Change, like cheese, is good
by Karla ° Thursday, February 22, 2007
The past few days have been totally bananas.

At the moment, Mark is entertaining two very different job offers, one in Toronto, and one in Ottawa. I haven’t slept, like at all, because I’ve been getting my home ready to list and sell it. I am so wishing that some of that supposed nesting instinct would have kicked in when I was pregnant because this whole cleaning, painting and windexing dog snot off every surface in the house while taking care of a newborn is tiring. It has also been a valuable learning experience. I have learned that I am not cut out to clean ovens because spraying chemicals that are strong enough to eat away at the lining of your esophagus so you can stick your head in an orifice that looks a diarrhea holding tank is just plain wrong. I have made a mental note to invest in an oven that is self cleaning so I never have to embark on that dark cleaning journey ever again.

Which job Mark will take isn't a decision he is taking lightly. One is a brilliant career move that involves selling our home and moving across the province, and the other is somewhat of a step back career wise as there would be no room for advancement and he wouldn’t be in a leadership role anymore, but it’s a good stable job with a good pension (that would be HOOPP for all you Ontarians) and all the important things that someone who needs a cane and Depends cares about, or someone with a family.

The catch is, the one that’s doesn’t require a big move isn’t in an environment that Mark could be happy long term. It’s a government job, and with that comes a lot of stability, but the pace of everything moves like that of a snail on sleep aids, and that annoying thing called red tape and bureaucracy would keep things about as fast paced and lively as measuring the rate at which you produce ear wax. However, it would be very personally rewarding because he would be building software to help treat Cancer patients, and there is something very satisfying in that.

The position in Ottawa requires selling our home. Since we’ve only lived here a short time we’re probably looking at just breaking even after the real estate fees cut into our bottom line, but the opportunity is one where Mark can shine. It’s riskier, because he doesn’t have the same sort of protection as that of a Government job, but the rewards are also much higher. Also, the money is more, and they have offered a generous signing bonus to help us move.

It’s not an easy decision, especially now with a baby in tow. Ottawa is about 4 hours from Toronto, and 6 hours away from family. Right now, we live about 2 hours from our family. We have no family, roots or ties of any kind (except a mortgage) where we live now.

We’ve been talking about moving away and starting over since the second Ava took her last breath, and now is our chance. Mark’s family is hugely supportive of whatever decision we make and his dad has offered to take care of whatever we need done around the house because he is just so happy that we are finally beaming with excitement about life again and wants to help ease the stress of getting our home ready to list.

My heart is pounding. There really is no clear winner because both jobs are good ones. This is worse than trying to compare cell phone plans to find the best rate because I think at the end of the day, no matter what one you pick, you can’t have the best of both worlds.

We're still trying to figure out what is best for us. In the meantime, two real estate agents are coming over to appraise our home today and I have more dog snot to Windex and tile grout to scrub and baby cheeks to kiss.

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Honey, they do make self cleaning ovens. Theya re fantastic. You just set it to "clean" and it creamates all the dirt, it gets so damn hot! Maybe your new house will come with one! Good luck with the house listing!
Posted by Anonymous Jill :  February 22, 2007

I hear ya on the oven cleaning. I do it like once a year and it is horrible! Our oven is like over 60 (so it never gets really clean anyway!) years old, but built into the wall so it would be a huge construction porcess to get a new one. (We rent so are unwilling to do such a task)!

Anyway Hope the right door is open for you guys!

I am sure you will keep us updated!
Posted by Blogger Donna :  February 22, 2007

ewwww dog boogers. ewwww. i say hire help and spend the whole time kissing cheeks!

Quite the conundrum! It's so hard to make a big decision like that when there are so many sides to consider. I hope Mark finds some clarity and you can both move confidently in whatever direction you choose.
Also? You should hire a maid to do the cleaning so you don't get behind on your baby cheek kissing. :)
Posted by Anonymous Amanda :  February 22, 2007

Good luck on the house selling and the job picking and the cleaning and cheek kissing..

I live in Ottawa, and it's a 2.5 - 3 hour drive to see my family. With two boys under the age of two in tow. But it's not that bad. The new 416 makes it easy to get to the 401 now, so it's all highway driving. Not sure if that helps at all.

You really need to search yours and Mark's hearts to find the answer. You are the only ones that know which is right for you and your family.

Good luck with your tough decision!

Posted by Blogger Cate :  February 22, 2007

The benevolent dictators we call our children rearrange our lives in unimaginable ways. After taking a year off work when my son was born, I returned to the workforce in a capacity I would have run screaming from in my pre-baby career days. But I have a very flexible schedule, I make a good lot of money for the work I do, and I've made friends here that make the time I spend here fun and educational. My priorities have changed, and sure, there are days I miss being on fire with passion and ambition in the workplace, but I am fully confident that this is a better fit for the bigger picture of my life now -- a life I truly couldn't have imagined before I got here. Good luck with your decisions!
Posted by Anonymous stephanie :  February 22, 2007

That is a very tough decision indeed! I can see the pros and cons for both sides, and I don't know which I would pick, and I'm not even the one doing the picking!

And, I have to admit that doggie boogers creep me out. I had a friend whose dog left snot all over their sliding glass door and I hated even looking at it.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  February 22, 2007

I have a very good friend who once told me "the only job worth having is the one that scares you just a little".

I have found this to be true.
Posted by Blogger methatiam :  February 22, 2007

I recommend you make a pro/con list for each choice, and give each item in the lists a weighting from 1-5 (1 being not very important, 5 being extremely important). Subtract the 'cons' number from the 'pros' number to help quantify what decision would make more sense.
Just a couple of things to keep in mind though:
Now that you've started a family, a slower pace and lower stress level at work may afford Mark more time for family. He doesn't necessarily need to define himself through his job, and can find joy outside of his 8:30-5:00 day.
Also, being close to family would give you the very useful support system of people close by in case you need someone on a moments notice.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 22, 2007

One of the best purchases I EVER made was a self-cleaning oven.

Take it from someone who spent thirteen years in the government - it can be a soul-sucking, creativity-draining experience. I gave up all that job security and pension stuff, and I have NEVER looked back.

But - I can understand the dilemma of trying to make a good choice for the family. Best of luck as you try to make a choice.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  February 22, 2007

This may sound silly, but my hubby and I use a simple method for certain decisions. "Rock Paper Scissors." Sometimes, you just let fate decide.
Posted by Blogger Robin :  February 23, 2007

You might also want to consider how time consuming each job is. Is the Ottawa one would require a 60 hour work week, that would be a huge negative for me. Best wishes whatever you choose.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  February 23, 2007

by the way, your family really loves cheese huh!

I would get a cleaning service in if you can swing it. They do big premoving cleans as well as bi-weekly visits.
It makes those first few months after the baby so much easier... baby kisses always get to come first.
I have two dogs and two wee boys so the cleaning service is the best gift my husband ever got me.
Just before starting my family I took a government job that only ever minimally challenges me but it is a job that always lets me put my family first and being that my family is where my real joy in life comes from it works for us... well most of the time anyway.
Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous carson :  February 23, 2007

I say, forget them both. I still haven't received Mark's resume, which I would be using to find him the job of the century...HERE. Then you would have us here for you, and family would love to come visit.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  February 26, 2007

If you decide on Ottawa and have to sell your house please feel free to ask me if you have any questions. I have worked in a real estate law office for 6 or 7 years now (my Dad is a real estate lawyer) and can answer almost any question that you have for both the sale and purchase. Including expected fees and processes.

Let me know and good luck
Posted by Anonymous Ashley :  February 26, 2007


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