At the beginning of 2021 Donnie was still on sabbatical, I was not working (I was still taking care of Mom), and E was still the Marketing/Comms guy for our local art collective…a job he’s had for four years now.
As of Monday, the three of us all have different jobs and Nikki started working at that art collective as event staff!
Four new jobs started this year by four members of the family. Nikki got her job because E worked at the art collective so when they needed some event staff to help with tickets/parking/cleanup he reached out to her and a bunch of her 15-year old friends got the jobs. It’s really the best situation since none of them can drive yet, but between the group, someone’s parents can usually drive them to work and another parent can usually drive them home. That’s the hard part about getting a real job before you can drive…transportation. But when they’re all working the same event it’s a lot easier of a problem to solve. It’s been a really good First Job opportunity because it’s mainly weekends and it puts them in the heart of some cool local art/music events. I’m proud of the whole group.
So for a few weeks I had two kids working at one place, and then E went and got a Communications/Marketing job (I never know his actual title at any job, which is fine because I never know Donnie’s either) for a new music venue opening up here. I’m very proud of him for the hard work he’s done to be the type of person who can score a coveted job like that. His office is located in one of my favorite buildings in town which is nothing at all important to anyone but me…but I think it’s super awesome.
Donnie has the job he was waiting for. It’s a programming job (he wanted to get out of management) for a fitness/workout type company. This is a fully remote job for a company based in California, so the hours are a bit shifted to West Coast Time. Since him working from home was such a disaster at the beginning of the pandemic with the main computer being out in the living room, we embarked on a huge re-arrange in the house and moved my desk/work area out to the living room and his into the bedroom. I also moved all of my clothes into the hall closet (including my dresser) so that I could get ready for work on my strange schedule without having to worry about him in meetings. This has been much more sustainable than the first time around when he was working from home.
He also worked really hard to make his work area as inviting as he could. I love it!
It’s not perfect, the dog some days still drives him crazy, but he has settled into a sustainable groove with this situation which I was confident he would never be able to do while his desk was in the living room.
In case you’re wondering, here’s my workspace which is now in the living room.
And then there’s me! After Mom died I realized my schedule was kinda mine for the first time in three years. I didn’t have to consider her or her needs which was sad but also liberating. Since we had gotten used to not having my income for 3 years, I didn’t really have to worry about money and so I did what I’ve done several times in my adulthood…I looked to see if the library was hiring for anything you didn’t need a library degree for.
AND THEY WERE! One of our smaller branches just needed someone to help the branch manager…so just general library duties that can be done by someone with a little bit of training. And I love it! I help people print, scan, fax….I check out/check in books, I do story time and some afterschool craft activities, and I help come up with/plan other activities as well. It’s been a lot of fun and at 20 hours a week it still leaves me time to do all of the things my family has come to depend on me to be able to do for the last 3 years when I’ve been mostly just freelancing. Since the money was “extra” we earmarked half of it to some charities we had been wanting to support. (One is called Patrons and Players and it gives scholarships to help kids who need assistance paying fees for sports, it’s SUCH a great group started by some parents in our neighborhood.) And then the rest has been “fun” money we can put towards some “extras” that we don’t need, but it’s nice to be able to do. Basically it’s like a pool of miscellaneous spending money which we haven’t really had because we stick to a tight budget with one income. (We use the app YNAB – You Need A Budget – for budgeting and we highly recommend it.) It’s been really nice!
So…four new jobs in 2021 for our family. The last 18 months have been tumultuous for everyone but sometimes I like to just sit down and really catalog all of the changes my family has seen and to pat us on the backs for making it through so much change and chaos and being relatively unscathed.
Here’s to a 2022 that is boring AF. We could use some stability for a little while, I think.