Five or six lifetimes ago, I was a young associate in Washington, D.C. I can barely remember the work I did at the inaptly nicknamed "Cruel & Boring" because I was 27 and just figured the career part would work itself out. I did the work as well as I could and then got back to thinking about how I looked in my little suits and who was cute in the summer associate pool and what parties there were to go to. Life was pretty carefree back then.
Life is fun now, too, but it sure as hell ain't drinks across the rooftop bars of D.C., or softball on the Ellipse or lying around on my couch on a Saturday reading a book and thinking about where to hang out that night. Now it's all the nice parts of having my very own little family, but it's also making sure others have food and clothes and a roof over their heads. That's usually only a wormy little feeling at the back of my brain, keeping me from chucking it all in to do... who knows what. But now it is at the very forefront of my mind, and probably will be for some time.
It's what everyone starts their conversations with these days. "Wow, yeah, how are you doing? Are you looking for another job? You must be scared." Yes! I am! I'm paralyzed. There's not much I can do, if I don't want to act rashly. These things can take up to a year to pass all the regulatory hurdles, and there is a good chance I could keep my job. If I do lose it, I certainly don't have a golden parachute, but I do have a pretty generous severance. So I doubt I will go off half cocked and start applying for every shit job out there, but the tradeoff is I will keep on plugging away with a nasty little knot of fear in the pit of my stomach for the next... year? Year and a half? There's no getting around it.
We're trying to pretend it's not happening, at least on one level. The house, for example. Nobody in their right mind would buy a new house right now, but would they forge ahead with their plans to remodel their house and double their mortgage? Because we are! I've decided to rationalize it by telling myself it that if it comes to it, it will be much easier to sell a big, cool, modern house than it would our tiny, nondescript bungalow. But hopefully it won't come to that.
It would be so nice if my anxiety would translate into a lovely lack of appetite to speed along some weight loss, but no such luck.