It began yesterday with a phone call from my sister. We were comparing rainfall amounts. It’s rainy season in Maryland, and we’re averaging 1 inch each time it rains. My yard is soggy, the smell of mildew abounds, and the humidity hovers around 90 percent on a regular basis. On the plus side, we are digging our way out of a drought, and my fungus crop is coming in nicely. Also, as my sister reminded me, we aren’t experiencing any wildfires. Or tornadoes. Or hurricanes.
Perspective. I needed a dose of it yesterday. The constant rain and the new crop of mosquitoes that hatch on a daily basis are annoying, not life-threatening. Our home is water-tight (until the back door completely rots through), and we have air conditioning.
When Ryan arrived home from work, he brought some unexpected news. “Guess who got furloughed,” he mentioned. My response? “Is it someone we know?” I said this in total seriousness. He looked at me in a pitying way. “Me,” he said. “I’m being furloughed every Friday starting next week through October.” My response? “Oh.” For a woman with an English degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key, I wasn’t sounding very smart yesterday.
Sequestration surrounds us in our Southern Maryland abode. We live just minutes from a naval air station, and most of our neighbors are employed by the military, federal government, or a government contractor. This has been coming for months. (Thank you, Congress.) Since Ryan’s contract supports the Joint Strike Fighter program, we thought he would be exempt from the furlough. I guess not. At swim practice this morning, furlough was being bantered around by many of the moms, and a friend suggested we start a weekly potluck called Furlough Fridays.
We will be fine financially. Ryan works two jobs and will simply fly for the reserves more frequently; however, that takes him away from our family more frequently, too. It could be worse. We are thankful for this additional source of income. And I’m thankful for a dose of perspective.