Archives for posts with tag: life changes

It’s not like I haven’t done this before; my little family moved here in 1995, so that TMIM (That Man I Married) could pursue a PhD. It took me 6 months to find work that time, and I was trying a lot harder then. Part of the problem was that my job of choice was/is very specific. There were 3 people doing the job within driving distance of my new home, and oddly, no one wanted to step aside to make room for me.

I cannot say that I was sorry to leave the job I eventually found when we returned to California in 2001. I could probably get hired there again, but I won’t try. I have never been involved in an abusive romantic relationship, but that job came as close as I care to get. Nobody laid a hand on me, but you can’t tell me that breaking into silent weeping on the way to the office is normal.

Fortunately, I am not the primary earner this go-round. (Thank you, Dr. T!)

This time things are different- we are here because I wanted to come back sooner or later, and the opportunity presented itself to my other half first. We agreed that I would stay in California to allow our child (The Kid) , then a senior, to graduate high school. In the meantime, I’d look for work long distance. Years passed, and we  realized that the long distance life was wearing on us, the long distance job hunt was a long shot, and it was just time to make a move, because even though I was getting older, I was still nearly 6 loooong years away from full retirement at my current job.

Once again, full time jobs in my specific area of expertise are scarce. But this time, I am not sure I would want one. The work can be stressful, and emotionally draining. I do have the option of going solo, and developing my own business. It’s something I am considering, though I haven’t yet made the effort. Here’s the big question: If I have to work really hard to get something going, do I want to struggle over something I have done for years, or put the effort into something new and interesting?

As I work that out, I’ve been putting other pieces of my new life into place, but we’ll get to that.

No, not in that fun, let’s get married in New York way. I am letting my real hair color come in, in all of its striped glory.

Except for a brief flirtation with henna in the 70’s, and a startling episode of I Love Lucy red in 1991 (DON”T let your stylist enlist you as a hair model unless he is VERY specific about his intentions!) I avoided hair color until approximately 10 years ago.

Actually, I remember clearly the day I first got coaxed into highlights, or rather, I remember walking toward the train station afterward, as a very large group protesting the impending invasion of Iraq marched toward me. I felt superficial and decadent, and hoped they thought my fabulous blowout was just the way I looked when I rolled out of bed, if they noticed me at all.

But I digress. The highlights got lighter, without my having asked. A few years later, my hair goddess (SHE would never turn me red) informed me that my gray hair was coming in at such a rate that my hair would always look “cloudy” (or something) unless I went to single process color.

And that was it. Over the years, my hair stayed young as my face grew older. I feared the disconnect. I did not want to alarm strangers as they approached, expecting a girl and finding a crone. I feared the transition back to my real hair color more. How do I go to work with 2 inches of roots showing? So it was back to the chair every 6 weeks. I said I would let my hair grow out when I turned 55 or moved back to Durham, which ever came first. Those milestones were ages away.

Until they weren’t. Here I am, at home in North Carolina, having rounded the corner on double nickels,  6 months out from my last color. My gray is coming on strong, and I like it. When I moved here in June, I had a smooth, beige, blown out bob. It takes a special kind of woman to maintain that in southern heat and humidity. I am not that woman.

Apparently, I am a woman on the verge of having a cloud of salt and pepper hair. A new head of hair seems an appropriate accessory to a new stage of life. Having solved the weighty issue of what to do with my hair, I can now move on to the trifling issue of what to do with my time.

Here I am, in the horrifying position of being able to do whatever I want, constrained only by  gravity, the time-space continuum, and money. And my chronological age.

Here’s the condensed version: I voluntarily left a job I loved, in a great city on one coast to join my husband, who I love more, in our house on the other coast.

The Good: an end to 3 years of bi-coastal marriage

The Bad: no job at my age in a down economy

The Ugly: the condition of our house after years of tenant occupancy

This blog is intended to document and clarify my search for gainful and meaningful employment. I’ll be discussing some of the house rehab as it occurs.  I will be writing about the big and little delights of life in my corner of the world. I suspect there will be some discussion of living with other humans, in my case a husband and adult child (there’s an oxymoron for you.) And whatever else lands in my brain from time to time.

My favorite joke off all time is from Paula Poundstone. It goes something like this: “You know why grown-ups are always asking kids what they want to do when they grow up? They’re looking for ideas!”  I’m looking for ideas~

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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