Let’s make a list of all things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
That’s all they ever do
I’m tired of things happening.
The third thing to complete this trilogy happened at the end of January when I was laid off, along with the rest of my team, at work. This was (mostly) unexpected and really disappointing, to say the least. I liked my job, I liked my team. I’ve spent most of the last twelve years working for small, private colleges and I love working with students. Losing that job and seeing the school decline and face closure is heartbreaking to me.
I jumped into the job search right away. I haven’t had a period of unemployment for almost fifteen years and I was anxious to find something new. It was total survival mode. We are just starting to get the final bills from the hospital and emergency room visits from my wife’s heart attack and money is always tight for us anyway.
I went on interviews, sent out my resume and I am so lucky to have something so quickly. I am happy that I will be working for another college and remaining in education. The campus is located in Boulder, Colorado and I am going to be working from home, but will need to travel there every six weeks or so.
I am fortunate to have found a job. I am excited about working from home and I have never been to Colorado before.
I do not know how I got so lucky.
I fly out tomorrow morning for training.
Again, I don’t know how I got so lucky.
Anything that upends your life in a significant way can make someone reconsider everything…your priorities and what they want to accomplish in life. After Amy’s heart attack she spoke a lot about how everything else seems so small. We are all lucky she is still with us and is doing as well as she is. She is more fearless and optimistic and grateful than ever before.
Losing my job made me wonder, and worry, about how long I would be out of work. How would we pay our mortgage? How long would our savings last? Where would I work?
I spent the next four weeks figuring that out. Between filing for unemployment, applying for MNSure, creating a new budget and the job search itself, I was, in many ways, still working.
These are things I did as a husband, father, and provider. These are the roles I consider myself lucky and privileged to have.
And I am a cartoonist.
I am lucky to have a passion, a hobby. I was glad I could take a break from paperwork and cover letters and draw and paint.
Over the past few weeks I made art and worked on The Retros. I was always pretty far ahead but I got even further. I completed the fourth “season” of the series and started the fifth. Each season of The Retros is 240 pages and I am ten pages into the fifth one. I just posted the 140th page on March 1st so it’ll be about five months until the next story line starts.
I present to you the final panel of season four the first from season five. Both presented without lettering or context:
I also did a painting for a friend:
And a mock book cover:
I did some other stuff, but it was mostly working on the Retros. I didn’t want too many distractions from the job search so I stuck with mostly what I was already working on.
Losing my job was a blow, but I am excited about my new adventure.
I want to thank everyone for their support through the last few months. It’s been a stressful and frightening time and we got through it because of you. You helped with groceries, phone calls, a job lead, picking up the tab at lunch, visiting us at the hospital and many other small and big things. We were humbled by the events in the last few months, and we were reminded how lucky and fortunate we are to have the life we have, regardless of what happens.
I have a hard time articulating how much you all mean to me. Whether you are a family member, a friend or even a Retros fan, you all enrich our lives.