Monday, December 8, 2008

Counting my blessings

Today is a hard day. My company had to lay off about one-third of our employees, including A, although he has been offered a contract position so he could stay on through January. We're not sure yet what he's going to do (take the severance package now or take the contract position with no severance). A and I knew this was coming as of early last week, so we had some warning, but it's still crummy.

I feel badly that all of this clouded my visit with my mom, but I am so grateful that she was with us while we were struggling with the knowledge of it this past weekend. She prayed with me and she occupied R while A and I were a bit stressed out. And, we did some nice Christmasy things together - decorating the tree, going out for coffee and cocoa, Christmas shopping for R, and the best part: she and I went to see the Handel & Haydn Society's performance of "The Messiah" at Boston Symphony Hall. That was AMAZING.

So this is a hard time for my little family, but it could be SO much worse and I'm so thankful that it's not. We're going to be okay financially for quite awhile (as long as my job is still intact). This is when A and I being frugal savers comes in handy. And, we both know how to live simply. I actually get a little excited about the challenge of finding more places in our budget to save money.

I am sad that this is all happening to us and to our friends at work just before Christmas. Somehow that makes it worse. Last night, when I pulled out all my decorations and ornaments, I really wanted to just forget it all and send it all back down to the basement. But we needed to do it for R. He's still excited about Christmas and I want him to have that magical time that he should have. I don't mean all the gifts. I just mean the tree and the lights and the special cookies and opening Advent calendar windows and singing Christmas carols and staying up late to watch "Frosty" and "Rudolph" and "The Grinch."

Well, that's the story. If you could say a little prayer for us, that would be great. But mostly, I'm so thankful that we're being spared real hardship - at least for now.

God bless all of you today!


Ericka said...

"I actually get a little excited about the challenge of finding more places in our budget to save money.

hee hee. I enjoy creative saving too. And the best part of Christmas is doing all the family stuff - going to see lights, ice-skating, Christmas music shows, decorating the tree (with Johnny Mathis on and eating popcorn & stuff).

Doris said...

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sandwhichisthere said...

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties and I hope that things somehow resolve themselves to a situation better than before. I have a little advice to offer as I have been laid off several times.
Regarding severance versus contract work, I assume that Alan will still be covered by your medical but you must make sure that he is included on your coverage, not listed as his own. You can't collect unemployment until the severance runs out, at the rate of his present pay weekly. If he is a contract worker he will have to pay his own FICA and not at the present rate of 7% but at the rate of 14%. Get out the calculator and do the math, it may be relevant to your decision.
If you get into difficulties, let me know. My resources are limited but I will do what I can.
One last piece of advice for Alan, it is usually better to be at work even if you know that the time is limited. It allows you to maintain contacts within your field and find out other positions and companies that are available. Sitting at home can be devastating to your mind an health.
I'm surprised that your firm ley Alan go. I assume that you and he are covered by the same medical policy and therefore the firm has a substantial saving by having him as an employee. They don't have to pay a separate medical for him and will have to continue insuring him even after he is laid off. He is substantially cheaper than another employee. I hope that they are aware of this. It may be cold hearted but they should retain him instead of someone else. In times of travail, it is time to circle the wagons and do what you must do, taking the high moral road is for better times,
all of my love to you and your family, always, daddy

Greg and Kim said...

Definitely praying for you three, K! I saw you and your mom at church when I was running to the lobby to chat about Turkey. :) I'm sorry we didn't catch each other! We haven't talked it forever! Miss you.

Greg C said...

That is a rough thing to deal with and like you said, this time of year makes it even worse. My daughter is struggling with problems too and my attempts to help her out have all ended up in failure. I will pray for you and her.

Kansas Bob said...

I am also sad that this is all happening Kristen. I pray that something wonderful will come out of this for your family. I have added A to my prayer list.

Heidi @ GGIP said...

Yes, this is very rough, especially this time of year. Good for you for doing the decorating anyhow.

I'm sure this work decision is very hard for you both!

Stef said...

Crummy indeed! I'm happy that you and A can focus on the blessings, but I'm sure it's still tough. Sending you lots of love and prayers from NYC, S