Quiet Commerce

9:11 AM Edit This 10 Comments »
I have never claimed to know anything about money. I can explain the inner workings of the mind of a serial killer (which is why I started my master's degree. I was obsessed with the minds of psychopaths), but I can't balance my checkbook to save my life. So when all this stuff about the economy started trickling through the news, I just ignored it. Ignoring it works, right?

Um. No. The more time that goes by, the more I understand that this is a Big Deal. But I don't know what that means for me. So I make quiet inquiries to my recovery dad and other trusted friends about what I'm supposed to do and they give me small actions to take that make me feel like I'm doing something about my precarious financial situation. And for that, I'm very grateful. They understand that this is NOT my area of expertise, and they don't make fun of me for not knowing. That in itself, is priceless.

One of the best things about recovery is that we don't talk about money or politics or the economy in meetings. It's as if we understand that we are not ever going to agree, and to bring that kind of controversy to the table makes it not a safe place to be anymore. But we do talk about fear. And lately, that's been the primary topic that comes up. Fear. Insecurity. Our meetings are deadly serious sometimes, as they should be. Almost all of us were near death at some point in order for us to get there. Usually there's lots of laughter in the rooms, but recently, there have been alot of tears. So we gather around each other and provide for what each of us needs.

More and more, we spend our evenings playing cards, eating soups and stews and oh, someone got a ham from their work and suddenly we're all invited over. I even sent someone home with a few rolls of toilet paper one night - they just didn't have the money until their next paycheck. And damned if someone is going to pay me back for toilet paper! We exchange books and clothes and hand-me-downs for the kids. We make sure that the woman from the Saturday morning meeting gets flowers or chocolate every time she has chemo. And someone's always there with orange juice and chicken noodle soup when I get sick. Which apparently is quite often.

This is what the American spirit is about. I really believe that. Don't you? None of us may like these economic times, but somehow it's allowing us to pull together and provide for what each of us needs. Toilet paper or blankets. Clothing and food. A small gift, just so you know we care. It's all there. And somehow? I think we're going to make it.

Please go see http://www.rudecactus.com/ if you want to make a difference today!


Malaise Inc said...

The best financial advice I can give is always use a federally insured bank and never let your account get over $100,000 as that is the limit that FDIC insures each account for.

No need to thank me. Always glad to help.

BrianAlt said...

Why is your financial situation precarious? Do you have loans up the wahzoo and are you about to lose your job? Sure, some people are getting screwed, but not everyone.

I mean, look at Dr. Boss. He's checking out race horses! Do you know how much those things go for???

Nilsa said...

This post is beautiful, Kate. It brought tears to my eyes. You don't have to say a lot in order to make a very profound point.

lacochran said...

At least the whole planet is going down the tubes financially so we are indeed in good company. :) In change there is opportunity. You are wise to consider your options and keep your eyes open.

Sweetly Single said...

hope is a good thing

Megkathleen said...

It's true. It's so important to have a supportive community. I think it's so important that people who are able to give do so this holiday season - it's scary how many jobs have been cut in just the last month.

Kate said...

Malaise? If I had $100,000, I don't think I'd know what to do with it. Seriously. That's like an unheard of amount for me. And BrianAlt? I live paycheck to paycheck. Getting sober and staying that way has taken it's toll on my career. I'm not complaining, I just know that there's a better way to live and if I humble myself to ask for advice I may someday have my car and my credit card paid off with a little more in my retirement. That's all.

CatKrny said...


What is your Masters Degree in? From where? When?

BrianAlt said...

Yeah, I understand. And I don't mean to sound like an ass. But you have a job and it looks like that will remain true for the foreseeable future. That makes you lucky. And as long as that's true, it looks like you'll be able to pay your bills. And that's a good thing!

As always, I wish you well.

Kate said...

Hey Cathy,

All I had left was my internship for MSEd in Counseling from Drake. Yeah. I blew that one!