So I’ve been hit with some new potential career opportunities lately. One is the job at Newsweek, which I have an interview for. The other is a job I was contracted by a recruiter for today.
It’s a job writing for a commercial real estate company in Dallas, about a mile from J’s office. They do not offer any remote work options (unlike the job at Newsweek, which is fully remote.) The real selling point is the salary: it pays half again more than what J makes, plus bonuses.
I mean, for that kind of money, it’s just almost unfathomable. Between us we would be making well over $200K a year. I’ve just never even thought that was possible. Us!! Talk about a success story compared to how we were living in Michigan,
Mind you, this is only being contacted by a recruiter, but I revamped my resume to highlight my CRE experience and sent it to him anyway. But it got me to start thinking about trying to ramp up my career again and I think I’m going to go for it.
Whether it’s much better paying freelance opportunities or full-time work-at-home jobs, I’ve been selling myself very short. I know my experience is valuable and I should be paid much more than I am.
I really shouldn’t even be considering these piddly little customer service jobs that don’t require a college degree. I also really could be making a lot more money than I am—especially now that two of the kids are out of the house and my third one has a good plan to get there.
I’ve let my career take a backseat to the kids’ needs for 20 years and surprise—I still have skills that are in demand.
Can I really do 6 am wake ups and long commutes again? Honestly, I kind of doubt that, even still. I couldn’t do it 4 years ago and I don’t think I’ve improved that much.
But, if I’m really honest with myself, I think I could be doing more than what I am now. I think I’m capable of doing a lot more.
That obviously affects my future earnings, too. When I was looking at remote customer service jobs, they generally paid about equal to what I’d make on disability plus survivor benefits when my husband dies. But I do still have the ability, I think, to earn more than that (even staying at home.)
J and I had a lot of long talks on our way to and from going to visit our son last weekend. One of the things I did was let myself really cry my eyes out about my fear that he’s going to die soon.
He told me that his illness and pain now is mostly unrelated to the cancer. And his vomiting from chemo is an unfortunate sign that it’s working. He doesn’t feel like his death is as imminent as I’ve feared.
He told me to give him 12 years…not that he necessarily thinks he has that long, but that I’ve got to get out of survivor mode and start thinking that I will have the time to get more plans in place, including my finances. I still have the potential that I won’t be doomed to being an impoverished widow.
We also discussed that realistically, I probably won’t ever move out of this area after he’s gone. I know people here and my kids are here. If my car were to break down or I needed someone to take me to the hospital for a colonoscopy (for example), I have people here who could help me with that.
If I were to move anywhere else, the only other place where I would have a similar social network is Michigan, and just…no. I really can’t and vehemently don’t want to do that. I think I would die really soon after that if I did and he absolutely agrees.
The one thing I have to do, and will do this year, is to get a generator. I clearly can’t trust the power grid here and still have some real lingering PTSD from the storms last year while my husband was recovering from surgery. A generator will probably make me feel much more secure. And in a way, that makes me feel like a real grownup…finally.
I’m tentatively moving forward. He said that I have to have things I’m looking forward to, even without him, that aren’t all related to the kids. And I know he’s right.
I didn’t really know until I sobbed my eyes out with him just how depressed I felt and how imminent I felt his death was. But living that way really isn’t helping me; it’s keeping me impossibly stuck.
So here I go with Plan C or D or whatever plan I’m on to reinvent my life once again. There’s always time to keep trying, to keep getting up again after I’ve been knocked down. This may be the hardest challenge yet but I think I’m up for it.