California, here I come, right back where I started from….May 24, 2013
January 20, 2013 was over four months ago. On that day I wrote my most recent blog post. Four months is a long time for a writer. A lot has happened. More than I can pack into this small space. So, I guess I’ll have to be concise, like my professor told me a couple of decades ago. Condense. Say what’s important. Forget the fluff. Get to the point. I’ll try.
First, here’s a brief summary of what’s happened between my last blog-a-thon and now. In September of 2012 we moved into our house. We unpacked, spread out and thought about having a garden in the spring. Hurricane Sandy blew through in December and we emerged without a scrape. We got in the habit of watching the news and the weather every day just in case another monster storm crept up the coast. We sat on the couch a lot. We read a lot, cooked a lot and filled up our freezer with local grass fed, free range meat and organic vegetables. We got into a simple routine. Then we realized how quiet it was. Soon the silence became annoying. Sam was happy. I needed more. I started to look for a job. I got one, teaching yoga twice a week at the YMCA. It was good, but it wasn’t enough. I continued looking.
By January, I was obsessed with finding a job, and the more obsessed I became, the quieter my phone became. Out of about 70 resumes I submitted, I received seven phone calls, five of which turned into actual interviews. One of those was a potentially perfect job in a very exclusive nursing home in Williamsburg. The problem was that it only paid $9.00 an hour. I wanted that job. But I needed to be compensated. I turned it down and told the nice lady who interviewed me to call me if something else came up that paid more. She said she would. I could tell she wanted to, but she was on a budget too. The other four were with agencies that provided services for the elderly or for people with developmental disabilities. Two of them actually smelled old and musty. The other two were so new they looked sterile. None had the caring, compassionate feeling I was looking for. I know how demanding those jobs can be, so I understood the level of grumpiness and burnout that the staff emitted. Still, I needed more. I knew I wouldn’t be happy, and I still wanted to be happy. I told myself I hadn’t spent all that time and money in school so I could work in a mediocre job for less than mediocre pay with coworkers who weren’t happy. I felt entitled. That may have been a mistake. In any case, they didn’t call back.
In between looking for “real” jobs, I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of our decision to move into a house on the Chesapeake Bay. Sure it was beautiful, and quiet, and surrounded by nature in all its glory. Our neighbors were nice and we had plenty of space to spread out. The dogs loved being able to roam around in the soy fields, and I got to visit my family every couple of weeks or so. We even planted some flowers and walked down to the “rivah” and put our feet in several times. Those things were nice. But we were burning through our savings and there seemed to be no new source of income on the horizon. I knew it was time to cook up a new plan, and worried about it in the middle of the night until I felt like I might explode. We still had the RV, even though we tried to sell it for four months, and it looked like “the road” was knocking at the door again. From February to March, the new plan grew and morphed into what we are now doing: selling camping memberships in central California. Imagine that. We’re right back where we started one year ago…well, almost.
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