This summer started off like most. We went on a road trip Memorial Day weekend. I went back to work that Tuesday. I lost my job that Thursday.
After 11 years with the same company, my position was eliminated as part of nationwide restructuring. That’s official corporate speak that officially sucked.
I’ve never been unemployed. When I graduated from WKU in 1991 I already had a job lined up at Vanderbilt University. After six and a half years in the News and Public Affairs Office there I briefly worked as an editor of the employee sales magazine for a national insurance company. And then, just a few months before I found out I was pregnant with my older daughter, Miss C, that company was acquired by a Houston corporation and I decided to look for another job.
I’ve been working with the same small business publishing company since 2001. My job as an editor, and more recently as a social media coordinator, saw me through my pregnancy years. After Miss A was born in 2005 I cut back on my hours and was able to pick up my girls from school every day. Of course there were many days when I BARELY left my office in time to make it to school to pick them up before they would have had to make the walk of “my mom forgot me” shame, but all in all it was a great working mom schedule.
I was COMPLETELY BLINDSIDED by losing my job. I’d just had a great performance review. But more than 50 people nationwide were let go and I was one of them.
After 20 years of always working for someone else, I think God, karma, and my inner creativity compass are nudging me toward being on my own and working for others on my own terms. I had actually considered pursuing a freelance career two years ago when Miss A started kindergarten, but then the historic flood in Nashville happened and that fluke of Mother Nature definitely impacted my husband’s small business and pretty much every small business in our community. Between that and the economy, venturing out on my own at that time didn’t seem like a great idea. Leaving a stable job seemed foolish.
My office contents from an 11-year career in one box. I still have an old school Rolodex from the 90s. It’s an antique now, right? I’ll be yammering on about it on Antiques Roadshow one day.
After the initial shock of losing my job unexpectedly wore off I started to really enjoy not rushing in the mornings to get to work. I’ve relished spending time at home and not “having” to be anywhere this summer but with hubby and my girls who are both growing up way too fast. I’ve been spending so much time swimming with the girls that a friend asked us last week if we’d just gotten back from the beach. “Nope, this is just my unemployment tan,” I joked.
While I have loved being home with the girls this very brief summer break I’ll be ready to start working again this fall and I’ve already had a couple possible opportunities come my way. I’m going to try to make this work from home thing work for me and my family.
I also realize, not surprisingly, that I’m not stay at home mom material. When hubby and I told the girls that I’d lost my job and would be home with them this summer, Miss C looked at me and asked, “Mom, does this mean the house is going to be cleaner?!”
Bless your heart my sweet girl. Housework is probably the one job I should be fired from.