Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The pebble I thought was a boulder

Here's thanking God for the unexpected blessings in life that often seem like curses. I'm reminded of a cartoon I once saw with a man standing there, when a small rock hits him in the head. He curses, swears, goes bananas, shouting out "Why me! What the heck else can go wrong? All the bad stuff always happens to me!!" Fuming, he turns around to see God standing there, holding an avalanche from falling on him. Concerned, God turns his head as he strains against the massive pileup of boulders on his back and asks the man "You alright? I think one might have got through." The man, understandably, looks chagrined and ashamed of his behavior.
Okay, so that man was me about seven months or so ago now, when I got laid off at the newspaper I worked at in Wisconsin. I was, at least I think, a pretty darn good writer and copy editor. And out of the middle of nowhere, I got the "call". With three kids and a mortgage, I suddenly had no job. I was MAD as hell. I didn't really blame God too much, since Nate had gotten a job offer to Michigan only days earlier -- but it still seemed a bit unfair.
But our house sold fast and soon we were moving to Michigan and got a screamin' deal on a new home. We settled in nicely and have more time together now than ever before.
Today, I read the headlines ... that as of today, Gannett Corp. is now in full swing with perhaps the largest newspaper layoffs in the history of newspapers. WOW. Upwards of 600 to possibly over a thousand people will be losing their jobs in the coming days ... just before Christmas ... with the economy in the proverbial crapper.
So now I realize I'm pretty blessed. Very blessed actually. To have gotten out in the Spring, before things got REALLY bad. With good people losing their jobs right and left ... at least it happened for me at a time when we could handle it as a family.
So here's to blessings in disguise... and a patient God who often has to wait out our belated gratitude.


marzi said...

ugh. my husband's place of work (community bank & trust) just laid off 23 people yesterday. luckily he managed to escape, but i'm sure if there's another round, he'll be gone. he works in the IT dept. and there are only a few of them, so there aren't that many to choose from. he's the newest guy on the team so i'm sure he'll be up to the chopping block. i'm trying to be optimistic, but yet prepare for the worst. (trying to imagine supporting our family on my business alone....very scary thought!)

glad to hear that you're doing well. hopefully all your friends back at the press will keep their jobs.

and thanks for the nice comment on my blog about finley. he's doing much better now.

amy7252 said...

Man, have I felt this way before! There have been many, many times when something bad happened and I wondered, "Why me?" Then, when I got to see the rest of the story, I realized how incredibly lucky I was. How anyone can say that there isn't a "plan" for our lives is beyond me!!

Nhia said...

Remember back in the spring when I told you that months later, you'd be laughing at us while sipping wine with the lake as your backyard? Well, I can almost taste that wine you're sipping, hear the waves as ambient noise, all while you're stifling that laugh at us. :)

I think we'll be OK as we move on in this scary shift of the industry. I am a believer that we just need to ride this out. But I'm not a big suit making top decisions!

Of course we miss you -- and you were certainly, without a doubt a darn good writer and editor. But this was indeed a blessing: You got out at a good time. The rest of us are thinking: Now how do we get out and still bring in an income when there aren't exactly jobs elsewhere to be had???

Anonymous said...

You are a good writer! And you were an awesome editor to work for. I'm still so thankful that you believed in me & helped me get started on my dream.

I know what you mean... thankfully God knows best, and is patient with us. I prayed & longed for a job where I could use my writing skills. After 14 years, I have that job, and I love it (most of the time). Now I pray that I get to keep it.

I like your analogy of the comic. I've never seen it, but am wishing for a copy to print & keep.

Marzi -- maybe your husband will be safe. Sometimes the people with more seniority are cut first because they "cost" more.

To God's blessings - however mysterious they may be...
Nicole S

DawnK said...

We managed to dodge the bullet, this time, too, with Gary. Phew. It sounds like life is good, in Michigan, although, I think it snows more often by you, than it does by us, just because the wind blows more often, from west to east.