It happened. My wife lost her job.
Though it came as no surprise, it still came as a shock. Right now, she is reeling from the blow.
Though she lost her job to downsizing, it still raises unwelcome questions that come visiting in the night. Why me? Am I bad at what I do? Was it office politics? At my age, who will hire me?
These nagging questions have many answers but only one will silence them - another job.
In the meantime, the losses mount.
Losing a job means losing friends
Count the weekday hours, who do we spend the most time with? Our spouse? our kids? -- or our coworkers?
After security ushers us to the door, we call our former workmates and exchange promises to stay in touch, but we rarely do. The job is what brought us together and without the job, we drift apart.
It is like losing family.
Losing a job means losing a place to go
We like to complain about work. We look forward to vacations and dread returning to the office. So much so that even a sick day becomes a pleasure. We read, we watch Netflix, we lounge around the house - but it doesn't take long before time stretches thin and a hole forms in our day.
We look for ways to fill it. We clean the house. We busy ourselves with hobbies. We take another crack at fixing the leak under the sink. We try to stay busy - but busy is not the same as purpose - and the hole in our day grows wider and deeper.
Losing a job means losing money
It sets us back a square, even if it is only half an income. Losing a job wakes us up to the charges that sprout like weeds in our checking account.
We cut back on cable. We canceled the health-club membership. We prune away the dangling expenses that we so often ignore: Hulu-Plus. credit card interest, the data plan, subscriptions, fast food - and still that is not enough.
Life becomes like a tight shoe.
Losing a job means losing dreams
Retirement gets put on hold. The plans for a sun porch slip quietly into the desk drawer. Instead of a winter week in Florida, we dial down the thermostat and struggle into an old sweater.
Our horizons narrow as possibilities become impossibilities.
Losing a job means losing things we never considered
For us, this is the hardest.
Two years ago, my wife moved to our house in Southern Minnesota. Our plan was for her to work there until I joined her after I retired. She was lucky to find a job. Now that she lost it, she has moved back to the Twin Cities.
And she brought her cats with her.
Now I get to clean the catbox every day and though I joke about such things, it is no joke. Our condo association exists to obsess about rules. One of their regulations, regarding pets, forced us to make a Sophie’s choice and drive a terrified cat, wide-eyed and meowing, to the Humane Society.
That loss cut the deepest.
This week's challenge: write about losing a job.
- Write about looking for a job.
- Write about an interview that went horribly wrong or one that was a pleasant surprise.
- Write about how getting fired was the best thing that every happened to you.
Post your article to Gather Writing Essentials.
BE SURE TO TAG your submission with MWE. Note: I search for articles using the tag "MWE" If you don't tag it right, I will not find it.
Include "Monday Writing Essential" in your title.
- Try to post by next Monday but don't worry if you don't finish in time. I will be glad to include your post the next week.
Last week the challenge was write about all the little things that come back to us and it drew the following responses:
Weekly reminder: don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!).. Also try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.