Groundhog Day?


I love the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. I actually kind of like the idea of being able to take one day and live it over and over again until I get it right. On the other hand, it would be incredibly frustrating and killing myself 17 different ways would be an interesting  way to spend the time until I learned the lesson I needed to learn.

Now I took a little break, and while I have been following the goings on in the world, nothing has changed. Congress went on vacation instead of dealing with student loan interest rates which lands me further below the poverty line that I was already straddling. Republicans in Texas and Ohio have gone uterus crazy. There are still no jobs. The religious right is still freaking out about who I would like to spend my life with, and Corey Booker is still one of the most awesome politicians in a LONG time.

So basically, same shit different day.

I don’t know what I can do about it though. I really want to actually DO something other than just write about things. I am seriously considering taking a trip to D.C. and planting myself on the Capitol building steps with a cardboard sign that says, “I have nothing better to do than sit here, because you guys have systematically taken any chance I had at success away from me.” They really have. I had several job opportunities before the sequester kicked in, which were ALL cancelled. So then, how am I supposed to make my student loan payment – especially now that the interest rates have DOUBLED? I couldn’t afford the payment before. Now it looks as though default is imminent; and that makes ME the bad guy. Even if I took a min. wage job, it would still not pay me enough monthly to make even one payment on my student loans, let alone all the other bills I have. Every day it is more of the same, and every day solutions seem farther and farther away.

So what to take from all this? Am I being subjected to a kind of Groundhog day phenomenon? Am I just reliving each day just waiting for me to make the right decision to move forward? That is quite honestly how it feels. Every day right now feels the same. The things our government are doing, either positive or negative (or simple non-action), seems to have serious implications for my own life. Something though needs to change. Somehow I must find a way to change how all of this affects me instead of just letting things happen, but I really don’t know what that action is at this point. I feel like I am some weird holding pattern that locks me in a serious financial downward spiral.

Now I really do try to maintain a positive attitude about things. I try to convince myself that if I want something bad enough, I will make it happen – and I am really the only one who can. No one is going to just drop my dream job on my lap – there is something I am missing. I also try to maintain gratefulness. Even though I am broke, I have a home, food to eat, and my little family here. I am quite happy considering. While I want to enjoy this happiness, the financial burden is like a giant black cloud following me around reminding me that even though I can still smile in the rain, I am soaking wet and really all I need is an umbrella.

When I read about all the CEO’s and Congressional millionaires, I can’t help but think to myself about the actual dollar amount I would need in order for a do-over. I’ve settled on $100, 000. With that, I could pay all of my debt, and all of Steph’s and we could afford to move somewhere with better job opportunities for both of us. Now to me 100k might as well be a million. Then I think about all these people just hoarding money and jobs, and I get a little angry. To them, my needs wouldn’t even come close to the interest they earn in a month. Then I think about all the people out there like me, who for 100k or less, could completely start over. There is enough money in our country  to pull every single American out of debt, out of poverty, out of homelessness and joblessness, and out of hunger. One problem though, all that cash belongs to a few people who have no interest in rebuilding the middle class or ending poverty. They say that rich people don’t stay rich by giving away all their money, but at this point, they could give away some of it – still be stinking rich, and bring our country out of the toilet, which would result in them making even MORE money.

I guess I am a little jealous. My priorities are so different from theirs. I can at least take some solace in knowing that I am a much more generous and giving person than them. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would be broke by the weekend because there is so much I would do with the money that has nothing to do with me. Focusing on the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow won’t get me anywhere though. The problem is that I don’t know what at this point will get me anywhere. It’s frustrating to say the least, and it opens the door for wishful thinking which sometimes I think is more paralyzing than reality.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, my little brain starts going in bad directions when I get frustrated. I start thinking things like, “Jail wouldn’t be so bad” and I start plotting bank robberies. I wouldn’t really ever do that, because I do have a healthy fear of prison, and I also really enjoy being a good citizen even if I am broke – but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. In my head, I have planned several “perfect crimes” that would solve all my money woes. Which then tells me that I have been watching WAY too many crime shows and I just need to get off my ass and do something (legal).

So I am thinking maybe a life in politics might be a new direction. Maybe, I will run for office. I don’t know which one yet. Stephanie really wants to be Mayor of Philadelphia and she could totally beat Mayor Nutter (he’s useless). For me though, I am thinking Congress. I want to write bills that make sense. I want to learn under people like Elizabeth Warren, Wendy Davis, and Corey Booker who genuinely want to bring America back into balance. I want to rebuild the middle class, and I want to eradicate poverty in our country. We really could do it if we elected the right people. I think enough Americans are tired of being marginalized that even with the lying, cheating, idiots we could win our country back in the next two elections. That is a long time to wait though. 2014 isn’t close enough, and by 2016 these asshats can completely destroy our nation while we wait for the next election cycle. Groundhog day.

So I am done waiting, but I don’t yet know what action I need to take. Today I resume my job search – I took a break just to reset a little. I am going to look for work in D.C. somewhere in politics. Maybe I can get a job somewhere that I can learn the ins and outs of campaigns so when I do run, I know what needs to be done and how to do it. Maybe Elizabeth Warren needs a new secretary…

So I guess having a different agenda is doing something different. Before I was looking for work just to pay the bills. Now I am looking for work in  a place where I can change not just my life, but the lives of others. That is more my nature anyway. Nothing will change unless I do – and maybe that is the lesson that has been so elusive.

10 thoughts on “Groundhog Day?

  1. This was both humorous and sad. I had to laugh at the sign and Congress Building line. Unfortunately, the job situation- not being able to get one, it’s happening everywhere. Basically the baby boomers are holding on to their jobs (it’s not their fault…It’s nobody’s fault… if they were born 1946-1964 they’re baby boomers.) This means that we’ve got a lot of people who are in the same age range- a LOT. They’re holding onto their jobs-everybody has to make a living somehow right? But it also means that those who should be in the workforce can’t get jobs. People have put off retiring, or they work part-time. Why hire a full-time grad if you can hire a part-time person who already does the job? It also means that we’re going to be screwed when those baby boomers get older- if you ask me, I think the way to deal with it is to create more jobs specifically for the newer generation- not excluding anybody, but just more jobs that would appeal to others- like more technology related jobs-or maybe they should encourage people to think of taking a career in which people are leaving or the numbers are low; it’s just that we have more people than jobs right now. It doesn’t mean it will always be like this though. So don’t give up, keep trying And stay positive.

    • Jenn, I am glad you found some humor, that is what I try to do – find the funny or positive and run with it. I realize I am far from alone in my job search and financial situation. I am part of a HUGE class of people who can’t find work right now, and it is true that many of the baby boomers who thought they would be retired by now, are unable to do so. Mostly because their kids still live with them – because they can’t find work or support themselves. It is a vicious cycle, and it isn’t going to get better anytime soon unless some serious changes are made. I guess my point is, some of those changes have to come from us – the individuals who are stuck in this endless cycle.

    • Jen, as a disabled baby boomer, I see your general description does not fit all of us. I also hope that baby boomers are not solely responsible for the current poisonous maldistribution of wealth. That would be a terrible legacy — whew!

      • I don’t think baby boomers are responsible for the wealth inequality, however – they do have a disastrous impact on the job market right now. It is the state of our government and economy though – not individual boomers. It is just there are so many of you who should have retired by now, but can’t.

        • The American Revolution is probably an example too, of citizens acting in unity for change. What America has become is exactly what most of the founding fathers and mothers warned against. A new American needs to go back to its roots, and that is much more than the twentieth century. Just talking. I don’t sense we disagree, though I do pick up how our ages inform us. You are not a baby boomer and look at that mass from the outside. I don’t see it completely differently but from the ‘inside’. I think you see the glut of people who should be retired but can’t, from a get-of-the-way perspective (to overstate).
          Already retired from disability, but boomer age, I see it from the inside. I look at the boomers and sympathize with their dilemmas. They already have an uncertain financial future in front of them. Will their resources last as long as they do? On the other hand, there are those who need those jobs. That’s tough too. What a world? Right?

      • I didn’t mean to say it was all the fault of baby boomers. I meant the cycle- like sophist6 says- it’s a cycle. I’m not blaming the people themselves, I’m blaming the fact that when the baby boom happened governments didn’t take into account what it would mean for future generations in terms of jobs, or health care, etc. etc.

        • I understand what you are saying. I am just having a new experience as a boomer. We have always been regarded with hope, but now we (not just blacks, women and immigrants) are a social problem. I’m mostly not disagreeing with what you and Sophist have said so far today. From the inside, though, it’s been a new thing to think about — a different twist.

  2. I loved this blog, and can’t help wondering the same thing, ‘what positive thing can I do next’? I think any individual step is going to be small, like sitting on the Capital steps, or being secretary to a politician you admire. However, put all those small steps together and maybe we can get our country back and help to keep/create a world worth living in.

    • I am glad you liked it. I think many people are starting to ask that question though – and that is what is going to bring change. We are tired of just complaining or waiting for the next election. We want to DO something. I think if enough of us get tired and demand change, we can make it happen; from the inside – or through revolution. That seems drastic maybe, but I think possibly the Arab Spring shows us that if enough of us demand change – we can get it.

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