Money is toilet water

Only a few things have been as humbling in life as where I find myself now: alone in my room âÄì a senior in college – pouring over drafts of my parentsâÄô resumes when I know that I should be working on my own. Bob Dylan wails in the background as I struggle to bring breadth to persons who have only known one occupation their whole lives. Make no mistake; the economic hard times are real. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 159,000 jobs disappeared in September and when OctoberâÄôs figures are released on November 7th, economists predict the number will be well over 200,000. A recent CNN Money ranking puts Minnesota with a 5.9 percent unemployment rate. Staring at these statistics, I am tempted to rummage out the whisky, but the irony jabs me in the gut. No, not the irony about now being as good a time as ever to stop spending so much money on cigarettes and booze, but the one about my parents working so hard to achieve success only to have it abruptly taken away from them. Oh, and the one about nearing graduation with looming student loan bills in what is projected to be the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Hahaha. Call me dark, but I do find it all somewhat funny. Having to re-evaluate your life just when you think youâÄôve reached the finish line has got to be grounds for some kind of romantic comedy âÄì or at least an Oprah Winfrey special. âÄúI work with my hands,âÄù my dad replies matter-of-factly when I ask him to compile a set of skills for his resume. He is a career carpenter, but with that lack of detail he could also qualify for a masseuse, potter, or Wal-Mart door greeter. I roll my eyes. My annoyance with him is akin to the exasperation he felt when we sat down to do my 2007 taxes. He flipped through my eight different W-2 forms and announced, âÄúYou know what your problem is?! YouâÄôre a traveling gypsy!âÄù Dealing with my familyâÄôs economic uncertainty has amusingly overexposed these generational quirks, but it has also made us closer. It was weird at first âÄì watching the falling apart of two people who have always had it together. Yet now, I feel better knowing my superheroes are just as human as me. Recently, President Bruininks sent out an e-mail to alleviate the anxiety, like mine, of students affected by the economic decline, but I think he missed the point. The point is – money is toilet water; sometimes there is no possible way to avoid the backsplash. So stop freaking out. Breathe. Change your pants âÄì i.e. your perspective. Personally, IâÄôm excited to witness the ways people will come together to persevere. IâÄôm looking forward to proposing the cost-savings idea of moving into the same sleeping quarters as my hot roommate and I canâÄôt wait to create a new stew out of ramen, rutabaga, and the weekly neighborhood flyers stuck to my door. (Colored paper has some nutritional value, no?) Moreover, I hope this stock market stalemate will constitute a rise in lengthy conversations, morning walks along the Mississippi, and all moments as beautiful and priceless as these. WeâÄôre still in this together, whether you own seven houses or just a bicycle. Self-pity and sympathy are acceptable responses at first, but eventually, I encourage you to smile on and hold fast to the following mantra: âÄúNothing is permanent, but change.âÄù