the spending hiatus : week 4 update and other news

I realize now that you haven’t heard from me all week.  I just did not have much to say this week.  Sometimes I am like that.  Other times blog posts just flow right out of me.

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the spending hiatus:  Yesterday I survived the mall AND Target and did not spend any money on myself.  I went into Banana Republic with a $25 rewards card but actually walked back out with the full $25.  I even made it past Starbucks.  Oh how the tall extra-dry capp was calling my name.  Macys was having sales galore.  We took advantage of them by buying some new work clothes for the boy.  This only happens once or twice a year (shopping for His clothes) and his pants were ridiculously worn.  It was my DMIL’s birthday on Thursday so we stopped at Target to pick up a 1500 piece puzzle and Cranium, both of which are for her new beach house.  Money was spent, but I felt good about it, like it was money WELL spent and not wasted.

Today I am taking advantage of a free lunch credit that I have a Cosi and maybe a tall extra-dry capp at Starbucks with a gift card that I snagged at the office gift exchange party. Those little things are life-savers sometimes.

the big news for the week: I have been 20% laid off.  That’s right.  Starting March 1st, the architecture firm that I work for will be reducing everyone’s weekly hours down to 32 or 4 days per week with salary reduced accordingly.  They laid one person off.  I had a feeling something was happening and I’ll just leave it at that.  Needless to say, the spending hiatus is happening at the right time for us and I think it may be extended a bit longer.  We will be on a budget either way starting on March 1st.  I am not sure yet if I will have Monday or Friday off, but I can tell you that I won’t be sitting around at home catching up on soap operas.  I will have plenty to do to keep me busy.

Normally, I don’t actively market my architectural/design services a. because I already have a full time job and fitting in side projects can be tough, although I do them every once in awhile and b. because the architects I work for generally don’t want their employees ‘moonlighting’ (which means doing work on the side) because of liability issues.  That is going to change.

I am looking forward to having an extra day to myself each week to pursue things apart from what I do at ‘work’.  I am truly thankful for my job and the people that I work for and with (at least most days!) and also thankful that I love what I do and get to practice architecture every day.  On the other hand over the past year there has been a big shift in how I feel about my profession and my place in it.  Long term I see myself practicing architecture (in the professional practice arena) less and pursuing other avenues more.  A dear friend and I have begun a venture that although is not directly related to architecture we feel will put our architecture education to very good use and it is something we both feel strongly about.

I decided to share this because I feel as though there is a lot of the same ‘shifting’ going on all around me.  While some of us are just holding our breath, waiting until it’s all over and our world returns to what it once was, others of us believe that it may never return to ‘normal’ and have begun to at least think about how we might life differently in a more permanent way.  Quality over quantity.  Maybe living with less, consuming less can actually lead to a better life.  As far as work and careers, I think a lot of people are going to be thinking twice about how they spend their 40 hours each week.  For those of us who are lucky enough to be in a position to consider an alternate career path than the one we are on, there is no better time than the present.  Others may be forced onto a new path, but I truly believe that a lay-off can be an open door to something new and wonderful.  Scary.  Yes.  But think of what could possibly be on the other side.

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