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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Living Fearlessly in a Bad Economy

Things are bad, and according to Obama, they're going to get worse before they get better. Woe is us. Cash flow is low; job instability is high. Uncertainty prevails.

My husband and I have micro-analyzed our family budget, looking for even the smallest expenditures we can cut. At dinner the other night, we announced to our kids that we are having our cable turned off. They moaned. They griped. They groaned.

"Why?" they whined.

"Well y'all," I explained, "we've just got a bad economy right now."

"If you've got a bag of money," said the youngest, exasperatedly, "can't you use that to buy our TV shows?"

She understands what's happening about as well as the rest of us. And there truly is no use sitting around listening to pundits explain it or trying to decipher it ourselves. It is what it is, and somewhere in it is a fresh opportunity, a door waiting to be opened.

In the meantime, here's how I'm keeping up the fearless life in the face of darkening adversity:

1) I've decided to value making memories over purchasing products, substance over stuff, experiences over expenses. Instead of spending money, I'm spending time. A happy memory lasts a lot longer than the thrill over a new pair of shoes.

2) There is no guarantee that my job will last past May. My contract may or may not be renewed. No matter. I will continue to perform my duties to the very best of my ability. If the economy causes my position to be eliminated, I will walk away with my head high, knowing I couldn't have worked any harder.

3) I'm being honest with myself about the things over which I have control and the things I don't. In the past, God has used the chaos or confusion of a difficult situation to build me into a better person. I have faith that those things I can't control are in His hands. He will take care of me.

And maybe, somehow, some way, on the other side of all this, the bad economy really will turn into a bag of money.