Transition Land–Taking a Risk

I have been busy this summer taking a vacation. I have worked hard at it! I have had regular therapy  Skype sessions with my friend, Karelyn, who is transitioning right along with me, from the same boss and same job! I have completed numerous crafty projects and books, spent hours on the piano playing Bach, Mozart, Hadyn, and (gasp) Chopin and Schumann. Right before we went camping, I finally took a risk. I designed a website/blog for teaching piano and (here’s the risk part….) I sent the link to the area Suzuki teachers and both the homeschool groups to post on Facebook. I know what you are thinking…that was a risk? Yep it was. 


The past several months, I have spent my time developing some wonderful friendships with you in Blog Land, and I can not express my gratitude to all of you adequately. You have become my colleagues, friends and cyber neighbors, and I would do this all again if that was the only way I would have met you! I have been tightly sequestered since March 22, with no one able to reach me except for people at church and two contacts from work. So, you have been my safe place, and have blessed me with your wonderful, normal, and sometimes funny presence!

 It may have been a little odd to be so closed off, but I needed time, and I realize I still need time. My 4-H kids and contacts are everywhere, and the constant explanation and reopening of the wound would have been detrimental to the necessary healing, so I have barely left home when we are in town, except to go with DH to pay bills, get groceries, etc. I was just not ready to be outside my safe bubble and meet a 4-H family out on the street and have to be fine. I think I am still a few months from that if I am honest! In spite of that, I have NOT been bored or very pensive here at home!


Some of my new friends may be feeling really confused now, so let me quickly recap. In mid February my boss drove 400 miles to hand me a letter saying he chose not to renew my contract on June 21. So, after 31 years as a 4-H professional, and 27 in South Dakota, I was essentially fired. By not renewing my contract, he didn’t have to justify the decision to anyone. My colleague, Karelyn received a similar letter a few days later. We decided to quit March 21 instead of hanging around until June. 

So back to that “risk.” Since publishing it, I have had traffic on the site, and actually have a new student already! I started with basic info and a contact page, and have it set up so that I can post to the blog portion as I make decisions about schedules, fees and studio policies. Those posts will now become items I can share through Facebook, which will allow my current parents to point others to my page. It’s a new kind of “word of mouth.” Last night I had another inquiry, so I am guardedly optimistic that this endeavor will indeed work!

Now that I have a plan formulating, it is much easier to think about what the fall may bring, and being out and about. πŸ˜‰

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32 thoughts on “Transition Land–Taking a Risk

  1. Oh Kathy, all the best. I understand how you feel as my health and the stress at work basically pushed me into being unemployed (I am on a year’s unpaid leave but I know I will be resigning at the end of it). May your new business bring you lots of students and heaps of enjoyment πŸ™‚

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  2. Hang in there Kathy. You have been given an unfair episode in life but you will come out to the better. Now your former boss……that is bad karma all the way around. πŸ™‚ I remember when I finally decided to take retirement I was actually ashamed of being out of work. I had worked full time since I was 11 years old only taking a few weeks off when each of my children were born and I felt like people would think I was lazy if I was not working!!!! How crazy is that? I also became a hermit for awhile until I worked it out in my head. I do admit, I still like hiding out at home. Please keep us posted of your progress.

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  3. Best of luck with your piano lessons, it always takes time when change that we don’t want is forced upon us, you have to grieve for the old way of life, and grieving takes time. Look after yourself x

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  4. Oh ,I do hope this works out beautifully for you!! I’m also mighty glad I am getting to know you as a blogging friend.. I’m finding out that your a lovely person ,who has faced a hard time with courage.

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  5. Hi Kathy, I knew you had some kind of trauma going on but of course did not have any idea what. To lose your job in such a way and after so long, I think you have done well to overcome the shock and heartbreak at being treated so badly. One wonderful thing seems to be that you have found blogland, and from my experience it is one of the few places where people do not pry and do not judge, we are all accepted at face value, which is a wonderful thing. If only the whole world were like that.
    I wish you every success with your new challenge and feel sure you will make it and build a new and maybe better life, certainly a different one. I just hope you feel you still have the time for blogging with those new friends, and hope I am counted amongst them, I certainly know that you are someone I count when adding up my blessings.
    Hugs Helen x

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    1. Helen, you are such a dear! I absolutely count you in my friends, and I plan to continue blogging! I am so blessed by all of you, and looking forward to adding some students. I am having lunch with a former colleague next week; she and I have lots in common, so that will be a good check up for me! I’m really looking forward to it.😊

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  6. I’m so glad to hear you are moving so well through this process. And whilst they seelike risks, you are building your strength and are trying something new. Good for you! It’s definitely paying off. My mum is a piano teacher, and is also the church organist, so I know all about music teaching from home. You will soon be very busy I’m sure.

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      1. I was thinking more on this after I commented, and although my health set back is very different from your situation, I truly believe that God puts us in these situations some times so we get back onto the path he wants us to be on! We just have to trust Him!

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  7. I am so glad to hear that you are now feeling confident enough to move forward and envisage starting your own business. You’ll probably need to read up on how to declare your income for tax purposes, but once you’ve sorted that side of things, it will be very rewarding to be self-employed and have a handful of enthusiastic students to teach from home.

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    1. Taxes will be a learning process for sure, but less complicated without a salaried job in the mix….I hope anyway! I believe this will be a good path for me, and I feel at peace about getting this started. I’m not expecting to have my goal met by September, but having 15 students on deck would be a great start, and I’m within reach of that, I think. 😊 Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and encouragement these past months!

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  8. I’m really impressed with the extent to which you know and have been true to yourself–You know you need time to heal and that it is totally okay to withdraw from the world for a bit. It’s not as if you’re sitting around moping! You’ve been so incredibly productive and I am confident the piano lessons will be a huge success!

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  9. All the best to you in your new endeavor. It sends like a winner to me! Blessings and opportunities often present themselves in unexpected ways, and the trick is to recognize them. Good for you for doing just that, especially in your own inimitable way.

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    1. That is so true Karen, I appreciate those words. I have been looking for all of those silver lining moment, and you have provided several of those. I am excited to see what God does with this endeavor, and the new kids He brings into my life.😊

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    1. Thanks Emma! I have taught a few kids since I was a kid, but have never tried to make it a serious income. My goal is 25 students by September. I had 10 already because of younger siblings I just couldn’t turn down, and have now added 3 more, and have 3 others that have expressed some sort of interest. I am so encouraged!

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  10. That is very good news Kathy!!! How wonderful will it be when you are turning students away because you just don’t have enough time to schedule everyone!! Well it won’t be wonderful for them but that’s not the point. The point is that you have created an amazing opportunity for yourself doing something that you love to do!!! And you will be teaching people how to make beautiful music!!!!!!! And you never have to worry about a jerk boss having any control over your life!!!!! I’m so happy for you. πŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks Tami! I am really hopeful and excited about my prospects right now. I learned this week of two teachers in my area moving away, and both moms were pretty willing to let those families know that I was available. πŸ˜„

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