Thursday, May 08, 2014

Following My Arrow

I thought I might get my much delayed Ask Cloud post up tonight, but it is going to take more time to finish than I can devote to writing tonight. I figure that it is better to wait until I have enough time to do a decent job than to rush it just because I feel bad that it has taken me so long to post it. Still, I feel like this blog is getting neglected lately, so here is a somewhat random post instead.

What have I been doing instead of blogging?

Well, I figured out how I want to structure my business and what to call it (actually, I came up with two names- one for the consulting part and one for the more exploratory part), and I filed the initial paperwork. I have an appointment with a lawyer next Tuesday to confirm, but I think I am now OK to start signing documents as the president of my new company. This is an important thing, because it means that I can sign the agreements necessary to begin contracting work in a few weeks, as planned.

I've written a list of all the various things I need to do in getting this business set up. A lot of these items have to wait until I get the tax ID for the new company. I expect to get that within about a month. (And I had to pay an extra fee to expedite processing just to get it that fast! Hooray, budget cuts.)

I've been pondering what, exactly, happened in the last few years, and especially in the last year or so, to make me change career course. I think there are some positive reasons and some negative reasons, and in some ways it doesn't matter... but I'd like to know what I think happened, so that I can learn from the mistakes I made and also learn more about what matters to me.

I've been pondering what made me snap and just quit, and that matters very much to me, because I want to learn how to handle difficult situations with more equanimity and how to do a better job of defusing stress and avoiding situations that make me miserable.

I've also been preparing for my last day at work, and am noticing the change in how I feel about certain situations. I am finding this quite instructive, in ways I do not want to describe here. I will say that I find I have time to get to the company gym now, and my Thursday runs are happier.

I am thinking about how to use my week off, and how to use the roughly 20 hours per week I won't be contracted to work, and generally how to arrange my new life. I think I'm going to have to be pretty flexible on this one, but it would be good to have some basic principles in mind. For one thing: I do not want to fill the time completely with home things. I want to use the time to figure out what's truly next career-wise. Should I keep contracting and focus on growing that business? Grow some other business? Find a different full-time "regular" job? Keep a mix of money-making activities going? I honestly have no idea what is right for me.

I also want to take advantage of the flexibility of the arrangement I've set up for the immediate future, and enjoy some more time with my kids. I'm thinking that time-tracking will be the answer to this potential conundrum: if I set a goal for number of hours spent on things I deem "work," then I can grant myself the flexibility to do those hours whenever I want, and thereby have the flex time without the worry that I'm selling my career short. I'll need to track hours for the contracting business, anyway, so I'll just track all of my work-related hours.

I am thinking about an initial business plan for the exploratory side of my business. I have a lot of ideas there, and need to decide what comes first.

That's a lot of career-related stuff. But I also checked out a new cookbook from the library, and am browsing it for new recipes to try.

And Mr. Snarky and I are planning a mini-getaway, and a family summer vacation. I enjoy travel and travel planning, so this is fun. 

In short, I'm following my arrow and having a surprisingly good time doing so.

Yes, I've posted that song before.

Here's a new one that I'm also really enjoying right now.

More substantive posts coming soon. Probably.


  1. I enjoy travel and travel planning, so this is fun.

    Ugh. Can you plan our summer, too? I always do it and I hate it.
    Between my conference travel, vacation time for family, DH's trip to homeland to see his mom, eldest offspring's trip to DC, camp for the older two kids in the remaining 8 weeks (and the mountaing of paperwork), topped off with the fact that I have to write 4 papers and 3 proposals this summer, I am having a bit of an anxiety attack and it's barely May...

    In less self-involved news, I am happy you are finally getting to relax and things are starting to fall into place. You will be a president of a company -- how cool is that! :-)
    Good luck with everything!

    1. Ha! The only part of your summer planning I'd enjoy is planning your family vacation. It is figuring out where to go and what to see that is fun. The mechanics of booking flights, etc, is just a necessary evil! Good luck with getting it all sorted.

  2. Anonymous4:04 AM

    Hahaha to xykademiqz.... I'd settle for planning our this Saturday.

    I remember DH going through those steps! Though the company permissions took less than a week because we're not in California, I guess. We were surprised at the speed. My one recommendation from DH's time: Don't spent 20 hours/week on the lawn because it WILL NOT MATTER.

    1. Given my allergies... I can safely say I won't spend all my spare time on the lawn! I may do some weeding in the front garden, but that's sort of like meditation... and I only do it for roughly 30 minutes at a time.

      Yes, CA is slow to process right now. The paperwork was no where near as bad as I feared, though.

  3. Alexicographer6:07 AM

    You know, I know you handed in your resignation "all of a sudden," but from where I sit, it didn't actually look very much like "all of a sudden" at all. If I may invoke the whole IBTP thing, I suspect that if you were a man we'd all be sitting around talking about how hard you had worked to be able to continue in your job and how remarkably clueless your [company/colleagues] were/are and what vast amounts of credit you deserve for persisting in the face of such obliviousness for so long.

    I know you don't want to discuss details here, so to be clear the above nouns/adjectives (etc.) describing the situation aren't really intended as accurate characterizations of the situation nor would I imagine you'd want to respond to make them closer to accurate. But my point is that (again, from where I sit, and with, admittedly, remarkably little information), I think that you give yourself far too little credit for what sounds to me like considerable (and lengthy) effort to make the situation work and/or to improve it, and that if you were possessed of a Y chromosome we'd likely have gotten a different take on it (from you, because you'd have a different take on it yourself, and would be telling/asking yourself different things from those you are telling/asking yourself now). And that we'd all be embracing and espousing that understanding of the events and lauding your persistence, while puzzledly scratching our heads and wondering how you managed to endure so much for so long.

    Just sayin'.

    GL with your next venture(s)!

    1. You are right. I was thinking about just that the other day. Still... I have persisted through even less pleasant situations in the past, so I'm curious what made this one so unbearable to me. I think some of it was that I had realized that I had other ambitions than my current career path, so it felt like I was putting up with BS for no good reason.

  4. Yes on time tracking. I'm finding in Mosaic that one of the things correlating with high housework hours is time spent at home. People who work 4 day/week schedules = lots of housework. Fight that temptation!

    Also, budget cuts that make it hard to get a taxpayer ID/employer ID seems incredibly short-sighted. You get more tax revenue if more people are hiring people, which a reasonable number of people starting businesses intend to do.


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