It is during Christmastime you look back at your year and feel gratitude for the last 12 months. You might think more about it on New Year’s Eve but you probably start thinking about it now. I have been out of work for almost nine months and I can tell you what I feel the most gratitude for…..my wife.
In the last nine months I have got to see what she does on a day to day basis while I was at work. I know this because we have basically swapped roles. We have always pitched in around the house together but we also understand we are a team/partnership. We have roles we play and it keeps things running smoothly.
I spend most of my days looking for work but I also take care of the house. This is where I see what she does. There are days filled with making sure both our boys get off to school, keeping the house tidy, the laundry done, dinners prepared, shopping done, gifts are given, appointments made and she goes to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always helped out and pitched in. However, I usually have to leave the house quite early for work so I rarely see it. I now realize why some times during the year she does not feel like doing any of this. You see, my wife runs an aesthetics salon with her sister. Since I have been unemployed I have witnessed firsthand two of her busiest seasons: Summer and Christmas.
The work is non-stop during these periods and she rarely gets a break. People will say to her “You have great hours, what’s the problem”. Well there is a few of things. Firstly, she rarely gets a break so working 9am-3pm is straight (no lunch, no coffee break). If she does get a break it usually when someone cancels and then she doesn’t get paid. Not to mention that after she is done with her appointments, you have to clean up, settle your money for the day and do call backs. Like I said, non-stop.
It is a physically and mentally demanding job. At work when I was having a rough day, I could always get some refuge in my office or go for a walk on lunch. Being “on” all the time is not something I have to deal with. My wife does it so well and all of clients love her. So when she comes home physically aching from the demands of the job and being attentive and engaging to all of her clients, I understand more. She has loved this career for over 20 years. I wish I could be so lucky. I chose my career. If you talk to her, you get a sense that the career chose her!
I have always known this over the years but now I have experienced it. Especially during these busy times, I make sure that when she gets home there is no chaos. I try to stay positive too. It is not easy when you have been out of work this long. I see that she stresses about that too. Everyone has financial burdens and the added stress of the holiday season doesn’t help.
We are managing and I am grateful for my Family and my Health over this holiday season. I am most grateful for Jen. Her patience, support and understanding knows no bounds 🙂