Friday, 20 February 2009

A last hoorah

We went skiing over the long weekend (teacher's convention/family day). We're slashing the spending around here, but the ski weekend was already booked and partially prepaid so we went forward with it and had a great time. Skiing is possibly my favorite thing to do as a family. It is just so fun and rewarding to see the kids master a skill and to share a leisure activity together. Ken even managed to relax and forget his work stress for the weekend.
Ken works in the oil industry and over the past month his company has laid off 30% of its employees. The upper management and VP's (Ken included) have all taken what translates into a small pay cut. Additionally, everyone in the company will take a week without pay this spring. Now this is why I work. At home we'll adjust our spending to accommodate the pay cut, but I'll pick up some extra work days to balance off Ken's week without pay. It is all very manageable, yet somehow the stress of what could happen down the road, and how things could get worse is taking a toll. Ken is monitoring his blood pressure.
The real slashing in spending this year will be thing things we would have done with a bonus, which I assume won't come in 2009. We are not developing the basement - no big deal, really. All holiday plans are currently suspended. I'm not going to spell it out, but there is a message in this for a few of you.
Here's what is still happening: Ken is still going to Ride the Rockies in Colorado in June (already booked and paid for), and Jaclyn is still going to EFY-Calgary in August (ditto).
And that is the extent of our suffering. Minor, I know. But I'm spoiled, therefore I suffer.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I've MISSED you, Barb.

Wow. I'm glad you know how to readjust the earnings and that it's not life-altering, but I also sense your disappointment and feel badly.

How's your blood-pressure?

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

By the way, the Ride the Rockies looks incredible. I'm glad it's paid for so it can still be on the agenda.

Denise said...

Sorry about the salary cut, that is a real bummer (although I'm glad it was smallish, and he still has a job)!

Our family vacation this year is going to be very inexpensive, and my dh hasn't had a salary cut (yet...); we just really feel like we need to start hunkering down. I don't know a single person who hasn't been affected to some extent by the current economy. Scary stuff! So let's hear it for last hurrahs and family time.

Lucy said...

The economy problems sure don't know any boundaries, do they? I'm sorry for your family's stress but enjoy your attitude about it. I'm just sorry about your holiday plans!

Glad you were able to go skiing. It truly is a great family activity.

stacy{s} said...

Oh how I love your phrase, "But I'm spoiled, therefore I suffer." Such a great line. I'm thinking it would make a great tshirt slogan.

So sorry you have stress. It's never fun – big or small.

Before all of this economy stuff happened we had planned trips to Hawaii, Hilton Head and Alaska this year. What are we thinking! Maybe it's not such a bad thing since we will never be able to afford to go in the future if this keeps up!

michelle said...

I'm glad you had a last hurrah! It does seem as if no one is spared from feeling the financial tightening. How fortunate that you can work extra to make up the difference.

I've never been so grateful for tenure as I am now!

Kelly said...

Um, um, um, am I one of those message-ees?? waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!! I will not be able to share this news without melee, so I am just not going to share it. Can I wail again??

I'm sorry about the economic hit to Ken's company (and thus your pocketbook!). I suppose that I naively thought that oil companies were immune to all this business. That's tough and nervewracking, I'm sure.

signing off now. wailing wailing wailing.

melanie said...

I've missed your posts too. It looks like actual fun when your kids are older and you take them on outings. Right now it's still so much work, I have to give myself a pep talk about how family time is important. I'm glad you guys had a good day.

You have a great attitude about cutting back. Thanks heavens a couple things were already paid for. I bet Ken and Jaclyn are loving that!

Tiffany said...

So fun for your family weekend--glad you had a great time!

Good luck on the adjustments. It sounds like you are making things work. Take care!

Katie A. said...

I hear you--the things that end up getting cut may not be necessary, but...for mental health, perhaps they are. Everyone needs a vacation and time to enjoy each other.

We thankfully haven't been affected by lay-offs, but one of the city administrators held a meeting for my department advising that coming in 2013, there would be some big financial problems, and the department would need to make some major changes. Not sure what that means yet, but it doesn't sound fun.

Marie said...

No fun. Sorry about the readjusting that needs to happen. Nothing has happened to us yet, but I know that it can, and I don't like to think about that.

I'm glad some fun stuff was already paid for!

April said...

I thought this was a nice way to sum up how most of us are feeling.

I keep trying to remember what Elder Bednar said when he came to visit last month..."thank your Heavenly Father that you live in a time when you are forced to be thrifty." I am trying to be thankful rather than worried.

Amanda L. said...

I love that you can ski as a family! We haven't tried that yet..maybe a few more years.

I understand your pain with the's a blessing that you can add days to your schedule. Terry's work has been really slow and his commissions have been 1/4 of what they usually are. I'm grateful that we can pay for heat, have cars that work and spent hours in the cannery last spring.

I have missed your posts!

Amy said...

I love your thoughts Barb, as always. "I'm spoiled, therefore I suffer." It truly is a time to count blessings, I suppose.