Times are tough. That is the bottom line and the unfortunate reality in the modern society we live in. People are struggling, and unemployment is a large issue facing many of us today. When faced with these problems, it is hard not to feel as if you are slowly drowning under the weight of so much gone wrong. As a working class Joe and Jane, we are left wondering, "How the hell did all this happen?" Unfortunately, someone, a whole lot of someone's actually, dropped the ball. Big time.
So, as an average lower-middle-class citizen, one with hopes and dreams for a near future, I ask myself, "How do I manage?" I have been engaged since last October, I moved to a new state, and suffered through unemployment for nine months, to find a job, only to lose it 90 days later. I am living with my future wife, in my future mother-in-law's house (not always the most agreeable arrangement). I am busting my hump in search of work, while my fiancÃ©e has to commute almost three hours daily to work. She and I are both working on creative projects we hope to publish in order to pursue a life of professional artists and writers. It is a lot. The day-to-day stress of it all gets to be exhausting.
How do we manage? We live.
Sounds simple, maybe not. All too often the missus is trying to squeeze five days of rest and recreation into two measly little weekend days. By the time the dreaded Sunday evening rears its ugly head again, we are wondering where it all went. However, we have learned to make the most of our time. We go to the movies during our local theater's discount days. Our personal DVD collection is rapidly expanding thanks to deals online and at several local stores. Netflix.com is a godsend. We share a huge collection of books, reviewing for each other in our own personal little book club. Television is a great way for us to cuddle up with a couple glasses of good, affordable wine. We also spend time on each other's personal creative endeavors, reviewing and offering ways to improve, providing each other with a much-needed sounding board for the other's efforts
Individually, we have our own personal passions; she with her DVR'd Judge Judy and this season's So you Think you Can Dance, and me with my weekly forays into online and long distance table-top Role Playing Games (courtesy of Google Talk and Skype), as well as the Sy Fy (Why did they change the spelling to that? It's awful) Channel and Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. She is also taking ballet lessons, which is an amazing source of stress relief for her.
In the end, it's our ability to come together as a whole unit, and then break away for some much needed "me time," which allows us to inspire ourselves, and each other, to better pursuits and cope with the difficulty of an uncertain economy that is slowly recovering from its recent shock. I hope our story inspires hope in others that we can move on to better things.