Day 7 – Two Diplomas, No Jobs

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

The big news today is that I actually woke up with an appetite and ate breakfast for the first time in a week. I ate an actual bowl of cereal. With milk and everything. My stomach didn’t really know what to do with it.

Since Erin was out at the Dentist (we should probably figure out how to pay him) and running errands with Violet, I had most of the day to myself. I cranked up the stereo, disturbed the dogs and cat with a bit of living room dancing, and finished up Erin’s resume. Are you looking for an amazing video presenter who projects realness and warmth like a just opened oven? Look no further:

Erin’s Resume

After that was done, I went over to the church to do a little bit of clerical work. We don’t have any paid ministry in our church, so work like that falls to the rank and file, which is everyone. It just happens to be my turn to do that sort of thing right now, which means somebody made a grave mistake. I know exactly two places to file documents: 1. Where I will never remember I put them there, and 2. In the trash. The only reason you’d have me record data and file papers is if you can’t afford a shredder.

When I came home from the church, Erin was already there and had a surprise for me: our college diplomas, framed on the giant empty wall in our bedroom.


I’ve been carrying my diploma around in my work bag for ten years. For most of that time, I didn’t even know it was there (Filing place #1). Not really sure why I put it there in  the first place, but my guess is I didn’t know where else to stick it and I didn’t really care. I never wanted to go to college. Didn’t see the value, sounded boring.

Once I got my diploma, I felt almost no sense of accomplishment. College was just this thing I did because I didn’t know what else do with my life and Marvel and DC Comics weren’t exactly knocking down my door. Erin really pushed me hard during that time. I probably wouldn’t have graduated without her. My 37-year-old self kind of wants to smack my 26-year-old self upside the head for being an idiot, but at least he finished it.

I’m not sure how Erin’s mom got it out of my work bag, but she has my thanks for this gift of a daily reminder that, no matter our present circumstance, Erin and I are pretty capable after all. Maybe somebody with some money will agree with that soon.

* * *

Bunch of friends came over to play games once again tonight. I don’t know if they know how useful the distraction is or not, but I’m grateful for it. They stayed until 3am. Tonight also marked the first time someone made jokes about my lack of job. Everyone laughed, at my expense. I guess we’ve crossed a new threshold there. Probably a good thing.


4 thoughts on “Day 7 – Two Diplomas, No Jobs

  1. KentDA says:

    Sometimes the best form of humor is when you can laugh at your own situation or how you’re handling it. Not mock it, laugh at it. This can also, during the brevity allow one to get a new perspective on the situation. Humor also works wonders on lightening the “sting” of what’s happening.

    I know its helped me.

    Comments I make every so often, especially when I’m getting to know someone new, “I’m crazy. Yup. Crazy as a Loon. Ask the government, they’ll agree with me. But make sure its the right Government, I’ve had issues with the Aussies of late. But, you know, don’t worry, I’m not Axe Crazy. Your Fridge however may not be safe if I ever come to visit.”

    Yes, I make jokes about my own situation. I’m not demeaning it or mocking it. My situation is serious and its hard to deal with. Sometimes making light of it is the only way I can survive. It has however given me insight that I might have otherwise lacked.

    If laughing at yourself doesn’t work, well, there is always a good fallback. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Three Stooges as well as a number of others are great for letting it all go and just enjoy laughing until the movie is over.

    They say that laughter is the best medicine after all. I’ve found its true in my life. That and it tends to help my writing, which is a good thing as I love to write.

    Brock, after this is all over, it could be very beneficial to you. A greater appreciation for what you have as well as an understanding and empathy toward those in similar situations. People going through said problems tend to find a form of strength in those who have survived it.


    • Brock says:

      I take as a given that this is all beneficial to me and my family. This is a period of real trial, but that just means growth. I think laughter is important because it gets us through the difficult present, but ultimately I can’t even imagine looking back on all this and not seeing how truly great and important it all was.


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