An attitude of gratitude – grin and bear (market) it

Just a month ago I was jauntily planning my future, posting about dreams of building on my small but proudly created foundation. Since then the Bear Market and general chaos-fest of COVID-19 has arrived, and my savings have lost almost 25%. I wrote last week about carrying on with good habits: this week we are on lockdown from schools, the office and all public institutions are closed, and the world feels like it holds a number of possible, uncertain and potentially Armageddon-esque, futures.

So, what are we to do? Other than keep on keeping on?

For this week, I am going to concentrate on all the other things. Firstly, counting my blessings. Yes, I am somehow supposed to home-school the kids whilst continuing to work from home full time. But what is also true is that I will get to spend some much-needed time with the children; that we are well resourced (internet, craft supplies, a garden etc) to manage this.

I also recognise how lucky I am to have a job. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about living with more freedom and growing my side hustles, but right now I am just glad to have a job with a great boss who understands my circumstances and can be flexible whilst I juggle working and having the kids at home. And whilst I appreciate you can never rely 100% on employment, right now I am pretty damn glad to be here.

I have been thinking a lot about people who don’t have this security – the small business owners who can’t open during COVID restrictions; the almost 1 million people in the UK who are on zero hours contracts who won’t get paid if the can’t work. Drops in the stock market and a huge rise in financial uncertainty is likely to hit charitable giving and make 2020 bumpier than it is already. One in 50 families in the UK uses a foodbank (with numbers continuing to increase) but if donations significantly slowdown then foodbanks will be unable to cope and help people in need. Already vulnerable populations are likely to be the hardest hit, so as well as counting my blessings, trying to keep the kids calm (and doing something that isn’t watching TV or shrieking) I’ve donated to Age UK.

Stay healthy and happy, people!