I’m sure you’ve all see the exciting news that Turner is laying off a giant chunk of its employees this week. This has prompted some worried texts, phone calls, DMs and e-mails from y’all. Firstly thank you for caring, kumbaya, and group hug. Secondly, we’ve all been aware of this upcoming chopping-block party for a while, so we’ve had plenty of time to get used to the idea of being unemployed and drunk in our underwear by noon on weekdays.
I’m kidding. Sort of…Obviously many of us have mortgages and kids, so it’s not exactly a chill time for us. Adding to our festival of nerves is this: even if we do survive the cuts, we’ll be saying good-bye to friends and colleagues we’ve worked with for many years. Sad face. Specifically and with very few exceptions, I’ve been spending the majority of my days with the same people for nine years. It’s longer than I’ve ever lived in any home – it’s even longer than I was married. Likewise, those of us left behind will be assuming the work of those who are asked to leave. Wee…We don’t even need to get into the notion that getting laid off usually makes people feel completely worthless for at least 11-19 minutes, which is no fun either. It’s like being dumped, except you get paid for a little while afterward, and you get to keep your insurance long enough to stock up on meds to manage your new depression.
BUT, I have fabulous news! There’s an official game that completely eliminates terror from uncertainty. My dear friend Mona Bliss introduced it to me many years ago. It’s called the “What If…? And Then What?” game. It prompts you to assume your worst nightmare will happen (in this case losing one’s job), then guides you through all the awful things you imagine will happen (possibilities are limitless depending on how creative and macabre one is), and then ultimately makes you realize you’ll live through all those things, and probably even thrive! You can play the game with any situation. The only rules are: you have to start out positive, and no matter how ugly it gets in the middle, you have to keep playing until it ends up positive.
My game results looked like this:
What if I get laid off?
Then I will find another job I like even better, earning more money – hooray!
What if I don’t find another job?
Then I will continue my job search and take advantage of not having to be in an office 40-50 hours a week. I will be open to networking opportunities that only exist if I’m out in the world i.e. learn a new hobby or perfect a favorite one, take a class I’ve always wanted to take, go to a city I’ve always wanted to visit, or volunteer at a place I’ve wanted to support but never had time.
What if I have trouble making ends meet?
Then I will downsize, knowing I’ll be in even better financial shape once I’m earning a regular salary again.
What if I run out of money?
Then I will sell all my possessions, couch-surf through Europe, and write a book about resilience, dwarves on unicycles, and elephant shit.
What if that fails and I end up homeless and hungry?
Impossible. I have boobs.
No seriously. What if I end up in a cardboard box under a bridge?
Impossible. I have over 500 Facebook friends, which translates into at least 500 days of free housing and snacks – yay!
AND, if I count all my blogging friends, that’s another 13 years of housing and snacks – extra yay!
Thusly, even if I do lose my job this week:
I will never sleep outside unless it’s on purpose.
I will never go hungry unless I’m on a diet.
I will never be naked in public unless I drink too much tequila and make an irresponsible bet.
I will be okay.
Are you dealing with any uncertainty in your world right now? How do you cope with it?