Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 18, 2009 - What's going to happen now?

Everyday I listen to the news. I was always told that you shouldn't listen to the news because it's so substantially negative that it can't help but effect your life. In other words it's a "downer." So for the last month or so I hear nothing but how the economy is tanking. Many many of us have never experienced this much negative news and get daily even hourly reports of how it's all going down the tubes. Well. What's going through your mind? Just how bad is it? What's going to happen next? Should we panic? Should we remain positive? What can we do?

And yet, we live our lives the way we always have. At least some of us. You hear about how many people have lost their jobs, their homes. My friends have been hit with lay offs but they're okay. Things seem to work out. But when is someone you know really going to start hurting. When am I really going to be up against the wall. No doubt you already know someone or are someone. I'm on the edge watching so far. But I am on the edge.

At my lowest times I have this thought that what we're hearing is a day to day commentary on the demise of the US as we know it, your know, as it happens but without really knowing exactly where it's really going. That sounds obvious, but I guess what I'm trying to say is this. Say you're on a plane full of people and everything seems normal. Then you hit some turbulence and everyone reacts mildly and brushes it off. Then the speed picks up, the plane dives a bit and you all kind of look at each other, raise an eyebrow. Then a really big bump. It knocks you off your seat. Then you're swerving around, diving and climbing.  People try to make light of it but something's wrong. Some are losing it, and some are trying to comfort them. Some sit quietly and worry. Some try to take action. But all you can do is react to what is happening immediately because you have no idea where this is going to end. You can think the worst. Or you can go with the flow. Or with me, it's a little bit of both.

I feel very lucky right now but that could fly out the window pretty quickly. Yes, I have a home, a very nice home. I have enough for groceries and incidentals. I don't really think about buying a treat, a special meal, a bottle of wine. But. But. But. How long will it be okay?

In my worst moments I imagine losing my home. What would that be like? Would I handle it well or fall apart? Would my friends and family be there for me, give me a room, a handout. But they're going through the same thing. At least we're all going through it together. I guess. 

I had coffee with 4 friends this morning. Four of us are freelancing and one had been laid off a few months ago and is now thinking of what to do next. Perhaps freelancing. But everyone is very slow. One said "The slowest ever." They wanted to put a positive face on it but couldn't help admit that things weren't good. One's big project is ending and she's not sure what's next. One's main client has promised a job that was postponed earlier in the year but has been told it will continue soon. But when? We're pleasantly negative. And I feel like we're in the little bump stage but the bumps keep coming. Where will we be a year from now? It's all just building and building. How big are the bumps going to get?

And that's all I really have to say. I just wanted to put words to this vague, weird, up and down feeling the I'm going through. Ultimately we're in it for the long ride. We can't get off the plane. What will be will be. We have to deal with it the best we can. Let's hope we can handle it with a little grace and not go flying off into the darkness of panic and fear. 

And so I tell myself "it will all be fine." Really. No matter what. Hang in there because really, we are all in it together. And that's the way it's supposed to be. m

No comments: