I took extensive notes the first week I was laid off. I almost started this blog then, but apparently I wasn’t ready (also, I wrote a novel…..which I believe consumed me need to write back then). But, I did take notes. Below is a summary of that first week.
Well, I didn’t expect that to happen. I knew layoffs were coming, actually, I thought they had happened the week before and I was safe. Alas, not true. My boss sent me an email and a text, inviting me to a 30 minute meeting in less than 30 minutes. Everyone knows what that means….Actually, she was very cool. This was a Friday. Layoffs were coming next week, but she knew I was negotiating to buy a house, so she got permission to tell me early, so I could make a decision about the house with that in mind. Very cool of her. Thanks Mary.
I got off the phone, and was going out to tell our receptionist, but she was walking toward me, with a very sad look on her face. I knew then she was just told. I wasn’t close to many people in that office, I’d only been there for 18 months, and I didn’t work with anyone there. But, I knew a few people. One of them was nice enough to take me out for coffee and walk me through some things he’d experienced. Thanks Ben.
Emotionally, day 1 was not as hard as I thought. The only time it was really hard was when I felt I had failed Julianne and the boys in upholding my end of the family bargain….breadwinner.
I am having trouble being “present”. I can’t stop thinking about money, work, but mostly the great people I will miss. One of my sons is a bit nervous about money. I reassured him, as I had been doing myself, that we had many years of money saved up, but it was clear I was trying to convince myself, as well as him, not to worry. I went to a coffee shop that was having a sale, but was unable to enjoy the coffee or the moment. This is why they call mindfullness a practice, obviously. Later, I walked to the wine tasting room 1 block from our place. I was more able to relax and be in the moment there. I had not golfed that day, because I didn’t think I could be present. Maybe I could have been? Julianne and I are planning to hike tomorrow, I wonder what my mind will be like tomorrow?
Apparently we didn’t go hiking! But, I did golfing during the day, in November. I was clearly distracted the first few holes. It was obvious I was not working, and my brain was telling me I should be working. Eventually, I moved onto worrying about my golf score, and not not working, but I didn’t play well at all. Neither of us felt like making dinner, so we went out for Indian, but only ate half of our food. I was pretty tired from so much walking the last two days (oddly, I didn’t take notes in the first two days about walking?), and carrying my bag (I pretty much gave up carrying my bag after breaking my leg, but I did this time to save money….like a handful of dollars, and I’m telling people I have plenty?). I finished the night soaking in the tub, can’t recall the last time I took a bath.
Day 4 and 5:
Hmmmm. As I note in day 5 notes, I didn’t take notes yesterday! I got up early and worked out for over an hour. Apparently I was going to take the advice a friend gave me and work out a lot. It was random, and I took notes to develop an actual routine (note…hahahahaha, that didn’t happen). More and more people have started reaching out, as news spreads at work I’m gone. It’s nice that so many people say they’ll miss me. I’m really feeling the lack of friends here in Portland now, because a better, in person, support network would be helpful. Started signing up for Meetup groups to meet people (note, sigh, I think I went to one and it didn’t do it for me, I really need to get out more). Interestingly, I took a note stating I’d change my blog to be about getting laid off! I sent the separation agreement to a lawyer today. Probably could have saved that money, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Julianne was more emotional about everything today. She had spent time with her networking friends in the morning, sharing what happened. I’m still not as emotional about this as I thought I’d be. I encouraged the boys to talk to their finance offices at school, maybe we can get more aid or something.
I have more notes about the wine bar last night….I listend to six women talk about dating and how women are the gatekeepers, as it were. Very entertaining. Later, Julianne joined me for dinner there. I did talk to one of the women about her job, she works for the Red Cross. She has done relief work, says it is exhausting but worth it.
Will called from way overseas to offer support. Good guy, you should eat at his taco places, or hire his IT contractors, or support him whatever he’s doing these days (those are my notes….). Another friend called offering names/contacts in Portland for Robert Half. She repeated Will’s main advice, follow your heart. Started seriously noodling the idea of writing a novel, either fantasy or about a guy trying to write a novel. Yummy, I ate frozen pizza, but I did make a long shopping list for better food.
Day, like, 15?:
Last night I dreamt that I went to work by accident, back in MN. Everyone was happy to see me, and they paid me. Today I missed working for the first time. Not the people (I’ve been missing them all along), but actually working.
That’s it for the notes I took. Looking back, it was a lot of support, especialy from Julianne, and the fact we had savings, that allowed me to be so relaxed emotionally. I’ll update where I am on that on a later post.