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Posts from — January 2011

Season of Survival: How We Lived Through a Layoff (a Series)

It was a year ago today when we got the not-exactly-unexpected-but-still-sudden news that my husband Shawn had lost his job. He’d come home early from work that day (which should have been my first clue) and seemed to be in a cheery mood (which didn’t strike me as out of character until later), so I was completely caught off guard when he told me he was home for good—at least for the time being.

I remember feeling slightly panicked. After all, Shawn was (and still is) our family’s biggest breadwinner—not quite the sole provider, but just about. We’d already made a lot of financial sacrifices so that I could be at home with (and homeschool) our four children. And we were right in the middle of a big plan to pay off debt and put away whatever extra savings we could manage (a key to our survival strategy—but more on that later). All around us, people (including friends and family members) had been losing jobs and homes, so we weren’t oblivious to or unfazed by the effects of the economic downturn of the previous year. I think it was just human nature to hope it wouldn’t happen to us. But when it did, we quickly begin to gain a whole new perspective.

We faced a lot of unknowns—from little things like how we were going to pay the utility bill to big things such as how long it might be until Shawn found another full-time job (which, as it turns out, was exactly nine months to the day!). We also learned a lot about ourselves and our priorities—important things to know in both good times and bad. My goal is to share in this series of posts over the next few weeks how we managed to make it through a pretty rough year—and how we continue to recover from it. As is customary on this blog, I’ll share a half-dozen things that helped us not only to survive, but in some cases to thrive, during the most difficult days. (First up: How We Got By With a Little Help From Our Friends.)

If you happen upon these posts, I hope you’ll find inspiration for surviving your own tough times—whatever they might involve and whenever they might arise.

January 26, 2011   1 Comment