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Bobby sniper-changed my cell phone number today. He’s been talking about doing it for a while, and I finally caved… but I was under the mistaken impression that he actually had to have my phone in his possession, and I purposefully brought it with me to work to delay the change just a little longer. I felt quite attached to my 704-408-4094 number… it’s yet another last tie to Charlotte and “before”… and I know it’s stupid, but I have this nagging little thought that Mama doesn’t have my new number.

But the up-side is that I’ve been purposefully avoiding resetting my speed-dial buttons, and now they’ve been completely erased, thus forcing me to reset them. Mama’s cell was #4. A few months after she died, I deleted her number from my phone book because everytime I went to the M’s for Michele’s number, the words “Mama’s cell” was there to punch me in the gut. But I haven’t been able to bring myself to reassigning her speed-dial number. So now I have to.

And speaking of Michele, she wrote something really insightful in an email this week about pulling the job plug:

You need to do whatever is best for you and your family and a part of me thinks it’s the best decision as I wonder how truly happy you could ever be at S-D, with what all transpired while you were there. You went through the worst time of your life there and I wonder if it will continue to dredge up horrible feelings/memories as long as you are there. A clean, fresh start – regardless of what it is – sounds like a great idea.

Well-said. Taking mental inventory, I realize that I’ve changed so much since Sept 17th. My hair and ears were the first to go – chopped, colored and pierced. Then friendships – some were severed, others were salvaged. We moved from the apt into the house. As of today, I can add my phone number to the list – seems insignificant, but it’s still a change. And now, my job is the last thing to go.

Dave Ramsey tells a story in one of his books about a log jam. Loggers – in the olden days, and maybe even now – cut trees, then floated them down the river to sell. Occasionally, however, the logs will jam and create a back-up. At this point, the loggers are faced with a decision… To lose a few logs and make a profit off the others, or salvage all the logs and make no profit at all? The answer is obvious – they blow up the jam with dynamite, the rest of the logs float on down the river, and a profit is made, albeit not as much as if the jam hadn’t occurred.

This is a perfect analogy not only for finances, but also for my and Bobby’s lives. When we moved back to Anderson from Fort Mill, we had a bit of an issue We had over-extended our budgets and ourselves to such a point that we were inextricably jammed. The dynamite we used to knock it loose was our lifestyle change – downscaling to the apt, selling the new car, living on the envelope system. The logs started flowing again… there have been a few relatively minor back-ups since, but we’ve managed to make a profit overall.

But now, we have once again have a jam that needs serious attention. We’ve paid off our credit card debt. Our debt snowball now consists of the remainder of the business loan (which we’ve reduced by ~53% since Apr-08), and the two student loans (which are still disgustingly high, but which have a very low fixed interest rate).

Once the excitement of paying off that last credit card faded a bit, I’ve found myself with a decision to make. I know that if I stay here at S-D, we would knock out the rest of our debt snowball by Dec-09. Even though that seems incredibly far away, I know that it actually wouldn’t even take that long once the snowball momentum starts rolling again. But I also know that I’m mentally jammed here… I can’t see the end, and I’m spinning my wheels and throwing muck and mud all over everyone around me. I’m stuck, and only a radical change is going to successfully loosen this particular log-jam.

And so Tuesday, May 27th is the day. I’m turning in my two-week notice and exiting the manufacturing industry forever.

I don’t know what I’m going to do next, and although that’s stressful, it’s also exhilarating. I’m going to take a few days and collect my thoughts. And then I’m going to apply for jobs, all kinds of jobs. My prerequisites are:

  1. No manufacturing… been there, done that
  2. No waitressing. I would be a sucky waitress… I’m antisocial and clumsy – bad combo)
  3. Has to be located in Anderson
  4. Has to pay at least $10 per hour

I know, I’m setting my standards high, right? :) Other than these four things, I honestly don’t care that much. I’m ready to try something new… maybe a receptionist in a doctor’s office. Or admin at Tri-County Tech or Anderson Univ. Or something with the city of Anderson… I think I’d like to work in historic downtown. Or the Anderson Library.

I’m so excited. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter and brighter. I know that a job change won’t fix all the ails of the world…. the human condition is to always yearn for what you don’t have. But the logs are moving again, and I believe they’re moving in the right direction. And that’s a good thing! :)

P.S. – Oh, and speaking of dynamite, the painfully honest comment about my weight from my coworker seems to have completely blown up my need for sugar cookies. Yay, I think?

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