Gratitude in Rough Times

Allow me a moment to talk about the economy. It’s pretty scary right now, so if you’ve lost your job, or worry every day about your current job, my thoughts go out to you. I lost my job at the end of November after more than 20 years with my newspaper company, as part of a company-wide layoff. Even with a severance package, getting shown the door is truly one of those grown-up events you can’t imagine when you’re a kid.

It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re looking for work, and you know most every employer is cutting back. It’s hard to plan. Long rides offer only brief respite from the gnawing anxiety. Life starts to feels like that moment when they wake you up at a control after 90 minutes sleep.

One thing I learned from this crisis: I had more friends than I realized, and they really wanted to help. A cycling buddy of mine immediately took me on as a freelancer, which gave me some income and the opportunity to keep working. Thanks Mike. A shop manager even offered to give me some hours building bikes. (For both our sakes, I didn’t take him up on the offer!) A couple of editors in my former company also sought to give me some freelance work.

Then, a professional colleague — out of the blue — recommended me for a full-time opening here in D.C., and I got the job. I started on Tuesday at The Washington Times, where I am writing for the digital news desk.

I feel humbled by the generosity of those who came to my aid and stood by me in an uncertain time — that means you, MG.

Hang in there everybody. We’re all in this together.

4 thoughts on “Gratitude in Rough Times

  1. Aha! …a journalist by trade! That goes a long way toward explaining why you’re able to knock out such a steady stream of well written stories. Keep up the great work here at TDR – your stories are always entertaining, and often inspirational and educational. (Same goes for your fellow contributors.)

    Congrats on the new job, and I hope Barb and I have the chance to share a patch of asphalt with you and MG in the upcoming spring brevet season…


  2. Having weathered three recessions in my working life, I can empathize with your anxiety. Best wishes.

  3. It is the trying times that bring out the best in people, I really believe that.

    My niece we recntly ‘downsized’. This is a young woman, on her first job, born and raised in Oregon, moved to the Big City (LA). like you, a journalist. No matter your life experiences ‘fired’ has a sting like no other. But I think when you are just starting out it is especially painful.

    I don’t know about her friends but the family has closed ranks to assuage her bruised ego. In some ways it has been funny; We’ve all told stories of getting fired and strange enough, they almost all end up with a very positive outcome (sound familiar?)

    The take home message is: It may at first seem as though the sun has gone dark and the end is near, but life indeed does go on, and it seems that in many cases, things turn out as good or better.

    Yours is another data point on the scatter chart of ‘bad to better’. Thanks for the good news.

    Yr Pal, Dr C

  4. I’m glad to hear things are working out for you Ed. It was great to see you at the meeting a couple weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll see you and Mary in Asland this Saturday.

    Being in the military, it’s easy to take on an uncaring attitude during times of financial difficultuy. We serve our time and are sometimes jealous of everyone making so much money in the civilian world. When hard times hit, it seems like our chance to brag that we can’t be fired. However, I don’t feel totaly isolated from the situation because my friends and family are effected.

    Hang in there everyone, times will get better. If you get knocked down, get back up, keep fighting. As Ed said, friends are more willing to help than you might think. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire someone crazy dedicated enough to ride 378 miles through the mountains in rainstorm.

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