Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So How's That Working Out for You?

So, it's been a little over a month since I quit my full-time job, ostensibly to pursue more creative endeavors that I've been putting off for... oh... a couple decades.  I figured an update was in order.

I guess I should start with an admission:  I didn't actually quit completely.  I tried!  I really did!  But they presented me with an arrangement I just couldn't refuse.  My team would really be strained without me, and it's going to take them a while to find a suitable replacement, so they asked if I'd be amenable to working just 10 or so hours per week until a new hire comes on board.  That's the exact amount of time that both of my boys are in school.  I could do that!  And would you believe it if I said that I actually net more income by working 10 hours/week with no childcare than I did working 40+ with a full-time sitter?  Well believe it, because it's true.  Sad, but true.

So that's what I'm doing.  Save for two hours each day, I'm a stay-at-home mom--doing all of the shopping, feeding, cleaning, shuttling, coordinating, refereeing, homework supervising, and of course playing that comes with that job.  And then during those token two hours that I have "to myself," I cram as much work in as humanly possible for my former full-time employer.  Sometimes this bleeds into my "mom" time as well, and I end up letting cartoon Batman do some babysitting while I try to wrap everything up on my work plate. 

I'm not complaining.  Overall, I rather like the new arrangement.  By eliminating the need for childcare and taking away a gigantic chunk of my former work demands, I've made a huge dent in the amount of stress in my life.  And while it's only a temporary situation, being able to continue bringing in an income right now is certainly easing the transition. 

BUT--I definitely do not have more "free time."  In fact, I'm quite certain I have less... which makes this blog and possible business endeavor of mine a bit frustrating.  I have a list of projects as long as my arm to complete and share, but virtually no time to execute on them... unless I give up sleep or something, which--after FOUR YEARS of dealing with the worst sleeper on the planet--is SO not on the table.

Remember my famous chair?  The first people to use it in a photo shoot actually offered to buy it, and expressed interest in having me do a couple of commissioned pieces too.  Crazy awesome, right?  But did it go anywhere?  Um, no.  I didn't even get their name, but largely because I know in my heart of hearts that I just don't have the time yet to take on something like that and complete it in any kind of realistic timeframe.


No, that's not the set of Hannibal (top photo)... but close!  That's the scary unfinished part of my basement and a couple "before" pieces that better get comfortable with that status.  Bottom left?  My coffee table.  Still on my living room floor--almost three months after I first brought it home--stripped but only 1/2 stained, and just the first coat at that.  Nowhere near ready for poly... and that's gonna take at least 3 rounds.  Sigh.  Bottom right is that girly chair I posted about a month ago.  I haven't so much as looked at those upholstery tacks since I posted about this in March, let alone started ripping them out.  No fabric or trim has been purchased.  And that white guy in the back?  Oh you just wait... he has a twin and they are going to BLOW YOUR MIND when I'm finally done, but what's another day when I've already had them for almost two years?  

I had grand plans to finish staining that coffee table this weekend, but then I made the mistake of cleaning the outside of our windows on Saturday... and upon cleaning the windows, I realized that the windows on our garage were shedding paint in sheets, so I spent Sunday scraping, sanding, and repainting the exteriors of two circa-1960 lead-based nightmares.  Naturally.  And I didn't even do a good job.
And that's pretty much my update.

Never fear--the blog isn't going anywhere.  If anything, it's a huge motivator for me and it keeps me accountable.  Whether or not you care what happens to my coffee table, I know that I've put it out there now... and once I've done that, I have to finish what I started.  

Eventually :)  


  1. Somehow I missed about you not being able to totally quit your "day job" - I really hope the new situation works out well. Meanwhile, don't feel bad for projects left uncompleted. Have I mentioned that we've been in our house almost 6 years & have yet to paint our bedroom - it's still contractor off white. Nice eh?

  2. Yeah, I know. Things will be different in the fall, when I'm sure my job will be gone and both of my kids will finally be in school for a full day. I can't even fathom the amount of time I'll have... and yet I know I'll probably still complain about feeling overwhelmed. :)

  3. It takes a while to change your systems/schedules to make things work the way you want. I would recommend the book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. It's a great book on changing how you view your day (do we really have to watch TV from 8 to 10 PM or would another time slot be better? Or do you really want to watch TV?) She provides ways at looking at your schedule to fit it your life.

  4. I'll have to check that out. Sounds like a book made for me right about now :)