Gearing Up for the Long Haul

Well, the long-shot job was just that, a long-shot, and it didn’t happen. Bad news for the part of me that was nervous about the craziness ahead, but great news for the part of me that is anxious to get on the road and do something different, and figure out what is next for us in this crazy life.

So I’ve been busy in the past few days now that I have a clear goal in sight again. I’ve created lots of spreadsheets, including touring locations, budgets (current and when we’re touring), charts comparing the advantages of a Class C vs. Class B vs. a glorified van, tips for traveling, a packing list (including both must haves and wants, to help us discern just how simply we can do this) and perhaps most importantly for right now, an outline of the money we’re making and how we can save over the next year and four months, if we want to stick to the plan. Which is the goal, of course. I have another job interview on Monday – this is for a local, part-time church gig. It pays well, I’m incredibly qualified for it, and they seem really nice – and perhaps most amazingly, it is practically always a one-day-a-week gig.

I figure if I can get this job, keep up my part-time freelancing for as long as that pays and help Ross get some steady employment for at least a year before we leave (enough that he can sock a little money away and help a little with expenses would be perfect), we can save a LOT of money. If some of those things don’t happen, it will be harder – and in particular, if something doesn’t change quickly, we’re in trouble, as we’re currently losing $300-$500/month.

But I absolutely know we can do this, and boy, it sure seems easier to motivate myself to work (and give up some of the fun stuff) when there is clear goal and start date for the new adventure on the other side! I hope we can both keep each other motivated and be willing to make the tough choices. Ross is almost done his EP (whoo-hoo!) which will give him some extra time to devote to making money in the arts, getting the business side of things up and running and whatever else needs doing to make this thing happen.

So far I think the toughest part is keeping all of this to myself for the most part. I’m seeing big changes in store for the theater (in all likelihood, we’ll stop everything but the tours and special events, like wine dinners, after 2015) so that Ross and I can do awesome things like write shows and record CDs together. Worth it? I definitely think so!

Feeling really thankful for all of the amazing blogs and articles out in the world to help us with the planning. Will have lots of resources to share here in the coming months.

Oh, and did I mention we’re going to Disney in January for our wedding present from Ross’ sister and husband? Cannot wait. One more thing to save for, of course, but we can do this.

Thanks for reading!

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Feeling Groovy

Okay, maybe not Groovy, exactly. But certainly healthier than I was a couple of weeks ago. Today I have a “preliminary” interview for that long shot job opportunity. Still a long shot? Absolutely. But it will be good for me to have a conversation that looks ahead.

The minuses if I were to get this job are obvious – no motorhome tour, at least right away, we’d have to move to a city that at least on the surface wouldn’t be our favorite thing, and I’d have all the typical challenges of becoming a teacher.

The pluses? A built in simplified life that combines my theater work and my need for income (at least for as long as I can keep it that simple) and maybe even a summer vacation, which would make returning to Canada for regular visits more feasible. Not to mention good benefits and a clear next step.

In any case, it’s got me thinking more about teaching and how much I like it. Whatever the ending is, I’m sure teaching will be a part of my work moving forward. Wish I had weeks to devote to cleaning and organizing my life – so much to do, so little time!

My groovy feeling usually involves rainbows -I love them – and my closet is oddly becoming less of a rainbow than it used to be. Why? Well, I’m realizing that my favorite ways to dress now involve a color palette that lets me interchange clothes and dress easily. So I think when I’m done decluttering, my goal is to have two palettes, with only an occasional dress or shirt to mess with the vibe. The colors? Probably blacks (for theater and music, of course) and brown/pink/purple/tans, which has become my go-to and I absolutely love it with my complexion and my vibe. We shall see if this holds, but I think the writing is on the wall.

Have a groovy day!

A New Beginning

Ross and Jamie blurry dance

It’s absolutely insane for me to start this right now. My life couldn’t be busier – well, not easily. I’ve got a fantastic but completely overwhelming arts job that I love and am suffocated by on alternating days. I run my own theater company on a staff of none, a few volunteers, and some amazing actors. And I fit in as much theater, music, dance, nature and family time as possible while focusing on finding time to spend with my husband, Ross, who is equally overwhelmed and having his own life crisis as he juggles teaching music, radio work, live sound and his own composing and band projects.

But if all of this stuff is running around my brain, won’t it be more productive to get it all out? I sure hope so.

I had a dream last night. I dreamt a solution to the conundrum I’ve been pondering, somewhat unnamed, for weeks. If I know I want to go from where I currently am to a life that is simpler, involves a tiny home and a yard in a place with work we both enjoy (and less need of work at all), WITHOUT having to take a fancy job for a paycheck and give up what we care about in the meantime, how can I do that?

“Oh, I’ve got it,” said Dream Jamie. “Downsize your life, ¬†you know, like you’ve been working on. Then maybe get a studio or something else small to save some money. Buy a used motorhome. Put your stuff into storage – but not before you’ve mapped out a tour for you and Ross. It should involve all of the awesome skills you have – you can both teach lessons, maybe write a show together, Ross can run audio, Jamie can teach some theater classes and do some editing work – in other words, you don’t need to save up megabucks. Follow the steps. Once you’ve got the motorhome and your tour dates, you’ll start traveling, spending time in communities you might like to settle in some day. And once the tour is complete, you’ll choose your new community and move there – and start saving for a tiny house, with its own land eventually, for the two of you to live in.”

Of course, right? How did I not think of this? Thanks, Dream Jamie.