Sunday, July 13, 2008

Changes and Challenges

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”— Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

Doughboy and I began our married life together living in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin. Six months later, we were faced with a life change – accept a promotional opportunity with his employer that would take us to Chicago, or stay in Wisconsin and risk losing any future promotional opportunities. We jumped feet first into an uncertain future and ended up living happily in a western suburb of Chicago for 11 years. Sure, we had some bumps along the way. But we faced them together and grew stronger in our relationship as a result.

Over the years our comfortable life became stagnant and we tired of the mid-western winters. We discussed our options, but like most discussions, we didn’t actually put plans in motion to change. On a cold January Sunday, Jamie was searching through the classified section of the Chicago Tribune looking to make a change of her own. She spotted a career opportunity with an Atlanta based company that would cover all relocation costs and provide temporary housing. It sounded like the perfect opportunity for me and Georgia was one of our target destinations! Do I send a resume? Would they contact me? Was I prepared to uproot my family if I received an offer? I eventually sent my resume and was surprised to be interviewed by the CEO himself. Mr Big traveled to Chicago in mid February to interview seven candidates. I was his first interview. He didn’t give me any clues and I walked away from the interview thinking it didn’t go very well. Oh well…nothing ventured, nothing gained. Of the several hundred applicants, I was pleased to have been one of seven interviewees. I heard nothing again until late April. I was invited to travel to Atlanta to meet Mr. Big’s executive team and tour the facility. Again, I heard nothing after my visit until June. I was invited to travel to Minneapolis-St. Paul to interview with the newly hired VP, Human Resources. Over four months after my initial interview, I accepted a job offer – taking me 900 miles ALONE and away from everything comfortable to me – and began the next chapter in my life. That was nine years ago. Mr. Big didn’t last, but I did. After 32 years with the same employer, Doughboy joined me in Atlanta and started a new chapter in his career. He has been successfully and happily employed by a Pittsburgh based company for 8-1/2 years where he will undoubtedly stay until his retirement. Choosing to move closer to her Wisconsin family rather than move with us to Georgia, Jamie met and married the love of her life, Jason, and made a life-altering change when they moved to Atlanta 3-1/2 years ago. Learn more about Jamie and her family by visiting her blog "Our Crazy Life". A year ago brought tremendous change and upheaval for our daughter Kelly and her family. Visit Kelly’s blog "Half Dozen" to learn about their life-changing experience moving from Michigan to the west coast.

The point I attempt to make is that change is inevitable. You can either face the challenge head on, or sit back and allow life to pass you by. Either way, the experience has changed you. For every positive change, there are consequences and trade-offs. After 13 years of marriage, I made the gut-wrenching decision to make a new life for Jamie and me. Without that change, I wouldn’t have met and married Doughboy – my soul mate and love of my life for almost 2o years. But one decision, made wrong, would have left me without him. We quite literally met by chance. Someday I will write about it.

As we approach our ninth year living in Georgia, I can’t imagine ever living anywhere else. All the anxiety and uncertainty of moving here had vanished long ago. I hope that whatever challenges and changes are ahead of us, they are mild in comparison. Whatever the challenge, it won't be without the love and support of our family and friends. Because of their strength, we can handle anything. Isn’t life exciting?

I dedicate this post to Country Girl Kate who is facing a significant life change of her own. Best wishes and luck to you and your hubby, Kate!


Chere said...

Debra, Change is hard, especially as we get older. I know it must be hard for you and Doughboy to be away from each other so much. It will also be hard when he retires and is at home full time. That will be another change. But as you said through love, family and friends change will work it's way out.

For selfish reasons, I am so glad that you left home and family and moved to Georgia. At a scrapbook class, I have had the chance to meet someone that I can call a friend. They say that if you have one or two true friends in your life you are lucky. I have the good luck to have 4 wonderful friends. Doughboy, thanks for encouraging Debra to take the job in Georgia. That had to be such a big family decision. Have a great Sunday with Doughboy and PC and kids.

Deb said...

Isn't funny how we have similar stories where we choose to leave the harsh mid-western winters for a less sever climate? Never for a moment have I regretted moving to Georgia. We are Southerns by choice!

Roxanne Schwandt said...

So true! Changes aren't always easy, aren't always fun, and the uncertainty can drive you to wits end. But without change, we don't learn to grow and develop into the people we are today and the people we are destin to become. I loved your blog posting today. It's one that we all can relate. *HUGS*

Jamie Payne said...

It's funny because you and I talk about this exact subject often. There are so many events that have taken place in my life...some that I'm proud of and some that I'm not so proud of. But no matter what, they've all made me who I am today. I wouldn't have Jason, my boys or baby bean in my life if I hadn't created my own path. Change certainly can be scary, but I believe everything happens for reason.

Love you mommy! I can't wait until you share your story on how you and Doughboy met!!! It's one of my absolute favorites and I never tire of hearing it.

Country Girl said...

Hi! I'm back on the internet as of this afternoon. Just got wired up and am checking my mail. I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH MAIL! Also can't believe how much support and love. No, wait. I CAN believe it!

I came here to see the post you mentioned and found it really interesting. Now I also can't wait until you tell the story of how you met. Good story here.

Oh, and thanks for the dedication. I plan on working on something to say after dinner tonight. I am just so tired, but YES, life IS exciting, isn't it?