Wednesday, March 24, 2010

mindramblings (therapy through blogging)

I sit here drinking the cup of tea I had completely forgotten that I'd made (why yes, I am the daughter of the woman who frequently abandoned mugs of coffee in the microwave because she was reheating them after having forgotten about them... again), knowing I should get my butt in bed already but half wanting to wait up for Zach, who returns tonight after being gone at a trade show for work the past four days.  An interesting one it must have been, promoting both his soon-to-be former company and his resume at the same time.

Solo-parenting the past few days hasn't been too bad... a good sign since there's more to come.  This weekend Zach will be going skiing, something I not only OKed but actively encouraged since he's hardly had the chance to ski the past few winters, and who knows how much longer we'll be living here.  Then next week he'll be gone for 3 days to Michigan, for a job interview... and to scope out the town to see if we'd want to live there, if the job is offered.

But then! Then, after next week, he'll be done with work.  And I know I should be worried and anxious about my bread-winner husband being unemployed, but honestly I'm really looking forward to having some time with him here at home with us.  The awesome thing is that thanks to WARN he'll still get full pay and benefits for a few more weeks (and then severance kicks in after that) so we'll still have some income.  We're talking about treating it as a little vacation-- taking time off, maybe doing some (relatively inexpensive) trips nearby.

Aside from the Michigan interview which is scheduled, Zach has 2 other interviews that have been all but promised-- one in Washington (state) and another in Boston.  We're trying not to really think about it too much until we know if there will be any firm offers to accept or decline, but at some point we may have to make the decision between taking a job that moves us away from here (and, yes, I have noted that each of the 3 locations mentioned above is a) very cold and b) much farther away from our families in Austin, with travel times increasing by 2-3x) or sit and wait for something to open up here.  In the hypothetical discussions we've had so far, we've gone back and forth so much that I really have no idea what we'll do.  And, again, it's kinda pointless to even think about it when we don't even know what the possibilities will be.

One thing that's really interesting to note, and this is what I love about marriage that you can be with someone for so long and still be surprised by little quirks you discover, is that Zach has always (at least since graduating college and becoming a professional) freaked out about money.  He'll worry about how we're not saving enough, and maybe we won't meet this goal or that goal, and we talk about money a lot (and it often turns out that the things he freaked out about, end up fine).

And here we are now, in this situation that could make a money worryaholic go NUTS, and he's as calm as can be.  It helps that between his severance package and our savings we should be ok for a while, but still-- it cracks me up that in this time when he could and possibly should be freaking out, he's calm and confident and figures everything will turn out ok.  We joke that it's his contrarian nature.

But it's also very nice, as it helps me stay calm, too.  I have moments of panic-- do I want to move from California? How do I feel about potentially living someplace with months of snow?  How will it work to live someplace that's much farther from family, with Zach working long hours at a start-up, right when we're wanting to have another child?  Do I feel right asking Zach to find a job in Houston (someplace we both swore we'd never want to live, what with the smog and humidity and sky-high cancer rates and all) just so we can be closer to family?  And on the flip side, gosh, wouldn't it be nice to go to one of these other places where we could afford a place with a legitimate guestroom rather than making my poor mother sleep on a mattress on the floor of our living room when she visits?  (and I know everyone says they don't mind, but I kinda do-- we're grown-ups with a family now and we should be able to provide better)

I'll start feeling my heart race as I think about these things, and instead I'll absorb Zach's calmness and remind myself that there's no use worrying about this yet, and that things will most likely work out and turn out fine in the end. And because I have had the luxury of this being true most of the time so far in my life, I am able to believe that it will continue to be so.


  1. (Meh... Katy's not that bad... hardly counts as "Houston"...)

    I don't even know exactly what Zach does (I know it's something geeky and smart), but do Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin not offer the same jobs/opportunities that Houston does? Is Houston the only likely possibility in Texas? (The nice thing is Houston is 2-3 hours away from Austin... but it's Houston. Meh.)

    If you move to one of those snowy places, then you can make fun of us Texans when half an inch of snow shut down the entire city. Then we can make fun of you for not realizing that we Texans don't have snow tires or chains or multiple salt trucks to fix the roads...

  2. Criss- The thing about chemical engineering, is the jobs are concentrated in a few definite areas. One of the biggest ones is Houston (thanks to all the refineries there). There are a couple of companies in Austin that might be able to get him a job, but they're kind of more of an off-shoot of what he does (there was one opportunity that looked like it could have taken us to Austin through a really cool job, but it looks like that's not gonna work out after all... which I'm really bummed about).

    Silicon Valley should also be another place with a lot of these jobs, but right now they're a;l either stat-ups that are still trying to get their sh!t together, or big companies that are on a hiring freeze right now. So, one option is to decide to stay here and wait for a local job to open up... which may take a while (or not, who knows...).



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