Out in the open

For a while now, I’ve been laying low. It wasn’t so much hiding something, as it was a preventative measure.

Backstory: After seven years in the corporate world, my job was eliminated in December. I actually found out just before Thanksgiving, and my last day was 10 days before Christmas. The timing was the absolute worst, because how do you navigate the holidays with that kind of weight on your shoulders? My husband and I decided to keep this information from our children, so none of them would worry. He eventually shared the news with the two oldest (26, 24); I let it slip one evening while talking to the next two in line (18). After that, I just figured it was probably OK to tell the next one in line (16). The only one we remained quiet around was our youngest. At eight years old, we figured it may not work in his favor to know. Gradually, through overheard conversations with people who kindly inquired about my job search, I got the impression he was picking up on it. About a week ago, he happened to see my husband looking at jobs online on my behalf, and was all, “Why is Dad looking at jobs?” My husband and I looked at each other and I honestly started laughing. It suddenly felt so silly to be keeping it a secret, so we gave him the basics: that mom lost her job… which led him to interrupt with, “Mom, you got FIRED?!” Um, no, sweet boy. I most definitely did NOT get fired; my job was eliminated.

Finally, it felt like I could breathe a little easier. Sure, I’m still out of work, but at least now the entire family had a point of reference for any time I’m out of sorts, moody, frustrated or flat-out discouraged. They get it — and they have been great about it.

I’m a firm believer in all things happening for a reason. That said, while I’m actively looking for full-time employment, there’s a part of me that wonders if *this* is meant to be time for a career change. Logistically, it’s the perfect time. However, given that I’d like this change to include shopping around book manuscripts to agents, acquiring said agent and eventually having a book published… the financial aspect of this career change is less than lucrative. At least not initially. I think many people assume when an author is presented with a publishing contract, that it comes with a wheelbarrow full of money. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.

But because this goal has been on my heart since I started making up stories in my head (circa 1976), I feel pulled to put as much energy into launching a writing career, as I am in finding an immediate-paying job. (Note, I didn’t use the term “real job,” because writing IS a real job. It just doesn’t wear heels or business casual.)

So, here goes.

For the past decade, I’ve blogged about family and everyday life –specifically finding humor, or at least a pretty good lesson, in the chaos of a large family. We’ve gone from five kids, a dog and a cat under one roof, to six kids, a dog and a cat. Then one kid moved out. Then we lost the cat, and not too long after, the dog. Then we got another dog, we moved to a new-to-us house, and another kid moved out. We’re currently sitting at four kids still at home, two of whom graduate high school in 12 weeks. Come August, we’ll have a high school junior and a 4th grader… plus the dog. Life moves fast. I’ve written countless blog posts, essays and articles based on happenings in our home. Now, it feels like it’s time to utilize my writing outlet for just that: writing.

While I’m sure the family will still generate plenty of hilarious, blog-worthy material, it’ll perhaps be a topic, rather than an entire foundation. I hope to integrate more of my “work writing” (both creative and informative styles) into this blog, and I surely hope you’ll come along for the ride. I always appreciate and value others’ feedback on what I’ve written. Unless you’re going to say something along the lines of “you suck,” which is not so appreciated and valued.

For those of you who have chosen to follow my blog and related Facebook page, I greatly appreciate it — I hope you’ll still do so. And share with friends. Lots and lots of friends. Because much like my job situation, my writing needs to be out in the open as well.

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