99 Day Drought

June 28, 2004

Today was my first day of work after being out of work for 99 days. It felt good and scary at the same time. This has been by far the longest stretch of time I've not worked since I graduated from college. Even though we had the specter of unemployment hanging over our heads, we managed to have a lot of fun together in the past three months.

In some ways I feel more relaxed and peaceful than I have in longer than I can remember. In others I am still tense and worried about the future. Moving was difficult and painful emotionally. Neither of us wanted to leave our home in Illinois. Driving away was tearful and full of sadness.

Circumstances forced us to leave separately and at different times. In order to ensure we got the keys to our apartment before the office here closed, Michele had to leave almost 2 1/2 hours before I was able to leave. I can only imagine from my own experience making the long 350 mile drive alone, how difficult it was for her to make this emotional split from our house and pool.

We are relying on my parents who live just an hour away from our house there, to coordinate the removal of some furniture we've sold or given away. They are also going to oversee the packing and loading of out stuff by Allied in ten days. We could return there this weekend for the long holiday and tend to some things ourselves, but that would mean returning to our house. And since we've removed the computers, and our bed, and other prized belongings, it won't really be our house anymore. The scab that is slowly starting to form over the wound of losing our house will only get ripped open again. So we are opting to stay away. I doubt we'll even drive by when we return there for the closing.

I must admit I am slightly worried about the condition of the pool. We were so careful to keep it pristine and clear. I've hired the neighbor boy to tend it for us; his family has a pool and I believe it'll be okay. Still, have the pool turn green on us won't speed up the selling process. There is little I can do about it from here now, so I must have faith in the trust I placed in the neighbors.

We are slowly adjusting to our new apartment. I suppose it is nice enough, with an attached garage and all. But after living in houses for six years, a return to communal living is a rude shock. Hopefully this place will feel more like ours when the rest of our belongings arrive.

I'm glad to be working again. That piece of stress is now removed from my load. Maybe I can sleep through the night peacefully now.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.