Well, it's time for confession. Let me warn you today won't be inspiring, insightful or entertaining. I start with the good: Yesterday I took a day off from blogging and blog hopping. Instead, I worked in the library and enjoyed my day off with my guy. As much as I like you all, I love my guy. He doesn't always want to share me. So yesterday, I gave up the net.
Now what's bugging me: the economy. We don't talk about it much on our blogs and why would we? In social communities, we can focus on what we enjoy. We can avoid politics, world issues, religion and any other topic that could make for uncomfortable discussions. Really, who wants to talk about the economy especially if we are affected? Well, sometimes I need to talk about uncomfortable stuff.
I've shared with you all before that I'm blue collar. For those who don't know, I live in Michigan. You can't not see evidence of the crisis here and even harder not to be affected. While I am still employed, I've known better days- a lot better. I have friends and family who have lost jobs or have been unable to find work for a long time. People I love have lost their homes and have experienced other hardships. And let's cut to the quick: I'm hurting. I eat. I have a roof over my head and can meet my basic needs- but it is tight. And subsentence is not living. I miss my old life. I miss going out to eat when I felt like it, shopping when I felt like it. I miss not having to worry about meeting my needs. I miss being in the position of always giving and not having to be on the recieving end. I worry about going to work and being pink-slipped and that's not an unfounded worry.
I live a suburban community that boasted all kinds of quaint boutiques, shops and restaurants. Now, when I take my walk downtown, I look at a rows of empty storefronts. There are for sale signs on once coveted homes. Weekends are not full of families sitting in the downtown square and shopping. Regardless of what time I go to Target, it's empty.
I've given up my ritual Saturday movies. I've stopped drooling and impulsively buying at Lowes. I don't buy books just because I want them. I feel guilty for missing the things I don't need but I'm also depressed because the truth is we're in a very vulnerable position right now and I never thought, hadn't prepared to be in this position at this time in my life. I have been poor so I know how to get on. But that's not the point. The point is the failure. Feeling like I've failed again and today others depend on me, it's not just about me so the failure is magnified.
My partner is loving and supportive. He never complains. I'm not convinced he doesn't worry. Instead, he does what he can. Still, we have the lights, insurance, food bills and rent to pay. The best of relationships aren't immune to the stresses of financial burdens.