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Monday, November 17, 2008

the recession post, take two

I started writing a post about the recession this morning - and let's face it: it's here - and it became this rambling rant, one part fear and despair and two parts pep talk and false optimism.

I don't know if I can do better, the second time around, but let me try.

I feel like I am forever flinching when I turn on the news or read a paper. I am waiting for the other foot to drop.

And this waiting, even though we are just fine today - and I am thankful - motivates me to do something, to prepare for harder times to come, but I'm not exactly sure what I should be doing.

I am applying for part-time jobs, to return to work to provide some cushion in our bank accounts. (My husband is in sales, after all.)

I am volunteering more than ever at the school because our volunteering pool is feeling the pinch as many stay at home parents are returning to work and our resources are tapped out.

I am budgeting, using a calculator at the grocery store like my Mom used to do in lean times, leaving us enough to buy extra for the canned food drive, because the need is greater this year.

And though I am nervous, I try to remember we made it through some tough times before. Greg worked for two companies after 9/11 that went belly up in a 10 month period; I resorted to cleaning puppy delivery rooms for my Grandma's kennel, to get us through.

It was miserable, make no mistake, but we got through it.

What about you, dear reader? I've heard the pundits; I want to hear from my people. Is this recession hype or are you hunkering down with me, plotting your escape to the woods, Thoreau style?

21 comments:

Oliver Rain said...

Thanks Lisa. I give you an "A" also for daily posts. It's hard to come up with interesting fodder for these blogs on a daily basis.

Oliver Rain said...

I hit submit too soon.

We are not feeling the pinch too much here yet, people are still buying cars, but we are really trying to scale down our spending just in case. This means I've got to rely on my stash instead of running to the fabric stores for projects. Probably a good thing.

flutter said...

Oh I am hunkered. This recession has hit me in a very big, personal way

phd in yogurtry said...

Yes, hunkering down here, somewhat. My husb's work depends on the lending market and he takes considerable risk from year to year. We felt the pinch last year (make that a chunk of flesh) and are feeling uncertain about this year as well. I am shopping less (groceries.. I have all but cut out any clothes or unnecessaries) and we're eating out less (and we never eat out a lot to begin with). I find myself lapsing into the terrible "what ifs" and have to bring myself back to the reality of now and just sit peacefully and appreciate what we have instead of what we might lose.

wendy said...

Oh, I don't know...I think "getting back to basics" is good for us as a consumeristic society; although, we're personally always pretty close to basics anyway (not by choice), so recessions don't scare us! ;D Really, I firmly believe God gives you what you need, no matter what that looks like.

Shana said...

We hunkering down as well, as evidenced by my scrubbing of the kitchen floor (sorry, Molly Maids!) and us now having a TV with rabbit ears antenna (sorry, DirecTV). Seriously. I know how fortunate I am that these are our "big cuts" when compared to the reality of other families. So I am trying to keep my whining to a minimum, or at least only do it in front of people who will not think we sadly shallow.

Stu said...

We are paying down bills but not clamping totally down. I worry more than Stephanie but we still need to get out an whoop it up more often than not...

The layoffs here at work always make me nervous. Eventually I will get the tap on the shoulder but hope to be here till I can find another spot.

Mrs. G. said...

Staying closer to home, buying less...considering another PT job as well. Colleges don't seem to care about the recession--they still want their tution.

Lisa Milton said...

I think you are right, Wendy. I think this may bring around some positive changes in our country eventually.

I do worry about those living on the margins to begin with through this change: the elderly, sick, the single parents.

susiej said...

I think all of this negative talk in the media is making people worry... that's never good! There are some good things -- and if this helps people learn to be more cautious then, that's a good thing.

I give you an A too.

Saucy said...

The pinch is slowly starting to hit Canada too because the US economy has that effect on the global market and we are so closely tied to you. We are being very careful with our money right now too. I'm driving less. I'm planning on making more Christmas gifts. Doing a little less baking this year because seriously, do we need that much?

I'm still coming down to the US to do some shopping in December so your economy can bank on a little upswing that weekend! I have a few things to pick up.

GHD said...

Man, Oh man! I'm hunkering down over here.

My hubby took a job in London earlier this year. We sold the house and the car and tons of our belongings to move overseas only for the economic crap-storm to hit.

I am so tired to having to explain why we're coming home sooner than we expected. I even hate saying the word "economy" these days...

Best of luck to you and lots of hugs! I know how much anxiety and stress this brings.

Karen N said...

Lisa,

Having our head in the sand is not the answer. You are definitely part of the connection of community helping each other get through changing times. Our focus on opulance in this country and what we perceived as important can never replace love, light and support for all of mankind.

Madge said...

i am not doing enough, that is for sure. it seems to get scarier every day.

Kimberly said...

I read. I loved. I had too little time to write an insightful or sweet comment and left you this ridiculous cut and paste thingy instead. Mwah!

Mom On The run said...

Thankfully I work a fairly secure job in a municipal government, though I do think hubby and I need to tighten the purse strings a bit.

brandy101 said...

I cook almost every day and repress my takeout cravings. I also try not to drive my car if I dont have to.

lapoflux said...

Macleans magazine had an interesting article on living the frugal life... I found it very interesting. We're trying to cut back in face of the pending recession - buying less, making gifts things like outings to the movies instead of toys (that we don't need).
I worry too - what with me at home and Marc in a new job, but at the same time I think it's an opportunity to teach our kids about less being more, and that money isn't everything. Fingers crossed it doesn't get too bad.
Good for you with your calculator, I need to try that!

Nora Bee said...

We are spending the same amount of money on less food...going out to eat less...it's tough, all around, but we are still some of the lucky ones...

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Well, you know I'm not plotting a move to the woods (unless I'm offered space in a cozy cabin resort...). Despite my recent boutique lunacy, I am still drawn to The Compact way of thinking - more creative & experiential gifting rather than blatant consumerism.

Honestly, my favorite things in the world are easy times with my family & friends (YOU, et al :D), tea (cheap at home), books (library!), and travel (vicarious for now).

Melanie said...

I won't lie: I am nervous. When it comes to the economy and general global outlook, my policy has become Hope For The Best, Plan For The Absolute Worst Sh*tstorm.