The economic downturn has had a negative effect on nearly every American, and it doesn’t appear to be improving as of yet. Unemployment has stabilized at 10.9 percent in Sacramento County (according to www.edd.ca.gov), homes that once sheltered families are now bank-owned and abandoned, and money is so tight most people have had to cull expenses from their finances to keep their heads above water.
But no matter how bad the situation, there is always at least one tiny ray of hope, one sliver of good to be found under the muck. Finding that bit of good might not be easy, but having something positive to focus on is worth the effort. Here is a list of some of the good things that have come directly from the effects of the recession:
1. Less ready cash means less fast food.
2. Less fast food means less empty calories and preservatives.
3. Less fast food means more meals prepared at home and enjoyed with the family.
4. More home-cooked meals means better nutrition.
5. Better nutrition means less obesity and better health overall.
6. Less disposable income (did any of us ever have that in the first place?) means fewer evenings out at movies, clubs, or events.
7. Fewer evenings out make for more evenings at home.
8. More time at home gets families together again, strengthening the familial bond.
9. More time and less money stimulate the creative impulses; we improvise and make our own arts, crafts, and comfort foods.
10. For students, less money means fewer opportunities for distraction from homework and study, leading to better quality work, increased personal satisfaction, and eventually, an improved G.P.A.
The simple things in life can bring the most enjoyment; all it takes is the ability to see the good in a seemingly bad situation, and with an attitude of gratitude, discover joys that would not have been recognized under normal circumstances. You get out of life what you put into it, so make the most of the recession and build something positive for yourself and your people. What good have you found during the last few years of hardship? What blessing do you have that you would not have received if financial problems had stayed away? By recognizing the benefits we can shift our focus, letting the good things blossom in our sight. As this replaces doom and gloom, we make room for positive energy and can feel satisfaction with the smallest of joys. We only have this one moment in which to live, so make the most of now.