We had a tough decision before us. Should my husband accept a new job offer. Accepting his new job meant moving … moving 60 miles from both sets of parents, selling our home, and my giving up a 4-H club I championed and a new job I loved.
My husbands current work was in construction and he enjoyed it. He had just received his builders license and was contemplating going out on his own. We had our own little 5 acre farm with our horses and I had just become certified as a therapeutic riding instructor for the local program.
Why would we even consider a new job offer? Life was good as it was. But this job wasn’t any normal job, it was moving to a large horse farm, training dogs, and leading a hunt; this was outdoor work with animals and having freedom to decide what to do during the day. My husband loves animals and hunting and being outdoors. He was an ADHD kid and being able to schedule his own day would fit right into his personality and personal needs.
Was I willing to step out of a limb and give up my ‘life’ to support him? At first I said “no.”
But then we went up to visit the property where the job would be … a canopy of trees covered a winding hilly dirt road to a big old white barn and acres and acres of rolling pasture. It took my breath away and I knew to my toes that supporting my husband in this job change would be good for both our souls.
Being supportive of each other is a non-negotiable in our marriage. Finding work we love that fits our personality and strengths is also a non-negotiable. Living in nature with animals fills both of us with joy.
Change is not easy, even if it is right. I had to clean the house and decided to rent it out rather than sell it (what if the new job didn’t work out), and then I had to find renters. There were sad goodbyes with my 4-H kids. And ones of disbelief from the therapeutic riding program. A lot of emotions, not all of them pleasant or encouraging.
With change comes fresh beginnings … I started a new therapeutic riding program through 4-H at the hunt, opened my own therapy business with horses, found a wonderful new church to attend, and I go back home to visit family twice a week (seeing them even more than I did when I lived only 10 miles away).
That decision was 25 years ago and life is even better than it would have been if we’d stayed put. Decisions for navigating big changes are made easier by knowing yourself, discerning what your values are and identifying your real non-negotiables.
I’m hosting a stress management session this Thursday on the topic of change. We’ll do some activities that help you clarify your own non-negotiables, learn to turn down the stress response so it doesn’t highjack your ability to think through changes, and also clear out old emotional triggers that might be preventing you from stepping into changes that will be beneficial for you. If that sounds like something that interests you then jump in and join me this Thursday on the phone 7:30pm Eastern Time.