As the bad economic news kept washing over us, I felt a vague sense of anxiety (OK, let's put some brakes on spending somehow), but it remained generalized until yesterday, when Ben came out of a "reorg" meeting at his job.
Yup, he got laid off.
My first reaction was: been there, done that, got the T-shirt -- his multimedia company dying in 2002, both of us looking to escape the South in 2005, his last job in 2007... So between those career -careening episodes, house buying/selling/renting/moving, having babies, etc., etc., we have the life-upheaval thing down pat. My second reaction was controlled panic: "OK, we'll have to sell the house, but please God let's be able to stay local so the kids' lives won't be wrecked, let's just have a quick yet intense look at ZipRealty to see what's on the market in town that's wicked cheap, shall we?" My tyhird reaction was back to #1: we know the drill. Practicalities. Switch to health insurance from my job -- which plan? Start thinking about the budget: what do we cut right away? The after-school program for most days of the week... the babysitter we pay to drive Sarah to Hebrew school... that South Pacific cruise we planned (OK, not exactly).
Friends and colleagues are as supportive as could be. Now it's just... the uncertainty as always. How long will it take Ben to find a job in this economy? Should he direct all his energy to looking for consulting work? What about summer camp for the kids? Blecch. Yet one small corner of me is rising to the challenge. It's like having a hard deadline in newspapers. You deal with the stress, so the best you can knowing that some quality will have to be sacrificed, and move on. Now I can turn my creative energies to finding 1,000 ways to cook pasta and beans in bulk! Yum!