The Options

We have SO MANY options, y'all.

Slice could try to get another job here in the Basin, oilfield or no. He could try to get a job outside the Basin (St George?). He could start classes again at our local USU extension to finish up a degree. He could go to school somewhere else - we've discussed UVU's Fire & Rescue Academy at great length.  I could try to get back in the workforce with my fancy history B.A.
Heck, we could probably buy a local restaurant that's for sale and try to revamp the place. I'm always trying to convince Slice that his heart is in the food business.

Right now we're looking at web development school. This one in Provo offers free housing during the 12-week immersive program. "Free" as in "not extra over the $10k+ that the program already costs."  This option has many pros: short duration, convenient location, jumpstart into a new career in an ever-growing field without years of traditional schooling.  I have nothing against traditional schooling, truly, but we all know the tech world is constantly evolving and moving in different directions.

The coding bootcamp path presents a whole bunch more options. Do we all move to Provo, or do I stay here with the kids while Slice comes home on weekends for 12 weeks? Do we try to sell/rent the house now, or wait until we have a job offer somewhere? And do we look for work in the meantime, or do we keep doing our side jobs and make do?

I'm leaning toward 1. Side jobs for now, 2. Staying here in Roosevelt while Slice studies in Provo and 3. Selling/Moving after he has a job. We just have a lot of opportunities here (and a great network) that I'd like to use as long as we can. The real estate market here is terrible and we might lose money on our house even if we're able to sell it soon. The major downside of this plan is MONEY.  Coding bootcamp is expensive and if we sold, we'd get all the equity in the house that we could live off or put toward something else.

So, what do you think? What would you do if you had the chance to reinvent your life?


The Leap

When Slice was "let go" from the golf course five years ago, a ten year career was effectively ended.  We were in a terrible position: just bought a house, I'd quit my job at the school, we and our 9-month-old baby Will had lived off our meager savings through the winter months. Then our plans were thrown completely off track.  It was devastating, and we tried really hard not to be bitter.

Five months later, Slice got a job with Newfield. It was a good job, a great opportunity. We were grateful. (We learned a lot - and I wrote a little.)

But I never wanted the oilfield to be the end of the road. I've been hoping for something different all along. Oh, the conversations we've had about our future! Our hopes, our ideas, our family, our priorities. Business plans. The merits of various lifestyles.

This time around, as we find ourselves at a crossroads, we have solid ground beneath us. No debt besides our mortgage, 6+ months of expenses saved, equity in our home, food storage, steady side jobs including firefighting and a fairly predictable photography business. We have options!  We don't have to take the first job offer, or even the second! We're in the fortunate position to study it out, make a plan, and execute it. Possibly with contingencies.

Part of that plan is for me to start blogging regularly again. I want to record this time of our life, exciting and scary and daunting as it is. I've felt a sweet peace through all the uncertainty that has convinced me there's a reason for this.  There's a reason we had this happen RIGHT NOW, in this way. We just have to figure out what it is.


The Nudge

Ten days after George was born, my husband lost his job.
I wasn't worried. In fact, I was excited.
(I was also .... right. It's very different.)

Although the layoff was unexpected, it was a long time coming.  If you drive a car, you've seen our amazingly low gas prices. And if you read the news, you should know that the oilfield - and consequently, the rest of the economy - is suffering because of them.
(See here, here, here for local stories, here, here, and here for national news sources.)

Gas prices are tied to global events and complex economics that we have absolutely no control over.  In the last year and a half, thousands of people have lost their jobs. The Basin is seeing something of a mass exodus .... so, while a layoff wasn't inevitable for Slice, it was definitely possible.

A few months before, on a whim, we started looking at other jobs. Utah's economy is booming elsewhere and I've always said I could live in St. George! Okay, I could probably live anywhere. See:

It's more a matter of getting Slice on board. Anyway, we applied to a few random jobs in Washington County, but our search was half-hearted. It wasn't quite right yet.

Then the layoff happened. While I tried to act appropriately sad on Slice's account, I didn't do a great job of it. No more long, unpredictable long hours? No more weekends and holidays on call or working, no more Sundays at church without my husband?*

Plus, extra time with Slice right after I birthed our 4th baby??

Now's our chance!

*I'm well aware that all of these things could (and probably will) happen again. Just let me pretend.