Day 43 – The Unexpected Physical Effects of Unemployment

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.

Friday – October 10, 2014

Lately, Erin’s been doing the morning school runs while I sleep in since I stay up so late and, if I were to try to drive the children around after four hours of sleep, they might die. Erin is up anyway since she jogs a few miles most every morning, but this morning she asked me to rouse myself, not kill the children, and make the runs for her.

I slapped myself around, put on some clothes, and did the runs, which amazingly did not end in a fiery crash. After Erin woke up around 9am, I went back to bed. I can function well on five hours of sleep, but not four.

The physical effects of unemployment have been unexpected. Never in the history of our marriage has Erin had trouble sleeping, but it’s been one restless night after another for her lately. She also has headaches about every day now. I couldn’t eat much during the first couple weeks and I’m clenching my teeth a lot without realizing it (though the hurt in my jaw wakes me up to that fact at the end of every day). We’re both experiencing a lot of tension in our muscles–to the point where we’ve pulled things the wrong way and spent a couple days doing our best impression of Movie Batman’s head mobility. Despite the fact that we feel deeply like we’re going to be okay at the end of this, there’s still a toll. The present does not always shake hands with the future.

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823 Exterior neonSome good friends of ours, the Hubbles, took us out to dinner tonight at Tahoe Joe’s. Their treat. I got the salmon while Erin tore into the angus steak. Back when things were normal and we worked for the Company, Erin and I would go out together on a decently regular basis. But now, it just doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot of time for such things, and even less financial justification.

We had no idea how much we desperately needed the night out and off until we were sitting in that dimly lit restaurant, watching platefuls of far too much food whiz by us, and talking and laughing with our friends as if the reason they’d asked us out didn’t even exist in the first place. In fact, nobody brought up our unemployment situation once. It was a glorious relief.* We were so relaxed, so happy, and so very, very full.

*The mood only really turned sour once, when I got off topic and started describing my father’s bullet wounds from his first shooting. We were knee deep in our eating at the time. Sometimes, I forget that story is shocking and kind of a big deal. Didn’t everybody clean their father’s bullet wounds after school?

We woefully underestimated our need to get out and take a break from everything. Even if we have to spend a little money, that might be worth it to take a second to calm down a little and recharge. I imagine we’ll feel a little guilty about it, but it might be worth it.