Sunday, December 30, 2007

Take this job and ... LOVE IT!!

It was not without good reason I neglected my food blog during the biggest food holidays of the year: I was wrapping my full-time commitments to my employer. Now that I am happily self-employed, I resolve to update more regularly.

Here is the blog I have posted elsewhere concerning the major change I made at the end of 2007.

The African impala can jump up to 10 feet in the air, but a wall only 3 feet tall is needed to keep it confined to a wildlife preserve. An impala won't jump when it can't see where its feet will land.

I don't wanna be an impala.

Those of you who know I have struggled to make a life-changing decision this fall are no doubt curious how it turned out.

I resigned my full-time newspaper job effective Dec. 21.

My reasons are personal, financial (specifically rising gasoline prices), spiritual and professional.

I am guilty of getting into a comfortable rut, of having tunnelvision. But since this summer, I've grown up, and I've done a personal inventory. I'm turning my attention to things of eternal importance and consequence: raising my daughter, for one.

Making a living – especially the 30-mile one-way commute – was getting in the way of living my life to the fullest, doing what I really want and need to be doing with my life. Worse, my day-to-day job duties were no longer my passion. I did some writing but a lot more managing, editing, organization, customer service and page production. As far as advancement at that company, I had hit a glass ceiling. I am a literary journalist, (and maybe a closet mystery-writer.) I have ideas for books. I have a feeling there's something more out there for me. To find out, I first have to shed the shackles of full-time commitment to one employer, to the false sense of security that comes from good bennies like fully-paid health insurance.

My friend Marian wrote to me "It isn't what you do in life, it's who you are," quoting Michael Gates Gill, author of "How Starbucks Saved My Life".

I am still a writer. (I'm also looking for work, hint-hint. Though I have two projects waiting for me, including continuing to write my column for the newspaper I'm leaving.) I'm also a mother and a Christian – two jobs that had sorta taken a backseat to my "career."

It can be frightening to face giving up your livelihood and your identity. I had to step out on faith. My friend Karen describes it as walking away from the security of the trunk toward the flimsy tip of the branch to give God the chance to hold me up. Lately, every communication I've been getting from God – whether it's His tangible provisions in my life or a message from my pastor or Sunday school teacher – has reinforced this mantra: Fear not, fear not, fear not, fear not.

I am at great peace with my decision.

The day after I gave notice I felt for the first time what I've heard described as "lightness of being." (My friend Pam joked that it comes in a bottle. Maybe, but do I swallow it or color my hair with it?)

"We walk the way we're pulled," Marian heard Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat Pray Love," tell Oprah.

In October I decided to work through the end of the year because of taxes and impending bad weather. But I've since realized how appropriate it is to make this change during Advent. I can't say it any better than the devotion writer: "Advent, which means 'arrival', marks the breaking in of the holy on the everyday. It is the story of deliverance from what we have brought upon ourselves. It is hope. It is anticipation. It is light tearing through the darkness."

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