Happy New Year 2003?
I feel a little guilty wishing people a Happy New Year this time around. I have a sneaky feeling it may not be for many people.
Just a few years ago the economy was great for most of us in the USA, technology was booming, jobs were plentiful, the stock market was soaring and peace reigned in most of the world. We were either titillated or appalled by Clinton's personal shenanigans, but otherwise the presidency and government were on an even keel.
Those (mostly Democrats) that invented the counter-slogan "All hat, no cattle" for the present administration now are hoping desperately that our president's "ranching and herding skills" have improved, and that his abilities are up to the challenges we are facing, and that he knows what he's doing.
Unemployment benefits are just about to run out for many thousands of workers, still unable to find jobs. More companies are either in trouble, or to avoid disaster, laying off workers and moving operations to third world countries where pollution and other concerns take back seat to production, and wages paid out are minimal. It's a no-brainer to say that this is going to seriously affect the economy this coming year. Meanwhile, prices are rising across the board, and the cost of living increases in both Social Security and salaries are laughable.
The impending war.... will it be a relatively quick in and out without a firm resolution, as in the earlier Gulf War or Afghanistan, or will it turn into a kind of Armageddon?
And then there's still the fear of more terrorism in the homeland, physical or biological, and the fear of side effects from antibiotics and/or vaccines if we are attacked that way.
So with foreboding, I'm not wishing a "Happy New Year" this year. I'm wishing you courage, safety, patience and health.
I'm wishing that you eat a good diet - rich in healthy foods - to keep in better shape for any trials and tribulations that come your way.
I'm wishing that if you're stressed, instead of silently agonizing, popping pills or plain giving up, you do something. Exercise, take Yoga or Tai Chi, meditate, pray, try EFT or counseling, or better yet, volunteer somewhere that you can make a difference.
I'm wishing that if you have family members being sent overseas, they come back soon, unharmed in both body and mind.
I'm wishing that if you find yourself out of work, you have the courage to make looking for a job - any job - a near full-time career, with additional part-time spent volunteering, anywhere. Hang in there! Don't be too proud to ask for help; you are not alone. It's probably not your fault.
Let's hope for a Great New Year - maybe not this one, but 2004 or beyond - and let's work towards that goal all through the coming years.