At some point most of you will want to accept that your standard of living will never be as good as you hoped. Many of you will accept that you will never again have financial security. Acceptance of your plight is a sign you are progressing through those five pshychological stages. THE NEW POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE IS REALISIM Feel free to make jokes about those “Think and Grow Rich” and “___ habits of sucessful ___s”, paperbacks. Keep dreaming Dale Carnegie. Instead read “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” by Og Mandino, it’s my favorite self-help book because application of its principals do not promise results. Be realistic, but don’t give up all hope. Think of your old life as merely going dormant since it may rise again. DOWNSIZE FURTHER THAN YOU NEED Buy a bag of dried pinto beans and caldo de tomate from that “special” aisle in Albertsons and pick up a pair of hamhocks. Soak those beans overnight and throw them and the hamocks in a large pot of boiling salt water the next afternoon. Cook for two hours and enjoy. Feed it to your dog when you are done, or freeze it for a rainy day. Either way you did good. LIVE LIKE IT’S 1935 Read about the Great Depression and gawk at those miserable black and white stills of a tattered mom with her infant on her hip. Wow, those Hobos new how to survive. They ate lots of Crisco. My grandparents were salted butter and frozen chicken-pot-pie proponents. On long distance drives, instead of stopping for fast food, my grandfather lifted the hood of his Chevy and warmed a can of Van De Camp pork and beans on the heated engine. Before cars had steering wheel locks, he turned off his car engine and coasted down hills to save a penny’s worth of gas. After eating supper, he mopped up the remaining food juice on his plate with a piece of bread. COMPLAIN ABOUT THE ECONOMY BUT BE GRATEFUL Join a twelve step group and apply the serenity prayer to all the areas of your life. Its OK to moan about your future. The Great Recession will leave its mark on you- forever, but life will give you moments where you will be completely free from the pain caused by it. Be grateful for those pain-free moments. DON’T BE MEAN TO RANDOM PEOPLE, THEY ARE SUFFERING TOO Resist the tempation to think bad thoughts about a stranger. They understand what you are going through, or they will when they go through it. They can’t judge you and you can’t them. When shopping at 7-11, don’t fear those after-school teenagers lurking in the aisles. Intentionally walk near them and either ignore them or smile at their frowning faces. They will not harm you. Your life will suck for a while- enjoy it!