Day 31 – On Whether Erin Gets Final Approval and the Judgment of Others

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

Sunday – September 28, 2014

Was hoping for an “APPROVED” stamp, but when I did a free photo search I got this guy instead.

Woke up tired and a bit ill the throat today. Never fully woke up, either. I was half-lidded all the way until dinner and then finally I kind of came around. Can’t rightly say I know what that’s all about. I hope I’m not getting sick. My last paycheck said I was all out of sick days.

* * *

California is in the middle of severe drought right now. Most of our lakes have dried up to a considerable degree and it’s just always dry and awful here. This is a potentially a dire situation in the Central Valley. We feed the world from here, and our crops aren’t getting what they need.

Yesterday, I washed our family van. Today, it rained, finally, after I don’t know how long. I am now convinced that washing my car is the sacrifice the Rain Gods have been demanding all this time. All due apologies to everyone, everywhere.

* * *

My fast for a job continued today. Lots of praying for it as well, of course. Ended my fast at dinner with another prayer. I don’t have any real insight on what to do or what will happen, but I at least feel good knowing I’ve made another, small sacrifice to a proper end.

Come to think of it, I wonder if fasting is why I felt weird and sickly today? We’re not supposed to complain about such things lest we invalidate the fast with our long, forlorn faces, but you’re not going to read this for another week and some change, probably right after I’ve eaten a healthy lunch. There’s gotta be a moratorium on that sort of thing, right?

* * *

Apparently, my blog was a topic of conversation at church today, in a meeting Erin attended without me. From what I hear, good things were said–things people don’t feel comfortable telling me to my face because I might think they’re horrible. “I like your blog” could easily be misinterpreted as “I like that you lost your job and are funny about it.” While I would welcome that, no one actually wants to say it.

Not heard from: people who hate my blog. They can be hard to identify because they blend in so easily with the people who hate saying the word, ‘blog.’ I want those people to know–both groups–that I respect them and their opinions. 

Erin admitted to those gathered at the meeting that the blog has been a source of arguments for us. Erin is a more private person than I am and she told everyone there have been some things along the way that I thought were perfectly okay that she wished I hadn’t shared–and she certainly wished I hadn’t tagged her on Facebook when I posted it.

Mockingly, someone exclaimed, “What, you don’t have final approval?”

To which Erin replied, “I do now!”

And, yes, she does.

* * *

Erin and I talked a lot today about what terrible benefit to our souls unemployment has been. Every one of the bigger trials life has thrown at us have giving us greater empathy towards people who had been in circumstances previously unfamiliar to us, and that is only a good thing.

I used to not understand how someone could compromise themselves by dating outside their religion. I used to be fearful of people with special needs. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I judged people who were unemployed, but I certainly didn’t understand how they could let that happen or stay that way for extended periods of time. I thought maybe they did something wrong and were continuing to do wrong by not taking a job at McDonald’s, at least.

We both understand so much better now. This is a daily, spiritual and temporal battle. It has to be fought in a smart way, and not always at the most convenient times or in a way that makes sense to others. As many people as there are who have had to deal with unemployment, there are just as many if not more particulars to that rather broad circumstance so as to render any blanket judgments inapplicable. Not to overstate it, but we’re fighting to live* and that’s rather exhausting.

*Nope, that’s definitely overstating it.

We have to do what we have to do to move from one day to the next, and we hope to focus on those things that will bring us closer to the best situation possible for us. I think it’s easy to be distracted by other things, to chase the immediate money when later money would serve us so much better. That might mean making a move that will bring the judgment of others, but that’s okay.