A New Purpose: July 13, 2016

Hey there, ROWers and others!

Have you ever had a day so full of changes and deeper meanings that you can’t articulate it adequately?

Yup. That’s today. Thirteen years ago, I was desperately trying to recover from a very difficult birth so I could go to the NICU and meet my second son. He was four hours old and on a respirator when I accomplished that goal. Twelve days later, he died.

Today, my Accomplice was fired from a job he took when our twelve-year-old was a toddler. The restaurant owner wanted to hire his son and move in a new direction. For us, this is a time of uncertainty –  and hope We’re getting ready to move across the country, and maybe this is ultimately a good thing – a liberation of sorts…permission to move on with our lives.

For me, it might mean returning to the workforce I left to focus on homeschooling. It might mean leaving for Oregon sooner than we planned.

It might mean many things. What we know for sure is that change is different, and there will be growth as a result of it.

Have you ever suddenly found yourself in a similar position? What did you do? How did things turn out?

This post includes the July goals I interacted with during this session. It’s a streamlined overview of where my energy, time, and focus were, and helps me adapt, going forward in this round and beyond.


  • CampNaNoWriMo #1: Complete Draft The Far Shore (Kifo Island Chronicles #5). Current count: 20,302/~65,000 words. Scene 8/24 in progress. Behind due to life, hope to be caught up by the end of this weekend. Pacemaker goal (although I fell out of practice with updating it.)

  • CampNaNoWriMo #2: The IDIC Romance: Finish “Marriage of the Magi” (to the “Big Reveal”). Word-High July Challenge: Write 31 flash fiction stories using Filipino word prompts and my “The Definition of Emotion” theme (about 333 words each). Story 11/31 completecatching up.


  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #1): Continue readthrough aloud (record and listen). Rough revisions through Scene 6/24, and submit to crit group. Completed and submitted through 2/24; 3/24 in progress; hard copy notations complete for these 11 pages.

  • New Goal: #WordHighJuly: Revise all 31 stories prior to posting. Story 6/31 complete; setting this aside until I have the drafting caught up.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Answer blog comments and make visits, at least twice weekly. 1/2 for this week.

  • Interact on Twitter at least once a day, four times each week. If you want to chat with me there; I’m @ShanJeniah. 1 /4 so far this week.

  • ROW80: Revise, polish, and submit Round 3 Sponsor Post. Keep visits and updates current. All goals updated; visits made (plus).

  • Maintain email at below 123 messages; making good use of folders. Keeping up.


  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork (quarterlies; attendance; EOY documentation prep.) Reviewed First Quarter Attendance logs. Finished reviewing Jeremiah’s First Quarter Report; calculated attendance units. Moving along with formulating of plan to attend to it all. Currently, the school district is behind on last year’s IHIP (determination due by 5/25) and this year’s Letters of Intent (acknowledgment due 7/11). Will be a Pacemaker project.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, four days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life; remind/support the kids in the pitching-in they’ve agreed to do on my Accomplice’s days off. 2/4; hometending.


  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Took kids for ice cream, and daughter to write-in. Doctor and vet visits. Planning annual unschooling camp gathering in Plymouth, MA.

  • NNWM local group: Participate in CampNaNo write-ins Tuesdays and Sundays. Two for two.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Canoodling; chatting; walking; music.
  • Stained by Ashes: Critique two chapters each week; through Chapter Sixteen. Pacemaker plan created. Chapter Eleven progressing; page 89/253 complete.


  • Write in Abundance and #onegoodcup journals/and meditate five times each week. 3/5 for journals.

  • Moderate activity: At least 45 minutes, 5 times a week. Use my timer. 2/5; hometending; walking; vet visit.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Finish the Kindness Challenge; check out Facebook page. The post has gelled in my mind; I expect to write it later today.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ goals updates here!


  1. Hugs on your husband’s job situation. When my husband lost his job back in 2011, it was really tough, as I did not work full time and my job is insanely stressful. But he had a new job within 6 months that was tons better and in a better environment (the previous one was toxic) and he’s been happier and in a better mood overall since, so win. 🙂 Sometimes these things are a blessing.

    Best of luck to you. 🙂

    • I do think it will end up being a blessing, for many reasons. We also live very modestly – our house and two 18 year old Subaru wagons are ours outright, our taxes are current, and our expenses are minimal – we don’t carry much debt.

      So this will be an opportunity to make some changes in our lives.

      I’m glad things worked out well for you and your husband. =)

  2. Shan Jeniah, I wish I could send you a hug. It sounds like you could use one. We can only hope that the loss of your husband’s job will lead to better things–to a fresh start in Oregon, or another chapter where you already are. I hope everything works out for your family. Take care!

    • Honestly, the stress was gradually rising at that job. The owner, who isn’t a chef, wanted changes to a degree my Accomplice, looking at it from decades of experience, felt might be devastating to the business as a whole.

      It came to a crux, and there’s something wonderful in no longer having to deal with that stress.

      His family is all in Oregon, and his parents are aging. He’d love to be there to share more in the final years of their lives. As I’m estranged from most of my local family here, we’re all eager to relocate.

      He’s been to the local Chamber of Commerce today, moving forward with information gathering for his next venture.

      I have faith that we’ll work this out. We’re a creative and determined bunch! =)

    • It took me a long time (I wasn’t raised in a calm environment), but I’ve figured out that getting worked up wastes energy and focus that can’t then be used to address the challenge at hand.

      So now I take deep breaths, look for the positives, and start considering possibilities. For instance, I’ve been out of the work force since the kids were 5 and 2, but I have a good deal of experience in the service industry, and years of momming. I’ve wanted to be a barista for some time, and, now that the kids are older, it might be a perfect time for me to pick up a few hours a week to supplement.

      And, for my Accomplice, there’s the possibility of going into a management position, perhaps at a chain restaurant, where he can use his experience with less overall stress and hands-on work in hot kitchens. At his previous place, he was essentially working as both the executive chef and a line cook, for one modest salary.

      Uncertainty gives us a chance to grow and adapt. While there’s some concern, we live simply, our home and vehicles are fully paid for (although older, so there are sometimes repairs needed), and we don’t carry much in the way of debt.

      We’ll need to be more careful, but we should be all right while we investigate and pursue next steps.

      Of course, good energy is always appreciated! =)

  3. I’m sorry about your Accomplice’s job. It’s hard to look at that kind of change as positive. But to one standing outside, looking from a distance, moving and starting a business sound exciting. I hope it will be so for you. Best wishes.

    • Honestly, we’re not finding it hard to see it as positive. It was a good job, and essential while our family was young, because it was close to home, family friendly, not high stress overall, and allowed him to do what he was passionate about – cooking from scratch.

      But there were stresses, and he was looking forward to and taking steps toward his own venture. Now, he can devote considerably more of his energy toward that, and we can prepare for that upcoming cross-country move, and have more family time.

      I might also rejoin the workforce, something I’ve been on the fence about doing as the kids get older and need less from me emotionally.

      We’re actually seeing it as an opening-up of possibilities that will lead in good directions.

      Thank you for your hopes and wishes. =)

  4. Sorry to hear about the job situation. Hopefully it is a blessing in disguise, though. Looks like you’re still getting stuff done.

    • It’s a good time to focus on personal goals – and some of the things that we need to do, too. Jeremiah’s standardized test arrived today, for instance, so we can get that underway in the next day or so.

      There’ll be more family time, and new adventures, and those are both good things. =)

  5. There’s no easy way to respond to what you’ve written here. Thank you for sharing these powerful memories of loss and sadness. Now, you face new upheavals. I’m sending thoughts of love and positive energy to support those coming changes. You have the strength and courage to face each day. Be aware of your many gifts of creativity and commitment from and for those you love. I will hope for better news next week.

    • It’s an upheaval – but there’s been an increasing stress there for several months. The owner, who isn’t a chef, had some ideas that weren’t reasonable for the location and circumstances. Meanwhile, my Accomplice has been preparing to launch an entrepreneurial venture. We’ve also been planning to move to Oregon . We’re looking at this as a potentially wonderful gift. Chefs don’t get weekends off, and there are some things that only happen then, so he’s going to take the opportunity to do a couple of them. There are also seemingly innumerable things, from tiny to enormous, that will need to be done before we are ready to move – this is a good time to tend to some of them, and nurture our family connection, as well.

      Your words are also a gift, Beth. =)

    • Well, we’re deciding to make the most of it. While we’re in this situation, we’ll have more time together to just be, to tend to some household things, to get the chance to do some things that weren’t possible with his former work schedule…and we’ll take a few days to absorb and figure out what the next steps will be.

        • So far, so good. We’re both in the early stages of considering new work, and my Accomplice has been moving through coursework and exams he needs to launch his home-based business. We’ll figure it all out in the next few months, and I have to think we’ll be stronger and in a better place at the other side.

          Of course, well-wishes are always gratefully accepted, even if belatedly acknowledged! =D

  6. *blink* *blink* Ack! How…

    Never mind… It DOES sound it like a may be a liberation of sorts. You had planned to be moving before next year anyway… perhaps this and all the troubles you’ve been having in that “other” sphere have been clues tossed out by the Universe to say “it’s time to make some decisions”…. even though you already have.

    If there is anything I can do to help… please let me know. Phone, IM… well, you know.

  7. I’m really sorry to hear about your husband losing his job! That’s never an easy thing. Five years ago, I was laid off from the newspaper job I’d held for almost five full years. To add insult to injury, our business manager (not his sister, who was my boss and our editor) told me they really liked me and the work I’d done for them, and that I could come back and work for free if I wanted. No thank you!

    Re: unexpected, dramatic life changes, my roommate is leaving three months before our lease is set to end, and I’m the one stuck holding the bag. If I can’t find another roommate to fill those last three months, I have to cover the entire cost of the two-bedroom apartment. At least a friend of mine with lots of connections in the community said there are several day schools looking for workers, and offered to shop my résumé around. If I still don’t find decent work, I may have to move to South Carolina to live by my parents, at least until I find work, save up some money, and figure out where to go next. No matter where I move, though, I’m not abandoning my 16-year-old spider plant Kalanit. She’s moved with me so many times already, and is like my baby.

    • Your roommate is leaving and isn’t offering to at least pay a portion of the remaining lease? *shakes head* Sorry to hear that, Anna. Are you thinking of trying to stay at your place after these three months if you get a roommate (because I imagine it’ll be hard to catch a new roommate’s interest with such a very short lease time).

      Either way… you must bring Kalanit. 16 years is a long life for a spider plant.

      • She’s already signed a lease for another apartment in a different state, and is super-anxious to be legally released from this lease so she won’t be held accountable. It’s still possible my little brother might decide to join me, and there’s also the possibility of my moving to his rented house after his roommates leave in September (though his house is well out of walking distance of any of the synagogues). A friend of mine in the community, with a lot of connections and a high-ranking position at Federation, just told me about some teaching and kitchen positions at three of the local day schools, and will be shopping my résumé around to them.

        If I could, I’d like to stay in the area for a little while longer, just because it’s familiar, though I imagine I’ll someday move back to Pittsburgh.

        • I hope you find something that works well for you. Maybe, if you are able to stay with your brother, you could use a bike?

          I can imagine you back in Pittsburgh. You seem very fond of the place.

    • So sorry it took me so long to get back to you, Anna. Life….

      I hope you either find a new roommate, or work that pays well enough to make up the difference in the lease. I know you and Kalanit will be fine, but I will miss you if you have to move.

      Things are still a little uncertain, but we have a basic plan, and are moving forward with it. Maybe it’ll be harder for a while, but we’ll make it through. We’ve been in harder places; this will pass.

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