Slowly Sipping Coffee

Am I too comfortable with life Now?

Conversations in our house lately have focused on when we can we really pull the plug and embark on our Lifestyle Change. Not maybe, but really, really, like “Well, what about next year?” type of thinking. It’s gotten pretty real, and pretty crazy if you’re not thinking outside the box and don’t want to get out of your comfort zone. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so for new readers let me quickly catch you up in the next 4 sentences. I know, I probably won’t make it in 4 sentences, but I’ll keep it brief, I swear.

This started with our industry downturn (Oil and Gas), which got us really challenging everything and getting ready for the fact we may both be out of work sooner than later. This led to realizing that if we both get laid off, finding a new job that’s equivalent around Houston is not practical, so we brainstormed what else could we do outside of Houston. This led to a fair number of “out west mountain” sorts of jobs, and Mrs. SSC revisiting all of her spreadsheets and coming up with multiple realizations of our potential scenarios, which in turn led to realizing we could rent for a few years and de-risk our mountain living dream, and this is where our story begins… (Woohoo, that’s 4 sentences, including this one!)

It’s been a really busy work week for me, and Mrs. SSC has been busy as well, but not nearly as busy. She has a bit more time on her hands to pontificate about Life, the Universe, and Everything else. This has led to much searching online at sites like to learn about potential landing cities we may be interested in; searching Zillow for rentals in said towns; recalculating the many spreadsheet scenarios; planning vacations to said towns – wait, those are more like pricing out reconnaissance trips; and many more things related to moving out of Houston. Also, the job searches… Oh, the job searches… I get forwarded any job that is remotely close to anything I may be interested in. For instance, Vernal, UT has a geologist position open, to which I replied, “Honey, that also doesn’t have 4 seasons, they have topography, but think Moab style moonscape environment. I don’t think you’d like it.” Apologies to any readers in Vernal, it’s pretty, just not my kind of pretty. And yes, I have been there; more than once even. Grasping at straws is how I describe the current behavior from Mrs. SSC.

This means my day is then peppered with short 2-3 sentence emails throughout the day bemoaning growing old (we’re only 38 for goodness sakes), life being hopeless, work being unfulfilling, and usually wrapping up with something about only 1 more year of work left, or the more dramatic “We’re never going to get to retire – sigh…”. Yes people, this is my current experience. However, this doesn’t begin to cover the conversations these types of research lead to.

For instance, the other night it started like this, out of the blue mind you:

Mrs. SSC: “Maybe we should trust our future selves to figure it out and just do it!”

Mr. SSC: “Do what exactly? Who are we going to trust to figure what out?” (I’m a little slow sometimes)

Mrs. SSC: “Say screw it and just be done with work after next year. We’ve calculated everything, and if one of us worked even just a little we could figure out the rest. We’re smart, I know we can do it. Let’s just do it!”

Mr. SSC: “So what you’re saying is that we should leave our jobs before we get close to our number you feel comfortable with, and we just go ahead and “live the dream” and figure the rest out as we go?”

Mrs. SSC: “Well yeah, but you know we’ve done the calculations and you know I’m going to be stir crazy not working anyway, so I’m going to have to do something, but why not? Why not trust ourselves and get out sooner than later? All the retirement articles say people don’t save for retirement because they don’t see themselves in the future. But, you know? We practically obsess about our future selves and planning for them, and getting them set up for a nice time, why not trust they’ll figure out how to make it work if we “jump” before we hit 100% of our number?”

Mr. SSC: “Ummm…. Kaaaayyyy…. You know, we can probably just wait until our companies lay us off and get a little bump on the way out the door? If that doesn’t happen then we just keep saving like we have been and keep getting closer to our number. That’s the plan right? So, why not stick to the plan and just stick it out another year or two and hit our number?”

Mrs. SSC: “I sent you a job in MN, it’s teaching, and you could even develop an Earth Science program.”

Mr. SSC:  “True, but it’s flat there, and they’re currently predicting a high of 10 F today, and the winter looks like it’s about 7 months long and windy (thank-you city-data). Oddly enough, it has a really high crime rate too, so, nnnnooo on that job in MN.”

A little more back story – I know exactly why Mrs. SSC is thinking like this, because this is where I was before I quit that company and went to my new one. For new readers, we used to work at the same company before I left. I’m much happier at my new place, and I love my new company environment. BUT, I was as miserable as Mrs. SSC is now, before I left my old company, and unfortunately with the industry as it is, that’s not really an option for her. She’s pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place in an unfulfilling job, at a company that couldn’t care one bit about her (not that I think any big company does – it’s just business) but they killed her loyalty and now she’s just trading time for money. Not a great place to be, so I get it… I’ve been there.

So then why am I resistant to saying, “Hell yeah, let’s go start our new chapter! Lifestyle Change here we come!” I mean, just today on the drive home, someone made an illegal U-turn in front of me, I had to slam on the brakes and slid to a stop right beside their car, and they flip me the bird. WTF Houston, WTF?! Yeah, I could be done with this. But I’m resistant, so the question is why? Is it because I’m out of my comfort zone if we leave our jobs and try a different way of life? I mean we’re all but set up if we quit now. Yeah we’re not totally there with savings, so it might suck at times, but we’re resilient so I know we’d make it work. So what’s my deal?

I think it still goes back to my whole fear of this adventure turning into a situation like I grew up with where we’re broke all the time and struggling to make ends meet every 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I know that won’t be the case, because we’d do things so much differently than my parents, but still, it’s that nagging voice telling me it will be that way. I bet it’s just the unknown, and me knowing that, “Hey, I have a job I don’t just like, but I love and it challenges me, and makes me think in so many different ways, every day. It pays great, I like the social aspect too, and I’ve got a good title, and people come ask me about problems they have and how to fix them. I love that, getting challenged with a “cold eye look” at someone else’s problem and offer a different way to look at it.”

I think I’m scared I’ll miss my job. I really like what I do, and how much I get to help other people figure out problems, along with figuring out solutions to my own problems. Added bonus, I’m really good at what I do which makes it even more enjoyable.

Maybe I do need to trust our future selves more, and let them figure out how things will go. We won’t know how they’ll be because it’s all just speculation, and mathematics tied in with a lot of optimism in the stock market, the economy, our own health lasting, and so many more things we can’t control.

Like most retired people say, “I wish I’d done it sooner” maybe I should think more like that and get on with living life and not just “hamster wheeling it” down here in Houston. Stay tuned, because changes are afoot and the box is slowly breaking as we’re figuring out our exit from this current lifestyle.

32 thoughts on “Am I too comfortable with life Now?

  1. Brian @ debt discipline

    Nothing wrong with feeling this way, its a major change. I like the idea of hanging around and continuing to save until you have something solid lined up. No sense leaping for the sake of leaping. I’d much rather have a soft landing set up. 🙂

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I agree, and even if we were forced into that transition, it would be hard to argue it would be anything other than a soft landing. I just see it as “this would be before we hit the number we came up with” and therefore, it’s riskier that it might be rougher later. I’m definitely with you in that I’d rather keep on doing what we’re doing for another year or so and then have potentially less to worry about.

  2. Steve @ Think Save Retire

    At the moment, I am where your wife is and my wife is where you are – she tolerates her job pretty well – even likes it some days. Me, on the other hand…not so much. It just doesn’t come close to giving me the fulfillment that I’d like, and I’d up-and-quit today.

    I personally believe that if you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. And really, this all comes down to the level of “uncomfort” that you are willing to accept. It’s not a question of whether it will work. It is a question of how uncomfortable you are willing to be in the process of making it work.

    It looks like you guys have a plan in place. I know your wife wants to make it all happen sooner (just like I do), but at least you have a plan and a number. That’s the most important element in my opinion. Without a number, then you are stuck in that perpetual state of “just one more year”. Eventually, you gotta pull the plug and just do it.

    Once you do, it’ll be a fun and exciting ride!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      It is totally a job satisfaction/fulfillment thing like you mentioned. We were discussing it tonight, and she mentioned that she gets no interaction with her team, other teams, or people in general. Whereas I get “important” work handed to me that pops up, I have lots of interaction with my team, other teams, and other disciplines even, plus getting people coming to me for help on their fields and issues. I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job.

      I agree, I also know that when we make the decision, we’ll make it work come hell or high water. Since we have a plan and even a number, then we know where we lie in regard to our relative comfort scale with making that decision sooner or later. Like we were also talking about tonight, we’re pretty excited if we get forced into it sooner than later. It would be a great catalyst – like a mama bird shoving her babies out of the nest. If not, we’re definitely on board with making that decision next year if the right opportunity comes up. 🙂

  3. Cindy

    Why not compromise? She’s unhappy with her job, but you’re still happy with your’s. Why not do a 1-2 year compromise? You keep working at your job, but she leave her’s. Obviously, that would also mean waiting to move for a few years as well. But, it would give you more time to explore where you are going to move to. She could find another job, work part time, or not work during those couple of years, whatever works best for her. Terrible jobs can be soul sucking. It would get her out of that situation, and be a step closer to the ultimate goal.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s where we are now, except that since there is a chance she could get laid off in the fall, we’re stuck because why would you quit when you would be giving up the extra paid time that comes with getting laid off? It’s a double edged sword – job is not fulfilling but pays well, and we’d planned on her quitting in the fall if she hadn’t gotten laid off in November. Since she didn’t get laid off in November, and there’s another round of layoffs for her dept coming p in the late summer/fall again, why not ride it out until then and volunteer to get laid off? Even then, she is in a team with 4 other people that want to retire/volunteer for layoffs as well. So who knows, but she won’t be making that decision until after the next round of layoffs though, which makes it even more of a soul sucking position to be in…

  4. Maggie @ Northern Expenditure

    Is my house bugged?! Are you writing transcripts of conversations I have with Mr. T? Good gravy! I’m with Mrs. SSC. I talk about this ALL THE TIME with Mr. T. “Your big dream doesn’t involve never making money again. You want to start your own thing… so why don’t you just DO IT? We can figure out the rest as we go along.” The drop in oil impacts everything up here and things are looking bleak, so we feel you. I’m excited to see what you end up doing. And thanks for arguing Mr. T’s side. 🙂

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Hah, I’ve started several comments on ONL posts like that. 🙂 Seriously, it’s like we’ll be discussing something and then they’ll post about it the same week. BUT, no we aren’t that sophisticated around here. 🙂 I realized writing this post, that I like the mentoring, teaching and learning parts of my job, as opposed to the straight geology. Don’t get me wrong, I love geology, and thinking about how things were 200 million years ago, and how that affected where sand will and won’t be, and why oil would or wouldn’t be in that sand, BUT… I also realized I would get just as much satisfaction helping people with everyday problems, and learning how to budget, or do taxes or the simple things I take for granted now, that intimidated me when I was younger and not confident in myself, my math skills (I’m still not super confident in those), and life stuff in general. Especially if it was as a mentor, coach, tutor, whatever it turns out to be.

      So, while I’m scared I may miss things about my current job, I feel confident I can find that same satisfaction or better satisfaction in working with any people, young or old to help make their lives better. There’s still that part of me that thinks this won’t work, or I’ll turn into a miser or some other irrational thing that wants to keep me in my current comfort zone. I think I’m ready for a change soon though, so like you, I’m also excited to see what we end up doing.

  5. Thias @It Pays Dividends

    Being stuck in a job that sucks the life of you can drive anyone to pushing the numbers a bit to just try and see what you can do. There is that careful balance of not letting your emotions make the decisions for you.

    Is there a reason why she can’t leave her job now while you still continue to work in the meantime? Or is there too much going on in the industry right now that it is too risky to try and just rely on one income right now?

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Nope, there’s no reason at all she couldn’t leave her job now. While it may be risky that we could both end up laid off, it would be the kick in the butt to just go for it. The only thing it could change is that we might look for a landing place with a job versus where we want to go. However, the jobs that are around now are still in “exciting” places to live, so there’s always that. I’m also assuming that I’d be able to get one of those jobs easily, lol. BUT, the main thing is our original plan was for her to quit this fall, however, with another round of layoffs coming this fall, why not volunteer and get a good package instead of quitting? It’s a real paradox, but we’re keeping all of our options open, because I know how bad a soul sucking job can be, and I’m the loudest proponent of her being happy over money. So, like you, I’m interested to see what happens too. 🙂

  6. Tawcan

    Totally understandable why you’re having such discussions. The big dream doesn’t have to wait, why now start now and maybe implement it say 10% at a time if you can?

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s a great idea, and we’ve decided that if the next round of layoffs doesn’t claim her (she’s going to volunteer, but it will still be unlikely) then we’ll push for her to go to part time, because, why not? Then that may make it even easier to get included on the next round of layoffs. Oh the games we play in life… 🙂

  7. amber tree

    Familiar feelings… The doubt… Will a change make it better, will the grass be greener.

    In your case, it is even a more difficult one, the jump you plan to make towards FI is an important one. It already crosses my mind now, and I am still 13 years away!

    What would happen if your wife already stopped working and would take on a side job? just to get the feeling of what it might be for real?

    Good luck on figuring it out

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I have to say, I definitely found greener grass when I left my last company, and I’m so glad I did because I was in her current situation.

      With another round of layoffs announced for fall for her group again, then she’s going to volunteer and hope to make the cut, so to speak. If not, part time is a possibility as well. Or, just quitting and starting to get the house ready for sale, a side job in a few months when she’s stir crazy because she’s gotten everything done already – she doesn’t relax well. 🙂 That’s just my guess, though. Either way, it will be exciting to figure out where this path goes. Actually, we know where it’s going, it’s just a matter of when we hit the fork in the road.

  8. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    I can’t really relate, so maybe that’s why I’d vote for just staying til they shove you out the door. Or maybe Mrs. SSC could leave her job and you keep yours as a kind of compromise.

    I figure that you’ll probably get rewarded for being fired, so why turn down free money if it’s less than a year away? Which it sounds like it is.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s my vote too, at least for me, but man, if she is happier not working versus working, I’ve been the biggest supporter of that. She just can’t get herself to leave when there is the strong possibility of getting laid off in this next round in the fall.

      Like you said, why turn down getting extra money while leaving anyway? If not, then I say just quit. At the very least go part time but strong part time like 20 hrs per week type part time. We’ll see…

  9. TheMoneyMine

    At least you have an option to decide what to do, so this isn’t too bad 🙂
    You want to retire to be happy, but you seem to already be. Only Mrs. SSC isn’t. So why not let her move on to new things while you stay at your job?
    Your risk will be limited and of course you’ll figure it out.

    My wife and I have had similar conversations, for similar reasons. She’d like to quit and do her own thing. We aren’t FI yet and I didn’t really love the idea at first.

    But eventually, what matters is that you are happy. If one of you keeps their job, you’ll still be in a good position.

    Discuss about it a few more weeks and do what your guts tell you. I’m sure you guys will make it work, whatever you decide!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I’ll take options over getting forced into something any day.Due to the next round of layoffs being summer/fall for her group – yep another one, then she figures why quit if I can hold out for a possible package? Provided that doesn’t work out, we’re going to push for part time, or just have her quit then.

      Yes, with just one of us working, we’ll still be in a great position, and we could both be happier because I could get an easier commute schedule, and more time with the kids. Heck, on paper it sounds great, if it wasn’t for that possible layoff package this fall. If our industry was strong and no layoffs going on, oddly enough, my vote is for her to quit the end of March, and it would be a win win. Since that isn’t the case and she could be losing out on a potential package by just quitting, then it complicates that whole decision too. Of course typing all of these posts and replies makes me realize, “Sh!t man, we could be in a lot worse situations, and this is what I’m worrying about?” Kind of makes it all seem petty, which is an even bigger reason to want to just say – trust our future selves to figure it out and lets start that chapter! Gah!!!

  10. Elephant Eater

    We definitely have these same conversations all the time. I agree that part of our apprehension comes from us both coming from pretty meager backgrounds and we have gotten way too comfortable in our current financial situation. We found that setting a finite date when we will be done working full-time was a way to keep us accountable to our decision. We are slowly burning bridges like using up banked vacation time so that not following through on this decision would mean taking a step backwards, thus pushing us to stick to our date and eliminating the one more year syndrome. I totally agree that we’ll figure things out even if we don’t hit our target financial number by our target date.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Isn’t comfort so tricky? You work hard to get to a point where you don’t have to worry about that stuff as much, and then feel like you’re going to throw it all away just to “retire early”. I seriously still have strong internal struggles with that, but they’ve gotten way quieter the further we’ve gotten along in our FFLC/FIRE journey, but they’re still there. Always…

      That’s a great plan with forcing yourself into the date by using vacation and that sort of thing! Ours is more of a moving date and while we realized to hit our goal would be closer to 2018, if there was a decent job one of us got in 2017, we could begin our Lifestyle Change then and still not affect any other numbers. We just wouldn’t be saving per se, those next year or so, but the job would cover most/all living expenses so our capital wouldn’t be shrinking. Anyway, that’s all complicated with how to walk away when there is potential money left on the table by leaving before you’re laid off. On top of, how do you set yourself up to get laid off – beyond volunteering (which she plans to do in the next round this fall) when you’re competitive and only know “do your best always!”
      Tricky, tricky weird situation to be in, but then that just seems to be life in general. Nothing is ever “as it should be” for good or bad.

      I think this year is our version of “one more year” syndrome. While we can’t really pull the plug this year, at this time next year, we’ll be close enough to figure it out from there. I think that’s what is making these discussion so much more “real” recently. We’re both prepared to do what it takes if we decide to be done next year, but therein lies the problem. Should we do it, or wait until our accounts hit our “decently mathematically decided upon – magic number”?

  11. The Personal Economist

    I love this concept of trusting your future self – I’ve never thought about it in that way before. It puts you back in the centre, rather than worrying about things you can’t control (job security, stock market etc). And if you are smart enough to have come this far, your future self will be able to work it out!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      During the writing of this post and then responding to comments I’ve about reached the same conclusion. I think we’ll wait for the potential layoff package this fall, and if that doesn’t come, for either/both of us, then Mrs. SSC can just quit or at least try part time. We can start prepping the house, and finding a spot to land in and say, “I’ve had all I can take, and I can’t take no more!” Although I will probably be sad when leaving my job, even if I do get laid off.

      I’ll be more excited about getting back to mountains and hiking, and snowboarding, and 4 seasons, and snow again though. Then I’ll get to sing the Seven Days of the week song by They might Be Giants, that Maggie posted last week, and just go about life singing, “On Mondays – I never go to work, On Tuesdays – I don’t go in to work, on Wednesdays, I don’t go in to work…” 🙂

  12. Ditching The Grind

    Mrs. SSC’S upcoming round of layoffs and potential severance reminds me a bit of my current situation. I’ll become vested in my employer’s 401k in September and if it weren’t for that, I’d almost surely quit before we move to the UK in August. I just can’t bring myself to throw away free money so I’m looking into alternative options to work remotely and possibly part time.

    A coworker said something the other day that really put it in perspective. If I leave early before vesting I’ll lose out on roughly $15-18k. Would that suck? Sure. But at the end of the day, it wouldn’t make much of an impact on our finances and if the benefit is increased happiness, it could be well worth it.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah I am in that exact boat, with leaving that same amount on the table if I left before I vested in that part of their 401k plan. Granted, I have another year left, but if Mrs. SSC was able to find a job teaching somewhere out West, I’d say – that sucks, but let’s move. Then I’d just leave that money on the table for the opportunity. Like you pointed out, it wouldn’t make much impact on our finances at the end of the day, but it would be worth it in the sense of happiness and change in Lifestyle.
      If I was in your situation and that close to vesting, I’d be doing the same thing and trying to figure out a way to make it work.

  13. Our Next Life

    Though I am the inherently risk averse one in our relationship, I’m also the impatient one, so I understand what both of you guys are feeling. I want to quit Right. This. Second. but I also know we’re not quite there yet on the numbers. Sigh. If you guys were talking about the difference of quitting next year or quitting in a decade, I’d for sure say “Do it sooner!” But you’re only talking about the difference of a year or so, right? That sure seems like it’s worth sticking it out to make sure you have enough saved to help you sleep soundly. Or, like you say, maybe one or both of you get laid off, and then you get a nice little goodbye present. (It is ridiculous how many times per day I wish to get laid off! Sadly, the company is doing fine.) 😉 I for sure know you guys are smart and could figure something out, but I also know that jobs that pay above minimum wage are hard to come by in mountain towns. And at least in our case, we’re committed to sticking it out for 22 more months, unless we get a massively surprising bonus at this year-end. Shaving a few months off our working careers doesn’t feel worth having continual money stress to us. But I’m super curious as always to know what you guys decide on! Keep us posted. 🙂

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I think next year would be the earliest we would leave our jobs, without walking into another one. If I found a “one-off” type position somewhere “fun” to live, then we could take it next year and not mess anything up with our planning. Regardless, we can still be pretty darn comfortable even if Mrs. SSC fails at her layoff attempts, and she just quits. If that’s the case, she’s looking at being done with work by next march, due to bonus timing and the like. From then onward, we’ll be open to leaving either summer 2018, or when the right opportunity appears.

      That alone is a “Win” in my book. Then comes the hard part of “where to move?” That whole choice would be changed if it was job related instead of straight “we’re moving here for no good reason” type of decision. Like you mentioned and Mrs. SSC also pointed out, “Whitefish resorts pays $10/hr. We could get jobs there.” I can’t even try to describe the look I gave her but maybe it was a bemused WTF type of look?

  14. Lucky Girl

    This post really hit home for me, though I am playing the role of Mrs. SSC, and my husband is a lot less on board than you are! In a way that is a good thing since he is the higher earner, so making our numbers work means having him continue to work for at least a few more years.

    A part of me wishes that layoffs were a consideration, because I think that forces you out of your comfort zone to think about possibilities. Instead, both of us have fairly cushy high-paying jobs, and that OMY syndrome will be a huge problem for us. I think its great that you are both so open in your relationship that you can discuss these issues, and that you are so understanding of Mrs. SSC’s desire to get out. I look forward to reading the evolution of your plans as you get closer to your magic number!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Layoffs would definitely force us out of our comfort zone, and would be a nice kickstart to doing something. Having the fairly high paying mostly cushy job is an easy one to just keep on keeping on with. I mean, I like what I do and enjoy it, and more importantly the people I work with. For me, my job is fun, so leaving it will be sort of sad, even if it’s to be “retired”. 🙂

      I’ve also been where Mrs. SSC is and being In that position sucks. Just plain sucks…
      We’ll figure something out, and maybe even have a crazy curveball thrown in there too. Who knows? lol

  15. Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree

    This is totally a dialogue I could see us having! I am usually bored at work and have WAY too much time to dream, plan, calculate numbers, etc during the day that I sometimes just wish we could jump off the hamster wheel now. Actually, I just sent my husband an email about moving to Canada next year and spending the summers in PEI and then the winters in Whistler (as we are having the worst ski season on record at home). We would have to work part time as we are not to our goal but I think we could make it work.
    Maybe a solution for the two of you would be for Mrs. SSC to quit her job and do something that interests her (volunteering maybe?) and you could keep working as you like your job until you are ready to make the change. Or…just go for it (and I can live vicariously through you until we can make it work)!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yep, Mrs. SSC fits that description. 🙂 I get a fair amount of emails and “what if scenarios” emailed to me depending on her level of work activity. I can tell it’s a slow day when the spreadsheets, job apps, city-data links, and whatever else start rolling in. On the other hand, it’s a nice distraction to review those places while my software does it’s thing and I’m just in a waiting mode anyway.
      If we don’t go a total opposite direction that we haven’t discussed much on the blog, then we’ll probably go part time or zero time for Mrs. SSC by year end, if she doesn’t get laid off. So stay tuned, because you never know what’s going to happen around here. 🙂

  16. Jason

    There is nothing wrong with this, but I am from Minnesota and it is one of the best places to live in America, particularly Minneapolis/St. Paul. You would love it :). Adjunct work could be an ok alternative in the interim.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We will definitely keep that area in mind. I did see an interesting teaching opportunity open up in that neck of the woods, it could be perfect if it was available next year.
      Trying to get some adjunct work around this area and even other spots has been tough. University of Houston has some spots available but wants 3 references up front for applying for possible adjunct positions, and Mrs. SSC doesn’t think that’s reasonable to request professional references for a possibility for adjunct work. She has noticed a lot of other places where that could be a possibility even just to get her foot back in the door with academia.

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