Friday, January 30, 2009

Facing a layoff

Yesterday at noon, my husband was sure he'd be laid off today. By two he had heard through the grapevine that he had received a reprieve in a behind-closed-doors shouting match. We are not feeling very secure in our income right now.

I'm using the following precepts, very loosely borrowed from yoga, to deal with the situation.

1. Open to grace. I believe we need to continue to notice and enjoy our blessings, and also open to any gifts that may come to us. This may involve sharing our worries to some extent with our circle, who cannot help if they don't know about any problem. In church we pray for those who are in grief or distress, facing medical treatment, etc., and I realize that we are none of those.

2. Ground yourself to the earth. For me this is currently taking the form of determining what our values and priorities are. I have become aware today that my job may be to maintain normalcy as my husband is stressed out. I am too, but I think I need to bury it for the kids. We need to decide what is important, and it is emerging to me that what is important is to live as happily as possible, especially for the kids.

It also means to me being very concrete in our defining options and making decisions. For instance, our initial response to this uncertainty is to stockpile money, which makes me feel rather hopeless because it is so amorphous. I'm hoping to come up with something more concrete -- decide how much money we want to save this month and create a budget, which gives us a more positive goal to work toward, rather than looking at any spending at all as a failure, and allows some fun or necessary expenditures.

3. Open, reach, stretch. So I'm not so sure what this means to me today. Perhaps I'm still working on 1 and 2.

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