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Why I Hate the "New Normal"
Hate is a Strong Word
I know what you are thinking, "Hate is such a strong word." Sure it is. Maybe not strong enough for what I am feeling. I know you've heard the term: the new normal. This is our economy now. We are not just experiencing a recession. We are being told we will never get back to what we were before. I've even heard some people say they are pleased.
It is great to accept things we can't change. I know. Good for you. Roll over and don't fight. I, for one, am tired of the new normal. Sure, you could say I was shallow or materialistic. It is nothing I haven't heard before. But I have the nerve to be honest about it: I loved it!
Go ahead and admit it. It was fun! Shopping and spending and living beyond our means. Good stuff while it lasted. The funny thing is, in the back of my head I kept thinking, "How am I going to pay this back? Isn't this all going to come crashing down on me and everyone else soon? Nah, can't be. If that were so, how come no one else is talking about this?" But of course, now it is all we can talk about.
What I Miss Most
You know what I really miss? I miss being able to go out on a Friday night and not worry so much about money. I miss shopping with my friends. I miss buying groceries I actually want to eat. I miss looking at the employment ads and seeing an abundance of opportunities. I know it does not do any good to dwell, but aren't we all allowed to look back every now and then?
Do you know what I do for fun now? I clip coupons and look for sales. I roam around my apartment looking for things I can sell. I call Comcast or Verizon, and try to strike up a deal so I can maybe save a few bucks. I go around my apartment unplugging things so I can save a dollar or two on the electric bill. I wear a couple of layers of clothes, and walk around with cold hands, and sit on a cold toilet seat in the bathroom just so I can save money on heat. I prioritize which bills get paid and in which order. Sometimes food is just not a priority. I can't help but hate the new normal.
At least I have a job. I am one of the lucky ones. Sometimes I just don't feel that lucky. Sometimes I work two jobs just to get by. For some reason, I just don't feel lucky about that.
So Where Do We Go Now?
I wish I could say something brilliant and insightful right now, but I don't have any real answers. I know as a nation we relied on credit cards and loans too much. Everyone got used to having whatever they wanted and getting it instantly. We do need to rethink that. I, for one, realize I made some mistakes financially. I am paying for those mistakes now and maybe I deserve it. I am just looking for the light at the end of the tunnel now.
For now, we need to pull together. Companies need to start hiring again and make that a priority. But as for the population, we also need to become more creative with our money and money-making strategies. If you are reading this right now, you are probably on Hubpages and trying to make money online. Good for you! We all need to think of alternatives to regular work. I've stopped listening to what people say is supposed to be "normal" work. This is the "new normal" so if we are going to rewrite the rules, let's give ourselves some perks, shall we? It's time to stop relying on a full-time job and it's time to do what we really want in life. I mean, if this is rock bottom (and it sure feels that way) we have nowhere to go but up, right?