Long Story Short: Today’s column in the newspaper

I’ve avoided writing this column for more than three months. The topic may seem a little too real for some. It’s something they’d rather not think about. It’s not something to talk about out in the open.
Some of you probably have your own versions of the tale I’m about to tell. Please e-mail me your stories if you’d like. There’s comfort in finding others who are or have experienced similar situations.
Here is what happened to us:
Three months ago, my husband lost his job in a round of corporate restructuring. Just as the television newscasters began to use the “R” word (recession), my husband was laid off.
Background: When he was 19-years-old, his best friend’s dad hired him. One position within the company led to the next – and last month would have been his 35th anniversary with the same company.
He worked for a big corporate machine, and he knew how it worked. Somewhere along the slippery slope of the past few years, he would tell you that something shifted. While he had been a small part of turning the machine’s crank for so long, he felt the machine’s wheels beginning to nip at his heels.
It’s taken us both some time to wrap our heads around the psychology of that shift. First, the company gave him great opportunities along the way. They had a decent college program and paid for part of his education. They contributed a small amount to our adopting our youngest daughter. For that, we’re grateful. We wish them well.
Nevertheless, the loss of control of what a family believes is its future can instill a great deal of fear. There are still moments, but we’re pretty much over that fear now.
I won’t lie. I still have some trepidation about how the shifts in things will work out for us long-term, but there’s liberation in the forecast as well.
Even though my husband is 54-years-old and has never been on a real job interview in his entire life and even though when he and I met nearly 20 years ago, neither of us could anticipate his rising career would end up in a lay-off, we’re happier now.
I know you’re thinking, “That’s what people say to make the situation seem better than it really is.”
For real. Life is better. Granted, we’ve made a few adjustments, but we’ve learned that there are other ways to make life work.
From what I’ve read of other people’s (greats and not-so greats) biographies, it’s times like these when they do something spectacular. Maybe it’s because they know they have less to lose.
Now that he has some time, here’s hoping my husband invents the next sticky notes, liquid paper, or a better fingernail clipper.
In the meantime – back in the stratosphere where we live and operate, he has several real possibilities on the horizon. While he has the time, he is becoming a certified teacher. He’ll be a good teacher.
Unorthodox, but good.
Funny, caring teachers were always the best in my book. Teaching will be an opportunity (and a challenge) for him to impart some of the goodness he has learned along the way with a different generation – including our own daughters whose schedule he will share.

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