I should be happy, satisfied and feeling relatively secure right now. Business is booming, my fifth book is just about ready to ship off to the publisher, I've got money in the bank and we didn't panic too much during the "People to Goldman Sachs" wealth transfer of 2008-2009. In fact, we made money in both our savings and retirement accounts. So why do I feel more like the bottom photo instead of the top photo?
It's the age-old conundrum: Am I better off challenged and struggling or am I better off trying to maintain whatever little lead I've accrued.....knowing that it could all come tumbling down with the capricious whip of fate? Or the duplicitous hand of a new generation of investment bankers? Am I happier wishing optimistically for better things in the future or am I more depressed knowing that there's a long way to fall?
I've been living the frugal mentality for the last three years. Only buying what I needed to stay competitive. Only spending on stuff we needed for maintenance. Eating peanut butter and jelly and staying out of expensive restaurants. But last week I decided that we're either recovering (as a national economy) or we were all going to die. And I decided that, if there will be bread lines and riots in the street, I couldn't possibly face them without a new MacBook Pro, a new fluid head for my video tripod and a full set of Carl Zeiss lenses for my Canon camera bodies. Forget frugality. It's time to have fun.
But seriously. I think my anxiety is tied to all the mixed messages I get every day. The internet tells me financial armageddon is nigh. But my clients throw me good work consistently. And my stocks keep rising in value. The web tells me that my chosen profession is the latest minimum wage job category. But my rates keep going up and people keep paying faster and faster. The schools are kicking teachers out the doors and Texans are nonchalant about class room with 40 kids. But my kid's school district is resisting all the madness. It's amazing. We all understood that it was fear that caused the market (and the economy) to finally collapse. Why can't we understand that it will be blind optimism that will bring it back?
Oh well. Back to work.