Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taking A Chance

By Annette Dashofy

This must be the week for posts that open with a discussion of job changes. I guess I’ll stick with the theme.

My personal “catch phrase” has been that I’m a yoga instructor who writes mysteries, striving to become a mystery writer who teaches yoga. I guess I’m going to have to revise that. Because after a lot of thought and soul searching, I’ve decided to quit the yoga teaching position I’ve held for the last ten years.

There are lots of reasons behind the decision. But mainly, it’s time to make a commitment to what I truly want. It started to feel like I was half a yoga instructor and half a writer and not giving either profession the attention it needed.

On the other hand, I’ve opted to leave a job that provided fairly steady income for one that…well…does not. The economy is crashing down around us and I have quit my job.

I must be out of my mind. (Insert screaming and gnashing of teeth)

Maybe so, but as soon as the decision was made, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. I felt energized. I felt like a writer.

I have squirreled aside some money—enough to see me through the next six months. I have sent out a passel of queries for magazine articles and I have a bunch more ideas rambling around in my head. I have made connections through my work on the Pennwriters Conference, which I hope will pay off. Literally. I have a good shot at getting a short story included in an upcoming anthology.

I have a couple of odd jobs lined up in the coming months to provide some gas money (and some material for blogging).

Plus I’m not entirely giving up on teaching yoga. I have a couple of private students. I may pick up one or two more. So I’m not completely out of my mind.

I’m looking forward to the end of May, when the conference is behind me and I can sit down and work on my novel. All. Day. Long.

This is my shot. I figure, if autumn rolls around and I’ve run out of cash and the freelance money isn’t showing signs of being able to support me until something happens with the novel, I can always pick up another yoga class somewhere.

Wish me luck. I’m excited. And terrified. It’s going to be an interesting summer.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Annette, on reaching a decision. I'm all for trying things out, and seeing how they work for you. Any time I've made a decision like that, it's been a good thing for me, in terms of figuring out what I'm meant to be doing in this life. Plus, I'm sure if you did decide to go back to teaching yoga, there are other places you could teach.

In the meantime, enjoy being a full-time writer!

Joyce Tremel said...

It's funny how when we near that half-century mark we all seem to evaluate just what is most important to us.

Even though my decision was made for me, ultimately it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened. I enjoy being a full-time writer.

Don't worry--you'll do fine!

Annette said...

Thanks, Tory and Joyce. It definitely FEELS right. Except that I'm going to miss my students something fierce. I get to start breaking the news to them tonight.

Jessi Pizzurro said...

Yeayyyyy!!! Throw off the Shivani Shackles and be free to pursue what makes YOU happy, fulfilled and SATISFIED. Soar like an eagle, sweetie - this is YOUR time now. We've all got your back.

Love you!

Jen Forbus said...

Good luck Annette! Glad you made a decision that makes you happy!

Jenna said...

Good luck, Annette! Good going, girl. Have fun with it.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Congratulations on pursuing the writing full-bore Annette! And look at this way--if things ever get stressful, you already know your own breathing and relaxation exercises--OMMMM!

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Well, Annette. I'm not sure what to say. For me, I'm not nearly as productive writing while unemployed as I am while I was employed. I sit in front of the keyboard and I start to feel guilty that I'm not looking for a job. Everytime I see my daughters, that guilt bubbles up in my throat like bitter bile.

The good news is that I've had a few interviews lately. In fact I'm going on an interview this morning. There is a job out there that I interviewed for that seems ideal. I'm trying not to get too hopeful, since I hate disappointment.

Annette, make the most of your opportunity. Make committments and give yourself deadlines and keep them.

Good luck. And how the hell do you do that damn tree pose? My trainer on Wii Fit makes it look so easy.

Annette said...

Will, at least in my case my husband still has a job that includes health insurance and my yoga teaching job didn't pay that much anyway, so it's not as big a leap as from being the main breadwinner in the household. Good luck with the interviews.

As for Tree and Wii, I've gotten that question a lot lately. I teach a beginner version of Tree that I call Sapling (little tree, get it?). Try placing the foot against the ankle instead of the thigh. You can keep the toes touching the floor if you need to (think training wheels). Gradually, as you gain faith in your balance, you can slide the foot up to the calf. Once you can pull that off, you're ready for full blown Tree pose.

Let me know how it works. Namaste.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I'll try that.

OK, explain this. I'm right handed and yet my balance is much better on my left fot than my right.

Annette said...

Will, we're always better at balancing on one side than the other and it has less to do with whether we're right-handed or left-handed than it does on things like old injuries or do you tend to cross your legs right over left or left over right. If you practice balancing more on your harder side, it will catch up and eventually you'll even out.

Jeez, I still sound more like a yoga teacher than a writer. Maybe I should write a yoga book. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Annette, yea for you! I'm happy for you and wishing you the best!

Wil, I am thinking good thoughts for you and your interviews. My husband lost his job of 22 years a year ago and was off for 3 months before he found another one. He says now he wishes he had known it would only be 3 months, so he could have enjoyed the "vacation" instead of worrying all the time about the future. It all worked out so well that we ended up using part of his severance to pay off our mortgage. I have faith that all will work out well for you, too. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Wil - I've been using Annette's idea for my own Wii Fit Yoga and it's been working just fine. Just ignore the nasty trainer snarking!


Annette - you GO, GIRL! You've got nothing to fear but fear itself!

Annette said...

I want to thank everyone for your well wishes. It's nice to have so many friends in my corner.