It seems like no matter when it is that I stop to take stock of my life, it is always filled with things.
Last week I approached an anniversary that I would rather forget, one that changed my life and my husbands forever. June 19, 2008 I lost my job. To make a REALLY long story short, I had invested 5 years, countless overtime hours, not to mention blood, sweat and tears into my job. It was my plan, it was my future, and I was safe there. Or so I thought. Things came crashing down in such a way that is unreal even to me (the person who experienced it!).
What made it worse, was that my husband had just returned from a 2 week stint overseas entertaining the troops with a USO comedy tour. In order to take that opportunity, and to share his support with our troops, he had to leave his job the week before he left for Iraq. I was totally supportive, and we were totally secure. I was making more than enough salary for the both of us, and it was important thing in both of our hearts that he go over there and share some laughter with the people who need it most.
Within days of his return, I lost my job and we were beside ourselves. Both of us unemployed only a mere 3 months before our big Vegas wedding weekend. Needless to say, wedding aside, we were at our lowest point imaginable.
So last week and this I have been thinking about the last year and everything that has happened. This time last year we had nothing but each other. Luckily I had savings earmarked for the wedding, so we were able to keep up with bills, etc. and my parents generously supplemented the wedding fund to help us through. But we were at rock bottom, with only each other to cling to. I think that time is one of the most prominent in the "history of hubby and I" that really solidified our future in my mind. Don't get me wrong, I always knew I wanted to marry him, but after all that, I knew life could throw nothing at us that we could not endure together.
(The cat4 hurricane that nearly wiped us off the face of the planet on the weekend IMMEDIATELY following our wedding was another instance of that solidarity...)
So what did we do? The only thing we could do. We picked each other up and clawed our way back out. I took the first job that came along, and so did he. (in this economy, we were fortunate to get work so quickly...) Now, only a year later, hubby has established his own business that has him booked solid for the next 4 months. I have implemented a new division at my job that has subsequently allowed me to cut my office hours down to Tuesdays and Thursdays, and be at home the rest of the week.
Not only are we doing better financially than we were back then, but we're happier. We worked hard to get back up, and I think it means more now. It means that no matter what speed bumps we may come across, we know we are capable of starting over - starting from scratch if needed.
It's hard for me to look back and not remember the anger and betrayal we felt then. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened, but I am SO proud of us for getting back up, and getting going. Things have improved so drastically since then, and it's only been a year!I see terrible headlines about people committing suicide, killing their families, burning their foreclosed houses down, etc. and I think... my GOD. So many people are struggling, so many people feel that they have nowhere to turn. It is those times when we must look within ourselves and determine what we are really made of.
I pray more now. Hubby definitely prays more than he did then. And every single day I thank the Lord, my lucky stars, and any other higher power that will listen for giving us the strength, endurance and gumption to keep going and stay positive.
There are no dead ends in life. Only opportunities to make a new path.