(Not so) Great in '08 - Will we be fine in '09?

(12/31/08) - Chris reflects on the year that has passed and an optimistic view of the year to come...

Sometimes, it's difficult to work in this environment.  It often seems any good news that's out there is overshadowed by bad news.

Whether it be contrived or factual, the "bad economy" has just about everyone in a funk.  In the world of broadcasting there is a saying "perception is reality".  People tend to believe the experts who claim this is the worst of the worst.  The mere perception of bad times often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  That's not to say no one is suffering...far from it.

Recently, there have been a number of layoffs and job losses in our area.  Those are are hard to take at any time...but especially difficult this time of year.  One tends to wonder "why me" and "why now"?

Such is life.

Despite the terrible news, I've seen South Central Kentuckians - and others across the country with their fists raised high, gritting their teeth and reaching for their wallets in defiance of what the "experts" say.  I've heard many of you say "we're going to have a Christmas after all...it may be scaled back a bit, but we're still having Christmas!"

That's the kind of spirit that gives us hope.  Never say quit...never give up.  It's the job of the national media to paint a bleak picture.  Without it, they'd have nothing to report.  Statistics show that while people say they want to hear more good news few actually tune in for it.  It's the old rubbernecker theory...everyone slows down to peer at the scene of an accident.

For those of us old enough to remember, we've suffered through bad times before...many times.  Is this one worse?  The answer is relative to your lifespan and lifestyle.  If you're not used to living beyond your means, this ecomomic slowdown may be unnoticable to you.  I am amused by the younger generation who is afraid of losing their Playstation 3 or won't be able to pay for texting on their iPhone.  Oh my...how will I live?

It all comes down to being thankful...a humble appreciation for what's meaningful in life.  You know, the stuff we often take for granted.  God, love of friends and family, health, a home, food to eat, a car, a paycheck.  If you have these, you should be thankful...you've been blessed.

In 2008, we learned some things weren't impossible or unthinkable.  Old perceptions soon became the new reality by some of the events of the past year.  (The bad): Big banks can go under.  People we place on pedestals can fall from grace.  Pirates can still hijack ships.  (The good): Gas prices can go down...an African-American can be elected President...and I can lose 42 pounds!

I am forever the optimist looking at a glass half-full instead of half-empty.

We're all wondering what 2009 will hold.  Some are drowning in worry while others will ride the waves through every ebb and flow.  In any case, no matter what may happen, we'll make it through.  Our resolve is much stronger than skepticism, our freedom more precious than gold.  Dwell on things such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We are never guaranteed happiness, only the pursuit.

God bless you all in 2009 and thank you for a blessed 2008!

Chris

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