Depressed Economy, Depression Nation?

sad_manHappy Labor Day! I’m the Queen of Irony, right? Will this protracted economic downturn only serve to produce higher GND (Gross National Depression)? Maybe. But you’ve got to believe you can change before it becomes a change you can believe in.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Downsizing is the new black. How do we keep living in style without spending so much money? I’m totally ok not buying, buying, buying like a crack addict but I honestly don’t see how this economic downturn won’t create a depressed nation too. Another link in the fallen empire. Know what I mean? — Conservative Trendster

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Dear ConTrend,

Coach-fucius say: First off, depression is a very serious thing (and I believe depression is not a “disease” to just pop a pill for) — it’s big issues and related emotions repressed and not dealt with over time (two weeks to 40+ years, same diff), come home to roost as lethargy, apathy, or other serious and intense down-in-the-dumps quality of life-detracting symptoms. Good news!, you seem to understand the core issue that is making you feel frustrated, scared, sad and/or all of the above. In other words, you don’t have to be depressed. And neither does our alter ego empire. Rx: Choose to expect better for yourself/us. Change  happens anyway, small steps we want and can commit to take us a very long, long way.

Amuse me. Let’s assume most people accept that life is all about change, and that in fact, most of them aren’t resistant to changing for the better. But that when it comes down to actually making those changes, most of those people make excuses instead. And yet, change stubbornly happens and those who resisted are left feeling cheated and even…depressed.

Crock ‘O Classic Why-I-Can’t-Change: 1) I have no discipline/will power; 2) what I have is good enough for me; 3) I try but then nothing happens, or if it does, it doesn’t stick.

Crock Blockers by Reframing:

1)    Weakness – Up your change chances. Choose only the small changes you’re willing to actually do like give up one cup of CarmelLatteccino/day, and walk to meetings instead of paying $20 to park for 30 minutes

2)    Undeserving – If you earned it (school, work, sacrifice) in life, then you deserve more, and by more I mean better. Don’t show the world you deserve less because you will get it (and by get I mean earn).

3)    Lust for immediate gratification – Act your age not your shoe size. If change were easy, everyone would be happy and perfect and I wouldn’t have anywhere to be smarmy (but helpful). If you’re lucky, life is a long trek. Set yours to be a more optimistic one and consistently make choices to support that goal. Be flexible, things happen. But keep your eye on that goal either way.

Don’t look at “style” being synonymous with spending money. It helps. But if you truly have style, you naturally exude it including how you eat, dress, and live (Your home, Your thoughts). Sweeping change like we’re collectively going through, is as a much-needed Spring Cleaning — update who you are and don’t end up stuck with old lady/man ideas before…ever!

Small steps are sustainable,

BW

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Dear Conservative Trendsetter,

I like to believe this downsizing is not the next link to a fallen empire, but rather the first baby steps toward realigning consumer spending with real values. Consumer confidence has been shaken to the core. Retirement accounts have disappeared and although foreclosure rates and lay-offs are slowing, unemployment is at its highest rate in a generation. It may not be the Great Depression, but this depressed economy is taking its toll. Turn around, however, is possible, though we will not see hiring freezes lifted for some time.

So, for the average American still lucky enough to have gainful employment, I say, don’t go crazy. Spend your money where it matters to you most. If you have a favorite restaurant you want to see after the smoke has cleared, you should be making room in your budget for them now. If you have favored vendors: printers, cleaners, bakery, etc. that you depend on, I suggest you stretch your finances to support them through this economic downturn.

Before things get better, they always seem to get worse. Any parent who has had to potty train a child knows that they regress messy diaper reliance just before they really, truly get it and move beyond diapers forever. So it is, I believe, with the world economy. We have relied on external validation from designer labels and status cars to define who we are. Moving further and further away from the basics of life that offer true satisfaction. Retail therapy has fleeting joy, often followed by guilt and remorse. We are now in withdrawal from retail addiction. As we shake and sweat it out, favoring the places that truly feed us, we are weeding out the detritus. Our downsizing, in my opinion, is helping that process along. That which does not serve us will fall away.

Life is cyclical. Just like plant life, it grows, flourishes and wanes before starting the process over again. We have been here before— 1929, 1983—and we’ve come back. So, now we are hear again. Tighten your belts. Apply the extra in your budget you have to the products, businesses and events that feed your soul—the ones that make you happy, fill you with energy and inspire you. In this way, you help reshape the economy and culture we recover from this financial crisis. Remember, crisis is opportunity. Don’t believe the hype. See the issues. See the possibilities and act accordingly.

Happy shopping,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

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One response to “Depressed Economy, Depression Nation?

  1. Pingback: Have Fun, Build Credit on a Budget? « Good Witch / Bad Witch

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