Thursday, August 20, 2009

A spring in my step

I've had a spring in my step since Monday and I know exactly why. After almost seven months, I have my household back. As I've mentioned before. my husband got laid off in January together with 69 other people. Without warning and after working the longest hours I have ever seen him work, his boss's boss delivered the news as that guy hid somewhere in the building. That's ok, I'll get to meet him one day. But I digress.

Unemployment always sucks. It obviously sucks the most for the unemployed, but it's no walk in the park for the family either. I can't help but feel some guilt because from the beginning of our relationship, my career has come first in our house. When we met, I was an up and coming reporter with a bright future ahead of me. Steve was working at an ad agency and didn't love it as much as I loved my job. So we decided early on that we would follow my career path since it was also going to be the most lucrative.

First we went to New York for my network job. Steve left his job and found himself looking for employment right after the 9-11 atacks. That took six months. We were there for three years and then back to Chicago. We hate being apart so he left his job again and came to the Windy City with me for my big English TV gig. He spent 11 months looking for a job.

Needless to say his resume has more than one workplace listed. After getting laid off, some employers found that interesting , a sign of versatility. Others were downright mean about it, even after he explained that he moved around because of me. Steve has never made me feel guilty about our decision, but I can't help it. Especially now that my industry might stop being as lucrative as we thought it could one day be for us. I'm just as nervous as any other American of loosing my job to someone younger, who will do more than I do for a lot less, even if the quality is poor.

For seven and half months my husband did the grocery shopping, cooked, organized the house and helped me take care of Amelia. Meanwhile, he knocked on every potential employer's door. Met with everyone who would give him 5 minutes. Applied on line, in person, over the phone. He also waited by the phone and the computer like waiting for a date to call. He second guessed himself after not getting called back, blamed himself for getting laid off and apologized to me for putting us in that position. He had nothing to apologize for.

Steve was one of the lucky ones. He actually interviewed for 4 jobs and almost got 2 of those opportunities. Friends helped him network and friends of friends met with him for informationals. He kept himself busy, lost 20 pounds by working out and eating better, not to mention the bond he was able to form with his daughter. I'm so proud of him. He was for the most part a pleasure to have around. But I was sooo ready for him to go to work.

When he finally got the job, I didn't believe it, but when Sunday night came around, I had the best sleep I've had in months. I went to work, got back to the Gym and went to the supermarket. Now, I hate grocery shopping. Have hated it since my Mom would make me go with her and then come home an put the groceries away. Well you shoud have seen how happy I was at Trader Joe's picking up chicken and cheese.

By midday I got an email from Steve with his new information. Things were falling into place. I took my daughter by myself to Gymboree and then we went to pick up her Daddy from his first day of work. All is well. My wish is that all gets well in the millions of households in America where someone has been laid off. You are in my prayers. Ay Mama!


Shane said...

Ana, just watching the morning show for like the 10,000th time and thought, maybe I'll browswe these folks bios. (Really just explaining why a 30 year old married w/ no kids guy is reading your "mommy blog") It's funny, much like your morning spots. Keep writing more often!

Anonymous said...

I think you are wonderful; incredibly talented, intelligent, witty, always upbeat and positive, and by far the most interesting and fun part of the WGN Morning Show.

Just now visited your blog for the first time and I love it.

However, being a journalist, there's really no reason for all the typos in your blog. Slow down long enough to correct them - they make a bad impression.

Best wishes and sorry to hear of your husband's lay-off.

A long-time Fan

Ana Belaval said...

Thank you both for your comments and well wishes. I re read for typos, but I'm going to have someone check for me. I'm so excited about what I write that I probably don't see all of them.

Anonymous said...

Nena, tu escritura me emociona y me llena de orgullo. Tú siempre tan talentosa y con fina pluma. Isabel Allende, te salió competencia en inglés (o en el difícil) como dicen en tu bella tierra.

Te quiero,