I read Amanda’s latest post tonight and I feel terrible for her.
A year ago, Howard and I were going through the same thing. I remember the phone call he made to me at work.
“C just called and told us that the campus is shutting down and everyone’s contract will expire at the end of May…I’m out of a job.”
My stomach did a somersault in my belly as a I mentally thumbed through every bill we owed. We maintained two homes, we were losing half of our combined income, not to mention, his health insurance. I will also admit that I did not handle it well.
You would have thought it was ME that got the pink slip. Selfishly enough.
I know that feeling of dread and seeing your goals that were once in sharp focus, go blurry once again. The panic of “what the HELL are we going to do?” overwhelmed me.
To add insult to injury, I had to add him to my health insurance which raised my premium from $65 dollars to a whopping $400 per month. Not only were we losing Howard’s income but we were going to hemorrhage a significant chunk of mine as well.
I will say that I am proud that we followed the “8 month rule.” We had savings that would carry us for exactly that long. After sleeping on it, I began to feel a little better about things and tried to focus on being a comfort to Howard.
Living in a small village of 300 that is NOT connected to a road system means finding work is twice as difficult as those who can commute to nearby cities. Howard’s been working every part time job he can find in the search for any full time job available.
Two weeks ago, he finally got a break and was offered a full time job with the company I work for. I am also proud to say he got this job based solely on his merit and not because I had any influence. He was simply the best suited for the position.
This came in the nick of time. Come June, we would be 30 days late on our mortgage and our savings would be completely gone. He was going to move to our Wasilla house (on the road system where he would be more likely to find full time work) until I could join him in December (when I’ve fulfilled my 4000 hour pre-requisite for PA school). I was NOT looking forward to living separately from my husband.
It took us a year but we were among the lucky. We had enough income to carry us through and he is going back to work. It’s hard not to feel guilty when people are losing their jobs and their homes. Especially when some of those people are your best friends.
But we can say this: From this experience, you will appreciate what you do have, you will learn resilience and tenacity. And when you come out of it (and you will!), you’ll be all the more humble and grateful for the experience.
You’ll realize just how lucky you are. Hang in there.