Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

Yesterday was my birthday. I like to think that I can now bid good riddance to a bad year -- or, as Queen Elizabeth said about the year 1992, "it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis."

Just in time for the celebration, I was laid off from my job of 11+ years. I knew I was in trouble the minute my boss, who has always been friendly and chatty during our phone meetings, launched into reading a script: "As you know, Sun has been going through some changes...". In better times, I simply would have laughed, thanked her for the paid time off, and picked up a contract job to tide me over while I looked for a suitable permanent gig. However, this is early 2009, and we're still cleaning off the residue of the last 8 years of plutocratic rule. No doubt about it, I'm going to have to work hard to find another gig, and I am less than 100% confident that I'll find one very soon in these times. I do get a severance package, but it's hardly generous. Wish me luck.

In between (frequent) bouts of terror, though, I actually welcome a chance to regroup. I've had a long list of things that I hoped to do someday. Once I cross off the ones (such as "vacation in Tahiti") that would cost money, there are still plenty of things I never had time to do. I can spend more time on freelance articles! I can knit in the middle of the day -- and can even take a morning knitting class with my friend Fran! If the weather didn't suck, I could take long walks with the dogs and tire them out for a change. I can even take morning classes with them, if I can find the money. I can go to the gym -- the one I've been paying membership fees to all this time. I have time to get back into learning PHP, which I was just starting to do.

Plus, bless everybody's hearts, I now have a bunch of Web sites to do. I LOVE doing Web work, and would sit here at the computer at night, thinking, "I just LOVE this. I wish this were my day job." Well, at least for now, it is. I just wish it paid anything like my previous gig. If I could make a living at it, I'd never go back.

Greg has really been a rock since the whole thing happened. He's been coming up with plenty of ideas how we can both make money and save it. In spite of the impending austerity of our future existence, he took me out to a sumptuous dinner at 555 in Portland for my birthday. The food was exquisite and imaginatively prepared and presented, the service was attentive, and we had ourselves a grand old time. We made a reservation for Valentine's Day, and I'm hoping that times will get better soon enough that we can return on a regular basis. We haven't had a meal like that since the chef from Windows on the Water retired. I feel guilty that Greg spent that much money on a dinner while we're on the edge of some mighty hard times, but I hope that we'll have something to celebrate soon.


Barbara said...

I'm so sorry about the lost job. And yet I can't help thinking about it coming on a birthday, and what that might mean. A new lease on life, a new life altogether? A second life (career)? So many possibilities, and as the creative person you are I'm sure you can do any one of them justice. It is terrifying, coming now, I know. But ... you seem optimistic, and that's a great start. :) Best wishes for finding the silver lining and hopefully a very special time of life right up ahead.

Anonymous said...

Afternoon Everybody,

Oh no, I am really sorry to hear about you loosing your job, that is really bad luck, I think with the way the financial climate is at the moment, nobody's job is safe really. Fingers crossed you will get a new job really soon though, have you started applying for some more yet? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! for the other day! I hope you got lost of lovely gifts and cards! Well, after I read about your job loss, and birthday I thought I would share some advice and tips on sending someone a birthday card for free!I have recently been sending my friends a Happy Birthday e-Card greeting when they are at work! They just said it was a really idea and that it brightens up their day. I have tried quite a lot of e-Card sites, and I have now found a really cool Happy Birthday Day e-Card site that I really like. This particular site has an awesome application where you can upload a photograph of yourself and incorporate it into your card. This is such a clever idea, and adds that personal touch, and as I already mentioned this particular site is totally free. I think e-Cards are definitely worth a try, they are not for everyone, but I am becoming a fan! Just wanted to share my findings with you all. All the best, and I really hope you find yourself another job soon! Kind regards, Nicole