I hate winter.
I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate the gray of the sky and the landscape. I hate shoveling snow. I hate driving in snow. I hate that it sometimes results in no school days. I hate the boots and mittens and hats and snow pants that must be purchased, stored and transported.
I hate winter.
Oh, and I live in New England, where we have all this and more every year from November/December through March or even April. Right now it is very much winter where I am. I actually can’t remember having this much snow continuously on the ground in many years.
Honestly, there is not one thing I like about winter. Well, OK, the first snow of a season is a little cool, but after that, I’m ready for spring. And it’s not something I “need”.
About a year ago I was offered the opportunity for a relocation to the Raleigh, NC through work. I thought long and hard about it, I really did. And in the end, for many reasons which I won’t detail here (at least not now), I decided to stay put. This winter, I have been rethinking that.
However, layoffs were announced at work on the first of the month. While I am still employed, for now, I have to consider the possibility I may be affected in the future. Rumor has it there may be another wave of layoffs in April.
I realize I am extremely fortunate. I have, on paper, a decent paying job. I have savings to get us through a period of unemployment. However, the best thing about my job is the flexibility it affords me. As a single parent, I feel this is worth as much as the salary I earn. I can work from home if a child is sick (or a snow day), or even if I just need a day to catch up on laundry or do other chores that are difficult to accomplish when the kids are underfoot. I don’t punch a clock, and as long as I get my work done, no one really cares what time I get to work or what time I leave. This is a function of my position, but also in the sweat equity I’ve earned through performance and relationships in the years I’ve been there. I recognize this type of flexibility takes time to earn, and a new employer would probably not be as amenable to the autonomy I’ve grown accustomed to.
I’ve typed a lot of words and I still haven’t said what I intended to when I set out to write this!
When I got divorced I moved away from where I had moved with my ex back “home” here to New England. This resulted in also moving away from a friend who has become like a sister to me. We talk on the phone nearly everyday and our families vacation together. With the recent death of her mother, she has begun rethinking where she lives (while not officially New England, it’s still the northeast, and still very winter). And to make a long story sort, we’re cooking up what we’re calling our Five Year Plan. Except I’m hoping it’s more like a Two Year Plan. We want to move to Florida.
I am really excited about this. We have each fallen in love with a few houses online. Having no winter is a huge selling point for us.
However, I need a job. If I get laid off, that may be my impetus to turn it into a Right Now Plan. But either way, it will likely mean leaving my current employer for something else. I’d love for that something else to be something for me. In two years, when B is in school full-time, my astronomical child care costs will be dramatically reduced, so my income needs will be less. I’m a hard worker, but not very entrepreneurial. Someone else will start a business doing X, and I’ll smack my forehead “Why didn’t I think of that?” So my quest right now is to a) find a job in Florida in my current industry (ho hum), or b) figure something out I can do on my own to make a living (with all my free time). Wish it were as easy as that!