A New Start

in 238 Weeks,Life Purpose

I am a little behind on my 238 weeks postings, but I have a good reason. I quit my job. Yeah. Fiscally responsible me: I quit my job without another one lined up. It is a long story and there are many twists and turns. For now, here’s the condensed, ready for prime time version. My department underwent a restructure and it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be a good fit for me so, I gave notice.

In this new economy of ours, bookstores have an even harder time. The number of people buying books has been shrinking for years. I firmly believe that people read more than ever; they are just not buying books. They are reading blogs and RSS feeds and who knows what. So a bookstore has to adapt and change with the times and that might include making some big, sweeping changes. From my vantage point, I cannot say that I would have done anything differently — so no harm; no foul. Let’s shake hands and move on.

OK, back up — you quit without anything lined up?!?!? What about the 238 weeks program? What about your goals? Yeah, believe me, we talked about it a lot in the weeks before I made my decision. We have a small student loan balance left and then the mortgage. So, debt-wise we’re looking great. We have money in checking ear marked for things like cat care and car tuneups. And we have a proper emergency fund — it’s only about 3 months of expenses as we live now, but we still have some luxuries, so we could stretch that 3 months out. I promised Debbie that If I didn’t have a job lined up by the end of September that we’d crunch the numbers and dial down on our few remaining luxuries.

I had some nibbles from my resumes. In the last few weeks I have had several phone interviews and face-to-face interviews — the latter necessitating some new clothes. I had an interview with a great company just a few days before I left the bookstore. And wow, they offered me a job! I was officially unemployed for less than 24 hours.  I had a few moments of doubt about landing a new job quickly. And certainly some people around me (luckily none who live in the same house!) were skeptical. If I heard about the high unemployment in Portland once, I heard it a couple dozen times. My answer was always the same: Debbie & I have not participated in the recession and I don’t plan on participating in unemployment. Positive thinking has always helped me and it paid off again.

We are still on track in our 238 week program. It is week 215! And we have some Angel episodes to watch and I have some blogging to catch up on. We debated paying the debt snowball for September vs saving the money, just in case, but I really wanted to walk my talk and so we sent off the extra thousand to the student loan. We will do the same for October and, with any luck, by November, our snowball can grow with extra money from commissions and side jobs.

It is a new start, and after 11 years at the same company, it is a little scary. New people, policies, routines to learn, but I thrive on change and I’m looking forward to it! I feel blessed by the Universe; I do know how tough the job market is. So I know that getting a job so quickly — one that is comparable to my old salary — is miraculous.

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