best laid plans

Caught a couple of breaks of Oprah while I was making a tomato and avocado sandwich for lunch today. She covers a lot of recession topics these days, which I always enjoy, and today's story about the impact the big R is having on the classes - and this story really struck a chord with me.

His name is Ernie Bjorkman, and for 27 years, he was a news anchor in Denver earning a six figure salary. Then his company went down, he lost his job, no other stations were hiring - and he's now working as a vet's assistant for $30k per year. They no longer socialise with their former circle; his "TV friends" have dropped by the wayside as his bank balance plumetted, but his real friends have stuck around, Ernie says. He and his wife, Sue, admit that they lived a comfortable, almost extravagent lifestyle for a long time (travel, eating out, designer clothes, etc) so they've had to strip back their lifestyle considerably.

The silver lining is, he now works in a profession he's passionate about (he'd always wanted to be a vet, so he says this is the next best thing), and Ernie's says they've learnt to strip it all back and enjoy a simpler life. But it must be a hard adjustment. It makes you realise that you can plan and prepare all you like, but you never really know what life is going to throw at you. As Ernie says, he was interviewing people who had been made redundant months earlier, and now here he is... And there but for the grace of God go I.

Ernie's been featured on Oprah and on Ellen, below - he says he and Sue are willing to share their story because they've learnt a lot and they have nothing to hide. I think it's really brave to put it all out there, and it reminds me of a quote I read a few months ago:

"In the big pizza wheel of life, sometimes you’re the hot bubbly cheese and sometimes you’re the burnt crust. It’s good to remember the fickle spinning of that wheel."