Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My two cents...

I've seen something rumbling just below the surface, and I want to talk about it. You're here, so obviously you care what I have to say. I don't promise that my two cents are worth two cents, but I do promise that they are my two cents, not borrowed ones. Stick with me folks, it'll all tie together eventually (maybe).

Here is my take on our current economic mess. I have been saying for months now that I am fed up with people not taking responsibility for their part in this mess. I really wanted one of the candidates fore presidency to stand up there and say that the mess we are in is our own fault. But no, they want to blame Wall Street and banks and lending institutions and mortgage companies. I want someone to stand up and say it is our own greedy fault. We, who took out too much debt, who bought stuff on credit cards, who bought a house too big for our own use, who had to not only keep up with the Jones' but surpass them...it is our fault. I have seen an underground movement starting over the past year or so, and I think it is finally coming to the surface. I've seen family after family, mom after mom, blogger after blogger talking about a desire to return to a simpler life. Families have grown tired of the excess spending, and are starting to save more. People are more interested in "going green" and "reduce, reuse, recycle" now. Moms want their kids to be responsible with their things and money, and not just buy all willy-nilly. I hear the talking heads on "news" shows talk about the consumer fear that is driving our economy ever lower, and I don't think it is fear that is doing this at all. I think it is that we have finally come to our senses and realized how out of control we had allowed ourselves to get. We want to buy with money we actually have. We want to pay off our debts. We want to have a quieter life. And the media hasn't caught on to that yet. The tv shows haven't realized that yet. Hollywood doesn't see it yet, but they all will.

We haven't seen the end of this economic fall yet. Oh no, we still have the credit card debt to hit. And once that does, we will see a bleaker newscast than any we've seen in our lifetimes. However, we will see some wisdom finally coming back into our homes. I think this will be a good thing, nay, a great thing for our nation. A return to the values that are true and lasting. A return to family gatherings, and memory making, and healthy consumption. I'm not afraid of being broke. (She says, oh so naively....yeah, I know, what do I truly know about being broke?) Who needs stuff anyway? So I might have to say goodbye to television and internet access and lattes and crazy Christmases. Oh well. Bon voyage. I'm hoping I'll be saying goodbye to that and saying hello to game nights and homemade bread and canned jelly and sitting by the tree telling stories and gathering close to my loved ones. Here's hoping we all have a simple, lovely holiday this year...with many more to come. Think back over your favorite holiday memories...how many of them involve a gift you got, or a thing you bought? Most of mine are things we did together, activities we did, songs that were sung, hikes that we took. The only gift that stands out in my mind is one my mom made me a year when we had no money. So, instead of camping out in that line at 4:00am on "Black Friday", why don't you stay warm in your bed, then get up, make your own coffee at home, and start writing your ideas down on what to do with your family that will be a lasting memory. Who needs another digital frame anyway? Or another sweater? Or another Bratz doll? Honestly, do any of us actually NEED any things? Or do we all long for and need someone to listen to us, someone to laugh with us, someone to let us know we aren't alone in this crazy world. Put away the credit card, get out the heavy coat, and take your loved ones on a walk. You'll thank me for it...no, better yet, you'll thank yourself.

So there ya have it, my two cents. Think we'll be using those more now and tossing them in wishing wells less?

3 comments:

Holly said...

Very well put. I agree with you. We haven't used credit cards for a long time, but I'm going to try to make a bunch of the Christmas gifts this year too.
Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck on the giveaway!

J... said...

Getting back to a simpler time is good in theory...not sure how well I can put that into practice!

Lora said...

This is an amazing post. And you are right! I have been working hard over the past two years to simplify. It's hard, but it is finally paying off! Although I don't want to REALLY go back to living the way I did 10 years ago, I want to go back to that simpler time, so I've been making an effort and I'm seeing it pay off in ways that I never thought possible.