Managing editor Marina Mayer believes that Americans should look at today's economical situation as the glass being half full.

Little Less Crazy

With everyone in such a tizzy over the economy, it’s a struggle to look at the glass as half full.
    Businesses are closing at every heartbeat. Every day more Americans are out of a job. It’s gotten so bad that some people will work for peanuts, and that’s the good news.
    The bad news is that they can’t even eat them.
    How unfortunate is that?
    Even reading the ever-thinning newspaper has become a chore as the punches just keep coming. It’s simply painful to read how almost every economist predicts that “this situation”  - they don’t even call it by name - is not over yet.
    Go ahead, please kick us while we’re down.
    But I believe that things happen for a reason. Call me crazy, but sometimes a good thing can come out of a horrible “situation.”
    So maybe we haven’t necessarily hit rock bottom. Maybe we’ve just hit the “pause button,” which may be something that everyone needs once and a while.
Instead of moving a million miles a minute, maybe we should take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery.
    How do we enjoy it if everything looks so bad?
    Hear me out. Again, no, I’m not crazy.
    Take, for example, dining out. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like going out to dinner, but it is no longer an option for the cash-strapped family with four kids or the pack of friends who just got laid off. Even those of us who are just pinching pennies now find ourselves clipping coupons and bringing lunch to work.
    Not even a $5 footlong does it these days.
    Although such a change in behavior is bad news for the foodservice industry, eating at home more often can result in more quality time with loved ones. In the past, my husband and I would venture out to restaurants every other week just so I didn’t have to clean up a dirty kitchen. Then we would wait for a table, wait for our food and practically scream just to talk over the background music.
    Eating at home allows us to lounge around in our family room and relax with each other. It forces us to take a “pause” from life.
    Sure, the oven-baked frozen pizza may not contain the right spices or best amount of cheese, but it does the job.
    And despite the couple of blockbusters that hit theaters nationwide, our movie-watching adventures now consist of Netflix films. No need to fight for a seat only to get stuck behind the tallest person in the theater (usually my luck) or to find yourself sitting in front of a group of teenagers who constantly talk and text throughout the movie.
    It’s more relaxing to sit next to a gigantic bowl of microwaveable popcorn any day.
    Does that sound crazy?
    Today’s economic slump may seem like a Debbie Downer, and don’t get me wrong - it is. Everyone is affected by this “situation” in some way, shape or form.
    But sometimes, even when it doesn’t look like it, the glass can be half full.
    Instead of rushing to your next appointment, maybe you should now take time to visit that museum you’ve always wanted to or take a stroll through the nearest park - or just host a good, ol’-fashioned barbeque dinner, complete with chips, pretzels and ready-made popcorn.
    If you can - and not everyone can afford to do so - now is your chance. Take a breather. Stop and smell the roses and get out of life what we deserve.
    Don’t worry. The rat race won’t stop, and you’ll find you’re not going to miss it.
    Sooner or later, all of this craziness will end.
    But who am I to know?

Marina Mayer, managing editor

Editor’s Note: Go to to read Marina’s exclusive online-only columns.