Thursday, September 9, 2010
Lessons from the Unemployment Line: Part 1
66 days ago my family became a statistic when my husband lost his job of 11 years. The company he worked for was not turning a profit in that particular business model so they shut it down completely and let go a couple thousand employees. Always one to take comfort in his supposed job stability, this was a devastating blow for me. I never dreamed we would face the loss of our primary source of income. Such a prospect simply wasn’t a possibility in my world. I’ve learned a lot in the past few months and have decided to do my best to put a positive spin on this, my most difficult life lesson to date.
Lesson #1: The fact that this is my most difficult life lesson to date speaks volumes about my life. I have observed many tragedies as an adult: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, a devastating Tsunami and the earthquakes in Haiti. I have witnessed families struggle with cancer, the loss of a spouse or the unimaginable loss of a child. But I have experienced all of these things as a sympathetic third party observer with a safe distance between myself and grief, loss and devastation. Through my experience with living in financial limbo, I have learned to stay mindful of those less fortunate then myself and try to sustain, cliché as it might be, an attitude of gratitude. My number one priorities these days are finding ways to save money and sock it away, doing what I can to help my husband obtain a new job, and coming up with an innovative way to rid my neighborhood of the aesthetic eyesore that is Ninny the goat. These are not grave worries. They pale in comparison to the plights of so many scattered throughout this country and the world. Sure, I may have to put the kibosh on vacation planning for the time being and get used to the idea of living in this house longer than I’d like to but, deep down, I know things will change. I know we will emerge from this financial storm a little dazed and windblown but we’ll be dry, comfortable and ready to restart our lives. I’m hoping that my renewed perspective will stay with me long after this financial limbo comes to an end.