Even if you lost a lot during recession, there’s a lot to celebrate.
Being a natural Type A, like many of you who read SheTaxi.com, my strong suit is not being grateful for what I have. I’m wired to figure out how I can accomplish more.
But age and circumstance have forced me to reconsider the wisdom of always pushing for more. And the recession has taught me some powerful lessons about what’s really important to me. Instead of wishing for more, I’m working very hard at being satisfied with what I have.
Keep on keeping on
We lost the home we enthusiastically renovated for 12 years during the recession. We had to deal with nasty creditors who used to fawn over us when we were “high value” clients. And we had to scramble to make a move that could have been avoided if there were better mechanisms in place to help people like us who were in the grip of long-term unemployment. We gave up over half of our stuff and learned a lot about “keeping on keeping on” when we didn’t feel like it.
Throughout the difficult journey, it was helpful to be focused on what’s really important and to be grateful for the bounty in my life:
- I’m grateful for my husband, who I easily find fault with, but when push comes to shove, I know he’ll be with me through thick and thin, which means much more than the “I love yous” we sprinkle on each other without thinking every day.
- I’m grateful for my son who is now 24 years old, living in a Native village in Alaska, teaching middle school. When he was growing up, I dreamed he’d use his life of privilege to help others less fortunate. And I’m thankful that he’s doing that in spades.
- I’m grateful for friends and family who have stuck with us through thick and thin. (It’s really hard to predict which ones will and which ones won’t, until you go through a big loss in your life, and you aren’t able to be as “generative” as you once were.)
- I’m grateful for our dogs, Cagney and Lacey. For the money and time we invest in them, they provide us exponential amounts of love and joy.
- I’m grateful for my mental and physical health – both of which were challenged and I had to protect during upsets caused by the receding recession.
Now that what I hope was the worst is behind us, we know we are more fortunate than the vast majority of people on this Earth. A young family with three kids moved into our former home this month after it was vacant for more than a year. We’re glad to hear from the neighbors that the house is a home again, filled with shrieks and giggles.
And we’re grateful to be moving forward again, no longer looking back at what might have been.