Careful What You Wish For...

It had been a while since my husband had liked his job. And when I say "a while" I mean a decade. So when he called to tell me he'd been laid off in November I shouldn't have been surprised that he sounded like he'd just solved the final puzzle on "Wheel of Fortune."

In the days that followed, friends and family called to check on him. Each remarked at how "happy" and "relieved" he sounded. Yes, he started his days before roosters were stirring, and, yes, he felt like he was going nowhere there, and, yes, it was a long commute, but still, it was a good income with great benefits. How was he not even the least bit nervous?

I, on the other hand, had been expecting to be let go from my job for the better part of 6 months. Yet somehow I'd hung on through multiple rounds of cruel, "Survivor"-esque lay offs. If anyone was going to cash in their chips, hand in their company-iPhone and walk away from the virtual office, it was supposed to be me.

When the axe fell on me and hundreds of my colleagues during a 45-second conference call, I can't say I was surprised and yet, at the same time, I was in shock. I had 7 hours before my email shut down. I had two days before I needed to turn in my computer, phone and company credit card. Where to begin?

Being a glass-half-full kind of gal, I tried to focus on all the positives. No more would I receive hundreds of emails per day involving pedestrians who'd been hit by cars or containing complaints that I'd failed to cover the ground-breaking work of a recently-promoted Eagle Scout. I'd been employed by a news organization in the throes of its own slow death-a topic we surprisingly weren't allowed to cover-so readers didn't know why, instead of reading about what their Board of Education was up to, they were now being told about the 86 different things they could do with a Mason jar. The nasty comments regarding what was once a useful website that had devolved into a haven for spam and press releases were also no longer my concern. I breathed a sigh of relief as I chucked my press badge in the garbage.

During the afternoon of the day I'd been let go, I looked across the dining room table at my husband and it hit me: we were both home.. together...without paychecks... indefinitely. The moment many couples dread (the old "I married you for better or worse...but not for lunch.") had come 20-30 years ahead of schedule for us.

Again, looking on the bright side, I thought, "Well, this will be nice. We can do things together during the day." Thanks to the Polar Vortex those "things" have included shivering, shoveling, and shouting at our three children who go to school one day a week now. Thanks, Mother Nature.

While it's not ideal to look for work and attempt to compose a coherent cover letter when your living room has been transformed into a street hockey rink, that is our new reality and it has left me longing for the days when all I was searching for was the culprit who peed on my toilet seat.


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