Have you ever had something looming - some big decision or indecision in your life - and have absolutely no idea what to do? I face this right now.
There's a pretty good chance I'm going to lose my job in the coming months and that freaks me out, as it would for most people with financial responsibility. But I have warning - some people don't get that. I also feel like I have a window of opportunity here where I can do something about it. Well, I can't stop myself from losing my job - that's out of my hands - but I can start taking steps to train for and find another job before the axe falls.
For the sake of a little anonymity, I won't tell you where I work or the industry I work in. I will say however, that I graduated from university 11 years ago and came bounding into this industry all pumped up and raring to go! After trying on a few hats in the first year or so, I found my niche. I love what I do, I'm pretty good at it, and I love where I work. I'm even one of those lucky people who likes the people they work for and with, and I look forward to going to work. It's a joy.
"If you find something you like doing, you won't work a day in your life." Well, I've probably only had a few, true rough days over the last 11 years, so I've probably only 'worked' for two months of my life so far. Not a bad innings, I'd say!
However, I'd heard rumours over the last six months or so about job cuts (since confirmed by my bosses). About a month ago I decided I couldn't ignore it any more - a good chunk of the staff in my area are going to be made redundant in the next few months - and needed to be proactive about it. Job losses, down-sizing, restructuring and my favourite "future-proofing the business" is happening around the world. In actual fact, we've done pretty well to last this long untouched.
So, being a planner and control freak, with a new mortgage that my current income is paying off, I started talking, thinking and planning what I was going to do next.
Find another job in the same industry? Nah, every company is as rocky as each other, and I work in a very specific, small niche. Bummer. Wish someone had have pointed out future job prospects when I settled my square peg into that square hole.
Not worry about working and stay at home to raise more babies? For my mental wellbeing, not a good option. Financially, impossible for any longer than a couple of months.
Find another industry and make the jump? Yes! Nursing? Yes! Two years full-time study to qualify? Sure. I can do that! I'm smart and driven. Done. Settled.
I'd thought I'd settled on a plan. But then I started thinking of all the problems my stroke of genius would cause my little family.
Childcare: I'd need childcare for our baby because our current arrangement wouldn't be enough if I added full-time study into the mix. I was blessed to be able to stay home with bub for 11 months, and it broke my heart to have to leave our baby with someone else, but thankfully it was with a wonderful family member who stepped in to help us two days a week. Our little one enjoys going there, but daycare is a whole other kettle of fish.
Money: How the hec do we pay for the aforementioned childcare, fees, books etc. We watch our pennies now as it is, but asking us to come up with a spare several thousand a year? Yeah. We've got about as much chance of digging up a gold nugget in the back yard.
Capabilities: Would I be able to work the equivalent of three full-time jobs at once? Mum, wife, part-time employee, successful university student, and still be some kind of good friend and daughter/aunt? Unknown. But I'm a pretty tough and organised cookie.
To recap - Problem. Leads to possible solution. Problems arise as yet unsolved. Could thwart current possible solution.
So my question is this. Have you ever wanted God to just tell you - "Yes. It will all be okay. You will always have a job; you'll always make enough money to pay the mortgage, and you'll be happy, and your baby will thrive. Fear not." Then I'd know. I'd rest easy.
I had a similar conversation with my then-work-friend, now-husband about finding 'the one'. In my late 20s back then, with a string of bad relationships mostly behind me, I'd wondered if I'd ever meet my 'one'. He wondered the same thing. I remember saying to him: "I just want God to say, 'yes Jen, you'll meet the right man, you'll get married, have children, be in love and happy together. But it won't happen for another 10 years'. Then I'd at least know it was going to work out and I would relax." He said something deep like "Yeah, I know what you mean." And what do you know? The guy I was talking to turned out to be my 'one' and it's all worked out so far - over four years together, three years married.
So, perhaps this entry is to remind myself that it worked out then, so it will work out perfectly again in this mess. Though I can't see how right now - that I'll always have a job that pays enough to pay our mortgage off - I have to trust that it will all shake out.
Oh, and my sweet child peed on me this afternoon while we were having a nice quiet cuddle and chat on the couch. I think she likes me. She's marked her turf.