Frazzled.

I had to take the quarterly accounts into the accountant’s office for my boss this morning. His office is in the CBD in a huge building that also houses a mortgage lending company and various companies affiliated with the financial services industry.

In the lift heading up to the tenth floor I heard four frazzleds, two stressed outs, ten lost a fortunes, four my job is on the lines and three might have to downsizes.

All is not well in the economy. The people in the offices are wheezing from too much air-conditioning, their eyes are shadowed with dark smudges. They gaze out the windows as if searching for a way out or trees that they can walk to in their lunch break and lean against while saying : ‘It’s not that bad. It’s not that bad.’

Are we about to plunge into an economic depression or is this merely the start  of a shift in the balance of power? One thing seems apparent. Money has a power it shouldn’t.

So many people looking like this –

Worn out. Overwrought. Robbed of their sense of humour. Grey days. Long days. Nights spent watching the clock.

Sometimes I wonder where it will all end…..

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23 thoughts on “Frazzled.

  1. There’s a lot of fear around at the moment. A take-over in the UK by one bank to stop the other from collapsing last week is likely to cost 40,000 jobs in those banks alone. What’s more, competition rules were ignored to allow it. Hence, we now have a bank with 30% of the market.
    Just wait until they begin dictating to the rest. You know my opposition to big biz. Well, the present Big Biz is small fry to some of the companies rising out of THIS phoenix.

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  2. My big advantage here is that I regularly tell myself that a big collapse is right around the corner, so now that one has come I don’t feel any worse than I usually do.

    It’s great to be me.

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  3. Anyone who says that money is not important (in this world)are just kidding themselves.

    So many people compromising their ideals and even their integrity all in a frantic quest for more money….more, more more, where will it end, indeed! I hear ya Selma, loud and clear.

    I guess by simplifying our lives and downsizing all the ‘junk’ we are led to believe that we must have, it’s a step in the right direction.

    For me at least, money means security in many respects. Not everything but definitely a powerful force when it’s lacking or plentiful. As I’ve said before: I’ve been with the haves and the have nots in terms of money. I’d certainly rather have it, than not. Life is sooooo much easier with a comfortable bank balance to look at.

    You’ve given us many thoughts to ponder here S, thanks!

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  4. Problem was too many businesses lending money … indeed, OFFERING to lend money without ensuring security for the loan. Now, I have every sympathy with those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves unable to repay the loan … but none with those who didn’t stop a minute and think ‘What if …???’

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  5. I hate to be a doomsdayer, but I think it’s not as simple as a downturn. I think this is the beginning of a major transition from our market-driven economy to a more localized commodity market. I am afraid it won’t be pretty, though I think it will be better in the long run.

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  6. I believe it’s a longterm downswing, but I am not afraid – at least, not for our family. Mulletman is a nurse in a hospital they can’t afford to close. So his job is NOT likely to dissolve. However, even if it does, my trust is in God and not in our bank account or our ability to get/keep a job. That’s a peace worth having.

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  7. I wonder every day about why we fret so much over work, when at the end of the day we are all so expendable. Each time I say don’t get so wrapped up but so much of our lives depends on it. Money.

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  8. I just realized this past weekend that my grocery expenditures have nearly doubled from only 3 months ago. Since I’m not a business-minded or a “let’s make a quick buck today” kind of person, I’ve always held dearly to the old adage of saving for a rainy day. However, it’s gotten to the point where a rainy day is now a big endless storm and no matter what you do, you’re still affected to some degree. I believe, in a lot of ways, we are the ones giving money its undeserved power over us.

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  9. i like you am puzzled… i do not have anything to lose so i feel as if i am in a way protected from all this mayhem… is that foolish?? i don’t know.. but i do know when you owe no one and you have nothing of value that is still on paper,, that the stuff you have,, be it very little,, is yours… or at least that is what it has always meant in the past… does it still??? i just don’t know…

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  10. I keep feeling like this is just the economy’s way of saying, “Well! That was fun, but now it’s time to get back to reality!”

    It’s going to be rough, and right now LOTM is sweating because we’re once again back to wondering how long his current job will last.

    Maybe being raised by parents who lived through the depression wasn’t such a bad deal after all. I’ve learned a lot about saving, pinching pennies, and “making do when you can’t get new.”

    Sometimes it just seems strange to hear that it’s like this in more places than the U.S. Amazing how closely we’re all tied to this anchor…

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  11. Yes Karen, we’re all in one big fat sinking boat. I also tend to take the position that the worship of money is the cause. I’m happy in a way that this undeserving god has taken a hard hit, I hope it’s fatal. I hope that it is the beginning of a serious change. Running running running just to add more crap to the crap you already have. It’s sick.

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  12. It may seem extreme, but if you can make a garden , do so. I am fortunate that I don’t need a lot to live on and I have a 10,000 water tank in my yard, as we don’t have county water. The garden cuts the cost of buying food and GAS.I really don’t know what the future will bring, given these uncertain times. We do need water and food, so I would suggest people try working on those. As for those with mortgages, don’t stress too much.Most companies are willing to work out a deal, as they did with my neighbor. The rest is out of our hands.

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  13. AVITABLE – a lot of people do seem to be stressed out. Makes you appreciate what you do have. You are a sweetie for stopping by. XX

    ANTHONY – 40,000 jobs? What will those people do? That’s what worries me. I know a few people who are very highly geared financially but I hadn’t fully appreciated it was such a widespread thing ie. global. Scary stuff.

    RICHARD – I am a bit of a worst case scenario advocate too. It has saved me from much disappointment. Ha ha.

    LINDA – a lot of people are tightening their belts. I know many people with small businesses who are feeling the pinch because people have just stopped spending. it’s hard.

    MELEAH – I know, hon. It’s incredibly difficult right now. I wouldn’t mind getting fired and collecting unemployment right now, either. Then I could just read my favourite blogs all day!

    GERALDINE – oh, absolutely. Due to the way our society and economy is structured we do need money. And I agree, I’d rather have money in the bank than live from paycheck to paycheck. Despite the stress and pressure around at the moment it does feel like a shift is going on. At least I hope so!

    TRAVELRAT – it is an untenable situation, for sure. My friend Mel is a journo and she’s doing an article about the banks at the moment. The number of people she has uncovered just in Sydney who were given loans completely beyond their means is staggering. Even my 12 year old son would have been able to see the figures didn’t add up.

    PWADJ – I hope it is. I really do. It’ll get pretty ugly for a while but if the balance of power were to shift it would be better for us all in the long run. Support the local small business owner, that’s what I say.

    GROOVY – I’m really glad your hubby’s job is safe and that you have that peace of mind. It must be such a relief!

    NAT – it is like the world is being posed a great philosophical question at the moment and it’s all to do with our attitude to money. I hope we answer it correctly.

    CHRIS – groceries are much more expensive. We have been greatly affected in Oz because of the long-term drought we’ve had. Bread, rice, fruit and veg are in some cases triple what they were 2 or 3 years ago. You’re right about money – we do give it its power over us.

    PAISLEY – it’s not foolish at all. It is probably the best place to be. There’s a lot to be said for living simply and honestly. It means you can weather storms like these. I am totally in favour of it!

    KAREN – we are all linked, there is no doubt. I am sorry about LOTM’s job. I hope it doesn’t prey on your mind too much. And I am a Scot so I know all about penny-pinching. My Scottish Grandad used to say: “A Scotsman and his money are rarely parted.” True in his case, except when he went to the pub – then it was drinks all round! LOL.

    LAURI – undeserving God sums it up completely. There really is nothing more to say. You have gotten to the root of the problem in two words. Amen!

    PUNATIK – that is excellent advice. We are thinking about putting in a veggie garden and if we can, we’ll get a water tank. I have a small herb garden which does really well as well as a couple of fruit trees. But I would like to try things like tomatoes and salad greens. Sounds like you are well set up!

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  14. Hi Selma, most of my garden is in containers , on raised benches that I made from used roofing iron and scrap wood. Tomato will grow in 2 gallon containers, depending on the variety. I have grown mesclun(baby salad greens) in a used plastic rain gutter that was being taken to the dump. The Permaculture design manual is a good book to have. I took a Permaculture design certification course in California, 1997 taught by a countryman of yours named Bill Mollison. Use what you can find close to home. Try to use heirloom seeds.Find someone who has or place where there are horses. Great fertilizer !It’s Summer down your way, so start planting and begin to enjoy your home grown goodies!
    And remember, having a “green thumb” is a myth. Anyone can grow food with a little info and practice. Have fun!

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  15. Everyone has got used to being able to have whatever they want when they want it. People forget that that has only been the case for a relatively short period of time. Even when I was growing up in the 1970s we had to save for things and there were loads of things my parents wanted and waited years to get. And going back to my grandparents’ generation – they were used to struggling to get enough food. And of course this “stress” is only affecting a small proportion of the world’s population – most of them have the real stress of not having enough to eat.

    Times are hard and we are all going to have to be a bit more careful. But I think it is a good thing. House prices are too high here in the UK, we waste so much (energy, food . . .) and generally do things in a haphazard illogical and unlocal way – we need to rethink the way we live and the only way people will change is if they are forced to do so.

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  16. Interesting you mentioned a “shift” going on Selma. We have been experiencing that too, used that very same word to describe a change in how things are evolving lately for me and Joe (perhaps a shift in perceptions but that’s valuable too,right?)

    I just wrote a post with my thoughts on some coping strategies, in a nutshell for getting through yet another hectic, harried day! Hope you stop by soon.

    Hugs, G 🙂

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  17. PUNATIK – what excellent advice. Thank you for taking the time to fill me in. I am going to try and do as much of this as I can. I’ll let you know how I go. Thanks again!

    RELUCTANT – you are absolutely right. When I think of the number of people in the world who are close to starving it puts everything in perspective. I read somewhere recently that 3 billion people in the world live on less than two dollars a day. Makes me feel guilty for complaining about anything.

    GERALDINE – a shift is in the air for sure. Long overdue, I suspect. Your post was wonderful. Very timely for me!

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  18. Well, everyone else has said it so well already. The core of the issue IMO is greed, and one of my greatest concerns is that the least greedy folks in the world, those like Karen (and I actually, and you all) who grew up with values around thrift and saving and not spending what you don’t have, will be tasked with shouldering the burden of trying to “bail-out” the mess. At least in the US I think we’re about to see some massive taxpayer debt incurred that I’m not at all confident is going to be a good value (politely speaking) for any but the uber-wealthy. I agree too that it is time to rewrite the rules, and we would all be wise to restructure our lives to be more locally sufficient (i.e. growing some food, perhaps learning again how to barter with the neighbors for things we can share, etc.). I’m already planning expanded food space in the garden for next year.

    Thanks Punatik – all the container ideas are excellent, I tend to forget how much can be grown in containers, and I’m going to look up that book when I get done writing this comment.

    Really nice post Selma and a great discussion here.

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  19. I have nothing more to add! LOL!!!

    Just wanted to let you know I read it and… well, I guess I can’t say I ENJOYED the post, so I guess empathize is more the word…

    Perhaps that says it all. I’m at a loss for words.

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  20. KAYT – it is a great discussion. So heartening to know many people feel this way. Makes me think that maybe we can change the world……

    TEXASBLU – oh, empathize is definitely the word. I felt it so strongly when I saw all the people in the offices really struggling – almost in a moral sense – to cope with what was coming. The times really are a-changing.

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