Celebrating Independence

On this beautiful day, July 4th 2017, I am taking a few minutes to reflect on the steps I have recently taken towards independence of a different sort…


About 2 months ago, my co-workers and I were laid off due to losing our grant funding. It was not completely unexpected, but it still left each of us scrambling to deal with things in different ways. These ways were generally determined by where each of us was in our decades of life. We were all female, but we ranged in ages from our mid 20s to early 50s. Some of us were married or divorced, others were single; some of us had children, but they were between 5 and 20 years old.

One of the youngest of my colleagues, still in her 20s, had the greatest mobility. With nothing holding her down, she packed up and moved to another city before she even had a job lined up. She was fortunate enough that her parents were able to provide some transitional support.
The members in their 30s and 40s were at different stages described above- which determined how quickly they were willing to find new employment. These decisions were largely driven by the need to afford child care and health insurance for their families.
I was one of the oldest employees and was in a unique situation. My husband had retired a few years previously and my kids were almost full-blown adults. While it was convenient that my job had provided health insurance for all of us, it was not a deal breaker to finding my own path.
I did look at a few job possibilities, but I have long had the idea in the back of my mind of forming my own business. Well- what better reason than to give it try- here and now- than due to this upset to my career path? Thus, within a few weeks I filed paperwork for my own company, attended networking events and developed a business plan. In the next few weeks I hope to start contacting clients and setting up programs for this fall.
It may not go as smoothly as it sounds, but I am prepared for the challenges. Besides, knowing that this is completely self-driven and that I have the independence to make my own decisions, is both exciting and liberating!
I may not have had the confidence nor the time and means to do this when I was in my 30s. Now, however, I am ready to take the risks without knowing what the rewards will be. In my mind, it would be more regrettable to have never tried than to have failed. My new-found independence will not be an uphill battle; it will be an adventure!

To borrow from Brainy Quotes “Quote of the Day”

Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.
Daniel J. Boorstin



The New iPad3

English: iPad 2 back with SmartCover at the ri...

Image via Wikipedia

As the buzz about the new iPad3 hits the nation, my son is caught up in the glorification of its improved features. It is thinner, faster, has a better  “retina” screen (something about the way the eye can’t see the pixels because they are so refined) and incorporates voice commands like Siri. Sure it sounds cool, but is it really that much better? My son received an iPad2 for his birthday six months ago. He has been thrilled with it and he certainly has the best gadget in the house.

Apparently it is not enough for him. He wants to upgrade to the iPad3 and I do not approve. I think it shows a lack of appreciation for what he has and disrespect towards the giver of the gift. He disagrees, of course, and has made a plan to upgrade with his own money. I don’t think he realizes how hard he will have to work to accomplish his goal, but I decided to allow him to move ahead with it.

Together we established a list of jobs he could do in order to earn some cash. Some of these I vetoed, as they were expected all along. Others I gave a short term approval, hoping it would change things in the long run. Practicing his guitar without a reminder falls into that category. As much as he hates it when I nag him, I dislike doing it even more. Then there are the opportunities to do something really helpful, like mowing the lawn or helping paint the deck. He is also going to look for some babysitting jobs.

All of this has to fit in around his homework, his tennis practices and games, and the time he needs to spend with his new rabbit (another story). I told him if any of these are compromised because he is trying to earn money, I will not pay him. He still needs to keep his priorities in order.

Part of me is hoping that either he will realize he doesn’t have time to accomplish his goal or that the buzz will wear off as user reviews come in and he will decide it is not worth buying. It’s not that I want him to fail; but rather that I’d like him to come to that conclusion on his own, without me forbidding him to do it.

I have a feeling that he will prevail, though. He has determination and a strong will to succeed. My only consolation if he achieves this will be that he will have learned the value of working hard for something that he really wants. Now I just have to resist the urge to buy his iPad2. It would be a shame to let it go.