A New Direction?

Things change all the time. The weather, the stock market, clothing, the price of groceries, the size of families, what defines a family. It could be argued that there are few things that DON'T change.

Yesterday was the first day of summer. It was an unusual spring. Back in January, seniors in high school had their minds set on completing their final semester, maybe finishing strong in a sport and securing a scholarship. They were planning their next step, some surer than others about where they were headed. Then Covid-19 arrived, disrupting schedules, changing plans, creating an even more unsure future.

Before the pandemic, it was said that 75% of American college students start their career undecided or change their major at least once (link). Additionally, the average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life. With an ever increasing number of career choices, 30% of the workforce will now change careers or jobs every 12 months (link). How can they know which direction to go when so, so much has changed?

I didn't have a pandemic to affect my career choices, but my path certainly wasn't a straight line, either.

As a freshman in 1988, I attended the University of La Crosse-Wisconsin with the intention of acquiring a degree in foreign languages and photography. I threw myself into academics, did very well, and loved what I was doing. As with many other freshman, however, I wasn't entirely sure what direction those degrees would take me. I stayed positive, worked hard, and was open to possibility.

By the end of the school year, I knew I needed a change. In the spring of 1989, I was accepted as a late entry into the international exchange program. The only schools available were not desirable to me at the time (Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and a university in Oslo). Instead, I located the phone number (yes, this was before the internet!) of the University of Calgary, in Alberta, and a few months later, was driving northwest to start my sophomore year.

My intention was to continue pursuing photography and foreign languages. Prohibitively expensive photo lab costs pushed me in another direction, and I took Canadian Studies classes instead. To keep up with my language skills, I began volunteering to teach Spanish in a community school. It took two trams and three bus exchanges to reach my school twice a week, but it was the time I spent in the classroom that turned me on to teaching.

I applied to the education program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was one of 34 students accepted into the program. I participated in a National Science Foundation Grant program, worked with at-risk youth, developed home curriculum for children with Autism, and was the Director of the Madison Metropolitan School District Summer Recreation Program.

I have taught middle and high school Spanish and English, fifth grade, and third grade, all before "retiring" to raise our children.

While home with young kids, I have kept my hands busy crafting, gardening, and home improvement projects. I have built classroom displays, done custom stained glass pieces, painted interiors, sold crafts at local businesses, and even had some of my photography published. As our kids got older, I started working outside the home doing organizing for friends and family. This led to starting NEST Home, LLC 18 months ago.

Recently I have had the pleasure assisting several families in downsizing their homes. It has been a wonderful experience. I have worked with fantastic homeowners and their families, and have felt great satisfaction in assisting them through their transition. In our busy world, and for a variety of reasons, it is sometimes necessary to hire a company to assist in this process.

In the coming weeks, I will be offering a variety of new services. Along with organizing a move, I will assist in helping my clients pack, designate charities for donation items, sell valuables, and liquidate and clean out of all of their belongings. It won't be easy. There are few locally who provide this service. But I am open to change, passionate about helping people, and am positive and excited for what is ahead.

I wish the best for all of you during these ever-changing times.

Call me. I'm here.