Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roller Coasters and Chocolate

First, before I mention chocolate, I need to tell those of you who have responded to my blogs, that there was a bug in the blog. Your comments went into cyber space on another planet. However, the blog bug has been fixed. So please talk to me again. I did not ignore you. The blog bug did.

When it comes to defining a disaster or crisis it’s important to understand that what can be - and is - a crisis for you and your family might not affect anyone else in the same way. For example the trauma of losing the family’s income, having to do with less, no longer being able to participate in activities that friends are involved in, drastically altering your ability to do almost anything – simply because you can no longer afford it – can be a significant crisis to deal with. I’ll just call it a roller coaster ride. It can become virtual reality very quickly. Individuals in the same family may react differently at different times. Until the impact becomes personal it is not as traumatic to one and all. This usually is true, even if you have discussed what “having no income” may mean at a family council.

When members of another family are faced with the same type of crisis they may face it and cope with totally different reactions and solutions. Neither is right or wrong, neither set of solutions should be considered the best or only way to cope.

With the current economic roller coaster taking it’s toll there may be many individuals as well as families, who have no idea what it means to “tighten the belt,” or that “hard times” means much more than not being able to afford the “large popcorn” any more at the movie theater. Designer-label clothes may rapidly become a thing of the past for some, who had previously thought that discount stores were for those who lived on another planet. Another element that may be extremely difficult deal with is that this time there might not be a “quick-fix,” and that credit cards are most certainly not the answer! The old adage of “having-to-do-without,” may still be considered a term from a foreign language.

If you, or any one in your family, should be on the brink of or actually experiencing the down side of that economic roller coaster, it is critical to develop patience and a sense of love and understanding. Understanding may take you into realms where you have not gone before, and patience will become an essential ingredient for survival.

A crisis or family emergency is definitely not the time to compare your self-worth or lack of to another whom you think may be doing better, doing differently, or doing what you should be doing.

During hard times family members may experience nightmares, mood swings, fears and worries. Don’t brush off their worries– or your fears – as unimportant. Fasting and prayer can bring solace and answers when regular paydays become few and far between.

Make it your motto – “this too shall pass.” You just don’t know when.

These are the times when your preparedness cupboard must contain board games, chocolate, or tootsie rolls so that the “large popcorn” at the movie theater does not negatively impact the gratitude of being together – at home instead of the mall. Chocolate can become a stabilizing factor to help you during “killer roller coaster rides.” Remember, the chocolate and games need to be on the shelf before the ride begins.

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