It's hard to believe that only a few days ago, my husband was in school.
Jim and I have always worked together. We met in 2003 in Springfield, Missouri. He and I often spent long days working out of a news car covering breaking news across the Ozarks. He eventually got promoted to chief photographer and I gradually become an evening anchor.
After nearly 8 years in Southwest Missouri, we packed our bags and moved back to where my journalism career started in Wilmington, North Carolina. We loved living near the beach and joked about "retiring early" in the south. However, when we got the call to come to Madison, Wisconsin, we knew we couldn't pass it up.
Even though we've owned three houses in 3 states since 2008, the move to Madison seemed the most challenging. Jim had worked in news management in Missouri and North Carolina but we knew he was ready to make a move into something else. It was intimidating!
Jim had to adjust going back to school. Since he already had a degree, Madison College's two year program for mobile app development seemed like the best fit. Still, he was the oldest person in his classes (often by more than 20 years) and he remained insanely busy working as a student developer at UW. Incredibly, he finished strong with a cumulative 3.9 GPA.
Even though Jim walked at his undergrad ceremony many moons ago, we decided to make a big deal out of his graduation here. It symbolized so much for us. We were thankful to have my sister and her husband celebrate with us as well! It's amazing to have family in Madison.
And here's how it seems to be working out. Before Jim even graduated, he had several offers from companies in Madison. I can't tell you what a foreign concept that is for a journalist. When you work in TV news, it's fair to say you're constantly reminded how replaceable you are and how many hundreds of people would love to have your job. You are told you have to move far from home, work horrible hours and get paid lower wages than the people you cover complaining about their low wages (starting out you make about $10 an hour as a reporter.) Jim was offered a signing bonus just for a paid internship.
So what job did he take? Right now he's working for a news media corporation that owns several television stations across the country, including one here in Wisconsin. The best part? His office is at home. Minnie stands guard each morning to make sure no one bothers him.
Who knows what will happen in our future but we are grateful for all the new challenges. Jim has taught me we can do whatever the hell we want if we're open to it and willing to do the work. We've both been humbled by some of the massive changes we've made in the last few years but it's been worth the sacrifice and anxiety of treking through the unknown.
So thanks to everyone for their kind words, their good juju, their love and support. If you happen to have any advice on how to succesfully work at home, we'd love to hear from you -- like, do you wear your PJs all day? Do you go out for coffee in the morning to feel like you're going to work? We need to know!
Seriously, thanks for everything. It's hard to believe this is happening. This is the fastest two years we've ever lived. We are trying to savor these moments.