Friday, March 2, 2012

How Jon Acuff Saved My Marriage

Exactly one week ago today I woke up not knowing who Jon Acuff was.  I was staying at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville Tennessee, a long way from home.  It was the first day of the Blissdom12 conference and I had no clue why I was there. 

Then Jon Acuff walked into my life.  He got up on that stage during the opening session and started talking…..and you won’t believe this, but he spoke directly to ME.  Yes, somehow he knew exactly what I needed to hear that very moment.  There were a lot of other women in that audience thinking he was talking to them but they were wrong.

It was me he came to see.

I was enthralled during the entire speech. At the end he did an extraordinary thing. 

He gave every one in the audience a signed copy of his book, “Quitter”.


Was his speech about the book?  I don’t think so.  In fact I really couldn’t tell you what he said that day.

All I knew was this was a game changing moment.

I wish I could say I went to his book signing session afterwards and spoke to him in person, but alas, I didn’t.  I was afraid to break the spell.

Two days later, on the flight home from Nashville I opened the book and started reading.  Once again I got the feeling he wrote every word just for me.

See, just a couple weeks before Blissdom12 I had a conversation with my husband about wanting to quit my job and start out on my own.  I thought I could do something with blogging and curb shopping and makeovers and selling my stuff……I don’t know, I had no real plan for HOW I was going to make my dreams into a real living, but I knew I wanted to.  I needed to.  I would just bust wide open if I couldn’t do it.

Yeah, I know.  Overly dramatic.

What was really happening was that I was going through a lot of changes at work. My department was restructured and I was reassigned to a different job.  I was resentful and hurt and afraid.  I wanted to run away.  I hated the thought of staying there a minute longer.  I started to daydream about doing my own thing.

After doing some faulty math I figured we could afford it if we lived very carefully.  When I let Mike know of my new plan I was shocked at his reaction.  You see, he wasn’t enthusiastic at all.  No, “Hey honey, that’s  a great idea! “, nope, not even close.  It was more like a dead silence, then a bunch of stupid questions about what we would live on, how would we save for retirement, how could we afford insurance, what about this, what about that. Then he started talking about taking on extra jobs after work to make ends meet.

This was not what I wanted to hear!

I backed down and said it wasn’t anything I was going to do right away anyway.  I was just thinking about it, for crying out loud.

The subject was dropped.  But we were both simmering inside.  Mike with fear of financial ruin, and me with resentment at his lack of faith in me.

We didn’t know it but our marriage was in serious danger. I was on the verge of making a fatal error.

Then I met Jon, and read his book, and realized that my job was my friend, not an enemy.  My job is what will allow me to follow my dreams, in fact fund my dreams.  Quitting my job would be the worst thing I could do at this stage.  This Quitter won’t be quitting anytime soon, yet strangely enough that doesn’t bother me anymore. I know I’m not ready; not yet. 

Maybe someday I’ll  be ready to quit the day job. And when that day comes Mike and I will still be happily married thanks to Jon Acuff coming to Blissdom to deliver his message to me in person.

(Oh, and Jon, don’t be too sad that I didn’t know who you were; I’m still trying to figure out who that Dave Ramsey guy is you were talking about.. 

Did he write a book too?)

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  1. Sorry on two fronts - 1) that we didn't meet at Blissdom, 2) that you are wrong because Jon spoke to ME. Seriously, I cannot believe how many women from the conference share our sentiment. My big takeaway from him was to cut back on some of my social media and reconnect with my family in our great new house.

    I can't wait to check out your blog. I love curbside upcycling.

  2. wow! very powerful post. Blissdom was definitely a turning point for a lot of us I think.
    I'm glad you found Jon. :) Happy that he was able to talk you into not hating your job.
    I think that you should eventually let Mike know how disappointed you were at his reaction. Maybe y'all should spend some time together soon, and talk it all out. (is it a good convo for the golf course?) Maybe it will knock him off his game and you will win.

    Seriously, I think you have a great head on your shoulders and you'll know when/if the time is right!
    I'm here for ya, no matter what. Well, here if I don't get blown away in a tornado later today. Headed to the basement very soon.

    1. Don't get blown away friend! Mike and I are all good now. It was I who was being unreasonable in my expectations. To throw something that heavy out there without a real plan was not a great thing to do to him. He was not the bad guy and I didn't mean to make him out to be one. Thank goodness I got Jon's message before I made a real move. With proper planning I know Mike will be supportive of any dream I have.

  3. I am so glad that Blissdom was meant to be for you! I know how easy it is for a marriage to get sidetracked by one partner going one direction and the other being dragged there kicking and screaming. It broke up my marriage of 17yrs when my X did that same thing. We had kids and he just quit his job and 'did his own thing' and we lost everything including our marriage. Good for you realizing you are not ready yet and hey I've never heard of Jon Acuff either! (But I do know who John Ramsey is...awesome financial guy). Hugs, Linda

  4. I don't know who Jon Acuff is, but I'm glad that he spoke to {you} at the conference. Sometimes it takes an outsider to show us our real selves.
    As women, I think we can sometimes allow emotional feelings get in our way (I really hate my job some days, want to quit, etc.) ...but then I realize that it supports my hobbies, not to mention feeds me and pays my mortgage. Plus I really do enjoy my job, its just all the BS that surrounds it that I despise.
    AND I agree with Gail, you should communicate to your husband how you felt after that discussion, maybe it will help him to understand your desire to do your 'own thing' better.

  5. I'm so glad you got infected with Bliss after all. There was a reason you went (other than meeting your friend Gail) to that convention. I think the blog world can be both good and bad. For somebody, like yourself, who works full-time there just aren't enough hours in the day to fulfill your "need to create". I've been there. Is there a possibility that you could work less than a 40 hr work week? I hope you can find a happy middle ground.

  6. Vickie, I'd be happy with a 40 hour work week, unfortunately mine is a 50 plus whatever is needed week. At some point a "regular hours" job might be just what I need to keep a balance.

  7. I have been working my way through the book. He was a very powerful speaker, and I got many happy tears listening to him. I was so happy to meet you there. I look forward to seeing and hearing more.

  8. It's great that you heard what you needed to hear, when you needed it. I think you could build up a thriving business and I really hope you'll get to make that happen. And I'm sure when the time is right, your husband will support you all the way.

  9. Oh my much of your post rings true for me!!! I, too, was in the same situation at work and was full of resentment and anger over things that had happened and thought it would be wonderful to stay at home and work on my projects....but then I realized that it was my job that allowed me to be able to afford my husband is a wonderful provider and pays everything household related leaving my paycheck for extra things the kids might need and any project I might want to tackle as bad as it might seem sometimes, I guess I can deal with it if it means I can continue to "do my thing" at home!!!


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