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The Upswing of Recession

There is no one I know who has not been touched by our economy's downturn. It's looking more and more like the end is not quite as close as we hoped it might be. But who is to say this is all such a terrible thing?

I like to look for a silver lining. We find it hard to believe the stories of our grandparents who lived through the Great Depression. We look at their "odd" ways and wonder why they bother. Their hoarding and use of what has already been re-used seems unnecessary to us. But maybe we are learning lessons now that will stick with us for years to come.

I wonder if you might agree that you are beginning to realize what is most important to you. For millenia, culture has revolved around the struggle to have more, look better, and become successful and powerful. But what if that isn't really what is important at all? What if your striving for "things" is really what is making you the most unhappy?

Maybe your making choices like: do I buy that new pair of shoes or take the family to a movie? Are you finding yourself skipping the full-service carwash for the $2 do-it-yourself version? For you it may be cutting out the monthly manicure or beginning to buy generics at the grocery store. Some are making much harder choices: do you pay the electricity bill or the car payment this month?

I wonder if ten or twenty years from now we'll look back and realize that these hard times gave us a better understanding of what we truly value. I'm choosing to value people and time rather than a brand-names or fancy titles (of course, I am a "stay at home mom" which might be the best title of all!). We should each be able to find our  worth in our zest for life and the relationships that make up that life.

If we get creative in how we save and spend our money, we might even find happiness in realizing that (aah-ha!) we can actually live with less and (gasp) like it! I am doing some of the things I mentioned above. Some of them I've been working at for years - like finding which store-brands are actually exactly the same or better than the name-brand that costs twice as much. And although I get frustrated at my lack of quarters, you can't beat the self-service car washes - and it takes less than five minutes!

What are ways that you are cutting corners? Share your favorite ideas right here!

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