When Doors Close…

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What should we do when doors close?

A big door closed for us this week, and we are processing that. Jeff finally got word yesterday that he did not get the special educator position at Lakenheath that we had all been hoping for.

With that job, there was the potential for so much… For starters, the pay and benefits would have been much, much better than what we have now. Amelia would have been able to attend school on base. That would have allowed us to move to Cambridge, if we chose, or easily stay in this house that we love. We would have been in the DoDEA system, with potential for future positions all over the world. Importantly, we would have been flown home for a visit to the States in a couple of weeks, with the promise of another paid-for trip home in two years. (It has been three years since we have been.)  Jeff would have enjoyed the typical teacher’s calendar, making it much easier for us to take trips through the year and have time off as a family. All of this was so perfect for so many reasons.

All of these things could have, would have been, so perfect. And that door has closed.

I have been processing this for a couple of days now. I won’t lie. It’s hard. It’s disappointing. My chest is kind of aching as I write this.

When Doors Close...What do you do when doors close?

Well, I think it’s important to sit back for a moment and take another look at the room that you’re in, the one you were trying to get out of. We have a good life. Now. Just as it is. We have so much to be thankful for, and Jeff still has a job that allows us to keep being here, doing our thing. Although Amelia can no longer attend the private school we have enjoyed, she has a spot at a good public school in town. (And I’ll admit that I’m happy to not have to maintain that private English school wardrobe anymore!)  And I still get to work from home, which I absolutely love.

Rearrange the furniture. We are now looking for small or big changes we can make that will free us to enjoy our current situation even more. We are looking for a new home, so we can worry less about money. So we need that bigger paycheck we were hoping for less. Now that I know we’re staying put, I can also invest more in growing my bodywork practice, which holds a lot of potential.

Look for windows.  Jeff and I dream of being independent of employers someday, to be able to live and work where we want. We have some wild and wonderful ideas about making this happen, and now that he knows he’ll be at this same job for a while longer, we both have the bandwidth to work on some alternative projects, to try some new ideas and see where it takes us. This is frightening and thrilling and motivating.

Put in a skylight. (Is this metaphor getting too corny yet? Oh, well!)  I just happen to be re-reading a fantastic book right now– The Art of Possibility. It has been so helpful to me in the past, and is providing the inspiration and outside-the-box thinking I need right now. Jeff has also picked it up– we need more possibility in our lives right now, and it has been exactly right for both of us.

I know it may sound weird, but I’m also re-reading my own book. Pruned: Blossoming Through Life’s Difficult Seasons was written about exactly this sort of situation (and much worse.)  And no matter what I may “know,” I need to be reminded right now that there is lots of hope and potential in what seems right now to be a claustrophobic situation. I believe that this disappointment will be a catalyst for something very good in our lives, and it’s time to get down to work, dealing with what we have in front of us, and finding the ways in which it will work for us.

Lastly, have a party. Because life is good and it is hard and it is short.  We may be feeling disappointed right now, but much more than that, we feel thankful for our lives, the relative stability we enjoy, for our family, and all of the provision we see around us. Tomorrow is my birthday, and we’re headed to London for the first time in a long time. I want to enjoy some great coffee, a vibrant meal, and a visit to Anthropologie to spend a little birthday money from family. I’m so excited!

So, this is our update! We are busy exploring our options, looking at smaller homes, and enjoying the sunshine that comes our way.  Thank you for following along with us, and rooting for us– your support means so much to me and my family!


[Update: One more point. Expect the best. Here’s what happened shortly after I wrote this post.]

What to Do When Doors Close  And Here We Are...

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18 Responses to When Doors Close…

  1. Kiernan June 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Your attitude to this disappointment is beautiful. Thanks for the encouragement put in a skylight in my life today. 🙂

  2. Raechelle June 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Aw! I am so sorry to hear about this disappointment. But, with your normal grace – what a breathtaking view you have in front of you. When I became a teacher, I worked in my home town. It couldn’t have been more perfect! The day I got my pink slip… wow. I would have worked their my whole life. I couldn’t have loved that school or town more! The airplanes from the little airfield near by were flying over. It was a sunny warm spring day. My students were playing baseball behind my classroom with their parents there to cheer them on. One of my students was just blossoming. He’d really had a rough year, but with some changes the family made, he seemed to totally transform. All of it was just perfect. And I sat there holding my pink slip and just looking to the sky and saying “Really God?? What?? I don’t get it?” I also elected to trust him, and move forward. (I wasn’t the only one – there was a major budget issue, so EVERY new teacher lost his/her job. It was tough.) However… as a result of that, I took a job doing something I’d dreamed about, but never imagined I’d have the nerve to do. (working with tough teens out in the wilderness. – three weeks at a time. These were kids who were really at the end of the line, with drugs, alcohol, truancy etc. Their parents loved them but were lost as to how to help. It wasn’t a horrid bootcamp like you hear about some of those places. It was awesome.) However – as a result of that, I wound up taking a vacation during one of the breaks between trips with some old college friends I wouldn’t have done that had I been in my normal teaching job. I had started a “romance” with one of my old friends. …and nine months later… my daughter was born. She has literally changed my life. As a result of a lost job. I am sending you a big hug. I am hoping good, great things come your way.

  3. Raechelle June 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    (And I am also hoping that you can forgive my typos above. Uff da! I’m sorry!)

  4. Connie Saunders June 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. I must apologize to you. I have previously asked you how to get in with DODEA. Somehow I was confused and thought your husband was already employed with Department of Defense. Please forgive me. Please know, that your words about getting through struggle and disappointment help so many going through similar circumstances. Sending good thoughts your way!

  5. Connie Saunders June 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Please forgive me for my previous questions about getting in with DODEA. Somehow I misunderstood and believed your husband was already employed with DOD. I really enjoy your honesty. Please know that your writings help so many others get through their own personal challenges and disappointments. Sending good thoughts your way!

  6. Connie Saunders June 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    And now somehow my comments were posted several times! Ugh, sorry!!

  7. sherry June 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Disappointing??? Oh my, yes! But your natural grace and resiliency and positivity will make it another great adventure for you and your family. And how fun…you still get to look for a new home.

  8. Maryana June 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Thank you for being so honest, open and encouraging. I am sure that your attitude will draw you closer to the open doors where you don’t expect them. I feel your disappointment. My family has been going through similar thing. We were looking to move down south from Ohio with long-term dream of moving to Europe. That hasn’t happened this year. But we just found a perfect little cottage (very Brit-style) just across the street from my husband’s work in the countryside and will save him 2 hrs of driving and give our 10mo old daughter so much more time to enjoy daddy, and 64 acres of woods!

  9. Joanna June 30, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Sorry to hear of your closing door. I do hope and pray that it leads to different open doors for you all.

  10. makecomplete June 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Wishing you all the best! I hope everything turns out better than you ever expected.

  11. Laurel June 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    So sorry to hear of this setback, but when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window! There are good things to come. Send good thoughts and your wishes out into the Universe and see what comes back.

  12. RadkaH. July 1, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    Ariana, there is a reason behind everything what happens in our lives, and with the little faith everything wil turn out right at the end. Happy Birthday!

  13. Anna July 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Ah, setbacks are such a challenge. I am sorry to hear of your disappointing news, but respect and appreciate the perspective you are choosing. So much of live we have no choice in … and yet we always have a choice in how we proceed. Your reminders are good and timely, for me! Blessings.

  14. ariana August 7, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Thank you so much, everyone! All of your supportive comments have been so encouraging to me. I really appreciate you!


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