Naming My Emotions

Walking with my Vizsla
Walking with my Vizsla

I was laid off on Wednesday.  Outsourced.  Bye-bye.  7 years of my life over just like that for myself and my entire team, all of whom had been with me for over 5 years.

Whew!  There.  I finally told it.

My former employer left me in good shape, so I have time to thoughtfully look for another job, for which I’m glad.  But I’m also upset for all the hard work and effort I’ve put in.  I expect that in a very short time, all of that will be gone.  Outsourcers tend to use the cheapest labor they can find, which does not equate to experienced.

Each morning I’ve woken up with a different set of emotions about this whole chain of events.

Thursday I was elated.  Free time!  Time to do what I want!  No year end!  I can enjoy the holidays instead of working late most nights in December!!  I made lists and lists of all the things I want to get done while I’m out of work.  Five pages of lists in fact – I have a lot of catching up to do with my life.

Friday morning though found me sad.  I went back after hours on Thursday to clean out my desk and it was hard.  My favorite boy toy was with me to help out and the HR rep was compassionate about the whole thing.  She was (thankfully) someone I’ve known almost since my first day there.  I was glad for that and glad for her understanding, but it was still hard.  All those years reduced to a few boxes.  Packing up my desk was as upsetting as being told to leave.  I was also sad that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to people.  I had a lot of good friends at work and there was no closure.

Saturday was fear.  Fear of the unknown.  What’s going to happen now?  Will we have to move again?  I don’t want to move.  Are there jobs out there?  What will I do?

Sunday was fear again, but a different type.  I don’t want a bad boss – I’ve had several in my career and they really wreck one’s life.  I don’t want a ball busting job.  I want a better work / life balance, something I’ve had very little of with my last few jobs.  And I don’t feel like cleaning up yet another mess.  I’ve cleaned up too many of them in my career.  It’s no fun and there’s no glory in it, as no one wants to admit things were so bad before I came.  In fact, the job that I just left had been outsourced for two years before I came and the files and positions were non-existent, along with numerous errors that took me years to clean up.

I don’t know what my new routine will be yet.  The Vizsla is getting a long walk every day.  He’s gotten excessively clingy again and keeping him tired means we don’t have a dog jumping the gates at 2 am to come visiting, which he did Thursday night.  It took several hours and numerous tries to convince him that he was staying downstairs and not in our bed.  Thankfully the beagle slept through most of it and I didn’t have to contend with two of them refusing to go back downstairs!

I’m drinking more tea.  I sit at the kitchen table, looking out the windows and enjoying being quiet as I sip it.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I just daydream.  It’s nice to be able to leave my brain off even if for just a few minutes.

I’m finding a nap each afternoon to be good for me.  It doesn’t matter if I’m not sleeping as well as I should if I can make it up later.

I’ve gone back to taking daily pictures.  I enjoy it and it records my life for me even if they aren’t high art.  The silhouette above was taken with my cell phone during our walk at the woods.  I look like a lump in my winter coat (it’s been that cold here!) but I liked the way my grey muzzled puppy was looking at me.  That stick in my hand is actually a retractable leash.  His recall isn’t the best, especially if we walk past another dog, so I keep him tethered to me like the park requires.

After Thanksgiving, I’ll be contacting people and start the process to find another job.  For this week, I plan to enjoy time with my family.  My daughter says she finally looks pregnant, so I hope to get some baby bump pictures to show everyone.



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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

43 Comments Leave a comment

  1. It seems like companies are all doing this right before Christmas now. Had it happen out of the blue the first time, called 2 days before Christmas where I had flown out of town to be with family. It’s really difficult to go through Christmas with the uncertainty. (and I didn’t want to tell anyone at the time.) After a bit and changing fields entirely but using skills I had from gained from previous job – I found a slot – but only by networking. That seems to be how people are locating jobs and hiring people.
    It’s happened 2 more time since over the years. (Do not ask me about employing workers from other countries who will work for half the salary – not do as good a job – and may not even speak enough English for the work/clients…). Each time I had to adapt and reinvent myself. The last time I was thrilled to go as the boss was abusive and I wasn’t really thrilled with the direction/type of work it was morphing into – not what I was hired to do.
    It’s all about bottom line for companies now. Workers’ dedication/efforts are brushed aside.
    My husband has also been through layoffs. It’s difficult emotionally. And a bit scary.
    All I can say, is you will make it. It feels bad now. (From experience, don’t bother looking until after New Years. Network, ok, but companies are in pause.)
    Several of us used to laugh and say when you have time to do stuff ( out of work) you are afraid to spend money or stop worrying enough to enjoy it.
    Be gentle with yourself. Walking the dog is one of the best ideas yet (and I need to catch up with reading posts about yours…sorry I’m so late with all of this, minor crisis here with husband’s falls/injuries and stupid fall sneezy-cough-cold)
    Allow yourself to enjoy life. You deserve it.
    Things will happen as they will. It will be OK. Expect good to happen. It will. May not be what you expect, but the great adventure is waiting.
    Sending hugs and encouragement.

    • Thanks SO much for the long note and encouragement. I’ve really enjoyed how so many of you have reached out to tell me your story about being laid off.

      I thought the job search would slow down too, but it hasn’t. I’m interviewing pretty continuously which surprised me. I’m networking too – as you point out, that’s the best way to find the next thing. I’m still not having the time to do all the extra stuff I wanted to do! But the dogs are getting walked and loving it. Each afternoon, the suspicions go on high alert if I’m acting like I’m going outside. It’s really getting hard to sneak out only one dog.

      I’ve got Christmas just about ready, so after the holidays, I hope to finally get back to my photography and hobbies and get some other stuff done. We’ll see.


      • That does sound encouraging. You obviously have skills in demand – and it would seem like a good time to interview – people are more relaxed and willing to be jolly helpful along with maybe not so many are actually out there interviewing. Maybe this is a good thing – to give you a bit of space for Christmas and daughter with the perfect opportunity just around the corner. Encouraged things are going well. (Just remembered multiple uncertain Decembers as we faced layoffs and company merges)
        Your dogs are probably thrilled. So far we have been unsuccessful walking Molly and the German together when she visits. The German demands to be in front ( in order to protect us from boxes and kneeling Santas) Molly wants to bump shoulders and sniff every blade of grass. Not the image of pro dog walkers)
        You’ve made me so much merrier today. Jingle on!

    • Ellen – you’re such a hoot! You’re right – it is a LONG four-letter word. I definitely need to tell that to my staff when we have breakfast together next week. We’re really missing not seeing each other every day. We really got attached to each other the last five years. They’ll like the joke.

  2. Hi there- You suspected. God knew. My encouragement to you at this time is to seek Him. There is a plan for you and He is the one who holds it.
    A few years back I resigned a good job because I was done with the stress. I did not have the next thing lined up. I took to calling the period “temporary retirement” which made my husband pretty nervous. I spent hours reading, praying, writing, seeking, enjoying nature, exercising and being refreshed. In His perfect timing I was led the the right job which ultimately led to the job I am in now which is truly perfect.
    It’s a scary, confusing time I know but as a very wise pastor once told me—the very best place to be is over your head because then you have to simply trust!
    Looking forward to sharing your journey.

    • Paige – thanks so much for reminding me of your story. I know you’ve told it to me before, but I’m glad you put it here so I can see when I look up this post. I appreciate your time and effort in telling it to me again.

      Thanks also for the reminder to keep seeking Him. There is a plan for all of this and my role is to wait for it to unfold in its proper time.

      You’re such an encouragement! Hugs to you for a “word in season”.

  3. I´m so sorry to hear this. I know I am late to this party but had some internet issues for a couple of days. As an employment counsellor for the last 14 years, I saw the devastating effects of these lay offs. You are good at what you do and have a good reputation out there. Take this well deserved time off to relax, regroup, and reflect. I agree with your mom, you will find something even better. One door closes, another opens and all that. Enjoy your time with your daughter and the soon to be grandbaby. Sending cyber hugs. XO

    • This is a party you can never be late for. Encouragement and kind words are always appreciated!

      Unfortunately this employer has a long history of layoffs. There were people laid off when the company moved out of this area who then hired back on when they moved back here. Some of their stories of not finding jobs, losing their homes (one lost a marriage too) were just heartbreaking.

      You’re right though – I do have a good reputation out there and a lot of people recognize my name. That will help, whether I look for permanent full-time work or I contract for a while.

      And it’s nice to see my daughter and not have to run back right away because – once again – we’re getting ready for something at work!

      Hugs and kisses back to you also. Thanks Darlene!

  4. Nancy, I’m really sorry to hear this. One is bound to run the gamut of emotions, just like with the loss of anything else. It is a nice time of year to not have all those long hours. Thankfully, your former employer was kind enough to help you along. I’m praying and believing great things are in store for you.

    • Thank you Patti. You’re right – I have much to be thankful for that they did me right financially. My emotions continue to run the gamut, but the big one lately is just confusion of how they think they’ll get the work done and what is this going to prove in the end?

      I appreciate your prayers. I think we’ve been preparing for this for a while now and that this is just the beginning of whatever is next.

  5. Hello, Nancy. I am so sorry to hear of this news. Your emotions sound exactly appropriate to this dismal situation -veering between seeing the bright side and mourning the loss of so much. Best wishes for good things coming your way, and soon.

    • Thanks Barbara – that’s actually very encouraging to know I’m not the only one to feel that way! And thanks for the blessing as well. I’m still zig zagging back and forth, but I’m still busy trying to say goodbye and get a job search going, so I don’t think I’m processing my emotions very well yet just because my life hasn’t slowed down enough yet. Hopefully this weekend with my daughter will help with that.

  6. I’m so sorry, Nancy. What a roller coaster ride you’re going through! I hope that something really good comes along to replace what you’ve lost.


  8. So sorry. I was also recently laid off (October 31 was our last day), and New York state and the government took 40% of my severance pay. The day before my last day, my husband was also laid off. It’s scary. I so understand what you’re going through. Many hugs, Ellie

    • Oh Ellie, I’m so sorry. Did you see Maxine’s link in her comment (before yours). The song is good and my comment on it is a real forerunner to what happened. I can’t believe I said that over a month ago.

      I spoke to one of my consulting partners over the weekend and he said the outsourcings were happening frequently lately. He named several large corporations who let their tax departments go recently for the same reason.

      It really sucks. If you look through the other comments, they said the emotions were pretty much what they saw or experienced. My latest emotion is confusion. And I can’t even name what I’m confused about! I just am.

      Here is Maxine’s link:

      • Dear Nancy, I feel the same way. We have struggled for years, and even though the signs were there (that our privately owned company was going to be sold), it was still a shock. I found out the first day of my vacation in August (some vacation!) Then my husband got a great job, but was laid off as I mentioned. Sometimes I feel like God has abandoned us. If you’d like to have my email, I’d be happy to give it to you privately. Ellie

        • I’ve got your E-mail from the comments and will definitely keep it in mind, especially if I need some encouragement. I like putting the replies into my blog (as long as it’s not too personal) so that later I see them and benefit from them again.

          I know what you mean about feeling abandoned by God. That isn’t happening this time, but I’ve struggled with it in the past. I wrote about it here:

          I know you have another comment for me that I haven’t responded to yet (and will do so, although maybe not tonight). I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate your encouragement. It really touched me deeply that you shared your story with me and spent time writing it out in several places so I could look at it.

          Thanks Ellie!

  9. Oh Nancy, I’m so sorry. I have no doubt you will be ok. Even if it takes a moment to get there. In situations like this, it is difficult to see any blessing whatsoever, and most times, it’s only visible in hindsight, but I pray this turns out to be a blessing. That your search is both short and productive, and that your next boss is also the best boss! Enjoy the next few days as much as you possibly can. Have a day with two cups of tea! hugs

    • Thanks for the link. Did you see my note there???? Talk about prescience foresight premonition. Although we (the husband and I) have suspected something for a while. We felt a real urgency to get things done around the house, make some purchases of things we needed / wanted, and that changes were coming. Not totally unwanted, but a big change.

      I’m still figuring out the “not unwanted” part, but I think TWO cups of tea a day is a great idea and will do so.

      Thank you for the prayers and the blessing you have spoken over me. That is wonderful!

  10. What the heck is wrong with these companies who do this right before the holidays?!?! They’re so heartless!! Ok, now that I got that out, you are going to be just fine. You are skilled and smart, and you will find a new job in no time. But in the meantime, get rested up and enjoy every moment of your free time. You deserve a break!

    • You’re right, I will be fine. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. And I’d love to have some free time, but it’s been busy every day so far! I think though that once the job search gets going, I should have some time to myself more.

      I wasn’t too surprised about it being before the holidays as the thinking is people can cut back their spending in anticipation of not having a job. I was surprised it was before year end in January, which is always tough and a lot of overtime. I have no idea how they’re going to get that done with four less of us. Actually, December tends to be a lot of overtime in anticipation of year end, so they’re missing four of us for the next two months. I thought there might be another layoff in February, but not last week.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. Oh Nancy….I’m sorry to hear this. My husband lost his job earlier this year so your emotions sound VERY familiar. Add shock to that fear. I hope your holiday week is fabulous with your family. And next week turns in to a productive job search and good boss search!

    • I’ve gotten several comments about naming my emotions that are along the same line. It was actually comforting to know that it was pretty normal and not just me. Thanks for sharing that with me – I appreciate the encouragement. I’m sure the holiday will be good, although I think my daughter’s to do list for us is getting longer every hour!

      I did see a recruiter yesterday and the market here is much better than I expected. So we’ll see how it goes!

      Thanks again for the note.

  12. It’s tough getting laid off, but it often has unexpected beneficial consequences. My husband’s been through it, and he found it very tough-going to get another job. But now he has a job with a much better work/life balance and, even though he’s paid much less, is a lot happier and enjoys his work much more. And a friend who went through a redundancy in the last few months is now in a job with a culture much better suited to her personality. Enjoy the breathing space and best of luck and resolve in your job search.

    • Thanks Bee. That’s some good encouragement to be patient and let the process unfold. I’m there some of the time and sometimes I’m still feeling panicky. I saw a recruiter yesterday though and the market here (locally) is much better than I expected. So we’ll see what the next few months bring. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks Ginny. After Thanksgiving, I’ll put together a short summary of my background and what I’m looking for and forward it around. That way you have some short talking points to look at if something comes up.

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