The recession has been like a dull buzzing in the background of my life this past year. I only bring it to the forefront once in a while, as when I say to myself, “I can wait until this item goes on sale,” or “I don’t really need to buy this right now.”
Most of the time, I ignore it until I absolutely have to deal with it, like now, with this medical bill staring me in the face, soon to go to collection. I think the insurance company should pay for it but hasn’t due to a bogus technicality. My appeal is pending. Happy bleepin’ New Year.
Hubby has been laid off for exactly one year now. He works a part-time job as much as legally possible to supplement his unemployment payments. My son is a recent college grad who works but hasn’t landed that “career” job yet.
As for me, I haven’t had a raise in a couple of years at my job. There have been layoffs and for those of us still standing, there was a “temporarily” reduction of our salaries last year by 5%. None of my coworkers are making too much of a fuss about it and only the younger ones dare to leave for other jobs.
But I guess things are not so bad. I remember being somewhat poorer, back in the days when I was a stay-at-home mom (I’m not married to Donald Trump, you know); and after that, when I was only working part time so that I could pick up the kids after school, help with homework, make a decent dinner, play with them, tuck them into bed. A lot of scrimping, and lot of sacrifice, but we made it. Then I refocused on my career and met with a measure of success.
So we had a good run, the subsequent years of doing what we want–you know, the American thing of buying new cars and filling up the grocery cart with abandon. So what we now have to give up HBO? There is so much mindless television to watch on digital cable that our DVR is threatening to explode (although I miss Curb Your Enthusiasm).
Chinese take-out? Every other week instead of twice a week. We cook instead. Fewer forgotten potatoes in the pantry and onions growing sprouts.
Also, we all took defensive driving classes to lower our car insurance bill. Now the world is safer all around, huh?
Plus, no one is actively sick right now. What more can you ask for? Crazily enough, deep in my heart I wish I would be laid off so that I could spend more time writing what I want to write instead of what I have to write. I could scale down my lifestyle some more.
The internet, digital channels, and DVR are not on the table for negotiation.
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2009.