as us Americans know, officially kicks off the season with the return of the pumpkin spice latte (psl for those in the know). I got mine Day 2. Even the beer companies follow the lead of Starbucks. Immediately after PSL returned, pumpkin beer flooded the store shelves. Also, fall TV returns, football kicked off, and tourists stopped crowding the Carolina beaches. See? Starbucks started it all. I couldn't be happier to kick summer to the curb.
  3. Except I'm Celebrating Summer for One More Week. For months, one of my best friends, my mother, and my inlaws have been planning for a weeklong retreat to the beach. It starts this weekend. Hard to believe it's finally here. Which means our week of packing and prep is in full swing. Work really hard for a week to get ready, travel with a pre-toddler (joy!), and unpack/stock pantry/get distance from whoever you rode with leads to a much-deserved week of relaxation. Except we are bringing babies. Oops. At least we'll be entertained!
  4. Ready to Read a Good Book. Any suggestions? Normally, I have one (or three) lined up for a beach trip. But, I'm guessing the only reading I'll get done is works by Eric Carle. And, let's be honest, by now it's just reciting. And rewriting.
  5. A Year Old. Hayley has just one month and four days left in the months-old crowd before she joins the year-old ranks. I guess I'll be party planning at the beach!
  6. Speaking of Parties...My summer consisted of party planning, hosting, throwing, and attending. I think I'll do a mini series for the blog of some of the highlights. It was super fun. And super exhausting. Turns out, things I used to do easily are a bit tougher to do while (literally) chasing around a walking kiddo. On the bright side, I can not only chew gum and walk, I can also make banners, write notes, send emails, and assemble favors while walking.
  7. For Your Viewing Pleasure. Here's a photo from a past beach trip.
This is actually from Tybee, but I love beach sunrises.

Have a great weekend!