If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of the word “furlough” until this year.
A lot of people felt my sentiment, as most admitted to having no idea what that meant. In fact, it was one of the top trending google searches a few months ago, right there along with Tiger King.
So as news of my best friends furlough began to sink in, I realized essentially her position was on hold and that she would be staying at home, unpaid for an undetermined amount of time. Absolutely gut wrenching, right? I didn’t know what to say or do, I just felt terrible for her knowing she’d worked so hard for the same company for over 10 years. I also felt bad because I know how much she loved her job and how much of her life was dedicated to it.
And then it happened… a few days later I received word that I too was being furloughed from a company I had been with for over 10 years.
Not really… I mean you realize life is going to get harder with your salary on hiatus and not to mention being quarantined everyday, but there could be worse things.
And selfishly I remembered that my best gal pal, Laura was going through the same thing as well, and we weren’t alone. She was going to help me get through the initial shock and all of the phases that come with furlough.
Phase 1: summer vacation mode (clean out the liquor cabinet)
Phase 2: screaming at the DEO website
Phase 3: binge watching everything on Hulu until 3am
Phase 4: oh crap, how am I going to pay for that?
Phase 5: organizing everything in sight
Phase 6: endless days of down right boredom!
Phase 7: self-reflection
You see for me, eventually I looked at this time "off" from work as a major self-reflection period. Yes my beloved career had come to a screeching halt but that wasn't the end of the world for me. For me it was a chance to hit the reset button on life and to rediscover the things that were important to me, my faith and family.
Understandably, this has been a very difficult time for many. But if we look at the glass half full, you'll see that those in the furlough community have been granted the gift of TIME... To do the things we always wish we could but never had the time for.
I always try to find the good in every situation. This one was tough, but at the end of the day I’m considerably fortunate to navigate through these uncharted waters and furlough phases with my best friend. This my friends is the real definition of “...in this together.”