June 30, 2009

Blame it on the Alcohol…or the Economy

Posted in Just Darn Clever tagged , at 11:47 am by Andrew

As the throng of DwyerTime readers are so painfully aware, I’ve been alarmingly absent from the site. And while I wish I could channel my inner Jamie Foxx and blame it on the alcohol, I’m going to rat out the economy on this one.

If you’re one of the few people out there who remain untouched by this economy, congratulations. (But have some decency, and don’t get cocky — as much as you try to take credit for your good fortune, you must know it’s just dumb luck.)

My day job — and increasingly, my early evening and late night job — is sales. As you’ve likely heard, there aren’t many buyers out there. But hey, that’s cool, I’m a good salesman. I’ll just work a bit harder to compensate.

OK, so working a bit harder doesn’t compensate. That’s fine…I’ll just work a LOT harder.

Wow, even that doesn’t do the trick. So here’s where I am — working a lot harder for a lot less yield than two years ago. If we were to chart this on a line graph, the illustrated gap would be the black hole into which all my time is cast.

Sounds bleak, but it is one of the many remarkable and insidious aspects of this economy. It truly is sapping people’s resources from all angles. For those of us still employed, we’re working harder and longer, yet earning less. Thus we have less time and money to pursue the hobbies that recharge us and allow us to engage our work lives with enthusiasm. Do you see the vicious cycle?

It’s like starting a marathon only to learn at mile 4 that all the aid stations have been closed…and the race has been extended to 36 miles.

Writing DwyerTime is a fun hobby, but I don’t have the time. Plowing through my Netflix queue is relaxing, but I don’t have the time. Home maintenance is both rewarding and necessary, but I don’t have the time.  Of course, there’s also less money to fund the pursuits that recharge our batteries, be it dining out, movies, water parks or the new table saw I covet.

What’s more, even the free stuff is getting pinched! Using my beautiful town of Colorado Springs as an example — to address significant reduction in city revenue (from income and sales taxes, etc.), the city can’t afford to sufficiently water its parks and has cancelled the July 4th fireworks display. So even taking the kids to the park, day or night, has lost its luster.

Yes, it’s depressing, but I also find it fascinating to see how interwoven we all are. I could discuss many other facets, such as the cathartic aspect of hearing others’ struggles…the comfort found in group suffering…but I want to limit my dour attitude.

And while the negatives are way up, they haven’t completely squeezed out the positives — it’s sunny, mild and mountainous in Colorado…I get to coach my son’s baseball team…and the sun doesn’t set until 8:30.

There’s hope for tomorrow.