Friday, July 18, 2008

Faithful Friday - Week 3

This week I am celebrating the Choices That Are Made For You .

Sometimes the best decisions you make are ones that are made for you by forces out of your control. About 3 1/2 years ago, my husband and I both had some of the best decisions of our lives, made for us.

For several years before that time, we had been preparing for the eventual job-loss of my husband. His company had been continually down-sizing and off-shoring American workers as a way of cost-cutting. We had no idea how long we had but the "writing was on the wall".

Suze Orman Would Be Proud

We saved our money and became debt-free. We never built the new house on the land we purchased. Instead we continue to live in my husband's starter home, the one he bought as a bachelor a few years out of college. For 4 or 5 years we prepared for an uncertain future.

Finally the day came. The round of cuts that severed my husband's career with a company he had been with over 20 years! It was almost a relief. My weekly ritual of asking "Do you still have your job?" was over. Thankfully we were financially prepared.

The Ax Falls Again!

The next decision made for us, took me by surprise. Within a week of my husband's "choice", I had an unexpected announcement from my landlord of the building that housed my business. He had an offer for an 18 year lease and much higher rent from a realtor who had a client that wanted my space. After 9 years on a prime corner in a trendy neighborhood, I was either going to have to move or ante up more than I was prepared to offer.

I came home in tears. My husband hugged me and said "You've been laid off, too!"

The Best Decisions We Never Made

After much research and soul searching, we came up with our plan. The local job market for my husband was sparse and would have required taking a considerable pay-cut for less than desirable work. Relocation would prove costly and most likely another unstable situation. I would have to sell or dump my business.

We decided to change my business model and moved my work to a more cost-effective and efficient set-up. We cut out the retail portion and concentrated on the internet and corporate clients. My husband decided to take a few years and stay home. He had projects he wanted to work on and wanted to spend time with our boys while they are young.

Less is More

I am working a few less hours a week. Greater efficiency in my operation has increased profitability and lowered my stress. I am so much happier at work. The boys are now in public school. They are no longer in an After Care program. Dad is waiting for them at home with a snack. Homework is done earlier to allow for more free-time after dinner.The boys are now meeting kids that live nearby and have friends in the neighborhood. (Their old school was not near our home). We are not only surviving, but thriving! Our lives are so much better.

I like to refer to this period as "The Best Decisions We Never Made!"


Speedcat Hollydale said...

Wow ... awesome story. I went through a period with my company going bankrupt, finding myself un-employed 2 years ago. It really freaked me out.
Sounds like you are making the most of your circumstance - good for you!!

Bloghopping tonight,
hello from Speedy

4funboys said...

that's so neat that your boys get to spend so much time with their dad!!!

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I can relate to this! Years ago, we lived in NY, where my husband was miserable in his job but did not want to quit (just not a quitter, that guy!) Anyway, God had a plan for us, and he made sure Mr.4444 got FIRED! As a result, he had to find a job somewhere else. As "luck" would have it, the job landed us in Green Bay, WI (where we both grew up and had lots of family.) We moved, and our kids had 8 years with their beloved Grandpa before he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. If Mr.4444 hadn't been fired, my kids would have missed out big-time. You're right; some of the best decisions are made FOR you :)

Sogeshirtsguy said...

wow very cool stories from both bad momma and mrs. 4444's. So glad that you are both making it work.

Tara R. said...

Wonderful story! Funny how sometimes everything works out for the best despite our best efforts. :D

Jenny said...

Awesome story, Momma! That's really something...I'm still waiting to see what my plan is. :)

Momo Fali said...

I needed this. We've been driving through a rough patch for a couple of years now and I'm at the point where I need to hear happy stories like yours!