Personal Essays

A Few Weeks of Shingles

A whole week went by without a blog post. It’s not that work has not been happening on the house. But it is that the fall has started to become it’s own obstacle. These past two weeks have been more obstacle than help with the house.

My incredibly hard-working husband discovered he had an ear infection-a massive ear infection. Despite everything I tried to help him feel better (and he so graciously agreed to), it was a week with antibiotics and it slowed life down.

And I think it’s time for me to get something off my chest.

And these past two weeks (despite freezing weather, being sick, and ever shortening day), he managed to shingle the house. So I will liter this blog with pictures of shingling, inter dispersed with what needs to get off my chest.


If there is anything I want or feel inclined to do in this world it is to physically take care of my family. Tyler and I are a little tiny family, like my little tiny garden. Just the two of us. And I have felt that I have been only a hindrance recently. For those of you unaware, I left a full-time job at the end of June. And with that, I left a full-time paycheck. I had never had a full-time paycheck before, so leaving was a decision that required a lot of hemming and hawing. In fact, I first considering leaving my job in February. But, a fighter always, I decided I needed to take the time to see if I could fix myself so that I could be successful at my job. I fought for my job the way I fight for everything-with every ounce of my soul and every dime I have. So I did the things that no one on the outside sees you do. I read five books about my job field and tried to implement the book suggestions. I spoke with three consultants (one in NYC, one in LA and one in Des Moines) who work with people with my type of job and help you find the tools to be effective at your job. I spent quite a bit of money seeing a therapist in Spencer, IA, who specializes in helping executives achieve work/life balance. We developed a strategic plan (that involved my husband) to help me be realistic about my work situation and move forward.


My three consultants and my therapist, after a time, each individually suggested that this job wasn’t the right fit for me. And had my grandfather not passed away on the day I was offered this position, I might have taken the proper time to find out that it wasn’t the right fit for me before I put my employers, my family, my husband and my friends (whom I basically ignored) through a very rough nine months.


So I stayed, I stayed too late. I stayed until, I couldn’t make it work anymore. Until I stopped sleeping. Until I lost too much weight. Until there was nothing else I could talk about, besides the job. Until my heart sank when I saw former students. Until I saw my husband, a single person in our marriage, so infrequently because I had a meeting, or had to travel, or had a deadline.

I am still recovering from this job I had. I am not a person who frequently regrets my decisions, but I do regret the decision I made at the end of last summer. I had a music studio with a wait list and was my own boss. I worked also with colorful characters at a church…in music. And I had the time and freedom to compose and arrange for marching band and teach winter drumline. And despite working in the evening, I even had the time to make dinner for my husband (something I love to do) several nights a week and go to a gym daily. I quit a life to get a job that overtook my life and didn’t fit me.

It is the only thing I have ever regretted in my life.


Now I am starting over.

I feel nothing but a burden, especially on my husband who works his ass off (or, perhaps I should say his ear) to give us a home.


And these past two weeks (despite freezing weather, being sick, and ever shortening day), he managed to shingle the house.

Tyler, you are my rockstar. You will always be my rockstar. Always and Forever.






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