Sunday, July 24, 2016

We’ve done this before (or I hope this is like riding a bike)

Several years ago, I wrote a series of three posts about how we’d managed on a single income in a very high cost of living area. You can read them here, here, and here.

I've been rereading them because we are back to one income again since Kent was laid off on Friday effective immediately.

In looking back over my blog posts from then, I don’t think I ever posted how that went down.

He got the news mid-morning at work. I was at home (we were living in a temporary apartment while reconstruction was—well it wasn’t happening yet but the insurance company mulling things over) because I still hadn’t found a job. He waited until he got home and we were sitting together so that he could be with me when he shared the news. He knew I would be completely undone and didn’t want me to be alone. That right there is what love looks like in our house. I was blown away that he held that news to himself and waited to share.

That night, we were both pretty anxious. I’d say freaked out but that’s not exactly right. Suffice it to say that we drank a bottle of wine pretty quickly as we watched a movie (I don’t even remember what we saw) and then a second bottle as we watched a second movie (again I have no idea what it was) and then I turned into a complete chatter box and thought we should open a third bottle of wine and maybe watch a third movie. By that point, Kent was nearly asleep on the couch. He managed to tell me that it was already midnight and that a third bottle of wine and a third movie didn’t sound like great ideas and could we please go to bed. If you know me, you know I rarely see midnight by choice so that tells you a lot about my state of mind.

The next day, I told my mother I’d earned every bit of that hangover, and I had.

So fast forward to the last couple of years. The company Kent worked for got spun off from another company two and a half years ago and has just never gained much traction. I told Kent two years ago that I was pretty surprised they hadn’t let remote employees go already. Having people work remotely in other states is expensive because the company has to pay state unemployment insurance and account for all the state, regional, city and local taxes. That all comes at a high price tag so for a company to pay for one employee in Arizona, one in Kansas, a couple in Ohio etc., well you’re not talking small change.

I guess they finally figured it out, since from the sounds of things all remote employees were laid off on Friday.

I will admit that my first reaction on Friday was gut churning fear. We came so close to losing everything we owned six years ago; even though we are in better shape today, that fear lingers. I’m still pretty anxious to be honest. Yes, I have a job with benefits (and I’m very thankful), and we should be OK (tight, but OK). But I’ve been here before and now I’m sort of waiting to see what else (bad) might happen.

Edited to add a soothing photo of Eddie from this morning. That way, when I reread these posts later on, I'll have something calming to look at.

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