During the time when we were Four* (* plus a dog), there was little conflict, tension, friction or cause for debate. Add One** (** plus a giant dopey pup) and things get complicated. When my husband had to move out of the country for work, we did all we could to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone. What made it easy was the fact that he had finally found a job, and even if it meant his moving away for it, "things were going to be okay now." The other thing that made being apart easier was that we had already been practicing having him gone - in shorter increments of time anyway - while at his job in Denver. That job required he go on short trips regularly to projects in California and Nevada. We were okay with that because, in California he would see family; in Nevada... I guess, "What happens in Las Vegas (or Henderson) stays in Las Vegas." Kidding! It was no big deal, Denver was just a short flight away.
When my husband was laid off from his job in Denver, there was no way in the world I could have ever imagined our life taking the turns and twists it has as a result of the downturn and certain demise of the, what once was and never will be the same again, American home building sector. His experience in this area of the American workforce spanned many years and covered most phases of the luxury home building industry. I was proud - still am, of course - of all his hard work and accomplishments. (I would have been proud of my son, had he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.) My husband's hard work and motivation took him from an entry level - grunt work - position, in his early 20's, and advanced his career to level of V.P. of Customer Service/Warranty Dept. Today, I consider his expertise and experience to be strongest in the area of team development; He is very good at it. At his last job, for instance, he moved to a foreign country, hired the staff to assist in running a customer service/home warranty department; he trained, instilled confidence in, and helped team members acquire skills and talents which they will carry with them into any jobs which may come next. He also made sure his staff was fairly compensated for their work. (Not what is normally expected of employers in that country.) He values the importance of teamwork and effort for the good of all.
Now that he's back home though, something is amiss. He keeps to his room most days, coming down at mealtime or when he needs to run an errand or two. When he does join in on family time, the atmosphere isn't what it once was (that will take time); there isn't that easy-going vibe we are normally all about. When the house is quiet, it's too quiet. When things start to liven up, it's usually because the dogs are being playfully raucous, which eventually makes the rest of us cranky and unpleasant. In the middle of it all, there are eggshells to walk on when the head of the household is in our midst. He's down... can you blame him. Now is a very difficult time; worse part is that he's been here before. Difference now is that, number one, in the past, company downsizing or short-term lay offs went hand-in-hand in the home building industry. Number two, the kids aren't little anymore; they are all too aware of what's going on (where in the past we could easily hide the scariness that comes along with economic uncertainty); now the kids stress and worry right along with us. Finally... jobs? Where are the jobs? No one who comes from a home building background knows. My husband has friends and colleagues who are at just as great a loss. These workers were at the head of the line to lose jobs when banks caused the housing market meltdown. And they are, like us, at the head of the line to have homes foreclosed upon by those same banks, when all financial resources are gone.
What more can be done? Keep searching for a job - in any sector. What else? Be thankful we still have each other. Anything more? Pray. Pray that this family of five, with our two much loved dogs, not come into harms way on whatever path life opens up to us. That all families going through this very same hardship remain hopeful and find strength in each other to make it from one day to the next. Yeah... pray. Just pray. Whatever happens... It will just take getting used to.
~ ~ I just peeked out the window...it's snowing tonight. I love the snow. ~ ~