New Rhythms

2016-07-19 18.56.52

Dear Friends,

I have some news. I’ve told all my peeps in real life, and its a huge deal for me, so I guess I should mention it here.

After 13 years of self-employment, I have accepted a position as a Lead Editor for an international consulting firm in their environmental and planning group. The majority of my work will involve California high-speed rail. I’ll be working in downtown Sacramento. It’s a great opportunity to learn lots of new things and get into a stable industry. And high-speed rail is an amazing, important project that will have huge, lasting benefits for our state and our environment in our fight against climate change.

There have been many stellar moments during the last 13 years of self-employment—moments of achievement and pride, moments of deep struggle and learning, and countless beautiful family moments that I’ve been available for thanks to working from home, and therefore able to write about here at Love in the Suburbs. I’m proud of what I did professionally: I started a business and made money on my own out of the power of my brain, my skills, and my charisma.

I’m also proud of the parenting I’ve been able to do thanks to working from home: the presence, the connections, the trust, the rhythms. I’ve learned so much by being here, day in and day out, for all the glory-filled firsts and everyday sniffles, the pretty and the mundane. I have contributed meaningfully to the growth and development of these two not-so-small-anymore beings, and to our family home. We have built something beautiful here.

This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of my dear husband, Ian, who has been steady and gracious in the face of freelancing ups and downs, and a faithful provider throughout this time. He was the one who said in 2003, when I wanted to leave my job, “Go ahead. We’ll work it out.” I’m so grateful for his faith in me and my abilities, for his patience with my unpredictable work-whenever-there’s-work schedule, for his support and encouragement all these years. I love you, Ian.

I admit to having some mixed feelings about this change. I’ve been my own boss for a long time. I will continue to freelance as I can, and will be keeping several key clients. Change is often painful, and this is pretty much a 180 from my former rhythm. I’m giving myself permission to take it slow, adjust at my own pace, feel all the feelings—even the ones that are selfish or seemingly counterproductive, and put one foot in front of the other. I’m wading into new territory, off-map and befuddled at times. I’m taking my joys where I can, including playing tourist in my own city.


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For all of you who have hired me, cheered me on, listened to me, advised me, encouraged me, pretended to be collections agents, referred clients to me, helped me network, and given me innumerable other kinds of assistance, thank you.

A special thank you to Dakini, who put me in touch with players at my new firm. I love you, girlfriend! And she’s the one who hauls my Country Mouse ass to and from work, making this transition as easy for me as possible. And many thanks to all the people who have stepped up to care for my kids as we establish these new rhythms.

Love and bright blessings, while I turn and face the strange …


Seven Years Self-Employed

I’m so busy with work I almost didn’t notice, but sometime this week (August 22nd? 23rd?) marks the seventh anniversary (7th!) of my self-employment.

In August 2003, I left the best job I’ve ever had to stay home with my 1-year-old son, Lucas, because frankly I couldn’t hack leaving him with a nanny every day.

I think I made it all the way to the end of that generous, third “reintegration” month, working three days a week at the office and two days at home. That’s when I realized it’s not normal to cry every day you go to work. (During my morning commute, at my desk, in the bathroom, at lunch, on the way home.) Maybe a little at first—but after three months, it was starting to look less like a “difficult transition” and more like depression.

After a lot of soul searching and a hasty look at my bank account, I threw caution to the wind and quit that great job. It was the right decision for me and my son. It was the right decision for my mental health.

I left to go freelance with no freelance experience. No savings. No contacts. No babysitting. Not one tiny clue how to run a business. And it was seven years ago! Did I mention that part already?

I’ve had some really hard years. I’ve had a few spectacular years. I’ve had many, many late nights working and I’ve lost many weekends to my projects. I’ve had seasonal work with ultra-busy months and dreadfully slow months. I’ve had hundreds of days with my kids that I would not otherwise have had. I say yes to stinky projects sometimes. I am occasionally so busy I have to say no to gems.

I’m the boss. My own boss.

And while I may have a tendency to be nostalgic about those old office days, with old office friends and everything else that went with office life, I’m not sorry.

Because, when you factor in all the various pros and cons, tally all the tick marks, and weight it all up, I now have the best job I’ve ever had.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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