Jay. Oh. Bee.

January 04, 2006

Four weeks ago when I was informed that my contract wasn't funded for the next contract year it was a bitter pill to swallow. Coming close on the heels of Michele's death I found myself reeling; uncertain of the future. At the time I had very bittersweet thoughts about Michele: I was pleased that she didn't have to suffer through yet another round of employment roulette and saddened that my closet confidant, with her wisdom and keen insights, wasn't there to support me.

In the intervening weeks I have had numerous conversations late at night in the darkness of our bedroom with her. Sometimes I talk out loud and others times just to myself. My belief was that she would respond to my through my heart and that if I just allowed it to unfold naturally, the right solution would present itself.

And it did.

This afternoon about 4:00 I was informed by both my employer and the contract holder that my contract was going to be picked up for another year. Yes, I am employed now through January 12, 2007. How do you spell relief: jay. oh. bee.

Of course there are still a dozen or more individuals where I work who are out in the cold. Some I know have found other positions, others I am unsure about. I'm not sure what it says about our society that there are so many situations where one person's good fortune is another's bad luck. I have been on both sides of that equation more than once. For reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone I am very grateful that I am on the fortunate side this time.

The hard part now will be to keep the ear-to-ear grin off my face while at work. Whatever part my professionalism, knowledge, or ability played in my selection for renewal doesn't take away from the same attributes of my fellow teammates who aren't in my position tonight.

My guardian angel certainly took care of my the past four weeks. Thank you Michele.

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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.