Thursday, October 8, 2009

For Better and for Worse

When DH came home early from work Friday the kids were excited. But I knew what it probably meant and was leery. Sure enough, the company's latest project got canceled. In the tech industry, progression from canceled funding to job losses can happen within hours or days. That was the case this time -- sixty people given pink slips when the week before everything seemed like business as usual. The entire studio shuttered.

The friends, family and neighbors who know DH lost his job have all responded with sympathy and kindness. It's really lovely on one level. And on another ... misplaced.

"How are you doing?" they ask.

"Oh, we're pretty ok," I answer.

"No really, must be so worried! Such a terrible time to look for work," they persist.

I'm not deluded. This is not a good time to look for work. We are not doing cartwheels over the prospect of holidays on unemployment, three out of four family birthdays in the next two months on unemployment, or even just life in general on unemployment. We have two children, two goldfish, preexisting health conditions, and a house that is worth less today than what we paid for it six years ago. Oh, and we'd promised the kids we would all go to West Virginia to see the recently relocated cousins this Christmas ... I'm really not sure if that can happen now. Yep. Life without money SUCKS.

But still, I also feel a decided lack of worry.

Part of it is that I have faith in DH. He's good at what he does, and if there are jobs to be found, he'll discover them.

More of it has to do with this little moment between DH and I a year or two ago. It was at the end of a conversation about DH's angst over us not being able to save any money since we had kids and bought our house. DH really likes to sock it away for a rainy day. It makes him feel warm, fuzzy, and cocooned. My dwindling income, the collapse of our house equity, the deflation of our 401ks -- they all bug me. But they have haunted, taunted, demoralized DH in many ways I see, but cannot fully understand.

So that evening DH griped about his disappointments. Then he shrugged and said, "Of course I would have given everything we have -- all of it -- if it could have saved the baby." After that he turned off the TV, brought his empty glass to the kitchen, and went to bed.

That little shrug of his shoulders, my half nod back -- it was truer than our wedding vows 13 years ago. We have learned so many things that we didn't ever want to know since we got married. But what we learned also allows me to pick how I'm going to deal with issues that are not life and death.

Right now I choose to be fearless.


Ann said...

So, so true. When I have bad days, I sometimes catch myself saying, "This is the worst day ever," or, in reference to how pregnant I felt a year ago while waiting for Tyler, "I have never been more miserable." I always have to clarify that, of course, I've had much worse days. A loss puts your entire life in perspective, which, in its own way, is a gift. That said, I'm so sorry you guys are having to deal with unemployment.

Sara said...

Good luck to you guys! We're here struggling in LaidOffLand, too, but I know things could be so much worse.

Which Box said...

So true. So, so true.

Good luck - fingers crossed this is a very temporary situation.