trading spaces (# 70)

It has been an interesting time. The summer is hurtling to its end, and the rest of the year will pass even more quickly. I am excited because changes ahead will move my attention away from analysis and toward action. The analysis has been necessary, but I do not want to stay stuck here.

After not getting the job I wanted earlier this summer, I embarked on a lot of soul-searching about whether to keep trying to leave my job or whether to try to improve it from within. I finally found some peace around my decision to stay put and improve it. And, of course, life goes on no matter what I decide to do about it. Last week I found out there are some changes coming at work that are not necessarily quick fixes for me, but that happen to be aligned with my vision of what my job could be. So, I am interested in sticking around to see what develops.

Out of the blue, a headhunter contacted me about two other possibilities that sounded pretty good, but I quickly decided not to pursue them. I was able to see that those opportunities would likely offer more money, but they would offer me a lot less of the main thing that I have zeroed in on as most desirable: autonomy and flexibility around time. Happily, my current work does not suck up my time and energy with demands by other people to put out fires. My last job required this on a regular basis.

The very day after I settled the headhunter situation, my husband got some amazing news, and the whole picture of the next phase of my life beyond this summer of regrouping clicked into focus. Before I met my husband, he used to own a store (several incarnations of the same concept) for about fifteen years. He has not had a store since 2007, and he has been longing to start one while doing other things, including selling materials wholesale and doing creative work.

The problem has been finding a suitable space. He only needs a small one, and they are hard to find in our growing city.  In the last several years, he has explored several spaces that didn’t work out. He thought about giving up on the retail dream altogether, but could not let it go. He wants to try something different from the stores he had in the past, and he has thought a lot about how to make it work.

Then . . . this week, the landlord of a storefront that my husband has had his eye for more than two years called to say the space will be coming open in November. It’s a great location just a few blocks from our house, on a street with other independent businesses and restaurants. It’s just the perfect size, and it comes with basement space where my husband can keep his equipment and do some of his creative work. My husband jumped on it.

I should interject  here that a specific reason I took my low-key job 16 months ago was to have more time to work on creative ventures with my husband. We like working together and make a good team. Up until now, our partnership has mainly involved making jewelry and selling it at local festivals, which we have done a few times each year. We have also set up a website as a possible online alternative to the bricks-and-mortar store concept. That website is still pretty barebones, but we did bring it into being together. Anyway, both the jewelry we make and the website dovetail with the new store concept, and both will be important as we move forward.

It looks like we will be opening a store sometime in November!

I won’t be quitting my day job, instead I’ll be feeling grateful for a job that allows me enough freedom to participate in the birth of this store. The other jobs I had been considering would not allow such freedom. They would be challenging and stressful.

I am also feeling grateful that I chose to stop drinking at the beginning of the summer, because that making that choice opened up the space in my life to bring in something big and new and allow my creative energy to flow. At this time, I have succeeded in stepping out of the ever-shrinking space where alcohol was sprawling out, talking too loudly, and getting way too comfortable. I feel relieved that I left that dark space freely and fairly cheerfully, before alcohol bound me, gagged me and took me hostage.  I do not want to return there.

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