I've noticed, as I travel around the Internet reading blogs and journals, that there are a lot of folks down-in-the-dumps lately, and I've been trying to pin down the causes.
I know this is always a ho-hum time of year: The excitement of Christmas is over; it's a long time until spring. Weather tends to keep us all housebound. So perhaps we can lay much of the blame on Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Then there are the extra expenses of the season. Many people overspent at Christmas (not me and Cliff, thank God) and are trying to make up for that now.
Heating costs are skyrocketing. If yours haven't, try heating your home with propane.
In Missouri, we have personal taxes due January 1. These have to be paid in order to license our vehicles later on. If we're late in paying, interest is added on each month.
Here in my county, real estate taxes have been re-evaluated; ours rose by about 66% this year. This has always been rolled in with our house payment, so it's spread out over the year; however, our amount in escrow was $380 shy of the amount that came out of the bank as a result of the change; I have to make that up by March 10.
Young married folks, and senior citizens on a fixed income, are struggling to make ends meet, with gasoline and grocery prices increasing steadily. I read an article online that states food costs have risen 4%; I don't know where they got that estimate, but my grocery costs have risen at least 10% in the past year or so.
Cliff and I, thankfully, took steps this past year to pay off most debts. We figured that would give us plenty of funds for traveling on the motorcycle. Now I find much of that money going for necessities.
I'm thankful that, so far, we're making ends meet. But I can't help wondering about, and praying for, all those who are caught in this squeeze.
I don't care what the politicians call it; I say we're in a recession. It's obviously going to get worse before it gets better.
And I think that's why so many bloggers are in a state of the doldrums right now.