Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hibernation

No, I haven't been on a remote tropical isle. Nor have I been abducted by aliens. I'm just hibernating. Hibernating right through the sixty degree plus days we enjoyed briefly while the rest of the country froze their tushes off and right through the snow flurries that followed.

Hibernating is a good thing. If you're drowsing sleepily, you can avoid all sorts of things. Like pink slips, life without health insurance, neighbors whose company closed down, retired friends who had to go back to work, a 401k that tanked, etc. You get the idea.

My sweetie has been living on our sole remaining computer since the company reclaimed his work laptop. And I really didn't have the heart to stomp my little feet, throw a hissy fit and demand computer time to post on my little blog.

We've known since the Christmas party (known among co-workers as The Last Supper) in early December that cuts in the workforce would be made, so we were conservative in our spending during the holidays. I found myself planning what I'd remodel around the house and what classes I'd take and what luxury items (in my lexicon, luxury and anything bought exclusively for my use are synonymous) if the news was good, but never really contemplated the changes that would be necessary if the news came accompanied by a pink slip.

I can live without digital cable for the TV, although life without HBO just seems a bit less fun. There's no remodelling being planned until the missing salary is replaced, but I suspect we will survive not having a granite counter in the guest bath just fine. My mad money will go for groceries rather than a kayak and roof carrier. There will be no dog agility classes for the forseeable future. They are all small sacrifices. We don't have a mortgage or a car payment or credit card debt. We have money saved. We're in a relatively good place, all things considered, and we certainly have company.

Our best silver lining: we dodged a major bullet in not moving when the office here closed a couple years ago. There was stress and uncertainty about how long the company would let us get away with air travel and motel expenses for a four hundred mile commute. Turns out it didn't matter at all. We're feeling pretty bad for the laid off co-workers that did transfer and are now stuck with homes and mortgages. We're feeling even worse for the ones that also lost their work permits for the States.

Anyone in my sweetie's line of work has been unemployed, and we've been blessed by twenty-some years on continuous job security. We've experienced being unemployed previously when the boys were small, and it taught us that money doesn't bring happiness. Not like a baby's smile or a cute hand-me-down shirt for a little boy or a walks to the park with a friend or a monthly Game Night with the neighbors brings joy.

Hibernation doesn't last forever (I'm not sure if that's good or bad) ,but it served its purpose and brought some clarity and some peace of mind:

  • Game Night is making a comeback.
  • Cleaning up might make more of a difference than remodelling.
  • I really prefer garage sale-ing to mall crawling.
  • I'd rather go on a hike with Kharma than a vacation in Hawaii without her.

It was nice having some extra money, but we'll be okay without it. We still have only one computer though, so blogging might be a might sparse until his consulting business begins to bring in some positive cashflow, or until he finds he needs a laptop again.

Be patient with me and keep checking back. I'll post whenever I can. I have about a zillion different ideas to write about and I know I won't be able to hold them in for long before I burst!

2 comments:

  1. This economy is scary. We are finding new ways to entertain ourselves without spending money so we can use that other places, like with small upgrades to our house or getting new tires on my husbands older car. Every penny counts. I am thinking of you and hoping easier times are ahead.

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  2. I'm sorry that your husband lost his job :(. Thinking about you, and I agree, it's not the money that matters as much as all your blessings. I'm glad you're in a relatively good place.

    Thinking of you.

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