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.
September 14, 2014
At church today I found out more about a potential job in Fresno Unified that would have me making more of a contribution to the world than my wallet. I like feeling that my work has value beyond just putting food on the table and increasing a company’s profits. It’s not that feeding my family isn’t enough or that profits are bad, it’s just that if I’m going to be dedicating a big portion of my day to something, I like the idea that that something makes some kind of societal difference. It’s a very millenial way of thinking (Look! I can read magazine articles!), but it’s something I can’t help but think about at a time when every possibility is open and I get to dream.
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Had this blog fully justified today. A brother at church came up, slapped me on the back, and told me to “Keep doing what you’re doing.” Said he’s reading this series every day and following along and it helps him to know he’s not the only one who struggles with some of my same issues.
Gotta admit, that was pretty cool. There’s great power in simply sharing. What you find out is you’re not as unique and alone as you think you are and other people have lots of insight to share. They might even have help to offer if you’d just let them in.
Man, I wish I could go back in time and tell my high school self that. He really thought he was alone in the universe.
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This afternoon I visited some families as part of my home teaching route with my partner and friend, Cody (home teaching is a way we look out for each other and meet needs in the Church–it’s a monthly visit from two members of the priesthood who share a quick lesson and chew the fat with you a bit). As part of the lesson, I shared this quote on the unique financial challenges of our time from our President and Prophet, Thomas S. Monson:
We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt. Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had a supply of food and clothing and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have a supply of debt and are food-free.
I repeat what the First Presidency declared a few years ago:
‘Latter-day Saints have been counseled for many years to prepare for adversity by having a little money set aside. Doing so adds immeasurably to security and well-being. Every family has a responsibility to provide for its own needs to the extent possible.’
I’ve heard this counsel in one form or another all my life. Living debt free can be incredibly difficult in the 21st Century, but holy crud am I grateful we can actually ride this storm (What did I say about storms just a few days ago?). I mean, we have a mortgage and a car payment, but those are acceptable, necessary debts. (I’d put student loans in that category as well, but neither of us ever had one.) What we are free of is any credit card or excessive debt that can be so crippling. I can’t imagine having that additional weight on us now, when there’s only money going out, not in.
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Had dinner tonight with our friends the Daveys. They’ve been through the unemployment wringer in an extended way I hope we won’t have to. Every time we see them, they make a game out of giving us another piece of advice. Here’s their latest:
Finding a job is a full-time job. Take breaks accordingly or you’ll burn out.
Basically, we really need to go see a movie. Or something.