Hurly Burly

Well here I am, and I'm going to do the verboten, blog about blogging, well, blog about not blogging. It been a little tumultuous at the maison de formerlyfun. Most of you probably know my husband lost his job in December, along with a lot of other people. I've been in that weird purgatory place, feeling like it's not terrible yet but it's not great and we're not moving in any direction-just stuck. I've also felt like we were sitting squarely in a big vat of quicksand, one false move and we'd be sunk.
Then there was the adjusting to my husband home everyday and stressed and disappointed and having the small crises of confidence that come with not being able to find a job. He looked everyday. He took on job hunting as his job. He had four different recruiters looking for him, he had word out to a bevy of friends and past colleagues. He looked daily at Monster, and craigslist and every other place he could post a resume or search technical listings.
He was asked to take technically difficult tests before he was even granted an interview. He was asked by the recruiters to tweak his resume for each company, highlighting or making more prominent his experience or feigned experience in the area of development they were looking for. He researched and prepared and dressed for loads of interviews. Ah, the anxiety of the first date.
I fought the urge to tell him how to do stuff more times a day than I can count. I felt guilty that the economy was taking a toll on my own income already reduced from a year of part time work after our last child was born. Fifteen years of hard work, good solid income and now I felt powerless that I couldn't shoulder more of the burden. I felt like somehow I should be able to pull more of the load so there wasn't so much pressure on him to take care of us all.
He told me he felt stupid sometimes, like he didn't know the things he should, that he wasn't up on the technology he should be. Never mind the jobs being posted were the ones companies were having a hard time placing because only a very small set had the specific mix of technical experience they wanted. Never mind that employers had stacks of resumes for single positions and were in positions to do some extreme cherry picking. Never mind the industry is constantly evolving, learn something and it's obsolete--on to the next thing. Never mind that the hubs has ramped up quickly and succeeded every place he's ever worked. I told him he was great, reassured him that all of the people he had previously worked with and for thought he was great. That even if he took a job and failed, we, his family, the people who love him would always think he was great.
I would tell him offhand that I wished we could go out for dinner because we had preemptively tightened our belts not knowing how long it would take for him to find work. He'd apologize for us not being able to go out to dinner. I didn't mean it like that I'd say, I just wish we knew what was going to happen and I don't feel like making dinner. I would lament that I felt like I wasn't pulling my weight, that I was expecting him to shoulder the burden of taking care of all of us. Don't be silly he'd tell me, we made this decision as a couple, we both decided someone needed to be home with the baby the first two years-it was, it is important to us. You had the job that had more flexibility, an easier transition back to full time-- it made more sense for you to stay home.

We took turns falling apart. We took turns telling the other that everything would be ok. We've had parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts sending us extra Christmas money, money for no reason at all, gas cards, gift cards to take the kids for dinner, well wishes, pep talks, prayers, and offers of help, reassurances that we have more family support, emotional and otherwise than we could ever need. I have to admit, this has been really hard. And yet, I think we have been doing great, rolling with the punches, staying positive--most days.
Hubs got a job last week. The salary is for half of what he was making. But as he so enthusiastically pointed out, 50% of what he was making is better than 0% of what he was making. There are a host of other jobs in the works, all of them in the normal range of what his job typically pays. He took the one job knowing he was going to have to keep looking. The job was an interim job to slow the bleed of our savings. It's a hard thing to take a job you know you are leaving. My husband is the most loyal and considerate person I know and even he agreed that in this economy, the niceties of not accepting a job you had no intention of keeping were a luxury.So, most of my mental energy has been all hurly burly for a while. We're ok, but my energy and creativity has been drawn inward, taking care of us and figuring out what comes next. I am definately a glass half-full person but I am also a person who likes things settled, figured out. Until that happens, I am in a constant state of motion, trying to figure out where we'll end up, confronting my worst fears, trying to prepare for the worst, contemplating the worst so it can't sneak up on me--it's a terrible mental habit. So I'm here, and I hope that in acknowledging my 'dry spell', I jinx it and get my mojo back. Until then, and in between holding my breath, I'll pop my head up from time to time.

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Anonymous said... February 19, 2009 at 10:22 PM  

Sometimes life really sets our priorities for us, eh?
Your 'Hurly Burly' is quite beautiful, FF. I know from some of your posts and comments elsewhere that you are none too impressed with those who blog instead of 'living out loud'.
Of course, I'm a selfish bitch and want your 'Hurly Burly' to get all worked out because I like it when you post!

Gypsy said... February 20, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

Sometimes those blog posts about not posting are required. And when they're well written and heartfelt like this one, they're downright required reading.

I'm so glad he found a job, even if it's just a "for now" job. My Lancelot has one of those right now. It's never going to be enough, but it's something. And something is better than nothing. In the meantime, I'm also looking for freelance editing work, if I can find it. Gotta make ends meed somehow.

Good luck to you both, and come back to us!

Anonymous said... February 20, 2009 at 1:00 PM  

It seems like half the people I know are just holding their breath--waiting to see if they get laid off or not. I think it's inevitable where I work--a medium-sized private university. Good luck to you both.

Rassles said... February 20, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

My "just for now" job turned into a promotion and "employment." I mean, that was two years ago, and unexpected. Got lucky.

Even just finding that "just for now" job could turn into luck--and I totally hope it does. Beautiful people deserve beautiful lives, and you my friend, are one of them. And by that I don't mean "check out that hot blonde."

Anonymous said... February 20, 2009 at 3:08 PM  

Sometimes crisis can make us more expressive with our creativity.

The Weimar republic during the great depression saw an enormous flowering of cabaret artistry, for example.

Mind you, all those cabaret artistes had jobs, by definition...

Arizaphale said... February 20, 2009 at 8:15 PM  

I am so glad he got something. It is always easier to look for work from within the workforce. What a beautiful post. Your choice of images is thoughtful and evocative as always. I hope everything starts to sort itself out.

formerly fun said... February 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM  

It absolutely sets our priorities. When I think about worst case scenarios,I usually think about losing the house, the palce we intend our children to grow up, the place we picked because it was small enough for the two of us after the kids leave. I love our beautiful home and I am comforted by it, it really is the hearth and hoembase for our family. And yet when I think about if that ever actually happened, we'd still be ok, because it's just stuff--good stuff, fun stuff but stuff nonetheless. I know my children will never be hungry, will never go without education, will nevr not have a roof over their heads--that is a lot better circumstance than families all over the world. I have to remind myself sometimes that I should be so lucky to have the problems we have.

Thanks Gypsy, I know you can relate. The good thing is when things get tough, you really see what your relationship is made of. It's nice to be part of a good team huh?

People are very worried, it's a weird time all around. I'm ok with the pendulum swinging a bit in the other direction because I've always thought the extreme materialism was hubris but I look forward to the pendulum coming back to the middle.

thanks--I tend to have really good luck and in the past things have happened that felt initially catastrophic and ended up being serendipitous later. I know things will be ok, but ugh, it's making me really serious, I want my silly back and I'm just not feeling it now.

You are right, I've been way creative, making cakes doing all sorts of nesting and figuring out ways to save money. It's amazing how much extra we've spent out of convenience.

Thank you. By the way, I loved your comments on afreeman's post the other day about parenting.

Anonymous said... February 21, 2009 at 5:42 PM  

Congrats to the hubs! That's fabulous. Also, really love how you can always find the right pictures to go with your posts.

GirlGriot said... February 22, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

So glad he found a 'just for now' job. It is hard to think of taking a job you know you'll leave the moment something better comes along. But this is where we are now, and surely all the employers know it as well as we do.

Anonymous said... February 23, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

"That even if he took a job and failed, we, his family, the people who love him would always think he was great."

If he's anything like me, this means more than he'll ever say out loud . . .

Hang in there, my friend . . .

Anonymous said... February 23, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

I am so glad to read that your husband found a job!

My husband was laid off on New Years eve. The emotional hit was worst than the financial one. We're hoping that things look up for us soon, too.

Bluestreak said... March 8, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

A post about not posting? That was a glimpse into your life if there ever was one.

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