I've got a new job. I start Monday.
Lots of reasons--other than just paychecks.
It's been just shy of 10 years since I got away from working a 40 hour week in an office. At first it was telecommuting. Full time, but at home. And a home up in a little mountain town.
Then came the great outsourcing plague of the early aughts. In 2003 I was set free from full time work, and freed from the tyranny of regular paychecks.
I started to work for Absolute Bikes, the best job you'll ever love. And I house-sat. And started a web programming business that brought in a tiny trickle of income once in a while. I tried returning to the food service industry for the first time since the late 80's (huge failure).
Now I'm going back to white collar IT. Salary. Five 8 hour days per week of clean office work (no bike shop dust or the smell of rubber--god I'll miss that!).
But it's up here, in the upper Arkansas Valley! Where going to work usually means making espresso!
I've gotten used to being able to pick a weekday to take an all day ride in the mountains. Or leave town for a week or three to travel the southwest.
And I've gotten used to living in a state of frugality even as I nibbled away at my savings.
But the lack of structure, order, regularity--this has been one of the greatest downsides of my life after the layoff, as ironic as that seems even to me. I'm going back to a job that uses my education and training. I'm going to be an IT problem-solver again. Not just now and then when a project comes my way, but as a staff programmer. And that feels good.
I can still go to the shop and smell the rubber, talk bikes, hang with my peeps (as Kathy would say). And I'll wake up here in Salida every morning. I can take big rides, but now it will call for a bit of planning.
It's a big change for me, and that makes me nervous. But it's a damned good thing.