Doing the Math

Paul and I added all of our part-time incomes together today. We were conservative — not adding all of the little side jobs that Paul gets contracting. When you look at the math, we’d make about $3,000 a year more over in South Carolina. We’d lose that in the move and in the probable visits to all of our friends and family on the West Coast.  Another wash.

The improvement would be in assured, steady income, the benefit package, and the pat-on-the-back for having a real bona fide job. I guess another benefit would be if Paul really liked going to work. The little school seems to be about the best possible teaching gig possible — 16 students at most, outdoors at-the-ready, and freedom to teach according to your own style. But I don’t know if Paul really wants back into teaching unless he were to be paid well.

Are we being too picky?

I landed two magazine assignments with an Oregon magazine. I’m getting a website set up for my articles and writing. I’ve got business cards coming. Are these reasons to stay? Are they tipping points in the favor of staying an Oregonian?

I wonder.

Sometimes I feel ready to shake the dust of Prineville off and walk away. Then, I feel sentimental about this dead-end town. It’s been home for over ten years.

This toss and turn of feelings is so tiring. I long to be able to say, “This is who I am. This is my identity. This is how much we make a month.” The wondering of what job will come up next can be exhausting.

Yet, taking a full-time position that doesn’t solve financial problems feels like a death knell on the hopes of ever accomplishing what we really want.

I keep repeating this mantra: if we’re going to go down the toilet financially, we might as well do it pursuing what we really want to do.

Is that a stupid mantra? Short-sighted?

A single, badly-paid teaching income will just help us to swirl around the toilet bowl a little longer.

Or are we underestimating what a steady, solid income can do for a family?



  1. I think you have to just throw your hands and your calculator up in the air and say….here I am Lord….WHATEVER! It looks crazy to the world and irresponsible and all that stuff, but, I think you need to just ASK HIM and only HIM and then be brave enough to do whatever He leads you to do, whether it is staying or going at least you know you are doing what He has called you to do. We love your family and our vote is for you to stay…but, I know you have to do what is best for your family, and God’s plan is always best…not safest, not easiest, but best!


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