My Action Plan Revised

I’ve been struggling with my work situation for almost a year now.

My last work update that we needed the money for our stupid expensive international adoption so I was going to start looking for full time work immediately. But that hasn’t really happened. Instead we realized that rushing to look for employment of any sort was a response based in fear and short-term thinking. So instead, I dug further into why I’ve been so bent out of shape over my work situation. I realized that a lot of my anxiety around work was the fact that I’m almost at a 1 year mark of unemployment by choice.

The fact that I’m coming up on an entire full year since I quit my decently well-paying professional employment has been playing tricks on my brain. I’ve built the first 30 years of my life around my academic and professional achievements. Academically and then professionally I have always succeeded. No, rather, I have soared.

If I did it, I did it exceptionally. If I wanted it, I worked for it and I got it. I didn’t understand failure. I never understood that I might not be able to achieve success, no matter how hard I worked for it.

Then, during our 4th miscarriage I walked away from my job. First, I went on medical leave and then I ultimately resigned. My counsellor said I quit it to focus on my recovery. I said I quit it to focus on trying to another pregnancy stress free, or at least as stress free as I could ever be.

Today, almost a year later, we lost another pregnancy, we put our efforts into finding answers, and then we threw ourselves into adoption.

And today, I am working on a few contact projects and networking like it’s going out of style hoping to secure a few other small projects. The money is not great, actually it’s downright pathetic compared to what I’m used to. But it is keeping me engaged in industry, and I’m actually interested in it and enjoying the freedom that comes along with being an independent consultant working from home.

I’ve finally realized that I’m okay with not being the perfect professional. I am NOT going to look for full time permanent work. I am going to embrace the freedom that comes from self-employment, and not be afraid of the insecurities associated with not knowing where my next paycheck is coming from. I am going to focus on writing, volunteering and doing what I get enjoyment from.

So, I will work to disassociate my view that my personal wealth is tied to my professional abilities. And while we need more money for our adoption, the other facts of our lives are rather simple:

I did not enjoy my former employer.

I do not want to work full time at this point in my life.

Mr. MPB wants to be a dad.

I want to be a mom.

So, based on these four facts Mr. MPB and I, two insanely pragmatic people, have decided to set the need for money aside and remove it from the picture for now. Recurrent pregnancy loss has taught us that there is no good time to have children – we will never have enough money or secure enough jobs – so we cannot focus on making everything perfect. We can make the finances work, so instead we are going to focus on wanting to be parents and wanting to be great parents.

We are going to focus on letting Mr. MPB continue to nest.

We are going to focus on finishing the nursery.

We are going to focus on getting through the rest of the adoption process.

We are going to focus on being healthy.

We are going to focus on being happy today, and to be happy today means we cannot compromise on who we are and what our priorities are.

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36 Comments on “My Action Plan Revised

  1. I really love this. I am glad you are sticking to your gut. My hubby and I are also very pragmatic so many decisions are made logically without enough of our heart. I know it has been hard but you are doing a superb job of getting yourselves into a more beautiful moment in life! I also can’t believe l, once again, all of our parallels. Xo

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  2. This makes me happy. I like that you’re going to focus on being an independent consultant. I think in the long run, when you have your kids, it’ll be the best thing for all of you. Money isn’t everything, happiness is. So you may not be able to go on trips…in the long run it will be worth it for both your sanity and your family. I hope you find yourself some new consulting projects (if you want them) to make you guys a little more comfortable financially…but I like this plan. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for your happiness and encouragement. A larger part of why I am going to stick with doing the independent consulting thing is exactly what you said – it will be better for us in the long run when we have kids. It really just makes the most sense for our family, and now’s the best time to do it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am very much like you w.r.t the professional and academic success and need to be exceptional in it(Are you sure you are not a mirror?).

    Anyway, I like your plan. Its practical, and you have most of your bases covered. I understand that right now you feel you are not contributing much towards the expenses considering the money you made previously was far more substantial, but once you build your business, you can make a lot of money (not to mention save a lot on taxes).
    Also, when the baby is here, you can choose the hours you work and scale down/up as you wish. Hard to do that when you are fully employed in the corporate world.

    Sometimes, we fail to see that zero stress is also a form of compensation. My husband pointed that out to me when I was job hunting.

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    • I so appreciate that you understanding! Your perspective about the flexibility once we have a child(ren) is exactly why this is the right decision. Hopefully I’ll get enough work now while i can do it easily to keep me occupied, but the long term flexibility is really the important part.
      Also, it sounds like your husband is pretty smart. That zero stress part is pretty important, and something I have always overlooked.

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  4. I would give my left boob to be able to do exactly what my heart calls me to do (which for me is working in palliative care/hospice as a reiki practitioner…I’ve done it before but it’s not enough to pay the bills as a solo parent). So, I’m extraordinarily happy that you are able to do this, be your own boss, and do life the way you want to do it!

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    • I love that you’d sacrifice your left boob, but not your right. I’m not sure I’d sacrifice a book, maybe a toe. Hahaha!
      Anyways, I do hope I can find enough work to keep myself occupied until our adoption actually happens. It will be interesting to see what happens. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very inspiring post. I am glad that you are keeping busy and moving forward. Regardless of what happens, keep moving forward.

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  6. this is great- it is huge to realize that sometimes things can’t be “perfect” (whatever that means:) and that for now you can focus on what is best for you, mr. mpb and your soon to be family.

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    • Thanks for your encouragement! I’ve definitely been a slow learner on accepting that some things can’t be “perfect” but I’m starting to come to peaceful place with my career trajectory and our family trajectory not looking “picture perfect” anymore.

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  7. It is so easy to make a rash decision in the heat of the moment, and I am proud of you for stepping back and looking at the big picture. I have really come to realize that things are never going to be JUST PERFECT, but your decision to manage your lives like this, focusing on what you want is very smart.

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    • You’d think after all we’ve been through I’d start to realize that things will never be JUST PERFECT, but honestly, I still just want everything to be perfect! 🙂
      I’m learning, slowly, but I am learning.

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  8. Good for you! Despite the money differences, working PT at home has been good for me. I hope you will find the same. ❤

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  9. It must be so freeing to weigh all your options, look at your priorities, and then put that revised action plan into action, for lack of a better word. It sounds like what’s best for your personal happiness and fulfillment, and if you can swing it, all the power to you! I think you work for too many hours a day to not at least really like what you do. Being lucky enough to have a job that I love going to every day (if one where I’m exhausted leaving every day, too) and seeing my husband go from a job where he was fairly miserable to one where he has flexibility and fulfillment, I see how very important that is. Congratulations on your revised plan, and best to you in the future!

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    • Thanks for this Jess. I think you are right, we spend too much of our lives at work to be miserable. I think it’s so critical to enjoy what you are doing, and I hope I’m on my way to that now. 🙂

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  10. I love this. I just put in my resignation after 3 IVFs all ending in miscarriages. I hate that we can relate, but at the same time it comforts me to know I am not alone in this work world. Thank u for sharing!

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  11. Yep, yep, yep… It’s just money. And security. And leisure. And STRESS! We made the decision to give up my income (which was a huge hit, I had a great paying job) for me to start with the kids. We realized that all the money in the world doesn’t make mundane household to-dos any easier, and it doesn’t mean a better upbringing for your kids. If you can get rid of that stress, I believe you should. It’s just money.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing – I so appreciate knowing just how much you understand this. I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom, so it’s really a foreign concept to be a stay at home future mom. But you know what, it’s best for us and it just makes sense to put in the hard work to start my own consulting business now before we have kids.

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