Thursday, March 19, 2009

Five reasons to look forward to a layoff

I have been trying to look on the bright side of this economic crisis. In the past few months of reading emails from tv viewers, it seems to me that people are just screaming for some good news. They're begging for some small sliver of light among all the dark headlines.

There are a few things that i can delight upon, if i must:

1. More time with my kiddo. When unemployment looms, i will not be able to pay for child care, but i won't need it. So i get more time to spend with the kid whose mom has worked full-time her ENTIRE life. I wonder how i will get to know her, when our time together is not squeezed in between errands and house cleaning and day to day discipline.

2. A break, to figure out who i really am. I wrote about this before -- how my friend asked me what i really wanted to do with my life and how it took some time to answer that question. So often we just plod along, not really evaluating whether we are really happy or not. A violent severance from every habit you've fallen into is good for the soul.

3. Solidarity with the jobless masses. Suddenly it's not so embarrassing to have lost your home or your job, since there are so many people out there dealing with the same thing. Getting laid off may make most people feel like crawling under the covers and never coming out, but with so many people in the same bed, at least there's some kind of solidarity going on. Those calls i get to pay the credit card i always seem to forget about seem a little funny to me now, since there are even jokey commercials about it. In one radio commercial, you hear a woman's voice say something like "we're not answering right now, so if you're a creditor, you'll just have to get in line, like everyone else we owe money to." It's not a noble position to be in, but like i said, at least there's some solidarity in it nowadays.

4. Testing my mettle as a farmer. When you have nothing but time and seeds and a pile of dirt outside, you will eventually have a Victory Garden. And this year i will be more compelled to pull all the weeds and remove all the slugs, because i will have both time and motivation. Hunger is a great motivator.

5. Learning about history. When our future looks gloomy, we turn to the past for answers. This humbles us, and reminds us too that all things pass.

Chances are you've been affected by the crisis in one way or another. Are you seeing any light at the end of the tunnel? How are you staying positive?

1 comment:

incalculable said...

Oh wow, I just stumbled across your blog (i heart) and I have so much to say about this... I just stared down the barrel of unemployment as well (only to have another 3 months tacked onto my contract at the nth hour). But all of the things you mention in this post crossed my mind as well... more time for life! Yay! Now if only those damn bills the rent the ohmyeffinggod debt would just. go. away.