mike’s unemployment

by Joanna on February 5, 2013

“I know that some day soon I’ll be greeting you with a kiss as you walk in the door after work. I am so looking forward to that day as I know you are too.  In the meantime, know that I love you and am just as proud of you as I’ve always been.” —note from me to Mike, 3/3/11

In November of 2010, Mike’s boss lost the election and with it, Mike and his colleagues lost their jobs.

Our wedding was just 6 months away.

This was not completely unexpected.  There are elections every two years for Congress and this particular election cycle was going to be a tough one for Democrats.  But, Mike’s boss had been in office for longer than we’d been alive at that point, winning 13 consecutive terms.

They packed up the office, finished the term working from makeshift cubes in House cafeteria, and on January 3, 2011, Mike was officially unemployed.

There’s nothing like filing for unemployment to tell you welcome to the real world.

Of course this was a difficult time for Mike.  He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do next and staying on the Hill wasn’t a promising option as Democrat staffer jobs were few and far between. He was very diligent about applying for jobs and recording everything to collect unemployment.  But he got kind of down.

This was hard for me too. I did my best to support him, to be encouraging but also allowing him to feel down. I knew he wasn’t happy about not having a job and was doing his best to find something quickly, he didn’t need me to add to that.  I tried to be strong.  But this really sucked.

Finally, I think I said that to him. This really sucks. And it was pretty freeing for both of us.  Admitting this to each other felt good.  It allowed us to be a little vulnerable with each other. And brought us together as a team. It helped us move forward.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jacquelyn February 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Just like in The Happiness Project! Acknowledge their feelings without feeling like you have to give advice or know exactly what to say. I’m sure it really helped him to have you there.


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