How to go from asking your wife for a new car to deciding when to quit your job in 10 hours – from suits to scrubs to activewear
This could have so many titles.
Do things just happen? Or is there a plan? Does God have a plan? Or are we just floating along and random circumstances lead us here or there?
I believe in God, so I believe He has a master plan for everyone’s life, not just mine. The catch, if you want to call it that, is He won’t tell you His plan. You have to have faith in Him, trust He wants good things in your life, and listen for Him to speak to you. I will admit that can be hard to do, even in the best circumstances.
I am lucky I come from a good family, a good school with good friends, and great opportunities, some that I have squandered. So I can’t really complain about what I don’t have, but I’m human and I want more. When it came to my career I would do the best I could in the position I was in, but I was looking ahead all the time.
My education choices led me to the scientific/biotechnology industry. Out of college, I found a job working in a lab, felt like I had room to advance, but seemed to stagnate. I transferred departments after a couple of years, did well, but was stuck. After a few years, I went back to school, left the lab and tried my hand at a completely different role in sales, where I had to wear suits. I didn’t do well, because it wasn’t a good personality fit, and I ended up back in the science field.
Same kind of thing happened as before where I was doing lab work, doing a fair job, but not going super above and beyond to catch the eye of the boss. There were also some internal, political forces working against me, but nothing I could not have overcome if I wanted to. I just never wanted to, because I felt like I was just kissing butt, which is not my personality. One perk, though, was the dress code: I could wear scrubs, which was like wearing pajamas to work.
After a few years went by, and a friend referred me to another lab that paid better. For a year or so, I was just happy to be treated like a valuable human. Eventually, I started feeling like trying, so I did.
I tried to do better at my job, but I still didn’t do extra, as the managers would have liked to see. I ended up bumping along in that space for awhile.
For a long enough time of coming home venting to my wife about my gripes and frustrations about nearly the same thing everyday, I wondered what I was doing, wondering how God’s plan was working out. I felt like I was meant for more but wasn’t getting the opportunity (even though I wasn’t trying extra hard). I felt stuck, like I was not going anywhere in my career.
In the meantime, my wife had started a company that fulfilled her passion, work experience, and had a mission: to work with her friends and change the world. In three years, she started on her own, has helped over 4000 students, and hired 10 other employees. It has been awesome to see what she has been able to do following God’s will, being in continual prayer, and trusting in His call in her life. And to work from home wearing warm up pants or workout shorts every day was an added bonus (and sometimes owl slippers).
There have been some roadblocks though. She has had a relapse of some health problems. Doctors have provided few solutions and remedies, but she has powered through.
Also, I work Saturdays, so if the kids have hockey games, karate tournaments, or birthday parties, she is on her own. I get to relax at work, and have been for the past 9 years.
So we had talked casually and passively about me quitting my job to stay home with the kids later this year, maybe early next year. With my working in Corporate America and working Saturdays, when I need to ask for time off, I also need to find someone to cover my shift most times (then there were the times I was asked to find coverage for no reason but whatever). So that was tedious and annoying.
Then looking forward in her business she may need me home more to be Dad for the kids (well, their dad, not just any dad), so working corporate doesn’t lend to that so much. Then related but somewhat tangential was the new car factor.
I have been joking with her about getting my dream car, a BMW M5. She said, “No way,” but I have been harassing her, jokingly, for a year. I have a hatchback right now, and our oldest daughter is tall for her age and needs some more leg room. She asked if I could get a new car. I told her to ask her mom, but when she does, just say “M5”.
That didn’t help.
So we sit down for a relaxing Sunday earlier this year, and I remind her we should talk about a new car. The M5 was out of the question, but she would settle for a nice care as long as she picks the color. No problem. But there’s still the question of which car.
This is because I have a car problem: I want them all. I love sports cars, but I also like trucks and SUVs. If we buy a car, we figure it is a 7-10 year commitment. We don’t want to lease because it isn’t financially wise, but if it gets the new-car feeling out of my system, it is worth it. So we considered something practical for a couple of years to lease until we get something we really want.
However, the issue of mileage comes up on a lease if I’m driving to work every day, which led to the game-changing question: “Why are you even working there?”
I thought it was the desire to get promoted and follow my career path in the science industry, but it kind of wasn’t after talking about it. It was maybe pride, but if I was going to quit within a year anyway to be home more, working just to get a title change then leave anyway wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it for me to work Saturdays, get up at 4 A.M. (yes, that was my shift) and be cranky and yell at the kids by dinnertime, and to be exhausted at the end of the week.
So why do it?
As my wife and I talked, she remembered she had a big project coming up in the spring and few people on her team were excited about heading it up.
So what if I did it?
She went to consult her brain trust: her operations manager, her business coach, and her sales manager. Also, during these past months, my wife and I had separately been praying for my mission and purpose in life, to find what that was. I was having trouble getting a clear picture; she had a vision of me working in a soup kitchen, or volunteering somewhere behind the scenes since me being people-facing was a bad idea based on my Strengths Finder profile.
It seemed the brain trust and God approved this move, so I was hired, thanks to nepotism, and God’s plan. Now I’ll get to work from home. I went from wearing suits to scrubs to workout clothes (I still wear jeans some days).
It has been somewhat of a rough time wondering what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I never doubted God has a plan. I was just wondering what and when He would reveal it to me. And we both wondered where He would direct us as a family. Well, we have an answer now, until the next adventure.
The decision has been made. Now I just need to tell my boss…
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