“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Eric and I have been married 17 years. Most of that seventeen years has been an enjoyable adventure. We’ve completed two major renovations of two old homes, living in one as we remodeled. We’ve each buried our beloved dads. I resigned from my teaching position and we went to one income. Eric worked away more often than not and we held it together. We’ve faced infertility issues and we’ve gone on the roller coaster ride of the adoption route. We’ve worked together to rear one amazing, joy filled, fierce little girl. For the past eight years, Eric has worked for a man he genuinely respected and admired. He’s worked for a company that he felt was making moves in a positive direction and would make a mark on an industry. I often say that the majority of the time, we feel blessed beyond belief. However, as many of you know, when it rains it pours.
On October 29th, Eric was notified that his company would be closing his department. We have been very fortunate, we have never before experienced downsizing. After a week or so of becoming accustomed to the idea of the loss of income, as par for the course, I began to panic and Eric began to stew. Eric had job offers, good job offers. He had job offers that would improve our financial situation but there was a hitch. In order to accept these offers, he would basically have to live in a hotel and see us on the weekends if we were lucky. Our entire life would have to change. We would have to give up what we value most: time together as a family, surrounding ourselves with creatures we love and respect, and raising our little girl not only in an enriching environment but on the farm her grandfather was at his happiest. We had years of being apart and to be honest, we have become spoiled by having Eric work from home the majority of the time. This would all have to change and the thought of this angered my husband.
Eric does not anger easily. He is the epitome of calm, rational, and collected. He is slow to anger but when he does, he is a fearsome force. Very rarely do I see the look in his eye that should strike fear into the heart of the roughest character. My husband had this look. After a week or so of my quiet panic…or maybe not so quiet…he sat me down and explained his position. He told me he was angry and that this job loss has become personal for him. He told me that he has looked over everything and he thinks we can make a go of life on the farm. He told me, “Never again will I give someone that much power over me.” He doesn’t want our daughter, who we have fought so hard for, to see him a few times a month. He doesn’t want to sell our beloved farm to move where there is work. He doesn’t want to sell our animals off just so we can have a steady paycheck for awhile but for what length of time is uncertain.
So, we have taken back the power. We agree wholeheartedly to jump into this new endeavor together and see where it will take us. Are we afraid, absolutely! We both have an entrepreneurial spirit. My dad was a self-made man and I grew up watching him make decisions, succeeding and struggling but in the end feeling that overwhelming sense of self-worth, pride in hard work, and accomplishment. I want to pass on that legacy to Jordan. I want to build something my girl can be proud of and jump into if she so chooses. Most of all, I want her to see the worth in hard work, the reward of struggles, the strength in knowing that even if something doesn’t turn out the way you plan, you will be okay.
We have taken control of our happiness. We begin this new year as entrepreneurs and full-time farmers. We are looking forward to this new chapter and we are looking forward to sharing our struggles, wins, and losses with you. If you believe in positive energy, please send some our way. Rest assured, this will make for some very interesting tales.