Sunday, October 30, 2011

Times are Tough

I like to keep this blog upbeat, yet real. I like to venture to subjects outside of running because life cannot be exclusively about running (dammit). There is so much else that goes on with us in a day from parenting to jobs to making stew for dinner. I like to be candid and authentic. Most of all, I don’t think you can be your true and complete self without some honest self disclosure.

Writing is therapeutic for me and I value and cherish the insight and support of you all more than you know. I read each and every comment, each and every day.

I’ve been holding one issue close to my vest, not wanting to air my dirty laundry. But, I’d rather just put it out there now and stop “pretending” all is perfectly fine.  What is going on occupies big chunk of my thinking.

When our first child was born 14 years ago, we made the decision that I would work from home part time and Ken would be the primary breadwinner. This worked very well for our lives. As a contractor, I was able to make decent money and use my MSW degree by doing domestic adoption work. Ken worked as a systems administrator for an investment firm. We enjoyed a comfortable life and were grateful that someone was always home with the kids or was able to volunteer in the classrooms and go on field trips. Weekends did not have to be spent catching up with shopping or chores because I was able to get most of this done during the week.  It worked for us.

As of January 1st of this year, Ken lost his job of 12 years. He is still unemployed. It has been ten months.

You probably have noticed that we run, bike and  a lot together in the middle of the day and unemployment is why we have been able to do this.  He’s been able to be with the kids more at their sporting events, take them to/from school and help make Emma’s costume this year:

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You know she lives in our house when there are Lara and Marathon Bars in there

The “up” side is that we are stronger than ever as a family and are fortunate to have so much quality and quantity time together.

Ken is a very skilled at what he does, but he does not want to go back to a job with a stuffy financial institution. He really wants to do IT (Information Technology) work for a company that is more in line with his own lifestyle – preferably something in the outdoor or fitness industry.

I don’t have to tell you this is a tough time to be looking for a job. Prices keep climbing, the news is full of grim outlooks. I have taken on more work, but my income has never been enough for us to live off of. I know many of you are feeling the crunch of these economic times and that we are not alone.

I am considering full time opportunities, yet trying to define what exactly I would like to do. This has never been easy for me. If you haven’t noticed, I wear many different hats: writer, social worker, mom, coach, merchandiser, volunteer, athlete. How to focus in one area has never been my strong suit.

For what it’s worth, it feels good to put this out there. Most of the time I’m able to be optimistic, hopeful and upbeat. I know in the end it will work out and that no matter what happens, we have each other. I take happiness from the small things I love – a trail run in the foothills, a gorgeous sunset outside my back door, a movie and popcorn on the couch on a Saturday night.

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Taken Thursday night from our back deck

Yet, in the middle of the night or a quiet moment, the fear creeps in and I panic. What if? What if? I think the worst.  My job is to keep these thoughts at bay and to not let them consume me. My job is to be honest with my kids about what is going on, but not pass on my fear or anxiety to them. My job is to support Ken as best as I can in doing what makes him feel alive.

Finances are stressful. While I don’t believe it is money that makes us happy, I do believe you need enough of it to have peace of mind.

Thanks for reading and for continuing to be an amazing source of support for me in all ways.

SUAR

113 comments:

  1. Sending good thoughts your way - that is a tough road! We are surprised you have stayed so upbeat - it has not showed on your blog. Will be thinking of you guys!

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  2. This must be a very stressful time. It is a testament to the strength of your marriage and family that you are able to remain so positive. I pray that easier times are ahead for you & yours.

    Also, Emma looks fantastic!

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  3. Staying positive is hard, but so important during this time. Wishing you both the best of luck as you deal with this situation.
    It's a scary time for a lot of people right now. My company just had more layoffs, and there are rumors of shutdowns during the upcoming holidays (we have already had 3 unscheduled shut-downs this year). Because of that, I have been taking on outside work...to increase my finances and to give myself more options, should I be let go.

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  4. Sending lots of good thoughts! Money is a tough thing, it doesn't make you happy, but without it you can't live. I hope that you find something for both of you that works and makes you happy and fulfilled in your work life.

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  5. You do a fantastic job of maintaining an optimistic outlook, no matter what your situation. The right job is out there for the right one of you, it just hasn't happened quite yet. You guys are managing beautifully in the meantime. I'm pulling for you!

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  6. Sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. Hang tough- you will all get through and come out even stronger in the end. A sense of humor and a positive outlook go a LONG way, and you've got those in spades.

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  7. Stay strong. I believe God has a plan for all of us. We dont see it right away sometimes,but in the end he will reveal it to us. Remember it is not in our time it is in his. When we go through trials it is hard but it makes us a much stronger person. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  8. Hang in there Beth (and Ken!). Went through an almost-year of my DH being unemployed and it was tough in many ways though we were managing financially. (his new job brings income, but other than that not sure it's an improvement - good to look for something that makes Ken happy professionally, to the extent possible) Kudos to you for your great attitude and healthy perspective on what matters, and for the guts to talk about it honestly. No doubt your kids are learning and absorbing it and that will help them all their lives, so be proud of yourself for that. You never know, maybe putting this out into the world will connect you/Ken with something or someone who can help! Wishing you all the best.

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  9. Sending positive thoughts your way during this time. It can't be easy but you seem to have stayed positive. The right opportunity will come along soon!

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  10. Not working can be really tough sledding after a while. My employer punted me January 2009. I had a few hours of contract work here and there, but essentially it was March 2010 till I was working regularly again. I had what we call employment insurance for almost all that time, and we tweaked our lives a tiny bit to live within that income.

    But 14, almost 15 months of not working was really taking a toll on me. I was beginning to wonder if my resume had poison ivy on it or something. All I can say is that you have to keep trying every source for every job, and you have to keep applying. You have to walk the line between following up and risking annoying the company.

    In the end, a job I applied for and did not expect anything of, had the recruiter call. They sent my resume to the company, and they wanted to interview. They were in a hurry, and half way through she offered the job. You never know.

    Since then I made a graceful transition to another company, and after a short break, into the company I'm at now. I didn't really do anything different, or I don't think I did, but the economy picked up again.

    All I can say is keep trying and stay positive. I found the workouts (at the time I was training for Ironman) really helped keep my mind off the job situation. Best wishes!

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  11. Best of luck!! One option to consider: IT at a University or local College.

    I actually study sysadmins (and am a former sysadmin) and will be at a big conference in December - I'll keep my eyes open. Also, what are his specialties? I know of a few remote possibilities depending on his experience... Feel free to email me at nicolefv at gmail.

    Mostly. Good luck and happy thoughts!

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  12. Sending lots of hugs and good energy your way! The right thing WILL come along, I know it will. Some of the best stuff comes from the toughest times, but man it sure does suck in the meantime. I don't suppose you'd want to move up here to Alberta where the economy is a bit better? Edmonton isn't much different from Colorado. Well, except for the lack of mountains. ;)

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  13. Your blog came at just the right time. Maybe someone wanted me to help you put things in the right perspective. My husband of 30 years was killed in an accident 2 weeks ago.

    I don't mean to burden anyone with the sadness that is going through our family right now, but you can't imagine how much I would like an unemployed husband worrying about finances.

    We will get through our grief, believe it or not running is keeping me sane. I wil keep reading every one's blogs about running, deposits in the woods, and all life brings because they make me laugh. we will get through whatever is thrown at us.

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  14. I know that a job loss is hard. My BF has been unemployed for over 2 years, and last week he FINALLY got a job. Hang in there and there are lots of people that are more then understanding of a job loss situation. I love the vending machine costume. That is awesome!

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  15. Sending lots of good thoughts your way! I went down a similar road just over a year ago when my husband was laid off. To say it's stressful is an understatement - it can be hard to stay positive at times. I think you've got a great attitude - it will serve you and your family well!

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  16. Oh wow. I really am sorry. I think you are so amazing for seeing the positive side of what has happened. It really does make a family stronger to go through something like that.

    You are courageous. Keep your head up.

    xo
    Sarah
    Get Up & Go

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  17. I am really sorry to hear that you're going through this. I was moved to comment b/c our family went through something similar..My husband lost his career when the economy took a dump, and I was a SAHM mom at the time. He has been forced to take piddly, low paying jobs just to help make ends meet, and I was forced back to work FT. We lost our retirement, and our life savings, and some weeks, I didn't have money for diapers or food. It.sucked. He finally got a new job doing something he likes, so we are in the process of re-building our lives. I agree, money does NOT = happiness, but when you don't have enough to provide for basic needs, the stress is enough to almost break you...except we can't, b/c as mothers, we have to protect our children and set an example.
    I'm wishing all the best for your family.

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  18. Anon: thank you so much for your story. I think what you speak of is the "what if" that keeps me up at night. While we are making it okay right now, I don't know what the future holds. When you have kids to support, it can be quite scary.

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  19. I am really sorry to hear about Ken's job loss and the stress that it is taking on the family. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Of course, that's a hard notion to grasp when their is the 'unknown' and fears of not being able to provide. Stay strong and positive. Many people (that I know-they do exist!) have come out of the same or similar situations much happier and more at peace with there life, family, and existance.

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  20. You always amaze me. :) My husband was out of work for over a year and a half. It was EXTREMELY difficult. I got so tired of hearing people say, "Oh, he'll find something." Really? Ugh. That being said, like you, we pulled together as a family. It was incredibly wonderful! We are close anyway, but this was on a different level. Our kids knew we were stressed. Our kids knew we had to buckle down. Our kids became a part of the "plan".
    Looking back is the easy part. Fortunately for us, he got in with a great company and is very happy doing what he likes. They are stable and we finally feel like we can "breathe" a little.
    You will be stronger. You have great memories as a family. And this too shall pass. Thinking of you.

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  21. I am thinking and praying for you both!!!!!! ((hugs))

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  22. This post really resonated with me. In January of 2010, my husband lost his job. He was a corporate controller for a restaurant company. The environment was very corporate. Over the next 13 months, I interviewed for jobs that I wasn't in love with because that is what I did in my previous life and we needed jobs. Like you, our family was able to spend a lot of time together. This past February, he started work at a mt. bike company where he wears shorts to work and rides with the guys every Wednesday. He is in heaven!

    My point is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you both find something that feeds your passions. Keep up with what you are doing. Tell your husband that networking is the key. I actually told my hubby to keep his ears out for an opening for an IT guy in his industry.

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  23. There has to be someone out there that would give you a book deal. I would buy it!!!

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  24. Sorry to hear that but you are not alone and as we asll know the economic situation has been rough! I am sure that things will turn around but it is just getting through it. Worry about the important things right now and stay strong for your family. I will be praying for your family and a positive outcome. God never gives us mor than we can handle so hang in there!

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  25. Sending you and your hubby good vibes. Completely understand what you are going through

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  26. Don't know if this is of interest but here is where I work. We often hire IT folks and tech writers. http://nsidc.org/about/jobs/index.html I'm a librarian/archivist there. It's pretty casual. Lots of folks who run, bike, ski, etc. Good luck! Hang in there! Love your blog!

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  27. It really is so difficult to find a job. For every resume that I send in online, I feel that I've wasted ten minutes of my life. It takes the perfect storm of a company that is hiring and a connection within that company.

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  28. 1. Love the costume.
    2. I count my blessings a LOT that my husband and I are both employed with very little chance of downsizing.
    3. I found you recently and wanted to say thanks because after reading back a few posts, I ran a half marathon this Saturday and used "shut up and run" as a way to get over myself and just keep going.

    So thanks. :)

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  29. Thanks Allaina, actually sounds very cool. I'll have him check it out.

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  30. Elizabeth: awesome on our first half!!!!! Glad you shut up and did it.

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  31. It will work out. I was in Ken's shoes, and it took a while. Thinking of you, and stay strong!

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  32. I don't have any advice for you but I read your blog and want to offer my moral support.

    I thikk that we are all right where we are 'suppoed' to be and that things happen in our lves for a reason... and that we need to keep our hearts and minds open to opprtunities all the time.

    How wonderful that you and your husband are getting to spend so much time together doing things you love... and that he is spending so much more time with your kids.

    Something good will happen for you. Believe it, watch for it.

    I wish you well.

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  33. We lost 1/3 of our income in July due to the hubs loosing his second job. Then in turn the little one maxed out her insurance therapy. We had to start paying for it out of pocket. All at once. I can't even get an interview with Target or Kohls because I haven't worked in 5 years. Seriously. I know times are tough and we'll eventually get through it one way or another but it's harder to see the future when you got a lot of people depending on you. I hope he finds what he's looking for soon!

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  34. Times are hard. My bf's business is struggling and every cent that comes in goes to making the payroll for the workers. He hasn't had a pay check in a long while.
    Sending good thoughts your way. Stay strong.

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  35. Hey girl...was just thinking about you on my run today and wondered what was up with Ken and the job situation. You know my situation and nothing has changed there...but I am trying to be more proactive and am going to work part time over the holidays and have an appt on Wed downtown to go back to school - not exactly sure what for - but it's time for ME to make some changes because after 4 times in the past 5 years, I can't handle the stress anymore (I'm sure it's causing my insomnia and stomach issues).

    Thinking of you and hoping something positive comes up SOON!! (and me, too :)).
    xo

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  36. Over the past six months we have both spent some quality time being unemployed and fortunately we are both back in the work force. Granted, I'm working the job I had as a college kid, but I'm contributing. That being said, I understand how hard it is to be unemployed...sure you have a ton of free time but you also spend time thinking "wth is wrong with me/my resume/my experience". Staying positive is hard!

    Things are panning out alright. Not perfect, but we are adjusting. We've managed to spend a ton of time together and really grown as individuals and a couple.

    Stay positive, good luck and hopefully everything turns out alright in the end!

    PS...awesome costume!

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  37. I think it is wonderful that you have both used Ken's time off so constructively. Lots of people say that they will use their time out of work to build memories with their kids and get into shape/take care of their health. But then they don't.

    Over the past 3 years, in my family, out of 10 people only myself and 2 others were not laid-off and unemployed for between 6 months and 2 years. My saving grace was that first I was in graduate school, and now I work in a very small field.

    I really truly commend Ken for knowing he wants to enter a more challenging and exciting field, and not settling for a return to where he was. I now that we are supposed to pull up our bootstraps and take any work there is and blahmakeyourselfmiserableblah but you guys are both setting a great example for you children to work together, work with what you have, and to strive to be happy! And, p.s. your kids seems to be pretty well-adjusted to boot.

    I have to assume that someone will make Ken an offer very soon!

    As an aside, I have been reading your posts everyday for probably 6 months now (I don't think I have commented before), and you always manage to get me to pull my head out of my ass (which is presumably part and parcel to SUAR).

    -AB

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  38. My husband (an electrician) has been out of work off and on for the last 5+ years. The longest stint was 6.5 months. Thankfully, that was partially during a summer vacation with my kids that saved me $240/week in daycare (with the $320/week unemployment it wasn't that far off of his normal income) - and the kids have come to equate layoff with "time with dad" which they love. In fact, when I was laid off 13 months ago (civil engineer - didn't see it coming) their reaction was "Cool! Now mom can pick us up from school!" We've always been very conservative with money and I've since started my own consulting business. We've kept our heads above water (even when husband was laid off again this summer), but it has been tough. I can SO relate to the sleepless nights, the worries about whether this is the "new normal", the worries about how long the savings will last, what you will do about things like insurance and retirement, etc. But I look back at so many times that the good Lord put a challenge like this in my path because I wouldn't have gone down the road I did without it. My husband lost the last non-electrician job he had the week our son was born. He was home that first several weeks as I struggled with the colic king and having to go back to work quickly (no maternity leave). Having him home was such a blessing. And I know I would not have likely struck out on my own if I hadn't lost my job. If I were still working a traditional work week, I probably wouldn't have taken on the challenge of my first tri this last summer and I'd still be over 200 lbs! I will pray that things come together in time and your family will someday look back on this tough time and realize it was just a part of a greater plan. ((HUGS))

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  39. My husband lost his job two years ago and even though he got another job he is not making near what he used to. I still live with fear and I think what we went through changed me forever. I'm sure it will work out for you guys, but I wanted to let you know that I can totally identify.

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  40. thanks for your honesty...this is what keeps me coming back to your blog, you say it like it is. hang tight, i know things will work out...karma is good to good people!

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  41. Ugh. "Budget cuts" and "layoffs" have been daily conversation where I work for the past few months. It's such a crap time for so many people right now.

    It seems that you guys are firmly rooted in Colorado, but Amazon is hiring quite a bit right now. I know 2 bloggers who moved/are moving out here because their husbands just got jobs there! If Ken is at all interested, let me know. My husband has been there over 5 years and he really likes it. He's always happy to talk to people about possible job opportunities.

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  42. Def. sending some good thoughts your way.

    Thanks for being so honest and open with your readers. It's so refreshing to see people keeping it real. Your situation sounds tough, but from reading all these comments, your def.not alone.

    Totally pulling for you and your family.

    -Abigail

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  43. I am so sorry to hear that these tough economic times have hit your family as well. You do a great job of staying optimistic. This post just shows even more why I love to follow your blog. You are real!! You don't try to paint this rose colored glasses image of "everything is perfect in my unicorn and butterfly world". I appreciate your honesty. Many others are faced with these same trials and just knowing that they are not alone makes things a bit easier. Sending you all my best wishes.

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  44. Long time lurker, first time poster. Times are tough indeed. I've been un/underemployed for over a year now and recently picked up a retail job to keep my wife and I out of our retirement savings. In the midst of the strain and anxiety, though, we've really found a great deal of strength and our relationship feels like its good as ever -- she's proud of me for doing what I can to chip in - however possible - and I'm so thankful to her for providing stability throughout this period.

    I get misty-eyed when I think of our wedding and the promises we made to each other. They mean so much more to me now than they did then. It sounds like you and your husband have done a great job of helping each other through the adversity. How great will it be to look back at these days (when things are better, of course!) and think about how it was all worth it in the end!

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  45. I want to thank you for sharing. Being in a similar boat, I know it's not easy to talk about. I was the bread winner while hubby started an entrepreneurial venture. I've been out of work now for 2 years. Jobs are hard to come by, even the low paying ones. And having kids during this adventure is just more stressful.

    I find running to be my escape and saving grace. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to each post.

    Hang in there.

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  46. Bless you! I was really touched at reading your blog today. I've been reading your blog for 3 months (and I'm a new runner, who is now addicted) so I really appreciate your insight on all things running.

    But, I appreciate your sharing this with your readers. I'm a Christian and I want you to know I'm praying for you, as of NOW.

    Much love to you and your family. I'm so glad you are drawing close together rather than apart. Hang in there.

    Kelly in Michigan
    sitesx6@aol.com

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  47. Wow, it's a tough thing you're going through at the moment. If only you had a crystal ball and could see just exactly when things will be on track again. And I know about those little doubts that creep in during the wee small hours and seem insurmountable. Keep doing what you're doing - talking to each other, running, sharing your worries and you'll get through this.

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  48. Thanks for your honest post, I agree with other readers that this is why I keep reading and am currently reading your old posts from before I became a SUAR believer. I had a rough week last week dealing with the fact that I cannot seem to get out of debt and not sure how I will ever be able to own my own home and get married. Your post reminded me that lots of people have it much, much worse than I do and I should be happy I have a successful job that I love going to every day!! Its funny how the grass isn't always greener, I am often envious of your successful marriage and how much time you get to spend together and supporting your kids. Get more SUAR gear for sale so we can all buy stuff and help to support you :)

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  49. Hey there...I've never posted on your blog but I have followed it and gotten MANY laughs. I love a gal who can be blunt and honest about life as a runner and triathlete!
    I'm so sorry to hear that things are tough right now. For what it's worth, I've been thinking a lot lately about drawing analogies between running/triathlons and life to see what we can learn from all the training, etc. that we do. You obviously are a strong, fierce, motivated kickass woman, and I'm sure when you're doing a long run or a race and you hit a wall or a rough patch, you gut it out and dig deep. Think of this tough time like those rough spots in a race or training plan. Sometimes when you're running or biking up the hill, you can't see the top and it looks like there's no end in sight. But you dig deep, push through the pain, and you get there. The same will hold true for this current rough patch. All things are temporary - the good and the bad. You'll get through this and there will be something on the other side that will make it all worth it.
    Keep smiling...
    Michele
    http://lifethroughendurance.blogspot.com

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  50. Thanks for sharing an honest part of your life. Thinking of you and sending you and Ken positive employment thoughts :)

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  51. we can definitely relate. Thanks for sharing beth. THe cotters are praying for you. Good things will come from this!

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  52. Boo. I'm sorry to hear this. I've been in this boat, my sister was in it for way too scary long, it's so rampant these days. Although on some level we like think all will be ok, it's still scary as hell. Thinking of you guys.
    Awesome costume.

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  53. Beth - thanks for having the courage to write it down on paper (or electronically). Stay strong. Life is a marathon and I know both you and Ken will finish strong. Sending lots of positive vibes your way!

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  54. I wanted to send some positive energy your way...the least I could do as you make me smile regularly! I don't have any advice, just a perspective - Life has thrown you the proverbial lemon, but your life may have a bit more sweetness because of it (despite the stress of the situation)...Though your hubby has lost his job and finances are tight, you and your children get much more quality time with him, as he does with you...a real gem in this day and age! Cherish this extra "free" time together... because it might not be long before he'll be back to work!
    [My husband's hours have been scaled back considerably, making ends meet is indeed stressful. The part where I know my kids are with their dad having a blast and building memories, rather than at daycare, makes me feel much better :)]

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  55. I really do wish you the best, and I am normally a lurker here, but I want you to know you are not alone. My spouse has been unemployed or underemployed (as an adjunct faculty member) for the past 2.5 years. I am uncertain as to whether or not I will have a position after May.

    Emma's costume is awesome!

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  56. Sorry to hear about whats been going on. Job loss is tough. We have been there recently as well

    I also appreciate your honesty about what you want to do for a career. I feel exactly the same way you do. I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up...

    Hang in there...it will get better! You and your family are in my prayers.

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  57. i wish nothing but the best for your family, beth. all things considered, the fact that you've been able to improve the strength of your family is what impresses me most. i hope that circumstances change, but until they do, i hope every day remains to be a blessing.

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  58. You've been keeping it upbeat, but I know this is a very tough situation for a family. We were there a few years ago. I'm wishing you luck and dream jobs for both of you. Given that you both have such drive and perseverance, there are employers out there dying to have you!

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  59. There are so many things I'd like to say, but I'll keep it short and sweet. When I've had difficulties (unemployment, divorce, relocating cross country a couple of times) I printed this and stuck it to my bedroom door:

    "Life is short, but it is wide. And this too shall pass."

    I still had sleepless nights, but it gave me the energy to keep moving forward during the days.

    And the bad days do eventually pass.

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  60. i know how stressful it is to worry about finances, yet i can only imagine how much that is compounded when u have a husband and family to add to that! i think venting and doing all u can to stay positive is the best u can do and u've been doing a fabulous job at that!

    i will send positive thoughts ur way, and i sincerely hope and believe that things will work out in the end!

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  61. You are so brave to share this information, but you are not alone right now.

    I like that you focused on the strength of your family and how you you are all resilient.

    Good things will come to you and Ken!

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  62. It is hard to be supportive when your spouse is looking for a job. When I was pregnant with both of my boys I was the breadwinner and I hated it. I wanted my husband to bring home the bacon. I am glad that you are able to spend this time together with your husband right now. Tell your hubs good luck on the job hunt and hold out for that job that makes him happy--that is the true secret to success!!!

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  63. I'm inspired by your positive attitude about this. My Hubz and I went through something similar - although not as a long - last year. I never wrote about it though. We too were able to enjoy activities and time togehter than we normally would not have.

    Make the best of it. That's all you can do!

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  64. You are an amazing woman, and I'd like to pray for you and your fam if that's ok. God has a way of figuring these kinds of things out.

    I totally believe you and your husband will get through this and be so much stronger, and I'm so glad to hear that you two have been so active/productive during his time home.

    Warmest,
    Danielle

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  65. Lay-offs are very stressful. I have gone through one and my husband has gone through three. Each time is always a hard road but good things have always followed each of our lay-offs. I wish you the best in this stressful time and hope that you too will have a great opportunity appear to y'all in the end!

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  66. SUAR-

    >y hubby lost his job 2/4/11. He went back to work last week. It was a long 8.5 months...but it does look like things are improving with the economy and job market.

    On a happy running note, I ran my first (and last) marathon yesterday. 5:06:33 in the MCM! Can hardly move today...but that bling was surely worth it!.

    Andrea

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  67. This seems like a good day to share this weekly inspiration blog I receive every Monday, written by Jon Gordon. I read your blog and then read his and they seemed to be speaking to each other. Hope this helps encourage you...
    http://www.jongordon.com/newsletter-103111-encouragement.html

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  68. This seems like a good day to share this weekly inspiration blog I receive every Monday, written by Jon Gordon. I read your blog and then read his and they seemed to be speaking to each other. Hope this helps encourage you...
    http://www.jongordon.com/newsletter-103111-encouragement.html

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  69. Thanks for the honesty - it's hard to decide how much to share sometimes, but you know there are always others who can relate and hundreds who will support you.

    I hope things turn-around and that the right opportunity presents itself soon for both you and Ken.

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  70. My husband is finally starting a new job next Monday. He has been laid off since Feb 2009 (2.5 years). He is in construction management which is one of the hardest hit industries in this recession. I was thankful to have a good job this whole time, though we just had a round of layoffs last week. So that's a little unsettling. It's very difficult to feel financially secure right now.

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  71. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I can relate. My dad has been umemployed for quite some time now and he can't seem to catch a break.
    As I look to have a second baby next year I am scared to death to quite my full time job and live off one income but daycare is so expensive I would be working just to pay for daycare for two kids. Stay positive! Things will work out in time!

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  72. Love and respect your honesty! As we say in my family-that is one of those 3 P things... Personal, Private and Painful... so getting it out there I hope will be freeing!! (when I said P you were thinking POOP, weren't you!?) :-)

    I depend deeply on my faith- so I am going to commit to praying for you and for Ken- for your familiy! A fork in the road is never easy or without fear/doubt-- but there is a plan in the works for you. That I believe!!

    XO

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  73. So sorry to hear about this. You are an amazing example of staying positive through tough times. Your family is very lucky to have you as a wife/mom.

    Praying that better times are ahead for you and yours.

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  74. Stay positive. Opportunities crop up when and where you least expect them. Keep your eyes and ears open. Ken is in a good field, a lot of growth and potential.

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  75. I am so sorry you have had to go through this really tough time. Last year my husband, who is self employed, couldn't work for about 6 months. It was a very stressful time so I can only imagine that 10 months would be even more stressful for you and the family. I am a big believer that positive things can come from negative situations and I hope this will be true for you guys. Feel free to lean on your online supporters and we will try to lift you up as much as we can! Praying that everything works out for your family.

    Also I love Emma's costume. It was super cute! I am guessing the fun sized Lara and marathon bars were from the RnR expo.

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  76. In times like these you have to put your faith and trust in God. He has a plan and it will be revealed on his time. You have to trust and keep doing what you have been doing. As you said, it has already strengthen your marriage and family bond. That right there may have been God's plan. I know it is hard not to panic or have doubts, but hang in there. I am the spouse of an active duty Air Force Officer. I have been living day to day for the past 18 years. When I have doubts, I count my blessings and thank God.

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  77. Sending major positive karma your way! Always remember that this will work out. As they said on Lord of the Rings 'It's always darkest before the dawn'. Stay upbeat, stay yourselves!!!

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  78. Thanks for being so open with us! I am so glad that this time has brought you even closer as a family.

    As far as a full time job for you...you'd be an amazing writer, gotta combine that with exercise. You would be the perfect professional running/tri race reviewer! If only such a job existed...but you're so darn creative you could prob make it work.

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  79. My hubby starts his new job on Nov 7th, after 3 months of unemployment...after 14 years w/the same company.
    I totally understand enjoying the time together, trying to remain calm, while the fear is really just under the surface, all while keeping home life for our 3 kids as normal and stress free as possible.
    I know how scary it can be...and also that our/your only option is to keep getting by, one day at a time! Something will come your way when you least expect it!
    My hubby was also done w/the major corporate scene. He ended up working for Treasury Wine Estates in Napa. Totally different scene from his high rise office job!
    Keep hanging in there!

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  80. I think the majority of us are in the same boat, making lots of compromises in our daily life because of this job situation with the building industry and the econony. I was near meltdown status last night because even working a 4 day week outside the home I still have all this pressure to 90% of the work at home. My husbands own business in the kitchen design world is so slow he has to work a weekend nights job. He sleeps through the day to catch up while I work through the weekend also taking care of our 2 boys. My "week" starts on Saturday. So yeah, on Monday, I am out the door on a run to relieve All that stress. Not sure if there are any other reasons why I run, lol! We will persevere and we will make it. <3's!!

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  81. i think I'm going to end up saying to you want folks said to me a few months ago...thanks for sharing your struggle it makes you real, it let's us all know that it's ok to have bumps in the road and there are way to keep on living and enjoying life all the while

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  82. Misery loves company. I cannot tell you how many people in my neighborhood are without work right now. And we live in a state with fairly low unemployment. My husband was laid off in December too. He has found something but it is a contract job--it could end at any time and he is paid about 2/3 as much for the same work. But it is a job. I am hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel but there are days when I want to sell everything and move to China...

    Jackie, hanging in there in Iowa

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  83. You are AMAZING and I THANK YOU for ALWAYS making my day! I'm sending you a HUGE cyber HUG!! I've always LOVED your fb page and your blog because you have always been REAL.....this situation shouldn't stop you from holding back now! Beth, we want to be there for you as you have been there for us daily! At least we can pray for you and your hubby. Perhaps something positive may come your way after one reads your blog today. Keep running.....sweat is tears leaving the body (I heard that on a running blog somewhere and I believe it to be true!)

    LOVE YOU!

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  84. I do not know where you stand on your religous beliefs but i believe God is a God who provides for His people. In all ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
    I hope you continue to have faith that you will get through this.
    Thanks for taking everyday to keep us all motivated in our running.
    I will be lifting you all in prayer.

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  85. Thanks for being open and vulnerable. So sorry to hear about your situation, keeping you in our prayers.

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  86. My favorite quote these day: "It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end." Best wishes.

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  87. Things happen for a reason and keep putting out those positive vibes to the universe - it WILL come back ! Never think this is not the right forum to "vent"; these are all your friends - we're here for you !
    Best of luck to you and your family !

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  88. My husband has gone over seas via his government and military "jobs" in part to secure a more solid finacial future for our family...and he is considering it again. The biggest reason our family lives apart is a financial one.
    I am so happy that you were able to see the "up" side of the past ten months and I pray that Ken is able to get a job that fills not only the pocketbook but his heart and mind as well.

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  89. Ugh, sending you good vibes for Ken to find his niche.

    I'm sure I'm not the first to liken this type of situation to running....much like a marathon or triathlon or any other challenge, when you guys emerge on the other side (and I have no doubt you will), you'll be stronger for it.

    Thanks for always being real - even with the hard stuff. Take care.

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  90. we are feeling the financial wall as well - my hub is a contractor and self employment these days is super hard - especially in the housing industry & Texas. Our big splurges are the run events and we really feel they are something that is necessary and not necessarily a splurge. I feel guilty buying new arm warmers, or even new running shoes and for christmas this year, we are only buying for our kids and no one else. It will be a different year for us but we are hoping that the memories of sacrifice and just hanging together will make up for the materialism we will not have. I finally even broke the news to my mom that the house would be not be done with the remodel when she comes (much to her chagrin) because it was more important for our kids to have clothes instead of our house.
    Hang in there - we are all making sacrifices and feeling the pinch of financial insecurity. We just let our healthcare go the other day because we simply can't afford it - but at least we have a roof over our head and food in our mouths and a good run always makes me feel better! Love ya Beth!!

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  91. I totally know where you're coming from. When my 5yr old was diagnosed with leukemia in Jan., my husband had to leave his job to care for her - she needed someone home full time. Then I got a pay cut. Our income dropped by 2/3rds. It's definitely tough, but... I don't know that I've ever been more grateful for the things in our life than I am now.

    Stuff sucks, sometimes. YOu can let it suck you down, too, or you can take it for what it is, and move on... y'know? You know.

    Best of luck in the job hunts.

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  92. I have lived what Ken is going through. It is a tough deal; I am sure that his mind weighs heavy. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you guys.

    You did mention the positives -- believe me -- the kids will remember such times and how the family responded to them. Peace and Godspeed.

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  93. I have lived what Ken is going through. It is a tough deal; I am sure that his mind weighs heavy. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you guys.

    You did mention the positives -- believe me -- the kids will remember such times and how the family responded to them. Peace and Godspeed.

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  94. You and your family are in my thoughts. It is hard out there! I just started a new job after a YEAR of being unemployed after the company I worked for closed their doors. I'm educated and experienced, but it was hard to even get a call back or an interview. Tell Ken to hang in there and be positive. If I hadn't had so much time off, I would have never trained for my first half marathon back in June! :)

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  95. It is such a hard time for so many families, you guys seem to be making the best out of it. Hoping all the best for you guys!

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  96. Lots of good thoughts heading your way. I know it is stressful, I am losing my job this year - I have some lead time at least, but in April, I will have zero cash coming in and it is such a scary, helpless feeling.

    Hugs...

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  97. My husband lost his job in August of 2010. He was a teacher and the wonderful school district he worked for waited until the week before classes started to tell him they weren't hiring him back. He had been looking all summer anyway for a new teaching position but here were none.

    Fortunately, he did get a part-time job at a library. It wasn't fantastic pay and we really had to cut back. I also began picking up more shifts at work. I know he felt bad for not being able to find a full time job and I felt guilty for going to to a pricey school for my MSW. My student loan payment isn't much less than our mortgage. After 13 months his library experience paid off and he now has a full time position as the circulation manager at a new library (right across the street from our house!). However, even counting the gas/car maintenance savings this new salary is nowhere near his previous. But he is happy and has no plans to return to teaching. As a SWer and a teacher we were never using cash as toilet paper, but through all of this we learned we don't need as much of it as we thought to still be happy.

    I will be thinking about you. I know you are worried and have the "what ifs," but your overall positive attitude will work to benefit you and your family. In the end I believe everything will work out well.

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  98. I am sending good thoughts during this stressful time, even though he lost his job, the added time to the family is priceless

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  99. Thinking of you and your beautiful family Beth.

    Hang in there and keep up your chin up. Times are tough, but you have the support of your wonderful family and friends.

    Take care my friend. :)

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  100. My husband was laid off 3 years ago, two weeks before Christmas and 3 months before our second son was due. I was FREEKING out! He always taught martial arts on the side but we never used the money to live on. Now we had to. We took my oldest out of daycare and he looked for a job while taking care of our son. However, there was nothing out there that paid what he was making. When my youngest was born it was like an 8 week family vacation. This was really good for us. Then I went back to work and he stayed home with our boys. He grew his martial arts business. Now he has his own studio. Him being laid off forced me to grow and aspire to be better. I got a great new job with much better pay. My husband is a stay at home dad and the karate studio is doing better than ever. It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t easy with our schedules, but sometimes these forced changes are blessings in disguise. Hang in there! With your attitude and determination, you guys will pull through!

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  101. It WILL definitely work out, and when it does, you'll look back on these months and think "all that worrying for nothing. all that time to do what we wanted to, and it was so much 'fun'!" :) I can say this because we've been through this process TWICE in the past year. It's part of what brought us back to DC, and we just got another dose of sweet relief yesterday.

    All energy in thoughts/prayers/mediation/miles/whatever - being sent your way! You'll all figure out what works best, and go from there.

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  102. Sorry to hear this. Keeping fingers crossed you and Ken will both find the perfect job(s). Hang in there!

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  103. I'm in a similar situation, my husband lost his job last January. The positive side is we've been able to run together during the week! Although finances are very stressful, like you, I feel that our family & marriage is stronger than ever. My hubby finally landed a new gig last Friday! Although we're relieved, I'm a little sad to lose my running partner! Hang in there, a new chapter will open for you guys!

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  104. There are many things I could say but it seems most people have already said it. So, I will just say that I love your blog. Thanks for your sincerity, inspiration, humor and just being real. The honesty in this post is what makes you human - and a beautiful one you are.

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  105. Very sorry to hear about the struggles. That sounds like a pretty tough situation. If you want to pack up and leave your nature paradise, we have IT openings here that we can't fill. I'm guessing you guys would rather get night jobs at McDonald's than move to KS though :)

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  106. I jsut wanted to say as afellow Colorado Runner that your blog is great and I love to read what you have to say.

    On another note I wanted to tell you I can understand where you are comming from I lost my job and was unemployed for a year and a half. The stress that you go through can bring you and your family closer. I hope that you can find something soon.

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  107. yeah...I know it and I live it. We live in an affluent area where our situation is an exception rather than the rule, so none of our friends are in the same boat at all, which means I don't talk about it at all...anyway, I understand and I am sorry about all the stress. It's not fun.

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  108. I am behind in commenting but not reading. I have read this post the day you posted and it and you have been on my mind. Now do you need a 109th comment on this? I dont know? From a stranger? This summer I wrote a bit about our family situation over at my blog, I dont think you follow me so in short, my husband still does have a job but it is INSANE. Since June 8 he has had 3 weekends off. He has worked on july 4th and labor day and he will work on Thanksgiving. He has worked about 18 hrs a day sometimes over 20. I am always worried that he will fall asleep driving his car on the fway. He comes home to sleep and change and oh yes take a shower. We have 2 kids who are 5 and 7 and dont understand why their dad is never available for them. He got sick twice so far, his body just gave up on this crazy schedule. He is 44 and out of shape, it was not a shock to me that he got sick. All this to say that to me Quality of life has a price and yes he does have a job but it is costing us our family life and also our marriage. he does not get paid for any overtime, any weekend or holiday. reading your post made me think a lot about life and how short it is and that maybe it is time to make a huge change even if it is scary. I wish you all the best and I hope that Ken finds something that will keep you all HAPPY. that is important.

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  109. I had no idea, I'm so sorry. It's wonderful that you've been able to enjoy family moments, but I pray you have peace of mind soon.

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  110. As the 111th commenter, I doubt I can think of anything new to say, but sending my condolences your way. It sounds like you've got a brilliant attitude. Just remember to take care of yourself as well - it's hard to maintain a brave face. Get out into the woods and yell it out when you need to.

    xx

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  111. Hang in there...sending good thoughts your way. My husband and I went through this a couple of years ago. He as out of work for almost 2 years and was so depressed. The money part is obviously hard but keeping positive is tough as well. Sound slike you all have a great support system in each other. Try to keep positive, things have a way of coming together and working out. Rick ended up getting a job through a friend in an industry that he would have never thought of before and absolutely loves it. P.S. LOVE the vending machine!

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  112. I came back to this post today for comfort...I remembered you posted this....today it is my turn to be in this situation. I came home from picking the kids from school and Bill's car was in the drive way. I knew something was not right. He lost his job today and I am in a state of shock. I am scared and worried. I want to thank you for sharing this post almost one year ago. Bet you did not think it would still connect with a reader after all this time...

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