5 reasons to stay calm in turbulent times

February 13th, 2009

It’s that time of the month. No, I don’t mean that time of the month. It’s the time of the month when the savings statements come. I hate to even get them, let alone bring them in from the mailbox, and when I do, I toss them aside hoping they will get lost, which is what we all probably do in these times, that is if we still have these times.

Eventually I compel myself to open them. I actually put it on my to-do list, “3. Open envelopes” and then one day, like today, I open them.

It’s a good practice, really, for facing life as it is. It’s just not a practice that I would pay this much money for.

So opening up the envelope where a certain bank tells me that I spent $50,000 of my IRA last year learning to face life as it is, out comes a glossy newsletter bearing the headline, “Five Reasons to Stay Calm During Turbulent Times.”

I don’t buy their reasons anymore, just like to don’t buy anything anymore, but there really are Five Reasons to Stay Calm During Turbulent Times, and this is what they are:

1. You don’t need a college fund. Your kids won’t even want to go to college. Because there won’t even be colleges. There won’t even be jobs. There will just be the Facebook 25 Things About Me meme. And everyone will be famous.

2. You don’t need to eat. It’s not good for you. Researchers have proven that a starvation diet is the best and only way to extend your lifespan, and the time to start is now, so you can look forward to being hungry forever.

3. Money is overrated. Indeed it is worthless. Money doesn’t buy happiness. Now are you happy?

4. You can’t take it with you. You can’t even go anywhere. Don’t believe those ads for low airfares. Click on them and you’ll find out it still costs $600 for a round-trip ticket to a place you don’t even want to go. Like your in-laws. So just stay put and start starving and be happy.

5. You don’t even have a time of the month anymore. What turbulence?


  1. I haven’t been here for a a couple of weeks so I have just caught up on your blog…. I’m both laughing and crying. I started to read your book – that I got a super deal (sorry?) on at Christmas. It is moving me so much. I relate to a lot of what you say. Thank you for sharing your thoughts….

    Comment by Robin — February 13, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  2. That #5 has been concerning me since baby girl arrived 9 months ago … things would be easier if things would just go back to normal.

    Comment by Mrs. B. Roth — February 14, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  3. Oh yeah. What turbulence? I was this close (picture my fingers) to CALLING YOU on the actual telephone to get exactly this talking-to. But here it is, here you are, you and me and the whole lot of us, learning to live life – maybe even love it? – as it is, not as I so desperately have been hoping it would be.

    Thank you for being right on time.

    Comment by jena strong — February 14, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  4. Thanks Jena. I can’t help myself. Everything is always on time. And everything is impermanent. High tides ahead, but we roll with the ebb and flow of it all.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — February 14, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

  5. Well thank goodness for that. Whew!

    Comment by underthebigbluesky — February 16, 2009 @ 12:12 am

  6. the news is grim and we have all made mistakes, but i don’t think it is time to panic just yet. in fact it is possible that in not panicking lies the correction to our earlier errors. and it is certain that in unrestrained acting on fear lies a lot of ways of worsening things. i recommend learning how to do useful things with ones body/mind as an antidote to economic fear, if something must be done. but mostly carry on, eyes open, ready for change, and do not miss this marvelous season and these marvelous friends, families and neighbors. but i do not open the statements-the financial planners always said not to put money there that is needed in less than 12 years. i’ll take the 12 years.

    may we all be free of suffering,


    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — February 17, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

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