An update on our situation

Jay Dee

An update on our situation

Sep 13, 2016

So, I sat down to write a post this morning on my morning commute, as it my habit, and just couldn’t get into anything.  The truth is, I’m pre-occupied.  So, I thought I’d write a little post just to share what’s going on

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SexWithinMarriage LogoSo, I sat down to write a post this morning on my morning commute, as it my habit, and just couldn’t get into anything.  The truth is, I’m pre-occupied.  So, I thought I’d write a little post just to share what’s going on in our life and ask for your prayers.

My entire adult life, I’ve been self-employed.  I spent 6 years or so doing IT and Network Administration where the bulk of my work was for a La-Z-Boy franchise of 10 stores.  Then I spent another 6 years or so doing Software Engineering for a promotional company, again, contracted.  I like being contracted, because I got to pick a lot of the “W”‘s about work:

  • When
  • Where
  • What
  • With Who

Some people definite success in life by how many of those “W”‘s you get to control.  Well, as a self-employed individual, I got a fair bit of control over many of those.

A couple of years ago, my largest client got bought out, and frankly, the new owners destroyed the company.  That’s not a matter of opinion…they decimated it, and not on purpose.  So, I found myself still self-employed, but with very little work.  Too many eggs in one basket.  Sometimes that’s hard not to do, especially when they just keep making the basket bigger and more attractive.

I spent a year working out of my house nearly 100% of the time, but well, with very little work.  It was the best year of my life, aside from the financial concerns.  I got to be there for the first 12 months of my youngest son’s life, day in and day out.  I went on a ton of homeschooling field trips, and went for walks whenever I wanted.  Except for the money, I was living the dream.

Then one of my clients offered me a job, and frankly, I couldn’t say no, because, well, that money issue was becoming a bigger issue.  So, I’ve been working there for the last 7 months or so.

Here’s the problem: The job is a 2 hour commute away…each direction.  Yeah, I know, a lot of you just went “Oh…wow”.  It’s a drive, then a train ride, then a subway ride, and then a walk.  And then at night I do it all again.  Plus, to ensure I actually get to see my kids, I shifted my schedule by a couple of hours so I could be home for supper.  That means that my day starts at about 5 am and ends about 5:30 am.  Earlier if I decide to go to the gym before work.

Frankly, it’s killing me.  I haven’t felt rested since I started.  In the evenings, I’m exhausted, and my weekends are spent recovering from the prior week just to keep me alive, on the rare chance we don’t have some function to go besides church.

Not only that, but the money isn’t that good and I didn’t fully understand how much the difference in taxation between being self employed and being employed would make.  Not to mention deductions (which I had to pay as a self-employed individual) and the $25/day in transportation costs.

In short, it seems like I’m trading my life for stability, and it’s unsustainable.  I’m noticing gradual declines in my health as well as my relationships, and I feel like I’m living only to work.

A couple of months ago, I managed to get them to agree to letting me work from home one day a week, but frankly, it’s not enough of a change to make a major impact on the situation.

Last week I was off on vacation.  I didn’t go anywhere or do anything special.  For the first time since I started, I finally caught up on my sleep.  It took a full week.  For the first time, my back didn’t hurt, and I didn’t have a headache.  It made me realize just how bad the situation was.  I mean, I should have realized earlier, when even my colleagues at work were asking “Why are you still working here?”  But, I’m a bit stubborn.

So, yesterday I told my boss (the COO)  that my employment is not sustainable and unless we make a change, I’m going to have to find something else.  It wasn’t a letter of resignation, but it was a precursor to one.  I also offered a solution that would both save them money as well as make me more productive and happy: Hire me as a contracted vendor and let me work from home.

His response “We’ll find a way to make this work”.  Good news! … except later he then said “Would you be willing to accept a compromise?” but he didn’t know what that compromise would be.  The only downside to my solution was that they’d have to get over the mental hurdle of a critical team member being in the office every day, and I fear it might be too big for them.

Yesterday he talked to the owner of the company, and I have a meeting today to follow up.  So, I guess I’m asking for prayers that it will go well.  If it does, I’ll have more time to work on this ministry, more time to sleep and more time for the various relationships in my life (friends and family), as it will free up potentially 64 hours a month in commuting and raise my take-home income by about 35%.  Even if I had to come in once a week, I’d still save 40 hours a month.  That’s a lot of time as well as still a significant effective raise.

And yet, even after all that, I have to say, pray that God’s will be done.  If He wants me there every day…so be it.  But, I hope He doesn’t.  If He wants me to leave and do something else, okay.  I just hope He also points me in the direction where I should go….or rather, pray that I will see His leading.

Well, that’s it for now.  Thank you for your prayers.  I might not write another post, but I’ll try to update my mailing list on what’s going on, so subscribe if you are interested in following the progress.

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43 thoughts on “An update on our situation”

  1. Bridgette says:

    Praying! We made a similar change recently and are also working through the finer details of making it work. The biggest prayer is for a peaceful confidence in whatever decision needs to be made.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you. Agreed, peaceful confidence is handy.

  2. Keelie Reason says:

    I’m praying for you friend.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you.

  3. Austin Reason says:

    Hoping all goes well

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Me too!

  4. Norah says:

    It’s hard to make those kinds of decisions. I will definitely pray.

  5. WilsonsKM says:

    Praying for you man.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks!

  6. MarriedDance says:

    Praying for you buddy.

  7. Josh says:

    My prayers are with you too. In this modern age, this really shouldn’t be such a hard thing for a company to accommodate. I live in San Jose, and work for a company headquartered in San Mateo (which is about an hour commute), but I telecommute except on special occasions when they have everyone come into the office. It was a little odd at first, but the simple fact is remote meeting technology is very good, and combined with email, instant messaging, and even actual phone calls, it’s not really that challenging to deal with remote employees. In fact, it’s actually good for the company too, as it releases them from the need to power your computer, provide desk space, and various other small costs that add up. I guess that perhaps my impression is skewed because the Bay Area is pretty “cutting edge” about such things, and also (at least for good tech resources), a workers market. In any case, I will keep you in my prayers.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I’m we’re in a technologically progressive area too, and I’m in IT, so there’s really no reason here either. It’s the mental hurdle that’s the hardest to get over.

  8. Jeremy says:

    That is defiantly the space between the proverbial Hard Place and The Rock. We will keep you in our prayers that God will give you the wisdom and guidance you need right now…

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Jeremy!

  9. LatterDay Marriage says:

    Prayers for you. It’s strange how similar this is to what I went through when the tech bubble burst in the early 2000’s, including the 2 hour commute. Hang in there, God knows your situation and if you bear hardship well He will bless you.

    1. Jan says:

      Praying for you

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Thanks Jan!

    2. Jay Dee says:

      I graduated in the early 2000’s with a diploma in Software Engineering during that tech bubble burst, newly married. Not the best timing.
      We’ve had a bunch of financial setbacks over the years, and while I doubt we’ll ever be rich, God has managed to always put food on the table and pay the mortgage.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I know this site, and being asked all kinds of questions that you respond to, takes up a lot of your time. I appreciate it so much because certain posts feel like you’re talking to me. I pray that this is resolved in the matter that you want. Your health and family are too important.
    Thank you for all you do for us. This is the only email I read every day.
    Prayers ?? & Good ? Luck!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I love it when people get such a personal impact from the posts, thanks for sharing! And thank you for your prayers.

  11. Art says:

    Praying for you. Read “You’ll get through this” by Max Lucado; You’ll be the same person five years from now except for the books you read and the people you meet.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’ll check it out, thanks for the recommendation.

  12. Jim says:

    Ron. 8:28And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      No argument there. I know it will work out. It’s the in between stage that’s a bit unnerving.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Best of luck. I’ll pray for the best outcome. As cities and work centers become more and more congested as populations grow, employers are going to have to become more creative in running their businesses without onsite employees 100% of the time.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, a million people commute into the city where I work every day. That’s part of the problem. Without traffic it would only be an hour’s drive, but parking would be $20/day and it would likely take me 2.5 hours to travel that distance with my fellow commuters by car.

  14. Mike says:

    I was wondering what happened to you last week. I had to leave (Disneyland) California 40 years ago to save my marriage and children. Went to a small town of only 1000 so I could keep eyes on my children 24/7 if necessary. It worked!! Our two girls were able to avoid all the teen peer pressure and come out leaders. They are successful high school teachers, and have stable families. My marriage had some rough patches, but we had time and enough face to face contact each day to work through the situations and come out better in the end.

    Have fun with your kids and have sex with your wife! 🙂

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, sorry, I thought I’d have more time…but my vacation turned out to be full of all the things I hadn’t had time for while working…

  15. klageer says:

    Hey Jay,
    I hope things go well for you; like you say, really there is no reason for not working from home in so many cases. I trust that works out for your.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I trust it will too. Just want my employer to realize that 🙂

  16. Brian says:

    In our prayers! Trust God He is Faithful to those that turn to Him. And know its not by Works but Totally by Grace. We just have to Receive what He has made available by His Son who made, yes made it all available when He said “It is Finished”. Trust and Believe All is and Will be Well.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks for the prayers. You kind of lost me on the rest. It’s not a salvation issue, and even if it was, I agree that my salvation is gained by grace, but it’s also kept by works. God doesn’t save those who don’t love Him, and those who love Him keep His commandments. The Bible is quite clear that if we don’t have “works” then we won’t make it. The works don’t save us…but they keep us saved…sort of.

      But, still, I’m not sure how that applies in this situation. I’m definitely certain that works is important in gaining income 🙂

  17. Hermit says:

    Praying. Have you ever read Decision Making and the Will of God?

    I think where and when you work is an area of freedom where God lets you make the decisions – so long as you don’t breach any biblical principles. Hey its a great book.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I own that book, I’m not sure I finished it, but I read enough to get the message at least. And I agree, God, by and large, tends to leave us to make individual choices within His permissive Will….but I’ve found there are times in my life when God clearly said “Psst…this is the better choice” even when two choices seem identical at the time. Sometimes even when the one He points out doesn’t look like a good choice. I’m always glad when I follow that prompting.

      So, yeah, if I don’t feel any push, then I’ll make the best decision I can. But, I always want to be listening, just in case He wants to weigh in 🙂

  18. HopefullyHelpful says:

    I am in the stage of separating myself from a dying company. I decided to try the freelance route if I can, because I know the “other way” demands more of your life that it can pay for.

    Prayers to you, Jay.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, this is my first attempt at being employed, and I don’t think I like it. I went through that a couple of years ago when my major client (99% of my income) basically self-destructed with the new owners.

      My advice: Email everyone on your contact list (even if they don’t seem like potential clients) and send them a “hey, I’m in business for myself now” message listing your services. You never know what you might get. I had a couple clients come on board simply because I had separated from the other company, which they hated.

  19. Chris Tian says:

    Who clicked boring?! Jay you know I love this site and your work and thank God for your life. It’s not hard to pray for you and I will. I was unemployed for four long hard difficult years, it was painful and I felt abandoned by God. The joke being a friend who’s a prophetess said to me in 2011 when it all started: “I see the number 4, what’s all that about?” It took three years to understand it meant four years and I got a job four years to the very month I became unemployed. I didn’t get it but I see now that those hard times shaped me and raised my faith and helped me develop wonderful relationships with others as well. Anyway just saying that to say you’re in my prayers and I know God will work it out. Do keep us posted. Lots of love. xx

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Oh, someone always clicks “boring” or “cliche” 🙂 It doesn’t bother me.

      Thanks for the prayers, and I agree, God uses these times to increase our faith, if we let Him.

  20. Jerry Stumpf says:

    Jay Dee, It is encouraging to see so many folks connect with your transparency! You have a wonderful blog and I pray you can derive your income through it some day, soon.

    Don’t sacrifice your family on the altar of work! I am on the other end of the age thing – turned 66 on Monday! You cannot get back family time lost or your health. Sorry if I sound like your dad! Just concerned for you my friend!

    If I can help with getting eBooks finished or any other way to help monetize your work, pour it on. I am looking at some extra ways to supplement my income so we – wife and I – can do more travel together.

    What I am trying to say is that there are many fans of your blog who would enjoy helping you. Let us be sort of your VA’s.

    Your kids are only their age – once. Your marriage is only as good as you can sacrifice for it. Those companies will survive or fail with out you.

    Yes, pay your bills, yet do not get so busy making a living that you do not make a marriage or have a relationship with your family.

    Yield to your wife, as her “radar” is often much better than ours is. Do you have someone like Paul Byerly or another marriage ministry / business owner who you can confide in? If not I encourage you to seek one out to help become a sounding board for you.

    Again, thank you for your openness concerning your situation. Praying that you will receive guidance and peace in your situation. Life s always a juggling act, no matter where you are on the family scene.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Jerry,

      I’m not worried about the company at all. More concerned about my ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. But, I get what you’re saying.
      Yeah, I have a couple other bloggers I talk to who are working on transitioning to full time blog income, and I currently have a group of wives helping me with my next book and it’s going very well. I’m slowly learning to ask who wants to help. I’m a bit of a slow learning in that regard.

      But once it’s done, I’d love some help promoting it for anyone willing to do so, or tips on how to do that successfully.

  21. Robyn says:

    ” I have to say, pray that God’s will be done.” Very important to keep in mind.

    I’m a little late here, if I read correctly it was yesterday that you had your meeting. How did it go? Know this JD, and not to sound trite but it WILL pass you WILL come out on the other side. I’m pretty sure you are not freaking out, you and Christina seem mature in your faith. These are the building blocks of our faith that become part of our story! I know God will lead you because you seek to follow His will. I have faith in your faith Brother!

    1. Robyn says:

      Just got your weekly update JD and I’m so happy for you!

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Thanks Robyn!

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