I limped around this weekend and today at work, feeling grumpy and sorry for myself.
It didn't last long once I was at work, because for what I do, I'm faced with stories of people who are not faring well in these economic times. While politicians refuse to declare a recession, real people are not able to fill their gas tanks, or their stomachs, because of the high cost of everything and the lack of jobs.
My job is to develop policy for welfare programs. These programs were once considered the way to move people from welfare to work. But without jobs, there is no moving to self-sufficiency. Now people who believed that only people who deserved welfare should get it are finding out what we are supposed to do to determine if someone is "deserving" enough.
Unless you have a trust fund that pays your way in this world, many of us are one or two paychecks away from needing help. Every day I read about layoffs, plant closings, lack of food in food pantries, the increasing cost of groceries, the decreasing value of food stamps (they really only last 2 weeks), and the increasing cost of gas, and I worry. I worry about all the people we are supposed to be helping. I worry about the people who are about to need help, and I worry about my own family.
There's no easy answer, except that people need money, and the only way to be able to get enough money to survive is to get a decent paying job. The only way to get a decent paying job is to have a decent education, and have decent paying jobs available where you live. Decent paying jobs need decent health coverage, which costs money. I could go on and on.
The only way I ease my worries is to believe that what I do helps a little bit. It's not the answer, but it's there for people who need help. It's just that there are a LOT of people who need help right now.