Back in February, I wrote about the shock that resulted from being notified that we would be laid off in 90 days. Being a person of action to keep depression at bay, I immediately started reducing and thinking of ways to tighten my belt financially.

Then in April we were again notified that the lay off date would be pushed out by 5 months, to give the company more time and budget to move our customers to the new regions. I certainly had no trouble with staying on as I was still deciding how I was going to handle my job situation afterwards.

I participated in all the work sponsored programs at fixing up my resume and checked out the workforce options provided by the county. But nothing I did felt right. I have high school diploma and many years of call center work under my belt and I was burning out.

I believe that things happen in life for a reason, whether they are obvious while I go through them at the time or afterwards, they make me a better person for them. Up to this point I had been taking a comfortable path for the last decade that really was the same, even though the company names had changed. It was time to branch out and challenge myself, which is why I am going to go back to school.  It all sounds well and good to think about until you leave that job on the final day, then panic flares up like acid indigestion.

Today was the first full day off at home. I do have a part-time job that I am truly grateful for and glad to have it as an option if extra hours are ever needed. However, now my health insurance is temporarily gone, my connection to co-workers are cut drastically and I still have that sub conscious dread that I better get to bed to be ready for work tomorrow. My new life habits will have to change for the better.

Flickr/cc - nayrb7
But I was prepared for some of this and didn't want to be a total couch potato (though it is fun to watch Oprah again), so I made a to do list.
  1. Start 5 day a week workout at apartment complex gym - Done!
  2. This handy little gym will help me fight stress and keep my health in check until medical insurance kicks in at my part-time job.
  3. Fill out unemployment online - In process
  4. Settle bills and reduce monthly expenses. - Done!
  5. Thanks to the severance, I have rent paid ahead, bills paid off and a budget put together for the coming months, including x-mas, with an emergency pot ready to go.
  6. Fill out forms for school and check out scholarship options - To be done.
  7. This is the item that frightens me more than being laid off. I don't want to add extra expenses and I want to make sure I go to school and do my best. Of course I would like to be graduated yesterday, but all in good time.
  8. Sort through paperwork and items I have put off for months - In process.
  9. The main reason for this is just to keep me in a working mental state. This means getting up and dressed every day and doing at least one item on my list, whether it is steam cleaning the carpet or disputing items on credit report. I need to have a feeling of accomplishment each day.
This time off from working 60+ hours a week, means that now I have time to look inward and challenge myself more, branching out and making myself a better human. Plus, my desk and home will never look cleaner than now!

Also wanted to let you all know that with random number generator's assistance, comment #11, Annie, has won the book, How To Make Your Car Last Forever. Thank you all for reading and entering in the contest.


  1. Jill // Friday, October 01, 2010 9:08:00 AM  

    I hope you are back to work on your own terms as soon as possible!

    Can I ask what you think about COBRAing insurance? It's something I haven't managed to figure out one way or another for the day I'm laid off/fired.

  2. Anonymous // Friday, October 01, 2010 1:43:00 PM  

    Hey Dawn, sounds like you have a great plan and really put thought into your actions. I have found that in the year I have been going to school the biggest thing missing is friends. It's so important to stay in touch!
    Sending good thoughts your way.


  3. Dawn // Friday, October 01, 2010 2:23:00 PM  

    I haven't gotten my paperwork yet for cobra but will update the site with what I find out and decide.

    Thanks for the kind thoughts

  4. The Grouch // Monday, October 04, 2010 2:29:00 PM  

    Best of luck to you. This happened to me recently. I was able to find another job in about a month, roughly the same pay, but a significantly longer commute (gotta do what you gotta do). Keep plugging away.

  5. The Prudent Homemaker // Wednesday, October 06, 2010 1:57:00 AM  

    Good luck to you. I find another important thing to do is to plan for the possiblilty of long-term unemployment and underemployment. You never know long you may find yourself with a smaller or non-existant income. For us, it's been 4 years, and though I hope it will change, I've adjusted to the "new normal", which means some pretty strict rule on where we spend what does come in the door.

    I only wish I had cut a few non-essentials right away, like cable. I kept it for 4 months, not knowing how long it would be--and I could have used that money. I'm glad we got rid of it; I just wish I had done it sooner.

    Don't be afraid to cut back on Christmas spending, either; everyone will understand, and you can pay the utilities that much longer.