It's been a busy few months since I last (first) blogged and I'm as confused as ever as to what I should be writing about. I know that all I've read about is the economy, who am I to buck the trend?
Since September I've sat 5 exams, found out that I passed 4 of them, put more hours in at work per week than I've ever done, achieved pretty much everything I've wanted in work, gone to a previously unprecedented number of company freebies, re-enrolled at Reading University for my third year of four, spent a large amount of money on video games that I don't have time to play, discovered that I'm not very interested in soccer anymore, played a fair bit of rugby and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I'm watching less TV, listening to less radio, spending less time online, playing fewer video games, spending less time with family and friends and feel that life is actually more rewarding. Perhaps in the past 10 or 15 years of economic bliss we've all just spent to much time 'out'. I'm deeper into the 'rat-race' than ever and I'm genuinely happy. I blame the weakened economy for my new found purpose.
2009 is not going to be easy for anyone (except perhaps the Lebanese! news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7764657.stm), thankfully for me the company I work for has a number of contracts already secured - but we have to consider that each and every one of our customers is looking to scrimp and save at every juncture. We must not try to follow suit but stay ahead of the trend, buying better, paying later, wasting less and keeping excellent records whilst chasing cash as aggresively as we dare and keeping the clients sweet. That should mean we can some out of the recession in a stronger position, we'll be bigger, better structured, more professional and more profitable. A lot of this will be a huge culture shock to some senior staff but it could be the making of us all. Clients are screwing down prices and that will be passed on to suppliers and sub-contractors, the strong will survive and prosper the weak will fail, I'm making it my personal mission to make sure we come out on top.
Everyone has to learn to be more frugal and that mentality will begin at home. Negative equity is a reality and credit and store card debts are its ugly little siblings. We're going to become a single car household, we're actively trying to cash in on our assets, be that the Playstation 3 I've just acquired or the (extremely stable) company issue shares my wife is lucky enough to consider part of her modest salary. I've only met one person who's saving on their mortgage, what with our newly ridiculous base rate of 2% you'd expect us all to benefit - turns out that the banks can do exactly what they want. Hang on, isn't that what got us into this mess? Oh dear. Our own mortgage is a fixed rate deal with the dreaded NRock, I shudder to think what will happen when the term of the deal expires in May '09.
All in all the recession has exhilarated me, the previous ease with which anyone could find work or credit just meant that no-one had to work very hard for anything and I'm the type of person who needs real motivation before I even pull my finger out...
Am I alone, no I donn't think so; maybe this is my generation's chance to shine.