Thursday, August 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes in which I tell you what I learned from Aaron being laid off.

Aaron was laid off a week ago today.  If you’re pretty close to us and hadn't heart yet- we are sorry, we have been trying to wrap our heads around what to do.  Scary huh?  It was totally unexpected- so it’s thrown us for a bit of a loop.  But, these last seven days I have learned me some things. I’d like to tell you about them.

--- 1 ---
I am married to an incredible man. 
Those of you, who know me, probably know that.  Those of you, who know us, might be confident in that.  Those of you who only kind of know Aaron, or feel like you haven’t really gotten to know him… you might be surprised.  But he is top notch.  He hit the ground running after the initial shock. I can’t tell you the amount of connections he has made, the interviews lined up, etc… Most men would need a hot second to wallow before they’d be ready to kick butt.  Not my husband.  He has hit the pavement hard, and I am not worried.
--- 2 ---
I don’t hate CrossFit (the capitalization is important).
  Some of you know Aaron’s exercise routine has been a bit of a strain the past six months.  It’s hard because it adds a big element of time into our day, and our days are already a bit crazy.  I have b@##$’d a lot about him going.  But, I will tell you, the minute this happened I knew CrossFit's importance.  It’s so easy, when stress occurs, to immediately stop taking care of your health.  I knew going to CrossFit was important for Aaron, but he really felt/still feels like it’s a luxury for working people ;)  Anyway, several people from the gym, including the owners, reached out to him, noticing he’d been gone for a few days.  Letting him know he needed to come in to blow off stress and steam.  THAT’s what life is made of.  Relationships that encourage, and more than that, reach out.  I’m now drinking the CrossFit juice (though don’t ever expect to see me at ‘the box’... however, I said, ‘the box’ this week…Aaron said it was progress). 
--- 3 ---
I am a “calm now, freak the freak later” type.
 I have always known this, but man was it crystal clear this week.  I barely batted an eye when my husband came home, shaking he was so upset, to tell me he was laid off.  I was surprised, but steady.  Assuring him we would be okay.  I did good for two more days.  Any fears shrugged off, tried to be as supportive as possible to my husband, etc… BUT then, there was Monday and Tuesday.  Joey, as most of you know, was chucked (accidently) into a wooden table by the eldest.  He gashed his head.  He needed stiches.  We’ve had a few more issues, some I am sure I will tell you about later- enough to throw a person off her game.   I freaked on Monday and Tuesday. I mean, I was so angry inside.  Smiling at my kids and being kind to my husband was literally like a battle between the me I can be, and this devil beast who wanted to throw an all-out tantrum on the floor. I am glad Big A stuck with me through those two days- and now we are okay.  It’s just funny, my delayed reactions.  Need to work on that ;) 
--- 4 ---
Friends/family are important and times like this really help define important people. 
We were planning on being up north last weekend.  We decided to still go after having the ‘no job’ news.  At first we weren’t going to tell anyone. HA! How do you not tell the closest people to you something so significant?  Our family rallied hard around us.  Tears and worry were expressed.  They let me be a little crankier than usual.  Swear a little more than I normally would have (which, as we know already is A LOT- sorry Shawn, still feeling bad about that one).  Our family was awesome.  We have learned a lot about friendship this week, in those who have made sure to reach out.  Check on us every couple days.  It’s been good. 
--- 5 ---
Jesus is super important.  
didn't get it, at first, why Aaron was so upset last Thursday.  Like, yea, losing a job is never awesome, but we are okay financially for a few months and I am super confident in my husband’s ability to make stuff happen.  But then, driving in the car one day, everything clicked. I said to Aaron something along the lines of, “This must be hard for you, because even if you know we are okay, you know our peace rests so much on you as the dad/husband…and you have three kids and it was unexpected- that has to be scary”-  BULL’S EYE. I could see in his face, I hit the nail on the head.  
And would you like to know how my husband has responded to that fear/anxiety?  
He has started each morning going by himself to Mass, to pray for the good of our family, to pray for wisdom.  He has met his fear/anxiety by meeting Jesus with it each day.  Trusting walking WITH God in crisis is better than walking without Him. I like Jesus.  A lot. 
--- 6 ---
A Financial Plan/Safety net is Essential.  
Three years ago we began Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  We did it to pay off almost $90,000 of debt and then, to provide a way for me to become a Stay at Home Mom.   Now, I see it’s value in a whole new way. I cannot imagine if this had happened four years ago, prior to us whipping our finances into shape.  Because we no longer live ‘paycheck to paycheck’…we really are okay.  And with three small children, I cannot tell you how much that calms my heart.  How much peace that brings.  Jobs/Incomes can shift in a minute- it’s best to be prepared for whatever that might mean.
--- 7 ---
WHO you work for is important. 
I know, DUH.  Aaron was let go because he was the lowest on the totem poll.  It makes sense.  We made a decision about 9 months ago to move to a smaller company, in hindsight that now seems dumb.  The company thought they’d get a few accounts that fell through.  I get it.  Companies are not charities.  BUT, this week, I understand the value of making sure you work for a morally good company (to the best of your ability).  You see, because Aaron’s company was small- they knew him.  They knew Aaron was a man with three small children.  And they waited till the last day of the month to let him go so they wouldn't have to pay him another two weeks and wouldn't have to pay out any new insurance.  So, the day he was fired, we lost our insurance.  And they did it on purpose.  Again, companies have a right to do that.  But, from now on, Imma make sure we work for the type of companies that wouldn't.  Because it was a sh@#$ thing to do.  And I am still mad about it.  Three days later Joey cracked his head and needed stitches.  We were fine, we are smart (thanks Dave Ramsey)- but it could have started snow ball of really awful financial things.  Again, his company did it on purpose.  To a man who they KNOW has three small children.  I am mad.  The company review I am crafting in my head is like, ‘whoa’ and I can’t wait to post it!  Not that I need revenge or anything like that.

Anyway- that's what I learned.  
I'm also going to ask your prayers.  My sister's boyfriend, Bravo, lost his mom totally unexpectedly on Monday.  The funeral is on Saturday, I know they'd appreciate any prayers they could get!

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  1. Oh, man. I'm so so sorry. Aaron sounds like a stand up guy...I'm especially partial to him since he complimented my hair this morning ;) Will be praying for you guys! (I can identify muchly with #3...I'm the best in a crisis mode. Until it sinks in a bit.) And so sad about Joey! Hope he's okay! I can't imagine what that bill must've been...

  2. Ahhh I'm so sorry Mary! It is one of biggest fears. But I'm amazed and so fist pumping happy about how you rallied around your husband. And that you guys have it together financially. I'm adding you guys to my list of prayer intentions.

  3. Oh geez Mary I am so sorry to hear that!! I will definitely keep you all in prayers...hope Joey is feeling better too:)

  4. sorry about the job loss too. We have been down this path many times. And companies are always that way--self serving. My husband has been thrown under the buss so many times by companies that promise his job is secure, but they know its a lie. The worst ? The company that knows how many weeks you have to work to be eligible for unemployment. So they decide to fire dh the day before he is eligible. Leaving a family with zero income.

  5. Mary, I am so sorry. I had not heard of this until now. We've been so consumed with the Harkins family over here maybe we weren't paying attention to any breaking family news or maybe Brian knows and he hadn't told me yet. At any rate, we love you guys and have complete confidence everything will work out. That is crap about the insurance too. Errrrr! You guys are super smart and great fighters so keep your heads up and you will beat this. Hugs and prayers to all of you especially those cute little boys : )

  6. Mary, praying for you and your family. This must be incredibly difficult. But, God bless your husband for being such a strong man of faith at times like this. What an example for your boys!