Hard Times

We are undoubtedly in the middle of hard economic times. I’ve heard from a number of readers who are struggling right now. Some of my readers have a husband out of work, while others are out of work themselves. I know some of my readers have had to sell their homes like Taylor in Mrs. Perfect, while others are having to return to the work force for the first time in fifteen years.

When I write about thinking positive thoughts like I did in my last blog, I am not making light of our country’s economic woes, or about the very real loss of homes or lifestyles. I’m actually saying–yes, things are hard, but don’t let the difficult things and sad things define you. Or pull you under.

I know what it’s like to feel as though you’re on a sinking ship. I know what it’s like when you think the ship’s going under and we’re all going down with it, too.

But none of us need to go down on a sinking ship.  We’re strong women. We’re brave women. We’re good swimmers. All of us. Every one of us can swim.

And if you don’t want to swim, get a raft and climb in that. We can drag our men, our kids and dogs and gold fish into the raft, too. And if you meet resistance–your men, kids, or dogs don’t want to be saved?  They want to cling to the sinking ship?  Then save yourself, girl.  You don’t have to go down.  There’s no reason to drown.

Don’t let stuff drag you down.  Don’t let negative news overwhelm  you.  Don’t think you can’t handle life.  You can.  We don’t need stuff.  We don’t need other people’s high opinions.  We don’t need a lot of things, but we do need self-love and a healthy measure of self-respect.

I’m reading a great non-fiction book right now. It’s research for Shey’s story and it’s called On The Texas Frontier: Autobiography of a Texas Pioneer, by Mrs. Henry Beck, and it was written in the 1930’s for her children, about her childhood in Texas, particularly the years during the Civil War and after when deprivation was the rule, and their lives were full of hunger, illness, and danger. These pioneers had so little to eat, and lived in constant threat of Indian attacks, and everything was such a struggle just to put food on the table (and we’re talking dried meat, corn meal and corn husk coffee, not fancy food) that I realize we’ve lost perspective of what’s truly necessary.

We do need shelter but it doesn’t have to be grand. We do need food, but it can be basic.  We do need opportunity, but there is always opportunity. We just have to look for it. And we might have to leave our comfort zone to find it.

But that’s okay. That’s what life is. Life isn’t about being cozy and comfy and cushy all the time. It’s about growing some balls (forgive me) and having some guts and being tough when times call for it.

One of my favorite passages in On The Texas Frontier is when the author shares the advice her father gave her  brothers when they didn’t want to do their chores: “You will never amount to anything sitting down waiting for something.  Don’t wait for the wagon to come and pick you up. Go out to meet it and climb on. Nobody ever pushed a passenger like that off his seat. If you want anything from the world, go out and take it by sheer force of will power and a determination to succeed.” This was advice given in 1873. How cool is that?

Yes, we’re in the middle of hard times, but hard times are just that–hard times. They’re not forever.  They won’t last forever. They’ll test us, for sure, but they’re merely temporary and we can’t let difficult times define us.  We define them.

We must always define them. And we can. And we will. And we do.

To help make the end of the week a little sweeter, I’m giving away three (3) prizes:  a $10 Barnes & Noble gift cards, Victoria Secrets lip gloss, See’s chocolate hearts and lots of fun JP goodies. Just post a comment below by Friday midnight and on Saturday morning I’ll draw the three winner’s names. and share them in the comments section. Tell me how the current economic climate is impacting you.  Are you okay? Or are things a little more stressful than you’d like them?


  1. Recently, I had my hours chopped from 40 to 32 which is better than the alternative (unemployment). I am now working 9:30 to 5:30 Monday thru Thursday with Fridays off. Truth be told, I have been wanting to work 4 days a week for ages, but maybe not with a cut in pay.

    Anyhoo–I am embracing my new hours. I love that I can stay up a little later and watch old episodes of “Will and Grace” and then also get to sleep in, have coffee and breakfast and watch the Today Show, and take Noodles for a leisurely walk without rushing. One of the best perks, traffic is so much lighter at 9:00 a.m. than the 7:30 a.m. when I used to have to leave for work. I miss rush hour! I can zip into work in just over 30 minutes–it is lovely!

    So that is my perspective on the whole thing. I am looking at the bright side. Less money but more time for me. And, of course, I do have Eric to pick up the slack in the income department.

  2. Well let’s see. So far times are not hard for us. My husband and I are self employed. We work for dairy men and for some reason when the economy is suffering we are doing okay, but look out in a few months, because things may take a turn for the worse. It’s something you never know when you are self employed. We know a lot of people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, and some have even lost their families. Times are tough and unfortunately we all get caught up in life. When everything is going good we all have a tendency to take thing for granted. My husband and I have learned the very hard way never to take anything for granted. Live life by the minute, not by the day, the month or the year! Because it only takes a minute to loose it all. And I don’t mean just your job, house… I’m talking about life in general. Life is not about the things you have, it’s about the things you learn and the people that you love. We all need to remember just like loosing a loved one, nothing is ours forever. So take nothing for granted. I hope I am not coming across as a downer, because that is not what I am trying to do at all. I guess what I am trying to say to everyone, is be careful in everything you do every day!!! And yes, things will get better! They always do.

    I have stepped off my soap box now…



    PS, Jane, thanks again for all of your wonderful inspiration.

  3. I live in a college town – so we haven’t been affected so much – since what happens during lay offs? People go back to college.

    I have been looking for a new job – but part of me thinks that now isn’t the time – since there are probably those who are in more of a need than I. My husband and I are in no danger of loosing our jobs – so I can suck it up in a job I’m not crazy about longer.

  4. I’ve unfortunately found myself absorbing all the stress around me (co-workers, commuters on the bus, etc.), not to mention my own, in regard to the scary economy and all it’s bringing with it. As a result, I’ve had a few nights with only 1 hour of sleep tops. Typically, I love being an empath and sensitive, but not in times like these. I honestly don’t recall another time when I’ve been as stressed and for this long in one run. I’m trying to remain positive, because thankfully I still have my job, but really no one can feel totally safe in that regard. No one knows how bad things will ultimately get. I’m just trying to remind myself that I’m strong (we all are) and not let the fear disable me. That’s much too toxic.


  5. Wow! Okay now if only the faucet can be turned off. You’ve have hit the nail on the head, smack dab center. It’s not funny but it takes me getting completely pis#$@ off before making a drastic move and making that move without caring about others feelings or oppinions (or as you said save yourself), that is my rock bottom point in my life. Certain things give others strength while the same things can make others weak. My strength comes from my love of my kids. My husband and I built our home out of pocket and have no morgage like so many others. We bartered my husbands tractor services for contractors who needed his work for trade of their framing, concrete slab, and so forth. I am beyond thankful for our ability to do that. Our home is a small Texas style ranch home, 3 bedroom/2 bath very traditional. Nobody can take our home away unless we don’t pay the taxes. Do we have it as bad as everyone else, I don’t feel we do. Everyone else has different levels of suffering and hardships. We have no debts as we have decided to live debt free as much as possible and pay cash for anything we need. We had a small excavation business. My husband would clear lots for homebuilders to make room for the new homes to be built. Money was very good, but dear hubby wanted to take control of money and didnt ever save. No retirement, no insurance, no planning. Of course with the economy now the building has come to a halt and so has the constant money flow that we were used to having. My husband took a job that pays very poorly. My daughter is graduating this year in May. We can’t afford her senior ring, cap, gown, tassle, or even her pictures, invitations, or even a year book. As a matter of fact tomorrow she turns 19 on her birthday. I’m so stressed not being able to get her a gift or the things she needs for school. But it’s all so minor to what others are going through I know, yet it’s the bottom for me. It’s the thing that has pushed all my buttons and I’ve decided to go back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for over 19 years. My husband wants me to stay home and be here for our 9 year old son. He is pushing all my guilt buttons of why I need to be home for our son when he gets home from school. My husband doesn’t make enough money to pay all our bills. I have no education beyond three credits in accounting from a college. It’s going to be hard fighting for jobs that young 20 something years old want, I’m 44. I have nobody but myself to blame for being in this situation. I can’t be mad at my husband for not making enough money. I’m not even going to blame the economy. I’m blaming myself for not getting pissed off sooner and doing something about my own financial situation a long long time ago. I always tell my daughter that life is a journey on a road full of forks and at the end you pick the route that you take and that you are responsible for your own actions. So with that said at the ripe age of 44 I’m turning my life around. With or without my husbands consent I’m going to take full controll of the finances of this family. I’m also going to get my act together and find myself a job. I know I need to be here for my son but what good am I if I don’t take care of myself first. My husband will have to learn swim with me and not against me. Because this woman has no plans for drowning in these dark waters that are facing us. There is another version of the saying you told in the above blog. Why wait for your ship to sail in, why not swim out and meet it half way. With that said I’m off to learn to swim. Wish this 44 year old mom some major luck. Take care of yourself, your boys, and the baby. I wish you the absoulte best in your personal and professional life. Most importantly thanks so much for giving us a glimps of the human side of Jane.

  6. We just moved from California to a small town in Indiana. I worked part time for my uncle, Dh had a job with FedEx frieght that wasn’t perfect but provided ok. We scripmed and saved to make this move and now that we are here DH’s new work, though full time only provides us with part time hours. Because we lack a full family support system out here I have no babysitter for my 4 year old and day care is to expensive, if I were working it would only pay for someone else to raise my child. For two months ALL gorceries have gone on credit cards and we have had to borrow some money from my dad, (who is the only family we have out here.)
    On the other side. We LOVE where we live now. We are comfortable and feel safe. Our kids have a safer place to live, a place where they can play out side, which we couldn’t where we lived in Cali. The move has only made my marrige stonger. We spend more time together since we can’t afford to go out. We eat family meals that DH and I prepare together every night instead of getting fast food.
    As hard as it is with no money, we have each other, all 4 of us. We have a roof over our head and food to fill the belly and we have tax money coming soon to pay off some debt and to give us some savings to work with! No matter how hard it is, I am thankful we made this move and that we still have each other. I wouldn’t trade this for anything!

  7. The times are definitely rocky. My husband is self-employed and I am a nurse at a local Children’s hospital. I will admit there has been a lot of stress at my house and watching the news every morning can sometimes get your day off to a bad start… There have been many a nights where my husband has worked long hours and tries his best to “make things happen” as he says, and God love him, he has made it so far. We are lucky that God has blessed us with each other, 2 beautiful children, a roof over our head and food each day. I, like everyone else in America, has put a lot of trust and faith in our new President. I know that must be a lot of pressure, because I know I am not the only one! I am wishing, hoping and praying each day that the sun will come out and times will be good again. In the meantime, I will be thankful for what I have, because it could be a whole lot worse. 🙂

  8. I totally agree with the hard times and you do just gota keep positive in your life thing will turn around! Ive learned from experence! I switched jobs and my husband lost his job of 14 years all at the same time it has been hard to turn things around but i keep on going!Gota stay positive for the little ones! Tori

  9. Wow! Jane, you are right on!

    I read Mrs. Perfect last year when we were right in the middle of a financial crisis and it helped me to tap my inner power and strength. Yes… a book… your book… was that powerful and it helped me. If prissy, pampered Taylor could do it then so could I!!

    We had to do some drastic things but we were able to weather that storm and come out ahead!!

    I was thinking just this morning how perfect a book like Mrs. Perfect is for our REAL hard times.

  10. Jane,
    I think it was Mark Twain who said, “I’ve been through some difficult things in my life, some of which actually happened.” During these difficult economic times we have to believe “this too shall pass”. Faith is what makes us strong women.
    On The Texas Frontier sounds like a great book. I didn’t see it available on Amazon…bummer.
    Thanks for a great post Jane!
    Jill W.

  11. How does the saying go “What doesn’t kill us just makes us stronger.”

    I rarely ever watch the news anymore. I tell the toxic people around me that complain about the government and economy that I don’t want to listen to it. I will do as I always have. For the 24 years I have been married we have lived simply.
    We saved and built our house ourselves. It is just a regular sized house nothing fancy. My old Explorer was 13 years old when I bought a new Honda CRV in 2005 and my oldest daughter still drives the old Explorer to college. I have clipped coupons and shopped sales my forever. I chuckle at the news shows showing you how to save money. I should have written a book, because it is all the things I have been doing since I married. We decided when we had kids for me to stay home and raise them so we understood then we were giving up a second income.
    We are sweating a bit more now. My oldest daughter is in her final year of college and my youngest starts college in fall so that will be a double whammy to the familys dwindling savings. The place my husband works at has cut out overtime for the excempt employees. But at least he still has a job. Thank goodness we still have health insurance my youngest daughter has type 1 diabetes and it would be hard to pay for all her supplies and keep her healthy if not for that.

    I am trying to keep a positive outlook on everything. This will pass and I don’t think we wouldn’t think it was so bad if it weren’t for the media talking about it 24 hours a day.
    I remember back in the 70’s when interest rates were sky high and we didn’t feel the doom and gloom that is about now. But then back then we didn’t have the media and everyone on TV and the radio talking about it all the time.
    Great post Jane.

  12. Another moving and encouraging post, Jane. As for my situation, times are stressful but I am in a better place right now than I have been in the past 10 years. I went to working part-time when my children were small so I could get them off to school, go to work & be home when they came home from school. For the past few years I have been trying to get back to full-time work and benefits since I lost those when I went to part-time & then got a divorce. The kids medical needs were covered by the state but I haven’t had any medical insurance for the past 10 years. I finally got back to full-time status with benefits this past September. The drawback? During the reorganization of the company I work for, I went from an administrative job that I had been performing for the past 27 years to a lab technician. Talk about out of my comfort zone and a major adjustment. I’m 47 years old and the training has been stressful for me but I’m learning and starting to feel more comfortable in the duties. In the beginning I came home at the end of the day in tears, sure I could not learn all that was expected of me. But, suddenly, I stopped and thought how strong and confident I am becoming in my knowledge and performance of my new duties. Now I am to the point where I actually look forward to returning the next day & learning more new things.

  13. Jane,

    Since you asked…Yes, times are more stressful for me. It’s tough (scary actually) living paycheck to paycheck raising 3 teens, 1 with learning disabilities requiring outside services NOT covered by insurance and all 3 requiring braces (again NOT covered!), not even to mention all the school supplies, FOOD and clothes needed!! Although I have a college degree, there just aren’t many jobs available. I took a job as a receptionist in a hair salon a few months ago. My pay for the week equals what a stylist earns doing just one haircut and color. My friends think it sounds like a glamorous job but in reality, I sweep hair, dust shelves, wash( color bowls) dishes, and take out the trash all day long! Basically, I am “MOM” away from home!! However, I’m so grateful and blessed to have work and friends to go to each day. I am proud of myself for contributing to my family …and being willing to do whatever I have to do to continue making “ends meet.” Recently my hours got cut and while I’m feeling the strain, I’m also counting my blessings and staying faithful that God will continue to provide for our family’s needs. So…..yes, I’m also OK.
    Counting my blessings…..me

  14. So far so good work wise. I work in pharmaceutical advertising and while other agencies have had lay offs, we haven’t felt it yet. My company works really hard to make sure staff cuts are a last resort. I’m grateful to have my job and to know that I work for a company that’s going to help me keep it as much as they can. I’ve been downsized twice in past economic downturns – most notably post 9/11 for 18 months – and understand the fear and uncertainty that accompanies such loss. I feel for every individual who is experiencing those things in these days and pray that all their needs are met beyond expectation in astounding ways.

  15. Hi Jane,
    I was feeling so blue today-most especially about my job and my 11 year old van that I’m driving. I kept thinking why can’t I find a better more permanent job and wishing I could afford a newer more hip car. I’m over my pity party and once again your blog helped with that. Glad you’re feeling better too.
    Happy Birthday!!

  16. Whenever I get down, I think about my mother, who lived through the Great Depression, WWII, being a widow with two kids under 5 when there was no childcare or support for single moms, then she married my father and had six more kids and was widowed again with five kids still at home to support. She had worked all her adult life until she retired at 65, and she continued to be a great mom and an inspiration until she passed away at 75, too early! It wasn’t just the men who were the “Greatest Generation” I wonder when all these layoffs will stop; it seems to be snowballing and I am no expert but if people don’t have jobs then they don’t have money to spend and that means they aren’t going to be able to buy products/ services so then more people will be laid off – when will it end? I am worried and frightened.

  17. Hi Jane, Things have been hard for us because I don’t have a job right now and can’t find one. Several years back my husband and I both lost our jobs, we worked at the same place. At that time we took our 401k’s out and paid off our house. We both had a couple of jobs after that but they closed to. My husband found another job and I went to school for a while, but I haven’t found a job since that I could handle. The job I went to school for I find out later are very low paying. We do get buy and I am so glad the house is paid for. My husbands truck is about 17 years old and my car is about 11 years old but they get us where we are going. We have food on the table, a roof over our heads, and our bills are paid. What more could a person want.

  18. Yes, it is hard times right now. I think a lot of it came from the high gas prices that ended up raising the price on everything else. Happy birthday!

  19. Uplifting blogs matter! We all need the positive energy to dilute being slammed over the head daily about how bad everything is, instilling more fear.

    We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to help our daughters through these times. What affects them affects us, but when we found out the electricity was turned off at my daughters apartment today, (she has a 3 month old) my hubby handed her his credit card to pay and get it turned back on today.

    I’ve been through tough times, in the past. So feel doubly blessed to be able to help others now, as others helped me and my family years ago.

    When you’ve truly been in need, being generous is a thrill. So Jane, keep being generous with your positive energy and uplifting blogs! You benefit too!

  20. In Nov. 1 week before Thanksgiving I was layed off after years without notice. I was in shock, and with the holidays coming depressed. To make things worse, my unemployment got messed up, meaning no money in Dec. I was determined to stay positive and somehow turn things around. For the holidays, I baked gifts and sewed, did all the things I had wanted to, but was too busy. The most important thing is I never lost hope. We worked with our budget and made some cuts and were reminded what was really important.
    Today I have a job I love, although I took a cut in pay, hours I love. And most important, a more positve attitude and have become less wasteful.

  21. Hi Jane! Well, the economy is KILLING me. I am down to part time, am a single mom, have 2 kids in college, barely hanging onto our house, and all 3 cars (mine, & each kid) are “Hansel & Gretel cars” (dropping parts behind them…we will be able to find our way home when they totally die). I need a miracle, a job, and some more faith. Thank God I can escape this mess every now & then with your great books!

  22. Well my job didnt hire me back this year, after 4 years. I worked at the school district as a spanish interp/translator and this year they hired someone cheaper who could work more hours. More hours less money. I thought for sure I’ll get hired at Christmas by a retailer somewhere. Can you believe I couldnt even get a job at Target, the pet shop, or the grocery store? So we are supported by my husbands income right now which is not terrible and we are definitely doing ok and thinking positively for sure.
    Grateful we have one good income, a roof over our heads and enough food that I am still pudgy at the end of all this!

  23. My husband lost his job in July. He has finally found another, but at half the wages. I’m grateful that he found something else, but we are definitely living check to check. It’s a good lesson for the kids though, helping them decide what they want vs. what they need! Deb

  24. we’re fortunate enough that my husband has a great job so the work is always there. i totally agree w/you on the impact that the news has on people so i tend to read just the basics to keep me up to date but thats it. no more cnn for me. i want my own vibe+ karma to remain positive for my kids!

  25. The news is depressing to watch these days with all the layoffs and such. I know people who are probably relatively secure in their positions and will be okay when things get back on track but they’re panicking now and that’s kind of scary to me. I try not to let it impact my attitude too much and have kind of decided that I’m not going to stress too much about it unless I have to.

  26. well, due to these economic times I have been buying books off the library sale shelf (who can beat paperbacks for 10 cents, though my friend swears I am the only person who goes the the library to BUY books).
    Anyway, I bought two of your books, Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect. LOVED them. I can’t wait to read the next one
    (may have to actually pay full price..OK, sale price on that one). Not only did they keep me up because I could not put them down, but they also gave me some insight and some support. Like everyone we are not in the best financial shape, but I know we will get through it. Thank you for giving me the words to define it all.
    As an added plus,I now know why I like to shop, even if it is at the library or Goodwill.
    You have a gift, Ms. Porter, thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  27. Hi Jane. Thank you for the wonderful post. Right now, things are going ok for me and my husband. We have been lucky and not had our hours cut at work. We have relatives who have. We try to live frugally. We drive older cars and don’t make extravagant purchases.

  28. Jane, I have read the posts and think it is actually a public service on your part to provide a forum for so many women to share some very personal and emotional information. The thread that runs through all the posts is that yes, we will get through this and things could be worse for most of us on a personal level.

    As for me, I can’t complain. While I’m not wild about my job and it seems to be the culprit for recent high blood pressure, all is fine in my world. Marriage is great, kid is wonderful, and I have a roof over my head. I’m grateful.

  29. Great blog! Yes, things are tough when you’re retired, too. My IRA is getting close to non-exsistence, SS isn’t too much because I only worked 20 years, unexpected expenses like fridge dying and tree removal (Dutch Elm.) But my house payments are low and I don’t have a lot of needs. It is amazing what you can do without if you set your mind to it. I went through tough times years ago when I was divorced with 3 kids and very little-to-none support. Then, as now, you do what you have to do – better days will come.

  30. Hi Jane,

    Well, I’m a nurse and my husband is a biologist and so far we have been fortunate enough to have jobs that are still “safe”. I also know that nobody is immune from this economy. Lay offs are happening to so many and it doesn’t really matter what you do. The trickling down effect is hitting everyone. I have just been trying to make better choices with my spending and to be more careful. It actually has been enjoyable to me, because it is kind of a challenge to try and shop more wisely and to cut out things that we don’t really need. My heart goes out to the people who are having such hard times.

  31. Hello,

    I am a graduate student, working on my master’s degree in nursing. Because of the shortage of money for the government, my classes are being cancelled this summer. That pushes my graduation date from school back a semester. It is so frustrating because I am ready to graduate from school and have a job and be a normal person. I have sacrificed many things to go to school full-time, and this is yet one more sacrifice that I am forced to make. I just want the economy to pick up. It is so depressing to hear every day how thousands are jobs are being cut. I am fortunate in that I have a skill that I can fall back on… a nurse is always needed. Hoping that brighter days are ahead!


  32. Excellent post… as always, Jane.
    Day-to-Day living is exceptionally tight right now. I have never in my life had to scrimp, save, and sacrifice the way that we are having to do now. My husband and I both lost our jobs from a company that we both fully felt that we would retire from. We had to sell our home (our first), sell our cars, move to were we could get help from family, and basically give up everthing that wasn’t critically essential to living. We have only kept the internet access because of both of us try to make some extra income from online work.
    Although as I re-read what I just wrote it sounds very negative and discouraging, I’m not either of those. Yes, times are extremely tough right now but I have so many things that I am grateful for. I am grateful that this hardship has brought me closer to my family. I am grateful that it has brought me and my husband so much closer as a couple. I’m grateful that this is teaching me how simply we can live and that maybe living a simply life makes us better people. Gone is the pressure to keep up with everyone else. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Thank you for posting this… I hope that everyone gets out of it what I did. That is that we should be grateful for what we have. See the positive side to what sometimes only seems negative. And take comfort in your time with your friends and family.

  33. Things are very stressful at our house. Hubby is out of work. I’m grateful for my job, but we need the extra income with my youngest in college. But I guess we’ll survive! This isn’t the first time we’ve weathered tough times. They’ll pass.

  34. Thanks for your great post Jane. I have been a teacher for many years and continue to work since I am fortunate to be needed. When my husband died suddenly last summer at a young age with nothing I was concerned. I still have a roof over my head, health insurance and am frugal and careful. When I think of how my mother lived through the depression and continued to be thrifty her entire life it gives me hope.

  35. My husband and I are in about the best profession as far as job security comes, healthcare. We too have also seen our hours drop drastically, but at least we still have jobs! Jane you are so inspirational and I am not letting this economy get the best of me! I know there are many others out there stuggling more than my family. It’s sad, but as you said, it will NOT last forever!

  36. We were worried all last week that my husband was going to be laid off because his company warned all the employees that lay offs were coming. Well, he survived the first round of lay offs this week, but the employees were warned that more might be coming. I have been very stressed lately. We have always lived paycheck to paycheck, and our house is still not payed for. We only have one functioning car now, because my car has a problem but we do not have the funds to have it fixed any time soon. I am trying my best to save money and curb any spending that I can. I am trying to stay positive and remember that these hard times will not last forever.

  37. Your post literally brought tears to my eyes. Yes, we are in the process of losing our house (not our home, our home is where my family lives which is now a nice apartment) and yes there were several scary layoffs where my husband works yesterday. BUT he still has a job. I was once homeless years ago and stayed with people while I got back on my feet. I KNOW I can survive anything.

    I have hope and faith that things will be better soon. My husband’s birthday was the day of layoffs and he says it was his best present ever keeping his job. If he can smile and joke through this, so can I.

    Humor is how I get through every day. 🙂

  38. My husband is a builder and ironically he is very busy. But there are a few houses where people have to cancel their contracts due to loss of jobs or the economy in general. I have seen few people wanting to spend money on more frivolous things like jewelry (my friend sells) and other items but we just have to remind ourselves that we can and will get throught it. I have been through really tough times and I will survive these as I am sure things very well may get worse before they get better. Thank you for some beautiful quotes, Jane. They are very helpful:) Enjoy your weekend!!

  39. That was great advice even back in 1873! We have been through hard times emotionally and financially. My hubby lost his job a couple years ago after 20 years to the day at the same place. I knew it would turn out to be the best thing that ever happened. It was very difficult and he pretty much had a nervous break down. Through it we came out stronger and closer. He was very lucky to get a better job. He made me crazy when he was at home! The first day of his new job was also the first day of school! What a fabulous day! LOL It opened up a lot of opportunities. Should we stay in the town we were living in or move “back home” to my family’s town. We decided to stay where we had lived for 17 years, mostly since the cost of living was less.

    I think of what my parents went through in their lives. They lived in Poland during WWII, left Poland to give their family a better life. Leaving with little money to go to two countries where they didn’t know the language. And my mom especially persisted. There were times where she was the only one who could find a job since she was a nurse. She always said that God didn’t deal her an easy hand but she did the best with it that she could! She made her way and tried to empower young women all her life.

    Jane is right — you can save yourself and empower yourself. It may look bleak but as long as you have each other you can manage to make it through! I do believe that everything happens for a reason — you may not always know what that is immediately though!

    I read this in a book last week.
    Instead of “Act as if…” (I always think of Ben Affleck in Boiler Room when I hear that) You should “Act as you ARE…”.

    Have a good day!
    Take care Jane!

  40. Thanks for an inspiring post! And that advice from 1873? Really cool and still great today.

    Me and DH are doing okay. He still has his job and we’ve been sticking to our budget we made last year.

  41. So far, we are doing OK. My husband still has a good job, and we have quite a bit in our savings accounts. We just try to watch our expenses, and we are not buying any big items right now.

  42. I have to say that my husband and I have been lucky thus far. We both have good paying jobs. My company is in the process of opening another division and we are making lots of money (I am a speech pathologist). Fortunately, there will always be a need for my services. We are looking to sell our house in 6-8 months and I’m very scared about that. If it does sell we are moving from Texas back to Chicago. If not, we are here longer…. It does frustrate me that the next step in our lives depends on the housing market. I wish we could just move when we are ready, but we don’t make enough to have two mortgages (I don’t really know who does these days).
    I am grateful that I know I will always be able to find a job in my field, my husband wants to switch careers and go back to graduate school—despite these economic hard times we will do it. 🙂

  43. Thanks for another encouraging post, Jane. Our family is definitely coming up short every month; many days it feels like another full-time job (managing the funds that we DO have) and figuring out which bills to pay and which bills can go another few weeks. My husband is in sales and unfortunately both industries have suffered major losses in that department. He is actively seeking a different job, but everyone is cautious about hiring.

    My job has a very modest pay, but allows me flexible hours, many benefits and I love the people I work with. That’s worth so much in the long run. Our #1 priority has always been that our kids (7 and 10) aren’t in day care after school. They have their mom to help with h/w and shuttle them to different activities.

    I never thought I would be in this place at this age. I refuse to be the victim, though and I refuse to let our kids know JUST how bad it is. We just remind them that there’s lot of things we can do together that don’t cost $40! This weekend we took a long bike ride and ended up at Rite-Aid for an ice cream cone. They had so much fun, we took another bike ride yesterday after homework.

    I really DO try and see the bright side: we have bikes, we have our health to ride those bikes, we have love in our family and want to spend time together. I’m scraping more to feed everyone, but we can be happy and healthy with less. Our biggest struggle at the time, is to hang onto our home. We’ve been there 10 years and it’s all we’ve got. But, if we do have to sell and move, that’ll be ok too. It’ll be difficult but our family is strong and we can survive anything. Despite the financial stress, my husband and I love each other and are determined to come out on the right side of this together and in-tact.

    We have prayer, we have faith that God will not divide or leave our family. Without that, we would be lost and alone for sure. So thank you for asking everyone to post their woes. It’s helpful to tell someone without fear of shame. We feel this pressure (at least where we live in So. Calif.) to keep up our shiny, happy fronts. It’s almost like we’re admitting defeat if others know exactly where we are; of course, it’s also too personal. Double-edge, I guess. I’m going to spend the rest of my day being thankful for the things I mentioned here.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! and keep up the terrific posts.

  44. Economic times are hitting hard for everyone around. My parents have been laid off of their jobs. Luckily, my mom has a new job in town at the courts. But my dad and his real estate venture hasn’t really panned out. He is STUBBORN and won’t LISTEN and go into something else that brings a paycheck.

    My grandparents are on a limited income and did the reverse mortgage on their home.

    My husband on the other hand works for the FEDS. He has had to move to a different state, which meant I gave up my career. I have yet to get something worthy of my skills – I am not a good ole boy and don’t know anyone down here in SC. It saddens me to the core. I loved Law Enforcement.

    At the present moment, I am not working – I can not find a job to save my own life. So, I make the most of my moments. My neighbor, Angie is in the same situation but she has a childcare issue. I told her…look if you get a job, I will take care of Waverly (free of charge). I like to think, once upon a time neighbors did that for one another. Being nice and kind.

    Thank you kindly for your time!!

  45. Jane, Thank you for your positive posts. This economy gave me a big wake up call which is what I’ve needed for a while. We are being a more frugal family. We are planning expenses for the first time in our lives. I feel bad for all those folks who lost their jobs, but I’ve always felt if a door is closed then a window opens. I just love your books and can’t wait for the new one-Easy on the Eyes. Happy Birthday fellow Aquarian, (my b-days in a few weeks). Katie W.

  46. I’ve nearly quit watching the news…it is too depressing – all doom and gloom.
    I appreciate your positive messages and want to read that book!

    Personally, I am a SAHM and my husband works for a company that supplies auto parts to GM. He has a really stressful job right now and an uncertain future as his company repeatedly lays people off.
    The idea of him losing his job scares me, but it is out of my control so I try not to dwell on it.
    I don’t know that his company will ever recover…I just hope that he will be able to find another good job if it doesn’t.

  47. A family of four
    extended to two more
    another comes along
    making it a bit more

    The Mom always preached, ” Stop moving around in your jobs.”
    A corporation is where you need to be

    Sadden by the thought that she lost her job of 26 years
    Frightened too because he too lost his job of 28 years
    Corporations my foot
    The devil they are
    Don’t care about you
    Golden handshake you get and a bit of cake too

    I interned a summer and than another
    It is not for me
    A free spirit cannot be caged, you see

    Corporations seem to be the devil
    Pink slips left and right
    No real commitment to their older employees, that’s right

    Ship them out, get young ones in
    Less pay you know
    Health benefits, those too have to go

    Inspired unfortunately by true events – Chevron and Comcast step forward and take a bow!!

  48. Dear Jane,

    Your post today is one I plan to keep and re-read, for mental pep talks as needed. I used to complain – silently, but energetically LOL – that we didn’t have a big house and fancy “stuff” like so many of our friends and family. We didn’t have extra money to spend on vacations or gifts.

    But I learned to be grateful for what we do have – we have our own house, even if it’s small. I have a job that allows us to buy food, clothing, and a few carefully-chosen extras, and that (most of the time) I enjoy. We have each other.

    And now, with so many people out of work and unable to afford the cost of fuel, with overwhelming debt, some threatened with losing their homes and all their fancy “stuff” — I find that I’m grateful to have a small house because it’s easier to heat, and an older car that DH can fix. As he pointed out just yesterday, we’ve been at bare-bones for so long, that the problems many people we know are now experiencing are things we’ve worked through so long ago that we’re now actually doing better than they are – because scrimping is no longer something we work at, but something engrained in us.

    Thanks for the encouraging words ~

  49. I just finished reading “Flirting With Forty” and it mirrored so much of what I’ve been feeling about myself, marriage, motherhood. It was a beautiful read that went by much too quickly. Great books always do. Thank you for speaking to me heart.

    I also appreciate this blog. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself in a job that’s not what I want, yet realizing that I’m fortunate to be employed. Still, I don’t want to settle…I want to reach. I know things will improve and, hopefully, most of us will come through wiser.

    Thank you Jane!

  50. Happy February Birthday Jane! And happy Baby-to-be, too. Babies really do confirm all that is good and right in the world, don’t they? What can possibly be better than snuggling a warm, sweet smelling baby in your arms!

    As for the Hard Times Economy’s effect on me… honestly, there are moments when I’m just flat out scared to the point of panic attacks. My husband has a well-paying job that’s allowed me to be a stay at home mom, and now a stay at home grandmother. (I keep my g’daughter while my daughter works.) But with all the layoffs and company closings across the US, his job is in jeopardy now too. If it were just the two of us, it wouldn’t so much matter. But we pay for his father’s meds that are over and above medicare, his modest home, and a weekly nurse visit. (he lives in another state.)

    I also worry about our kids, who’s jobs have already been cut back dramatically. We help out our youngest daughter, who’s a single mom with no support from the child’s father. Our middle daughter returned to college to improve her odds of keeping her job, and we’re helping with her college fees. Our son, the oldest, is still working, but every week he’s told this could be the last, and we’re setting aside money to help them out as well. Mostly I worry what impending job losses do to their emotional health. Stress can be so harmful.

    As evidenced by the people who’ve already replied, and in such heart wrenching testaments, times ARE very scary and very hard, and most likely to become more so. Yet in each post, that person has noted a prevailing faith and strength born of such hard times. Though scared for my family and friends, there are so many good things to come out of this rough patch. Our family is pulling even closer. We have more impromptu get-togethers for “comfort food” dinners–soups, stews, pancake night, Mom’s Mac-n-cheese. We go to each other’s homes for movies (from the local library), or just coffee. We’ve talked about the low-cost things we did in other recessions, and have discovered that those were actually some of our kids’ best times, and memories. And we are doing them once more.

    A pack of construction paper, some glue, and stickers, all from the dollar store, resulted in a crazy, fun afternoon of Valentine card making. There was more laughter over trying to peek at what each other was doing than I’ve heard in a long time.

    I guess the best thing to come out of such Hard Times, is the reminder that we don’t need tangible things to be rich. We just need each other, and love, and faith that this too shall pass. We will become stronger, wiser, and more rich than we were before. Because we’ve pared back on wordly things, and returned to matters of the heart.

    I hope and pray that each of us look for the silver lining in this near-Depression Era cloud, and that in finding that silver lining, we become closer to the ones we love, and find the bedrock of faith that carries us through the storm, and into sunnier days ahead. We are so much more than our bank accounts.

    Blessings to each of you. And THANK YOU JANE, for providing the sounding board to vent our fears and hopes, and for sharing your uplifting stories with us. May your day be filled with the light of friendship, and strengthened by love.

  51. As long as I have my family, and we are healthy and together, that is all I need. I am very grateful for what I have. I am so blessed.

  52. I have to remind myself that things as never as bad as they seam. Sure I don’t have extra money at the end of the month right now, but my family is healthy and safe. That is all that really matters! There are people in this world with money to spare that can’t say that.

  53. Dear Jane,
    My dh and I have been savers since day one. We are both working full time and have been able to stay out of debt each month. Many of our friends over recent years have bought new cars, new houses, jewelry, boats, expensive trips and more.However, my husband and I live in a small house that we refinished ourselves, we have mostly used furniture from yard sales and flea markets, drive cars that are 10 years old and have no debt.
    We choose to save our money and take many mini vacations throughout the year. (Our airfare is free- because my dh works for an airline.)
    We will usually pack up for a long weekend in Florida or California and eat very cheaply (loaf of bread and pb&j for lunch)- stay in inexpensive hotels and take advantage of free or inexpensive attractions (never to places like Disney or Sea World).
    I think the key to financial happiness is this finiancial climate is to learn to live with less (the simple life), stay out of debt and enjoy time spent with friends and family.
    And remember there will always be someone who has more than you and there will always be someone who has less. Be greatful for all tha you have –

  54. Doing ok..my hours have been cut back,twice. We’re all wondering whether we’ll have a job soon, but I’m looking at as an opportunity to expand my horizons and eventually open my own business, which is what I’m planning for.
    Thanks for the insight Jane.

  55. Luckily my husband hasn’t lost his job. But my father and two out of three of my brothers in law have. For me it’s been a matter of keeping faith. I know no matter what happens it is part of God’s plan. I just hope His plan includes my Husband working!

  56. Jeremy officially “hung his shingle out” and opened his own practice January 1st. Some people thought he was crazy, I was crazy (lost my job on Dec 18, 2008) and that we were both crazy to open our business. I can say with the utmost honesty and sincerity that it was the best decision we could have made for our family.

    Scary? Yes. Unnerving? Yes. Terrifying? Absolutely! But, very rewarding knowing that you will fail or succeed due to YOUR OWN actions, not those of someone else who does not have the same amount of integrity and strong work ethic that you do.

    We are on our own frontier trail now. It’s everything that you have described, Jane. What a ride!

  57. Well, my husband’s retired and I’ve been pursuing my writing career. Our medical insurance is almost $600 a month so would be nice to make money from my writing. I cried today so nice to read your uplifting post.

    My husband asked me where my W-2 was from my publisher Samhain. I reminded him that I didn’t make anything in 2008 on my 3 books. I made a small amt. in 2007 but with the returns in 2008 apparently I ended up in the red. I don’t have any new releases. I’m trying to think positive and to get a grip on how to proceed. I don’t want to quit writing.

  58. I’m in the midst of “cleaning” myself out of a job. My company is transferring most of their production to “less costly” locations and relocating other departments out of state. I’m busy right now, transferring processes, documents and I’ll have my job up until they say we no longer need as many hands to do the “clean up.” Lots of penny pinching right now to make sure I’ll have enough until I find another job after they let me go. And yes, I’m looking for another job whilst I still have this one–but so are 680,000 other people who have been laid off or about to. Still, I try to keep a happy and upbeat outlook. Everything’s still good and hopefully will stay that way.

  59. Very well said Jane! I totally agree. I own my own business and my husband is retired. My business is not doing well right now, but we go on with life. So we don’t go out to eat as much, we don’t go treat ourselves to those spendy mochas everyday at the local coffee shop. You cut back and use some common sense and go on with life! America has always bounced back and we always will! I can’t see things being like this for too long and even if they are, I’ll survive!

  60. Times are a little harder right now, yes – but truth be told, I think we all got a little spoiled as we rode the “high life” wave over the past decade.

    I grew up in a family without a lot of money, and I learned early how to be creative with finances. As a child I did all kinds of things to earn money, including delivering newspapers, hosting garage sales, selling lemonade, and babysitting. I have a saying … You can take the girl out of the “poor house”, but you can’t take the “poor house” out of the girl. So while I admit that I rode that same wave with everyone else in Southern California, I have once again become creative. For example, I am once again seriously couponing, which yes, often requires shopping at more than one store for my groceries. I consolidated all of my credit cards onto one low interest card, and then cut up the rest of them. In doing so, I also eliminated a LOT of “auto pays” – which cut a lot of “fat”. I only kept the auto pay things that I truly wanted to keep. I put myself on a budget each month – and I stick to it. My husband pays the household bills out of one account, and the groceries and things that are my responsibility come out of a different account. I find it makes a huge difference to me when I think about the money that I will have left over in my account after I make each purchase – I am a LOT more careful about my expenses!

    I also spent %69.95 to sign up for Amazon Prime for the year – this saves me a HUGE amount of money for shipping items that I purchase on Amazon. Additionally, I purchase a lot of my “bulk” grocery items from Amazon using their Subscribe and Save program. Subscribe and Save not only saves me money since it’s Amazon, but I save an additional 15% on all of my Subscribe and Save items – and as a Prime member, I get FREE shipping. In this way I save a lot of money on items like toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent during the course of the year.

    And my favorite creative idea – I did some pre-Spring cleaning, and took out some things from my closet like designer clothing and purses, and sold them on eBay. I sold three pairs of True Religion jeans that I had gently used, and with the money I made I was able to turn around and purchase some new jeans that I’ve been wanting, as well as a few other items – and none of the money for those things came from my bank account (it all came from my PayPal balance)! It’s kind of like a library – I make purchases of nice things, wear them a few times (taking good care of them), and then re-sell them and buy some new things. It’s really a lot of fun, it saves me a lot of money – and I still get to shop!

    I do have some other tips that are my personal little “tricks” to saving money. First, whenever you make a purchase online, be sure to FIRST and ALWAYS “Google” for discount and/or promotion codes for that particular company. For example, if you’re making a purchase from Victoria’s Secret online, Google “Victoria’s Secret Discount Code”, and see what comes up. Usually you’ll find great websites that will have current codes that will save you money when you type them into the appropriate box when making your online purchase. It’s simple, it’s free, and it just takes a couple of minutes of your time.

    Tightening our belts doesn’t require us to strangle the life out of ourselves – it just means we get to be a little more frugal, take some time to think about what it is we’re buying before we lay out the cash, and ultimately, spend smarter!

  61. I have a note for Becky #5 after reading her comment – go apply at your local school district(s) to be an instructional assistant in Special Education – even on a substitute basis. Most school districts are in constant need to fill these spots, as the positions are required by law for students whose IEP (Individualized Education Plan) contract has it included. You could also apply to work in the cafeteria, school library, yard duty or front office. And most of these positions don’t require a college degree – only a proficiency exam, background check, fingerprints, TB test and possibly CPR training. This will allow you to work and earn some income without spending a lot of time away from your school aged son. You will basically work the same hours (while he’s in school), as well as having the same scheduled days off and holidays off that he has – without having to take time off. So you CAN be there with him!

    I did this myself, after spending 20 years in PR, because I have a son who was seriously ill and in and out of the hospital or sick at home a lot, and I needed to be there to take care of him. The pay isn’t as great, but it’s still something – and every little bit helps right now. But most importantly, it lets me be with my son when he needs me.

    Good luck to you!!!

  62. I agree, Jane – These are trying times. I am trying to keep a positive outlook, I keep reminding myself that yes our family has bills and expenses but we are blessed because none are medical related. My husband is self employed and the poor economy is hurting his food business. My company was bought out so most likely I will be losing my job by the summer. The last thing I want to do is start interviewing for a new position – I haven’t done that in 22 years! But with two kids in college I have no choice. Things will work out we just have to make changes and adjustments and learn to live without extras right now. I keep reminding myself that my husband and three kids are healthy and happy and a joy to me so I will be okay.

  63. It is sort of strange you discussing hard times in your blog. Just this last week, we were without electric for 4 days. We made it through with a little hard work and as you said “balls”. We heated with a kerosene heater. My husband, Jr, made a fire outside for meals and heating water for dishes. We also used the water as my grandma would say, “to take a whore bath”. My husband, also works construction and with the weather, he is unable to work at this time. I am a stay at home housewife. I’ve been seriously thinking about getting a job, but they are few and far between right now. We learned 4 years ago after losing everything we had in a fire to be thankful for being alive and healthy. This in time shall pass. We just need to stay grounded in our faith. Thanks for the inspiring words of encouragement.

  64. Jane, you always have the greatest posts and know just what to say. One of the many reasons why your are such a great writer. I find that when I read your books they always speak to me in a time I really need them. I loved reading Taylor’s story and could relate on a more personal level as to what many of my friends are going through. My husband and I are comfortable with our jobs, but we have cut back in some of our expenses to put more money away. We try to stay postive and live one day at a time!

  65. Its impacting me in a way that I am not very certain that I will have a job in a few months. I am not happy at the job that I have now, but I am afraid it will be a lot more difficult to find a new one. But I always keep reading now matter what..I am very thankful that I get many brilliant review copies from authors so I don’t have to spend a lot of many on books.

  66. wow!
    By the sheer number of comments you can see how this is affecting everyone. Yep, times are hard – but they always are. In Utah, we are reminded of our pioneer heritage every day simpling by standing on our porches and looking over our amazing valley. Strong, hardworking pioneer women played a huge part 150 years ago to make our homes what they are today – and by God if they can survive, so can we.
    I was once at the bottom of the pits, where we almost lost our house, and Jane you are so right. We need basic things, but that’s just the key – they just have to be basic.
    I have a saying posted by my computer, “Great opportunities are often missed, because they are dressed in overalls and disguised as hard work.”
    Thanks, as always, for the great comments kiddo because it looks like many needed to hear them.
    peace out

  67. I do what I can do and ultimately trust God!!
    And I say this after getting a divorce after almost 20 years,losing my Mother and moving from Florida to Minnesota.With no car!
    But I have worked it and I have 2 jobs!Believe me when I say (mostly to myself!) Keep on going,keep on going ,you can do it! Cool thing about your characters,they keep on going too!

  68. Times are real hard. I am an accountant and this is our busy season – I feel blessed to have a good job. I know what it is like to be without one. I also have two home-based businesses and even though times are hard – the sales from those two ventures seem to be holding steady – I heard someone say that people are spending on “feel good” items. At my accounting job, I process retirement plan distributions and I can tell you that hardship withdrawals and loans have jumped tremendously over the past year. It is truly unprecedented. Those consume most of my days at work now and it is just a sign of very troubled times. Anyhoo, thanks for another fun contest 🙂

  69. The economic times hit our family last year when I had a layoff with my job and let me say that the jobs are few and far between. I have had some contract positions but nothing permanent. We are surviving and I’ve done some soul searching on what I really want to do when I grow up! Thanks for your great blog and contest, TFIG! Happy Day to you Jane!

  70. In the town we live in too many people have been affected. Last year my husband received a significant raise and we chose to downsize, cut back, and live well within our means. With every chance to stock our savings. And, it works, and the big guy upstairs keeps blessing us and filling our lives with abundance, and wealth in many forms, not just financially. We spend a lot of time donating, scouting out people who “look” like they are in need, and using the power of prayer. In some way we are all affected. There is nothing like learning your neighbor has been “laid off”, or the local daycare just couldn’t survive the current and so on. All I can wonder is how much longer, who else, and what will the view look like downstream?

  71. I thought long and hard about this post, and read many of the comments here. I especially liked that one person reminds us to learn to live with less, and enjoy simpler things.

    I am constantly disappointed by people that live extravagantly and excessively when there are so many people in the world are unable to meet their basic needs and provide for their children.

    I pray for those people that have been hit hard by these tough times and that they will stay safe and strong.

    Thank you Jane, for always reminding us to count our blessings.

  72. yes things are rough. i try not to think about it too much or else i will freak. i let my husband deal w.all the financial stuff. i know the 401 has almost lost everything in it..not good..thank goodness we do not live outside of our means. can it get much worse? the husband is gone all day & most evenings working which does put a strain on life in itself & having a little one at home. i do work 30hrs a week. i leave at the crack of dawn so that i am home to take care of the little one by noon. we’re lucky to have family help us out there…so ending…it can only get better 🙂

  73. Great blog post, Jane! I agree with you, wholeheartedly. Times are challenging, but we DO live in a great country and there ARE jobs. They may not be our ideal, but if it keeps food on the table and the wolf from the door, it’s a good thing. :> I feel blessed beyond measure that I’ve got a job, my DH has one. Times like these are a good reminder that having work to do is a good thing. Grins. Again, I feel blessed because my DH and my kids and dogs are not only in the lifeboat with me, we’re all rowing the same direction. Ha!

    Thanks for the pick -me-up!

  74. We own a family business and our income is way down this year. We’ve compensated by eating at home all the time. I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy creating healthy and appetizing dishes that the adults and children will enjoy. We’ve limited fun activities outside the home (movies, skating, etc) and our Christmas was more about each other than what wasn’t under the tree. Our oldest is away at college and we’ve limited him on living expenses thereby making him have to eat in more.

    It hasn’t killed any of us, and just makes me realize how materialistic we had become.

  75. Boy, economic times are hard. We are eating out less, and cooking at home more (UGH, you know who is cooking, ME!!!). We are eating lots of venison and not so much beef, cutting back on the extras, and getting back to eating what’s in the pantry. I know that all this is good for us, but I long for the variety and the waiters bringing it our of their kitchens!!

  76. I’m fortunate enough to be a teacher where there’s a shortage so my job security is good. I have many friends and family that work in the aircraft industry and they haven’t been so lucky. I continue to pray that God will provide for all of us, even in bad economic times.

  77. I work in education and although our budgets have been cut, my job, so far has remained intact. My husband is also still employed for the time being. We are feeling very blessed. However, we have experienced our own times of unemployment and uncertainty plenty of times before in our marriage. Any roller coaster out there cannot begin to equal the ride we have been on over the last 26 years! But, we are still together, weathering whatever comes our way. I’m so glad to have found your blog. Your messages have brought hope and light into my life. Thank you for the many positive ways you are influencing those around you.

  78. Economic times are hard yes, I am lucky enough to be employed at Walmart even though it is on a part time basis it is a paycheck. My husband has been off work since July, he is on disability so our income is severly limited, we do the best we can and I have wonderful parents who have jumped in helped if needed.

  79. Hi Jane! I’m fortunate to still have a job. I just pray that my company stays afloat and doesn’t go under. Money is tight. No extravagant purchases for me. I want to thank you for all of your positive blogs. They really brighten my day!

  80. A few friends and I were talking, and we discovered we’re sharing a common quirk at the moment. One friend brought up that she has this overwhelming need to re-organize her entire house, to clear out junk, clean and rearrange. The quirky part is, we ALL admitted to feeling the same way. It’s almost like the “nesting” mode pregnant women go thru near the end of the term. (Are you feeling that yet Jane?)

    We came to the conclusion that it’s because the outside world is in such messy, dire straits that we feel the need to organize and order the world we CAN control–our home and lives.

    Is anyone else feeling this?


  81. Hi Jane! Thank you for the great post! My family is doing okay. We’ve tightened our belts and only spend money on necessities.

  82. Good morning and happy Saturday everyone! I’m back to post the three winners of the latest blog contest. There are THREE (3) winners but you’ve got to email me with your name and address or the prize will never find you!

    The three winners are:

    #8 Tori B

    #38 Kristen

    #78 Deb

    If you are one of the winners, do shoot me an email ASAP with your address and I’ll get the great goodies out in the next mail. And for those of you who didn’t win, check back soon as I’ve got some more great prizes to give away because as you know, I love February!


  83. I am a little older so I have experienced the highs and the lows of economic struggles, and this will be another. I choose Philippians 4: 4- 8 for my lifetime verse. When I get it down pat, I will practice another. It is good daily thoughts that will see you through anything. God is about Hope and this helps me.

  84. Oh boy! Being a bartender, student and single mother, I have crossed paths of many people going through hard times. Many are losing their homes.
    Last October while in tennis class at the college. I fell. Broke my arm and had surgery to get a steel plate put in. My boss promised I would have employment. In mid November when I was ready to go back to work with a full release from my doctor, my heart sunk as my boss had told me he replaced me. With a $30,000 hospital bill and no insurance haunting me,I looked in the paper of the small coastal area which I live to find a total of three jobs. Being a parent with responsibilities such as bills to keep my household, I went into a panic and went recluse for a few weeks. I never had an issue finding employment but right before Christmas as well with a new grandson in my life. I also had to drop two classes due to my broken arm.
    I talked to my orthapedic surgeon when I went to get my cast off. He asked If I was going to give up on school. I said no way! Having a conversation with him put me in my fight mode.
    After talking with a friend who is dating a former Labor Commissioner, I have filed a civil suit through the Bureau of Labor against my former employer due to the Family Leave Act. I had no idea that what he did to me was illegal.I registered for more classes, work two nights a week as a drink shrink listening to others with bigger problems,and plan on moving to a bigger city where there is employment. I hate the thought of moving from this small area.
    The best medicine is friends and family. Im doing what I can for now while trying to think positive thoughts. There are lots of programs to help.
    I’m determined to get that degree.

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