I don’t say it often enough, but I am very fortunate to have found a life partner like Tywana. We’ve been together over 30 years now, married 28 in a few weeks. We have had two beautiful children together. We created a home, homeschooled the girls, started a business, and are now transitioning into the next phase of our life. The company we started dedicated to the girls’ haircare needs is in uncomfortable flux over the last couple of years. We are both adjusting to being empty nesters. The business is not generating the income we need which causes significant stress on me. Over a year ago, after over two decades of not working outside of the home, Tywana took on a part-time job without any prompting from me other than always complaining about money. It was 12 hours a week at a meager wage, but enough to pay for little things for us here and there. About two weeks ago I was talking with my friend and advisor Jake, and he suggested that one of us pick up an outside job to get health insurance benefits. I can’t take on any more outside jobs as I have three or four posts, depending on how you count, now. I gingerly approached Tywana with the idea that maybe she could consider picking up a job with more hours.
She loved her current job. She was working with a group of only women. The job was “sensory panelist.” It consisted of tasting products for P&G. Because you can only taste so much at a time, 90% of the job was downtime. They were scheduled from 10 AM to 2 PM Tuesday through Thursday. A typical work day consisted of tasting a sample at 10, having break for an hour or two, taking another taste. Then, maybe a third taste at the end of the day. They rarely worked until 2. Oftentimes they just had to go in and fill out a survey or drop off a sample, and they’d be paid for the full four hours. Tywana made best friends with one of the women there and they’d get 6,000 or 8,000 steps in while they were at “work”. It’s a dream job. Asking her to leave that to take on more work was a stretch.
The next thing I knew she had put her resume on Monster.com. In fact, she did it without telling me. I didn’t realize until the next day when I heard her on the telephone speaking with a recruiter. She had three interviews lined up within two days. She went on the first interview and got the offer. 20 hours a week. But, the time is 7 AM to 11 AM. Tywana is not a morning person. To ask her to adjust to rising early again after so many years of being able to sleep in is a big ask. I entirely left it up to her. It would be three times the amount of money she was making in the other job. But, she’d have to work four hours a day and would no longer have a four day weekend every single weekend. Tywana took the job and started three days ago. She’s gotten up without complaint every day. It’s full time for the first two weeks while she’s in training. So, she’s out from 8 AM to 5 PM for the first time since before Kayla was born 22 years ago.
Times have been tough since Shayna passed. Finances have been a struggle. We’re both adjusting to the quiet house. Tywana has been unbelievable. She’s taken up meditation. She’s jumped in to volunteer with Helping Parents Heal. She’s listening to the podcasts I listen to, reading the books I read. We’re talking about how our lives will look going forward, which is very different than they’ve been in recent years. We were happy with our girls at home and our thriving business. That’s over now. We have to plan for the next chapters. And, I’m delighted she’s sticking in there with me as we make these adjustments.