Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting through, getting by

Made it through a Monday mostly by doing "busy" work like taking care of what little financial business I have left -- 401k to be specific, which is very little, unfortunately.

Really worried about not having a job, more specifically not having an income. I always have "work" to do and I always have writing to do but I have no paycheck from these things. And while there is reward and "calling" (vocation), with three children and a house, there is a pressing need for money as well.

Monday panic

Okay, now I am panicking because I can see out ahead without a job. And the more I read about our economy and the more I look at the bad mortgage we have and the real lack of caring about what happens to "ordinary" people in this economy, the more frightened and panicky I become.

How will we be able to live on a teacher's salary? If I can get a teaching job, that is. My husband has a good job and makes good money but a teacher's salary is not very good and will not really add a huge amount.

Positive aspects: everyone you talk to has a story and if you tell people, just people you know everyday, that you've lost your job, they have things to tell you if you can listen. It may not make a difference in the short term but there may be connections to be made or just lessons learned from the stories. And as a writer, just hearing the stories are important.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Sunday with no job coming up on Monday

Tomorrow will be the first Monday morning in 9 years that I am without a job. Very odd indeed. I am obviously not alone in this economy and by far, I am not the worst off of people who have lost their jobs. I can teach part time, I can do freelance writing and editing, my husband is working and we still have our health insurance through him. We do need my income; I can't think of any middle- or working-class family that doesn't need two incomes these days (sad; I remember my parents were able to raise me on one income and my mom could do lots of volunteering at my school and working in politics, etc.). And I will have to figure out how to replace a fairly decent income in a not very decent economy. But there is also a kind of exhilaration: I can go back to teaching, I can start a new career, I can do more of what I want to do, there are new paths opening up to me.

Maybe it's crazy but when something like this happens, it does force you to be creative. And I am lucky enough that I don't have to take the first job that comes along or do something like flip burgers so I can avoid being homeless. That is a blessing that other people do not have in this economy. My desire would be that all people have this chance: if they are fired or laid off, they can have that second chance (or third or fourth) at doing something they love and not being scared that they will lose their homes or won't be able to feed themselves or their children.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the middle of Earth Hour

I'm in the middle of Earth Hour but writing this on batteries (switching back to AC at 9:30). How peaceful and quiet it is. I got my children to participate although they're not used to all the quiet (no TV, no radio, no lights -- only candles and flashlights).

This should be something we all do more often. We in the U.S. waste so much energy with useless pursuits. We could move a little more slowly and own a little less and consequently waste a lot less and save the earth a lot more.

Earth Hour 2009

I'm looking forward to turning off my computer, my lights, the tv, and getting my kids (at least the two older ones, 7 and 10, to just hang out for an hour. There are flashlights so the kids can keep building with Lego or read if they want. And I am going to sit by candlelight and meditate and try to flush out the bitterness left from being summarily fired from my job of 9 years 3 days ago.

I think we need Earth Hour once a month at least! More dark and peace and quiet instead of 24 hour activity (like some wound up manic depressive in the midst of a high cycle). In the U.S., it seems like our entire culture has become manic-depressive.

I may pull out my electric plug and try to blog a bit on just batteries. Or not. Turning off the computer -- what a novel and wonderful idea!