... has been challenging these days. I don't know about you, but life feels over-full, and not always in a good way, on our end.
The good: A Thanksgiving made very happy by visits from family. We were packed like sardines in our apartment, but feeling lucky to reconnect. Also, happy, sassy kids still blissfully unaware of the world's woes. And jobs. We are grateful, indeed.
The bad: CityDad has had a pay cut this year, and freelance jobs that supplemented our steady incomes are sparser. A few friends are facing health challenges; one's negotiating a divorce. And with the teetering economy still malingering like a bad guest who knows no better, it's gotten so overwhelming for so many. Maybe that's why movies like Up in the Air, which, among many other plots, chronicles the travails of the laid-off and disenfranchised, are hitting home among critics and viewers. (I saw it; it's phenomenal.)
But those are actors, and there's nothing like hearing how it is from those in the trenches right now. The New York Times has collected videos from ten Americans who've been laid off and they are stunningly affecting. Just watch. The cost that this recession has exacted is palpable. Never mind figuring out how to pay for presents this year; one father speaks of watching his kids playing sports and, instead of just enjoying himself, praying they don't get injured because there's not much more they can do without insurance but put a band-aid or duct tape on it.
So what to do now? Not really sure. We're 10 days away from Christmas, and maybe the only thing to do is to put one foot in front of another and, in the words of a singing teacher I met years ago, "show up." Who knows? There may be a party, not another trying encounter, just around the corner. We all could use a party.