Tuesday, March 10, 2009

finding the "recess" in the recession

Strange things have been happening recently, things that, just a few months ago, would have seemed impossible — assuming they would have ever even crossed your radar. Things that have brought a sigh of relief, room to breathe, a welcome break from the rat race.

In fact, the rat race? Someone called it. And it's over — if not officially and forever, at least for the time being.

And it's all due to the recession.

Granted, this global shift in the financial markets has been no picnic, and there are many thousands of people whose worlds have been thrown into turmoil (you yourself have seen your investments nearly wiped out this year). We've all tasted a heady cocktail of ignorance, greed, and an incapacitating fear, and know from experience that it doesn't go down easy.

But there is an upside to this downturn, something to be gained from staggering losses, insight after blind faith. Because in an unexpected way, after the dust has settled on the destruction left by the recession, and even sometimes when you're still in the thick of things, it is possible to take a break, take a breath, and take it easy for a while.

It's possible, in other words, to find the recess in the recession.

In your own experience, this global contraction has forced you to look at things differently, to prioritize, to examine your list of material "must haves." It's like reaching that age when you no longer care about keeping up with the Joneses, only you're 40, not 50 or 60, or whenever that usually happens.

And you're glad of it. Happy to just... stop for while. For the first time in a long time — maybe forever — you don't feel the need to have be do more. For the first time, you are content, and from this feeling of well being, you're now able to have be do more for others who are in far more dire straits that you, those who don't know where their next meal is coming from, those who feel helpless, hopeless.

You don't know how long it will last, this feeling of contentment, of things being set to right, of order amidst the chaos. But you do know that this recession — this recess — has definitely left its mark. And in a strange and unexpected way, you're grateful.

Readers: Have you been able to find the recess in the recession? Comments are open for sharing your thoughts.
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