First, I need everyone to know that my deep-rooted hatred of the recession is very real. I hate it more than flossing, getting oil changes and paying my student loans, combined. I hate it more than Jay Leno, more than watching golf, and more than speeding tickets.
But. Well. See. Last night, I was watching Desperate Housewives while eating a piece of my $5 hot-and-ready pizza from Little Caesars, and I started to see some upsides. I figured I should write them down so I can read though it the next time I’m living for a week on Ramen Noodles.
5. Tons, and tons and tons of story ideas.
I’ve written about 7,493 stories for work that somehow related to the horrid economy. And my fellow reporters have done the same. Want to know how the recession effected napkin sales, or obesity, or both? We probably did a front-pager on all three.
With that many articles, it’s hard not end up with some really good stuff, like the series of vignettes I wrote about the unemployed, and the great articles about failing city developments and pieces on school districts cutting everything but math and water fountains. Really fun to dig into and share with the world.
4. Things are super cheap.
UMM, $5 for a hot-and-ready pizza. FIVE DOLLARS! That is just insane. Amazing. A whole freaking pizza for $5! AND, Six Flags season passes are on sale for $64.99. For a SEASON PASS! As in, it’s good for the WHOLE SEASON.
I can buy all my clothes on clearance for less than $8 at even the expensive places, like Gap. Cricket offers unlimited everything plus one for cell phones for $25 a month. Subway sells foot-long sandwiches for $5. Houses sell for $3 (ish). And GoogleVoice is FREE!!!
It’s great. I love it. I mean, sure, the prices are low because nobody has any money, but it’s still exciting.
3. My job is no longer my top priority.
When my whole life centered on my career, I had to be the best all the time everyday no matter what, because if I wasn’t then suddenly all the sacrifice wasn’t worth it. But then, the recession came and pummeled my industry. Suddenly, being the best didn’t even matter. There were no raises, no promotions, no job prospects. Being the best at my job turned into the equivalent of being the best at Facebook’s Farmville – nobody cared.
I still work hard, and I will never, ever reach a point where an article with my name on it isn’t the best it could be. But I don’t feel so bad about leaving, say, ON TIME, or saying “No” to an assignment.
And with that, comes a freedom to have a life.
2. I lost a ton of weight.
I had been trying to lose weight since the day before forever, but it was never at the top of my to-do list. The top half of that list included things such as: Find a new job. Move to where new job is. Repeat.
But then, the recession came and killed all the new jobs, so I had to go down to the second half of my list. And there it was. “Lose weight.”
Being in the same place, with a steady life and access to a steady stream of exercise and food choices did a lot to help me meet that goal. And I’m really happy I did.
1. I grew closer to God.
It is possible to have a strong relationship with God when you move to a new church every six to eight months, but it’s possible like me fitting into size 2 jeans is possible or the Cubs winning a World Series this year is possible.
My newfound steady living situation helped me to really get involved with my church on a level I never would have imagined when I was moving at both the beginning and end of every football season. I’m leading the youth group, attending fundraising events, and really connecting during praise and worship services.
And, well, when you have $4 to last the week, it’s hard NOT to turn to God for help. But, later, when money magically appears from some random source, it’s hard not to say thanks to the big man then too.
By using God as my crutch, he somehow turned into my friend. Seems like a little economic downturn is a small price to pay for all that.
Wouldn’t mind if the economy kicked into high gear anyday now though. Just sayin’.