We are now almost three months into this unemployment thing. However, I have found more to be grateful for in all of this than I have to be worried about. Here are just a few of those things, in no particular order:
1. Plenty of opportunity to introduce my husband to my home school friends.
2. We learned that we can live on less than half of my husband's former salary. This is great news! Prior to the lay-off, we were living with an attitude of scarcity. Now, we truly see how much abundance we had then and now. We laugh at all of the arguments we used to have and look forward to accomplishing our dreams.
3. I slashed my grocery bill in half while still eating mostly organic foods. My kids are well-fed and content, and they are sleeping so much better at night! THIS is one thing that will definitely continue.
4. There is no place like home. Seriously. I didn't realize how much running around we did until we were forced to spend more time at home. The kids are calmer. They are connecting more with kids in the neighborhood, as well as with each other. They are becoming more creative in their play. They fight less. We are socializing with our neighbors more. The chores are getting done. I have time to bake and connect with my kids over more than just lessons. Overall, we just feel more grounded.
5. The boys are getting to spend so much time with their dad. It's been very good for my husband and the boys. I think they are going to miss him terribly when he goes back to work.
6. We were able to go on a two week long vacation to Virginia to visit my family. We even drove all the way there and back without feeling exhausted. It was one of the best vacations ever for the Wicks family.
7. My husband and I have not spent this much time together since our college days. We get on each others nerves quite often because we are not used to seeing each other all day, every day like this! Yet, even that has been a blessing. It's been eye-opening to see how much we both have really changed since our courtship days. We have more than enough time to work out our differences. We also have a new appreciation and respect for each other as individuals and as a unit. It's been awesome to have this time with him.
8. My husband got to attend an entire two day home school conference with me. This has never happened in the three years of our homeschooling journey. It was nice to talk with the other most important person in our children's lives and reflect on the classes we chose to take. We walked away with a plan of action and we are on the same page.
9. I have more ME time! I can take a nap when I need to. I can go to the gym. I can just walk out the door and catch my breath without having to worry about my children setting the house or each other on fire. I am cherishing every moment of this extended ME time, because I know it will be greatly reduced once he returns to work.
These are just a handful of the things I find every day to be thankful for. I don't want to sugarcoat this. We never forget that unemployment looms over our heads like a gray cloud. This is not easy. Yet, God has provided in so many different ways, even down to free Astros ticket so we could get away as a family for a few hours. I know He's got our back and that knowledge is what I am most grateful for and it makes it so much easier to endure.