But while I hemmed and hawed over my future pursuits, the ground was quaking. My husband worked for a wonderful kids' magazine, a startup that relied on outside funding to exist. It was close to being self-supporting, but not quite there. Then 9/11 happened. The financial world reeled. And then our world did.
By November we knew there could be changes coming to the magazine due to the rocky financial landscape. What would happen? Plan A, stay the course. Plan B, enact a few changes and budget cuts to stay afloat. Plan C, perhaps more drastic changes. We were eager but upbeat about what the future held and considered ourselves relatively flexible people, able to ride the waves.
The first, or was it second (?), week of December I was standing at the kitchen sink when my husband walked in the room and said, "Well, they are going with Plan D." Plan D? Yes, Plan D. Pull the funding. All of it. No magazine. No job.
8.9 on the Barker Family Richter Scale.
We were faced with a number of options, all of them involving relatively drastic changes. With 4 kids in Christian school and a desire to stay put if at all possible, we rooted around for what to do.
As I said before, I had been at home with the kids for 12 years. In my previous, childless life I had worked both as a Registered Dietitian and a secretary/receptionist but my registration had lapsed years earlier and I had not kept pace with the technological skills now needed for most office work. I was, in effect, unemployable except at the most basic level. Then my husband said those words.
"Time to get your real estate license, honey."Sometimes the aftershocks are just as terrifying as the quake itself.
In his defense, he wasn't just pulling things out of a hat. He and I had been fascinated with real estate since we had bought our house in 1993. We would crawl in bed at night and look through the weekly real estate newspaper together because in the olden days this is all you had to go on. I had helped a number of friends find houses and had even gained a bit of a reputation as the go-to person if you were looking for a house. So, to my husband it made sense. Put my real estate fascination and skills (?) to work. Literally.
And so it began.