For a variety of reasons that may or may not make complete sense once explained, Julio (the spousal unit) and I decided to take this time in our lives to do the remodeling on our house that we’ve been wanting to do for more than three years. Construction is well under way, by now. Why, you ask (as many have), would we start a contruction project after my husband got laid off? Well, because now we have the time and energy to figure it out. In all likelihood, we’ll stay here for a good long time. Even if we don’t, our changes will make the house more palateable to other folks — did I mention we live in a rather odd house? But it suits us. Quite well, in fact.
Another reason to do the work now is Julio can particiapte in the process. I’ve joked all along that he’s used the lay-off to find his innter Mexican. First, he did the yard. Then he remodeled one of the bathrooms. Now, he’s moving on to full-blown wall framing. Next week comes the dry wall.
In the meantime, he’s also planning to go back to school. Why not? It seems, for Julio that after doing the same thing for so long, having the opportunity to redefine himself is a wonderful thing. I’ll tell you this, I’ve never known the man to be as happy as he is right now. In that sense, his lay-off has been sort of a strange, but still wonderful gift. It really has made us look at how we spend money — foolishly in some senses — and how we’re able to live full and productive lives without spending all the money we were before. I hate to write all of that, because I really don’t want anyone reading this to think that life after being laid-off is all about the money. Again, the change in status is very liberating. If you read many biographies, you’ll recall that there’s a common theme that precedes most “great moments” in people’s lives — something drastic changed the reality they had come to accept before. Maybe they lost their job. Maybe they lost someone they loved. Maybe they lost a limb. Maybe they went bankrupt. Maybe they just moved to a different place. The bottom line is that breaking from the status quo — by choice or not — prompts many people to do things they had never considered before.
blah, blah, blah — I don’t mean to sound like a motivational speaker. I’m not. Neither of us has done anything spectacular since his lay-off in September. But that doesn’t mean we won’t. There’s still time.