Fun employment and (f)Unemployment

While it seems, based on recent posts (hello Thailand!), that life has been one adventure after another, the day-to-day has actually become much more grounded in the past 6-8 weeks.  A necessary but rather painful “face-the-music” experience as we settle into Colorado and search for jobs and also our souls.  I never expected that leaving California would present so many amazing opportunities and, to be honest, challenges.  Just about a year ago, the idea of Switzerland became a reality, but still very much in the idea stage.  Who knows what I expected from life post-Switzerland?  I didn’t have a concrete idea, but I can’t deny that I had certain expectations.  You know, either Michael or I would find a job in Boulder or Denver and we would settle in, life might present a few surprises, but we’d be just fine.

And we ARE just fine, but I also can’t admit that life these days is easy.  After my fall fun-employment experience in Switzerland and then travels in Thailand, I’ve found it difficult to return to a somewhat sobering question (“What the hell am I going to do with my life?”), and I’ve spent much time agonizing over and also contemplating the state of things.  While I miss a LOT about California and our life there, I also don’t regret the move – it’s just another challenge.  We appreciate where we are at this point in our life and the experiences that we’ve had, not just the far-flung adventures but also the day-to-day of living in Boulder and being able to go straight from humble abode on a great bike ride or run or even just take a walk into town to meet up with a friend or family member.

That said, job hunting is never an easy experience, and I think that we’ve both questioned ourselves and the decision to move more than once.  We aren’t young, and I’m glad that we moved when we did because, as each year passed, moving would have become more and more difficult.  However, it’s still hard to start over.  I’ve also discovered certain truths about myself:  1.  That, as much as I’d like to have a Zen attitude to life, I’m not wired that way, and I need to feel productive and set goals in order to have a positive outlook and also a solid sense of self; and 2. As I continue to work in education (maybe I’ll transition to something different, but for now, that is where I am), it really matters where I work.  I believe that most people feel that way, and I’m not necessarily a live-to-work person, but I want or need to be in a school or educational community with smart, funny and interesting people and a place that I find challenging and also energizing.

As challenging as certain aspects have been, one of the BEST decisions we made back in the fall, when we had jobs and disposable income and we purchased a ski pass for the 2016 season.  It definitely feels like a luxury at times, but we’ve also taken advantage of a more flexible (non-working) schedule and managed to ski about 6-7 days in both January and February plus a day or two in March.  So, hey, 15-16 ski days?  Not a bad season so far and it’s not over yet!  The ski pass has allowed us to explore a few different areas and to ski the way that we like to ski – just a few hours a day.  I’m somewhat cautious about getting tired on the slopes – I’d rather call it a day as soon as I feel that I’m fatigued.  At this point in my life, I really don’t need to blow out my knee again! (Knock on wood)  We’ve skied a lot at Eldora, the closest “resort” to Boulder, and it isn’t fantastic skiing, but it’s so close that we can’t complain.

We’ve also gone to Copper Mountain a few times which is a great mountain, and back in February, we spent a few days in Steamboat Springs.  We dog sat a friend of a friend’s dog, Heidi, who was a wonderful companion for a few days (such a snuggle bug!), and we enjoyed the slopes.  Steamboat is a huge mountain, and it is FUN with a lot of variety in terms of the slopes.  The conditions when we were there in February weren’t awesome, but I’m still at that point that ANY ski day is a good ski day.

Isn’t Heidi adorable?! I totally wanted to take her home!

In addition to Steamboat, we also visited friends who were in Telluride, and it made us want to return to spend more time exploring Telluride, which has a great vibe (we also visited them this summer, but on both occasions, our stay was very limited).  While we didn’t ski there, we did have some fun playing in the snow – although I think that our friends’ 2-year-old son was the real winner of the sledding hill (fortunately I didn’t crush him when we toppled over).

And, in addition to all of the fun time in the snow, we enjoyed the spring-like conditions in Boulder and spent some time on our bikes!  On most rides we had to contend with the wind (I’ve learned that spring rides = windy rides in Boulder), but it’s hard to complain when you’re getting out there and riding, especially when you’re taking in views like this:

photo (9)
There is actually quite a bit of snow on the hills now, but February was dry, dry, dry!

Finally, we’ve rounded out the month by spending more time in the kitchen and having fun there.  I was addicted to some over-priced granola for the last year or so, but we jettisoned that brand and started making our own, thanks to the Feed Zone granola recipe.  Michael, in the meantime, has become an expert sushi roller, so we’ve had fun with that too.

I know, sushi and granola don’t mix, but here they do.

So, this is life for us right now.  I’m making light, perhaps, of the anxiety, gnashing of teeth, and questioning that we’re experiencing, but we also return, time and again, to the notion that this is where we want to be long-term.  It might take time for all of the pieces to fall into place (which sounds like a passive approach, and we ARE being pro-active about figuring things out), but we are staying optimistic while also enjoying this time that we have together.  As challenging as it is for me, I’m striving to embrace transitions and change and keep an open mind!


5 thoughts on “Fun employment and (f)Unemployment

  1. Rob – Hello! You know, I went skiing on Sunday morning (one of the best ski days ever – POWDER!) and then had a nice, long, cruising sort of a run in the afternoon. It was pretty awesome! And Mike says that biking is definitely helping out his ski endurance. So, it’s all good!


  2. I can relate to this post so much! Since being let go in February I haven’t started hunting for a job. Instead I’m taking the time to think through what I really want to do next. The vision is becoming clearer…and with it there will be some scary times ahead…but I know that ultimately this will be the right path forward. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your time so much lately and that you are loving Boulder!


    1. Leana – I was so sorry when I read your post in February, but, as cliché as it may be, when one door closes, another one will open. I’m still figuring things out, and I’ve questioned so many decisions and moments (nothing like regret!), but as hard as it is, there are a lot of aspects that feel right.
      Good luck to you as you take the time to think and reflect. I look forward to hearing what unfolds for you.


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