Holiday Décor and Getting Fired

By Carol Colvin

Every September, I decorate my house with treasures from my autumn bin.  In October, I add the Halloween decor, and in November I replace the Halloween items with the Thanksgiving items.  On December 1, I take all of it back to the garage and bring in the Christmas stuff.  I repeat this cycle every year.  But every year, I get rid of a few things, and sometimes I add new things.  The faded ghost wreath was trashed one year, and the snowman village entered another year.  No Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas looks exactly the same from year to year. I like to think I’m improving my decor incrementally, and that when I die, my children will inherit what I think are the very best holiday decorations – and I will laugh from beyond the grave as they anguish over how to throw it all away without guilt. The point is, every year when the holidays come around, my decor is better than before because I’ve gotten rid of outdated things and added nicer things.  This is how the law of rhythm can work for us if we are aware of it and use it to our advantage.

In the spring of 1984 just after graduating from college, my husband, Gary, started his career in computer software.  His first job paid really well and we felt very lucky.  We moved to Spokane full of hope and big dreams, anticipating the life we would have – children, a big house, and plenty of money in the bank. We were up.  And then we were down.  Gary was fired from that really great job seven months after he started, right before Christmas. I was 4 months pregnant.  I remember feeling like the world had come to an end.  I lay on my bed crying for days.  I was having a baby and my husband was unemployed; we had no savings, and we had school loan and credit card debt up to our eyeballs. But we bounced back up. During the stressful in-between-jobs time, we learned some lessons about relying on God and about gracefully receiving help from our church, family, and friends.  We cut up our credit cards and learned to be more creative with our resources.  We took the lessons from that difficult experience and hoped to never need to apply them again.

Gary’s first job had been training people to use computer software in the fruit-packing industry.  His second job was selling point-of-sale software to video rental stores. It wasn’t easy, but Gary made some sales and felt good putting his marketing degree to use.  What he didn’t realize at the time was that the company was selling software that wasn’t completely written yet.  In less than a year, the company folded and Gary was out of work and we were down again. But this time we weren’t as far down as before.  I did not spend several days crying on my bed.  I did not get depressed.  I did not panic about our debts.  I trusted that we would be back up again before too long.  And during this second time between jobs, Gary took his skills up another notch, got better at presenting himself, and started intentionally aiming for the job he really wanted. When we were up again, we were higher up than we had been before. 

Job number three was selling medical billing and patient record software. Gary was employed the rest of his working years in medical software sales and sales management.  There is no job security in sales, and the medical software industry was and is more volatile than most, so Gary became accustomed to being temporarily unemployed now and then over the years.  I gained greater faith and was more able to maintain my emotional health each time we temporarily lost our income, and I didn’t go into panic mode even when Gary decided twice to start his own business. I learned to respond to changes in income by letting go of old habits that worked against us and by adding new skills and knowledge, including knowledge of the laws governing success..  I also used my own strengths to earn extra income. I learned by experience that I could trust God, and that I could count on the universal laws to work.

Autumn comes around each year, giving me the opportunity to upgrade the decor in my holiday bins. Similarly, my family’s financial trials come and go, giving me the chance to look at the contents of my mental, emotional, and spiritual bins and make changes where necessary.  I don’t miss the plastic turkey napkin rings from 2003, and I certainly don’t miss the crying and fear over money from 1984. 

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Carol Colvin
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