Friday, 23 January 2009

Official recession in the UK, is it all bad?

We now have it officially, the UK is in a recession, I am not going to go into all the facts and figures that the government has issued that indicate an official recession, if you really want them you can find them on the BBC on-line news today at
What I would really like to see discussed is the question, is a recession bad for everyone?
I am sure it is not all doom and gloom that the popular media seems to promote, they seem to think that the bad side of things is the only side we want to hear, for the majority of people life just carries on as normal.
My daughter made an interesting observation yesterday when she received the latest letter from her mortgage provider telling her that the mortgage rate had dropped again, (third time in three months) and the amount she was paying had been reduced.
She said if this is what a recession is then they should have them more often!
She has not only got reduced mortgage payments but has also got some great bargains in the sales because of retail businesses selling off stock, so for her the so called recession has had nothing but financial benefits.
I know a lot of people won't share this point of view if they have lost their jobs, or their businesses are struggling and are looking at a change in lifestyle.
I can speak from experience as I lost my job several times in the last two recessions when I worked in engineering and had a young family to support, it can be very frightening not knowing what the future holds, and a normal human reaction is to fear change.
But anyone who finds themselves in this position has a choice, the same choice I had to make, you can feel angry, blame the employer, blame the government, blame yourself, but in the end some things you can not change, so you just have to accept it, stop looking to lay blame and look for solutions.
When I look back at the UK recession in the 1980's, I remember being made redundant just after my daughter was born, although we had to change our lifestyle to live more frugally, I really enjoyed the time at home.
I enjoyed quality time with my children, did lots of voluntary work in youth clubs, grew my own vegetables, and foraged for food from countryside to keep us going.
I enjoyed it to much and I had to really kick myself into gear to get back to work when engineering jobs came available again about eighteen months later.
So don't look at the recession as bad, even if bad things happen, use them as opportunities to do something better with your life.

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