Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tell me I'm crazy.

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.


doodlebugmom said...

You are so NOT crazy. You are a mom. AM is your priority.

My kids are older, and I am still content to have a job, not a career. I have been here for 8 years, and looking back, I have turned down a couple really great job opportunities, but they weren't worth giving up the "mom time"


Hendrick Family said...

You're not crazy! You are doing what is right...and best...and wise.

The rewards for this decision are eternal and worth far more than anything this silly world has to offer.


Melissa said...

The really crazy part is that it's taken me being a mom for six and a half years to realize what a priority my own kid is in my life. That is messed up, y'all.

Sometimes, I think we go through life on auto-pilot, just living our lives, until something makes us think about what's really important.

Lissete said...

Not crazy at all! I would have done the same thing!

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

i've turned down many jobs that would advance me because of my kids. Eventually, I wound up with the sweet set up that I have now, but I think that's due diligence... I put a lot of time in...

I don't think you're crazy. I passed up an offer last week for more money, but I would have to work outside the home again... and I told the guy that while i was flattered, I had to pass. I'm exactly where i need to be right now for the kids... when they are older and don't need me at home as much, then perhaps i can think about something else. But I like what we're doing now... :D

abrightfuture said...

You're definitely not crazy!

I just wandered into your blog (you know how it goes...a click here, a click there and you can't remember how you got anywhere in blogland!) and really enjoy it.

I must say that I am terribly envious that 20 minutes is far. I live/work in the DC metro area and my commute from home to work on a good day is 45 minutes. I miss small town life...having just moved to the DC area a month ago.

But back to you -- you absolutely made the right decision!

Melissa said...

Twenty minutes isn't that far (lots of folks down here drive to Memphis to work, which is more in the 30-45 minute range). It's just that I currently live 2/10 of a mile from my job, and have in fact walked to work many times! I could see my office from my yard, were it not for the two buildings blocking my view.

Thanks for stopping by - come back soon!

Susie Q said... are crazy...crazy about that sweet kid of yours. You have your ducks all in the right rows.
Now, *I* am crazy...but that is another story.

Hugs and love,