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.
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.]