where is the joy?

Most agree that economically speaking, 2011 hit many all-time lows. Being in Nevada meant that we were harder hit than many. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate in Nevada was 13% for 2011, which ranked us as highest in the country. With one in every 115 households facing foreclosure, Nevada also ranks one of the  (if not the most severe) states for foreclosure.

Surrounded by loss, it can be difficult to find a bright point. There seems to be no end in sight to the financial conundrum we find ourselves in. Houses in Reno line the streets with various for sale signs. I know several people who have turned their keys in and walked away from their homes as values dropped by more than half.

wait there is more…

Reno/Tahoe is known as a winter recreational destination. We boast some of the West’s premier ski resorts in the country. To top it all off, there is no snow in the Sierra’s = no skiing = hurts economy even more. Also it is a total bummer when you bought a season’s pass and haven’t been on the mountain yet this year (actually we bought 4; one for each of us).

what lies ahead?

My daughter is currently a junior in college. What opportunity awaits her upon graduation? It is not sufficient to achieve merely a bachelors degree for many professions. Does this mean we will have to support her indefinitely while she continues her education? Probably.

The good news is that by the time she is finally done, the economy should not be so bleak. There is still hope for her future. My own education is a bi-product of the flailing economy as well. Is it really a bad thing when hard times means you take the time to work on yourself?

lesson learned: there is still joy to be found

I may complain about the current situation (especially the total lack of snow!), but the reality is that it can also be a highly productive time for personal growth. In place of snow sports, we are cycling (weird as it is) through the winter months. We can still be active regardless of the weather.

When the housing bubble was at its height a few years back, we decided to stay put in a home we could afford and were comfortable in. Thankfully, my family is in a better financial place because of our restraint. We recently purchased a new home with nearly double the living space of our old one for a bargain price.

I find joy in simple pleasures like enjoying a bottle of wine with friends. Staying home with my husband and kids watching a bad movie on Netflixis a favorite pastime of mine. Blogging has given me a wonderful outlet for spilling my guts. Knowing that when I get up in the morning I am fortunate enough to have a job that I love is joyous as well.

the 3 bananas
the 3 banana girls enjoying ourselves at Starbucks

It is through adversity that we find out what we are really made of. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I don’t remember who originally told me that gem. As a kid, I used to hate it when people told me this. In my adult form, I finally understand its true meaning. What has tested your capacity to find joy? What did you learn about yourself through the process? Share your thoughts and stories.


3 thoughts on “where is the joy?

  1. Pamela Morse (@Spafloating) says:

    The example you set for your daughter will serve her very well. There are always opportunities, and she has seen her parents appropriately assess risk an make the most of “investments”, and that includes time as well as money. She understands that spending is not the same as satisfaction. In that respect she is way ahead of many in her age group.


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