Is It Safe Yet?

Mar 19, 09 Is It Safe Yet?
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One night last week, I woke up around 2 A.M.  Normally, I find that I am forced into contortion, barely hanging on to the edge of my bed, while my 7 year old sleeps like a king with his knee in my back.  But that night, I was unusually comfortable…and alone.  I decided to sneak downstairs and check on my lil man.  I was sure that he had fallen asleep with the tv on, which would explain his absence…as it usually explains most of his absences since I lack that luxury in my bedroom.

As I walked down the hall, I noticed that his door was almost closed, as well as the doors to his bathroom and my guest room/his play room.  I pushed his door open, fighting with a bag of toys that he had propped against it.  When I knocked them down and opened the door freely, he didn’t even stir…so much for low-decibel booby traps and kids that can sleep through thunderstorms.  I had to give him credit though, because I always push for him to be creative.  When I asked him about it the next day, he said that he put it there in order to feel safe…the key word here being “feel”.

I read at least two articles last week that predict recovery by the end of 2009 and I still don’t feel safe.  Supposedly, my company has no plans for layoffs in the near future and that doesn’t make me feel safe.  I’ve watched the money in my 401K increase three days in a row, but there are no safe investments in sight.  But I think that that’s the reason that we’re in this mess…we’ve spent too many years feeling safe.  On the flip side, we’ve been emotionally battered for so long that it appears to have done irreparable damage to our spirits.  Heck, we’ve even witnessed as the economic downturn broadened from Wall Street to Sesame Street.  It’s enough to make anyone run for cover and dismiss any glimmer of hope.  Yet, I would like to submit to you this week’s tip for surviving the recession and “feeling” safe.

Count your blessings.

I bet if you took a hard look at where you stand that you might sleep as soundly as my son does before you finish your count.

Admittedly, I have been visiting this site, re-reading my previous posts, and wondering if my voice was even relevant or if I have been staying on track with what I have been tasked to do.  Sometimes I believe that some don’t take what I have to say seriously because they think that I’m just about “cute” bedtime stories and lack the rawness of my counterparts.

So, you want this week’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul?” The current rate of return of my 401K is -45%. My home value has dropped nearly 8% to date.  And I cannot even quantify the decrease in company morale after the December layoffs. So, it’s not all sunshine, marshmallows, and butterflies over here.  I’m not sitting in the distance, eating steak, while recommending creative Ramen noodle recipes to the masses nor am I borrowing someone else’s couch every night, while spitting game about negative equity not being a big deal.  I’m living it.  I’m feeling it.

I’ve listened as other homeowners griped about their home values depreciating and the tax incentives that they are missing out on.  I’ve held my tongue as coworkers bellyached (from behind a desk, mind you) over the company’s layoff decisions.  I’ve silently disapproved as fellow investors, disgruntled by the stock market, stopped investing altogether.

I can empathize, but why not concentrate on the things that make you “feel” safe?  You have a place to rest your head, a steady check, and the money to contribute to investments; yet, you’re focused on what “could” happen or what “has happened” to or for someone else.  Try putting all of your “toys” in one bag before the recession “boogeyman” comes for you.  Even if you don’t have everything that you want, gain some perspective, and appreciate what you have now.

Will that always be enough to get you through?  Maybe not at first, but I bet that you’ll find that it’ll slowly transform your attitude.  Expect to have good and bad days, but press towards a positive goal.  This morning, I woke up with my son’s head resting on my hip.  In his world, when all else fails, mommy’s bed is the safest place to be.  Well, we’ve ALREADY confirmed that all else IS failing…so where is YOUR safe place?  You better recognize.


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  1. Your voice and perspective are greatly appreciated. Too often, it is far too easy to slip into pessimism and despair. It takes much more courage to stay positive in the face of adversity. Great post, as always.

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