Go ahead. Tell me I've completely lost my mind.
Oh, wait, let me explain a little. Then you can tell me that.
Yesterday, in the midst of all my turmoil about the church, I got a phone call straight out of the blue.
And also, straight out of Chicago.
It was a recruiter, who, for some reason, was recruiting for a newspaper in the county just north of here.
He wanted to know if I'd be interested in interviewing for a job as a managing editor. Mainly the same work I'm doing now, plus a supervisory role, and more money.
Yeah. More money.
The commute wouldn't be bad - 20 minutes, give or take. They publish three times a week.
Oh, was I ever in a tizzy when I got off the phone with that man. I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. I just tried to stay quiet until it was time to go pick Anna Marie up from choir practice.
Amanda said I should go for it. Jason said I should go for it. Mom told me to pray about it.
So I did. I told God last night that I wasn't going to try to reason this out, wasn't trying to get together a pros/cons list. I was going to wait on Him.
This morning, I started thinking about it again. I'd told the recruiter I'd call him today if I was interested. I knew I had to make a decision, quickly.
I started thinking about Anna Marie. Really, really thinking about her. I started thinking that if I were 20 minutes away, that would probably keep me from being able to scoot over to the school when there were special events. It would complicate matters on the days I have to pick her up from school because Jason is in Memphis. It would remove me from a community that I've really come to enjoy.
And while the community where the other paper is located is growing by leaps and bounds - it's the seventh fastest-growing area in the country - we're just starting to grow. (In fact, we got word today that a Japanese automotive parts manufacturing company is going to locate here! Hooray!)
The things that frustrate me about my current job - most of them - wouldn't be gone just because I was at another paper. They're kind of part and parcel of the newspaper business.
This morning, I realized that all the money in the world wouldn't be worth it if it kept me from being involved in my child's life. I realized that she is the most important thing in my life right now. She is my top priority.
Where else could I work that would let me bring her to the office when she's out of school? Where my co-workers go pick her up from school when I can't?
I'm not saying the folks at the other paper aren't nice, or that they wouldn't care about me or my family. But, as a larger organization in another county, it wouldn't be the same.
Would it be a nice promotion? Probably. Would it be the next natural progression of my career? Definitely. But I'm not trying to climb the corporate ladder. Those aren't my goals. Anna Marie is only a child for a short time, and there will be time enough for "advancing my career" when she's older.
If we couldn't put food on the table, it would be a different story. But we can. And you know the odd thing was, after I looked at it from that perspective - that the things the money would add to my life wouldn't offset what the position would take away - suddenly I had peace.
I understand if you don't agree with me. I know not everyone will. To quote Amanda this morning, "Melissa, I'm going to beat you."
So, now that you know the story, go ahead.
Tell me I'm crazy.