26 February 2007

Two-year Anniversary

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my leaving the Census Bureau. I'm still in touch with many of my former co-workers, and the more I hear about what is going on there, the more I'm glad I decided to leave.

I was having health problems that the doctors thought were caused by stress. I have had a very stressful past two years with moving to Europe, and moving within Luxembourg, and coming back to the States without jobs or a place to live, with a broken leg that included a hospital stay and surgery. And through it all, I haven't been sick at all (except for that broken leg). I just keep wondering if it wasn't the stress that was getting to me but something in that old building.

So now Census is getting a new building, and I suppose it beats having a lot of health problems, but anyone I know who is already in the new building isn't happy.

If I had moved into the new building, I'd have to spend my life in a sunless, noisy cubicle. Not to mention the daily commute. And there are all the meetings and all the red tape and all the reports to write for management that keep a person from doing fun work like programming and research. If I was at Census, I would be making 8-10 times more than I will make this year (just a forecast of my earnings this year), but it's not worth it to me.

Here I am in my 200-square-foot corner office, with a fireplace, easy chair, CD collection, big wooden desk, and awesome views of pasture land and wooded hills, and a commute that consists of 8 steps from my bedroom door. I like the work I'm doing because I only accept work that I will like. I have time for research and programming. I'm working part-time so I can spend more time with my kids.

So much has happened to us in the past two years that it seems like so much longer since I was at the Census Bureau. Though I seriously doubted my decisions along the way, and I doubted my ability to see God's direction for my life, it's much easier now to have some peace about my current life. I really do feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be.

I celebrated my anniversary by installing SAS software on my computer. It will take me some time to get up and running with it again, but I'm looking forward to having SAS again. I feel very hopeful about my future.


09 February 2007

Health Insurance

The worst part of starting my own business was not knowing what to do about health insurance. I'm happy to say that the debate is over.

My husband received a notice that he would be hired on permanently and was invited to an orientation meeting yesterday morning. We were hoping that meant that he would be hired on permanently starting next week. It turns out that he was already considered permanent beginning this past Monday. That means, as of Monday, we have health insurance! With this permanent job, my husband also gets a raise, and he will qualify to transfer to other jobs in the company that he would like better.

I try not to worry, and I haven't lost any sleep over it, but a lack of health insurance was a concern for me. We are making it financially, and we have some in savings, but we don't have a lot in savings, and one really big bill would have put us in a tailspin. Now I know we're going to be OK. The coverage is really good, and we're going to get the dental also because it will give us a discount for the orthodontist. It's just really such a relief.

I just feel that a huge weight has been lifted off this family. I know we can make now.

03 February 2007

Business is good

Business is really picking up. After no paying clients in 2006, I've had a lot of work in 2007. I've even been a little bit busier than I would like because I don't want to neglect the children. They are being good sports about my working, though. I told them if I make a million dollars this year then I will buy them an in-ground swimming pool. They figured out that I should be making about $4,000 a day, so if they see me away from the computer, they ask me why I'm not working. They can be harder task-masters than any boss I've ever had. On a more realistic note, I'm hoping to pay for orthodontia for the girls, and I'm feeling very hopeful.