Lately it feels as though the economic boa constrictor is squeezing each person ever tighter, even those who once felt invincible.
Rarely a day goes by now that I don't overhear a hair stylist gossip with her customer about what neighbor just lost their home to the bank; an acquaintance mention the latest person to lose a job; a friend speak of cost-cutting solutions, like five-minute maximum, lukewarm showers.
Even Husband and I no longer feel the security that once came with a university job. The next fiscal year often looms large and foreboding, a black hole, empty and cold, ready to swallow anyone who crosses its path, sending them into oblivion.
It is the uncertainty that is perhaps the most frightening; the loss of control. Losing control is difficult for me to endure; this one of my greatest character flaws. I feel the intense need to have an iron grip on the elements of my life, though often this is merely superficial.
What next will this situation take away from good, honest, hard-working people? Their happiness; their futures; their very lives? So far, it has taken away any thoughts we might have entertained about imminent parenthood. We would like to take an international trip together before we become parents, but how can we even think of planning a trip when we should be focusing on building enough reserves to pay our mortgage and living expenses, should the worst case scenario occur?
I vacillate between optimism and wide-eyed dread. There's no point in worrying about something out of our control, but how can one not worry, not try to prepare for a difficult potential situation, not look with concern upon loved ones whose current situations are vastly different from our own?
Things will improve. Really, they will. Just as the Great Depression is a distant memory for our grandparents, so, soon, will be the Great Recession, though it will certainly profoundly impact those who make it out the other side.
Life is cyclical, though it is often difficult to see the next peak from the valley we are crawling out of.
The dark will recede. Until then, I am here.