Saturday, August 21, 2010

Change is in the Air

Change is coming to the Near Philadelphia household.  It isn't a change we've planned or welcomed, but one that is necessary, and one we've prepared for -- mentally and emotionally -- over the past couple of months. 

For twenty years Joe has had a small architecture practice in our town.  His work is diverse and includes additions, custom homes, refitting business spaces, low income housing, church design and modification, shops, and other types of projects.  The recent economic downturn began to impact his business long before the rest of the country was talking about it.  Back in the early spring, there were indications that things were picking up, but this didn't hold.  Having laid off his employees in the late spring/early summer, with the hope that he could call them back in the autumn, Joe worked very, very hard this summer, refining skills he'd not used in a while, continuing to look for new work, and thinking deeply about what was next.

Next has come, it seems, and with it the decision to move the office out of the space it has been occupying on a busy street in downtown NP, and re-establish it in our lower level.  Possibly for the time being; more likely, permanently.  This was a change that we knew would come someday; we just hadn't anticipated Someday for another few years.

The Move will happen over Labor Day Weekend.  Sherry has offered to be the logistics manager and organizer.  Both of the boys have volunteered to come and carry out the actual physical move.  I am deeply touched by their kindness; a friend said, "Well, it is the right thing to do and they know it."  She's right, of course, but I'm well aware that both of them have complicated lives with young babies and long, irregular work schedules.  And, their gift of time entails driving up and down I-95 on a holiday weekend, an enormous sacrifice of time, patience, disposition, and godknowswhatelse.  Another friend said, "Somewhere along the line, they've learned what priorities are."

Our home is a ranch-type house that sits on a slightly sloped lot so that the downstairs isn't a "basement" but rather a "lower level" that has peep-type windows in the front, but the back has a huge, wide picture window and a door that leads out to the back yard that Joe has landscaped beautifully.  One-fourth of the lower level is my sewing space, and the plans that have been drawn up show that I don't lose a single inch of it.  The other three-fourths will become the office. 

The positives that come to mind in this situation include Joe's having the ability to work any hours he chooses, the delight of having Blackberry around to keep him company, and vice versa (not to mention the much-needed attention to the as-yet-incomplete potty training!), a restructuring of the household schedule to an earlier dinner hour, a less formal working environment, and, best of all, having him here instead of there when working late is a necessity.

Though I'm not losing any of my space, my conscience tells me that the next two weeks need to be spent making that space more aesthetically appealing to my new neighbor.  I don't actually throw fabric scraps over my shoulder a la Eleanor Burns, but you wouldn't know that to look at the floor.  And the "nearly completed" and "failed experiments" are everywhere.

Beginning today, much of my time in the next two weeks will be spent not only tidying up but actually cleaning up, finishing those things that are near to completion, stowing and prioritizing those that are not, tossing that which needs tossing and finding places for All Those Things that are casually here and there.  Blogging time will be impacted, I would expect.

I'm not one of those people who abhor change and neither is Joe.  We've experienced plenty of it over our years together, and much of the change has been imposed upon us rather than chosen by us.  Nonetheless, we've always tried to put a positive spin on change, and to find and embrace the good that lies within, for there always is something good.  This is a change we expected eventually, and while I'm not one to think of God as a micro-manager, I remember all too well how the opening of the office was in His time -- and His hands -- and I'm trying to let this change rest there as well.




25 comments:

Nicole said...

You have an excellent and quite positive attitude about this imposed change. I know you will make the very best of it. How fun to have "a new neighbor"! Good luck over the next couple of weeks--you have a lot hard work ahead of you.

Nancy said...

How exciting... and luckily you have the proper space for an office...

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those who oppose change. Hopefully in the future I'll remember your positive attitude and comments to help me with any changes that come about. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your endeaver.
cindy

Julie in the Barn said...

Nothing like a major change to spice up daily life. It sounds like this one just might turn out to be welcome in the end. I can see many advantages to the move.

Pat said...

Change is difficult. Mr. Cakes & I can certainly relate to the current economic foibles of 2009-2010. After years of hard work, we never thought we'd be scrambling instead of retiring. I am glad you have a Plan B that has a lot of positives (including Blackberry), and that family/friends are helping with the transition. You and Joe are in our thoughts and Prayers.

WV = HAMYO: a children's toy made with string and the left-over bone from Easter dinner.

Guenveur in Kent said...

It's an ADVENTURE!!!


WV: undel - gettin rid of your laptop

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

I too hope that I can see your example next time changes barge in on me; it is not my best period either, Anonymous, so there's room for improvement in that quarter of my life.

Home holds my heart close and I am glad I have no outside Office to go to!

quiltmom said...

Nancy,
I know that you and Joe will make all the necessary adjustments to having a home business- Change can be challenging but your positive attitude will get you through the next few weeks as you make these changes to your lives. You have raised loving children that reflect your values- they know how much you appreciate their support.
Sending you warm thoughts and good wishes for a smooth transition.
Warmest regards,
Anna

Quiltdivajulie said...

DH has been a telecommuter for years - his office was the smaller 4th bedroom but later moved to the larger 3d bedroom. Working from home has been wonderful (although there are days when he admits the walls don't enjoy his jokes).

Best wishes as you prepare for and make this change ...

Anonymous said...

Oh Nancy, I've written before saying how similar our lives have been but it is beginning to be a bit spooky. I enjoyed your sharing of your earlier history as I too married a navy man and spent my share of time as a navy wife. And, I'm married to a landscape architect, who is struggling to keep his business of 35+ years afloat. He's had to let many loyal employees go and is now facing the "how much longer can we afford to pay rent on a office" dilemma. His business began years ago at our kitchen table with his drafting table in our "spare" room and it may come full circle.
Just know that your neighbor in Maryland is thinking of you and wishing you and yours well. Your positive attitude is once again an inspiration.
Sue

Ray said...

Wishing you and Joe lots of success as you make this transition. I also hope that the good that will come out of this change shows up sooner than later.

Lurline said...

Best wishes to you both from me too!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Josh Healy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karin said...

Best to you and your new neighbor as you embark on this next chapter. A new door opening. Imagine what is in store for you. God bles you both
Karin

Gretchen said...

Big hugs my friend. I understand how difficult it is in architecture nowadays since my work in historic preservation is tangentially related to architecture and rehab of buildings. I believe that you and Joe will adapt through this change as you have through so many others that you have shared recently. Best wishes to you both and to Blackberry who will be overjoyed as only puppies can be.

WV: acarpoly--a board game buying and selling used cars.

anne bebbington said...

Nancy I'm a great believer that all things happen for a purpose even if you can't see or believe it at the time - good luck with your removals, I'm sure your kids will do you proud (((hugs)))

Kim said...

When my Hubby decided to finally go on disability, I worried a little about having him home ALL THE TIME. You should know that I highly prize my alone time. Since then--and it's been about a year and a half now--I've occasionally had a little time alone but not much. And you know what? I don't miss it nearly as much as I feared. On top of that, the benefits of having him home have been great, for both of us. I think you'll find the same thing as you embark on this new adventure the two of you are sharing. And isn't it wonderful to get help from the kids? Embrace all of it and see where it takes you.

Judi said...

Like others, I can see some real advantages to this, and not just the obvious one of not having the financial burden of a separate office.

My DH has worked from home for many years now, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

Good luck with the move, Nancy & Joe - in a month you will wonder why you ever bothered with an office. I hope there's some light at the end of the economic tunnel very soon.

suz said...

Good luck with your new situation. As they say, when God closes a door, he opens a window. It's apparent you have both raised great kids. I discovered something similar last month - I moved after 22 years. Every weekend my son just happened to come home with time to help me pack and bring things to the new house...even though he was apartment hunting and as of September starts a trimester grad school program in the evenings (while working full time). We're fortunate to have great kids!

AnnieO said...

Is that what they call a "walkout" basement? It sounds like it is already a pleasant place to spend time, so working there will not be punshiment. Glad you will have help, the room to make the change, and the positive attitudes that will help ease into a new routine. It won't be easy and I'm sorry it came to this, not calling back employees, but the economic times are a crapshoot these days! Good to know hard work has kept Joe where he is, still working.

Diana said...

I admire your attitude toward the changes in your life! I know that things will work out well for you and your husband. And isn't it great to have a new neighbor?

Ms. Jan said...

Nancy, I can see this as nothing but positive with the reduced overhead for Joe and also having his business at home so he can work whenever he chooses. This will be great since you have the perfect space for it and the perfect squad of helpers! All the best on your new venture!

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Change is always a bit scary to me... which is probably why DH and I have moved about 20 times over the years. Good luck with all that is coming up for you.

Patty Nordahl said...

The children have learned by example I am sure and you and Joe deserve no less. Your positive attitude will carry all through this and the lessening of stress will be both helpful and healthful. God Bless
Patty

Susan said...

What great kids to pitch in and help with the move! Best of luck to you with this change.