Yes, We're a 99er Family Too
Last night, we sat around our family room wrapped in our blankets and layered up socks to watch 60 minutes. It's a routine we have on Sunday nights. Only, it's a little colder here because we have the heat turned way down to save on the heating bill. In one week, we will become a 99er - 99 weeks of unemployment benefits come to an end, having exhausted our savings, retirement, and beginning to sell off things to survive. And so it goes ... this D E P R E S S I O N we are in. I am not going to be politically correct here, as this is NOT a recession. Far from it. And you know how I know? Well, let's see ... I'm depressed. My hubby is depressed. Our children are depressed. About 30+ % of our neighbors have lost their jobs and they, too, are depressed. Businesses are failing and the economy is depressed. Crime is on the rise and that's because there are a lot of depressed people with guns and knives out there in desperate situations. Desperate. Is that what we've become as a nation? Desperate?
You grow up. You get your education. You go to college. You get a higher education. You run up an extraordinary debt in student loans. You trust the corporations out there in your field to hire you. You work, you advance, you learn, you get a world of experience, you pay off your student loans, you get promoted, you get a bonus or two or more, you network, and then - then - you get the pink slip. Out the door with a box filled with personal pictures and belongings, and no, you don't even steal the stapler. What next?
Suddenly your pushed along in this line of desperate people, all clamoring for the same job - then over time it's "any" job. It's hell. And forgive me for being so blunt, but anyone who says that Obama put us here is about 5 cards short of a full deck. This hell began with the Bush Administration. I don't make it a habit to voice my political agenda on this blog of mine. I am open-minded and I listen - to both sides. I vote my conscience, not my party. I've always voted for the candidate whom I believe to hold the same values and agendas that I believe are important. There are no "perfect" people out there and there certainly is nobody, Republican or Democrat, who can get us out of this crisis in a year or two. Who are we kidding?!!!
We're all human here, and I believe that voting straight party lines is like voting blind-folded. Regardless, we're deep in the sludge of this mess and we need to get the hell out of it - and fast. Take a look at history, and you will see that it is this similar situation in Germany that brought Hitler into power. He promised a more perfect Germany, and a happier people. Well, you can see where that led. Let's not go there again, people. Let History have taught us something about the state of our "minds" and the state of our "economy." We need to stop playing the blame card and get down to business - literally.
Yes, I am losing sleep. Yes, I have even applied for a job at Target, and Home Depot, and Barnes & Noble. I did hear back from Target. They sent me this nice short email telling me that I did not qualify for a job at this time. Huh? You're kidding right? Am I not disabled enough for them? The problem here is that "everyone" - and I mean literally "everyone" is applying for a job at Target, Home Depot, and the local grocer. Finding a minimum wage job is nearly as impossible as finding the "right" job!
I've got to hand it to my Big Bear. He has really held things together for this 2 years. He has utilized every resource possible to keep us above water. I don't know how he does it, but he's done his best to keep a positive outlook, even though I know this is killing him inside. He has carried us all and not voiced one complaint. He truly is a remarkable man, stronger than any I've ever known.
So, last night as we curled up in our blankets and fluffy socks in the family room to watch 60 minutes, Scott Pelley came on with a segment on the 99ers - a story about people and families like ours who have hit the wall personally and economically. It is definitely worth sharing with my readers - in the event you didn't see it. It makes the reality of the situation hit home - a little too close for comfort...
If for any reason, you are having trouble viewing this video, go HERE.
In my entire life, and even through tough years of digging into the cookie jar for milk money when I was in my 20s, I don't recall ever facing such hardship. Like most of us who are facing this together, I pray for an end to the hardship, I pray for all to have a warm bed to lay your head and hot food for your tummies. I pray for your health and wellness. I pray for a positive outlook and faith in God and humanity. Instead of finding blame, though, we each need to find "hope." We need to work together to pull each other out of this quick sand. Together, we can all make our lives economically sound again. If only through words, we can at least try to strengthen each other and lift each other above the gloom.
Thank you to all my readers who have sent your thoughts and prayers and who have passed around Bob's resume. You have no idea how appreciative we are for all your help. It takes just one job - yes - just one - to make a difference in the life of this family.
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By Lisa Owen