The last six months have been a wild ride for our economy. We had our official financial meltdown at the beginning of October. The first bailout came and went. Insurance and banking giants continued to fall. U.S automakers teetered on the edge of failure propped up only by the government. Millions of jobs have been lost since the start of the year. A second bailout (er, stimulus, I mean) was approved. Bailed out companies have continued to post dismal results. And all throughout, economists, financial gurus, and conspiracy theorists alike have been prognosticating such calamities as the collapse of the U.S. dollar, the Second Great Depression, food shortages, and civil instability. Journalists both fringe and mainstream are becoming more comfortable with revolutionary language.  And yet, with so many storm clouds on the horizon, why does it seem like we have just stalled, like we’re just sitting on the precipice looking at the view below?

True, real life change does not happen at the pace of a TV disaster miniseries (gosh, I miss those). But for all the bad stuff that has happened and the harrowing stuff that’s being foretold, it feels like we’re in limbo.

Please note, I am in no way happy about our nation plunging into an economic hellhole. I like peace and plenty. But I’ve done enough homework to know, and I’ve listened to enough credible voices to know, that we are not going to get a free pass on this one. I would like to believe that we dodged the bullet and it’s time to rebuild. But that belief would in no way be built on logic or reason. It’s time to pay the piper and our credit cards are maxed out.

In my opinion, that leaves only one explanation for the current state of limbo in which we find ourselves. This is the calm before the storm, the deep breath before going over the falls.

So, ask yourself: what do you do when you’re about to go over the falls?

Do you make sure your seatbelt is on tight? Do you get ready to scream your head off and wait to hit the bottom? Do you bail out and swim for shore? Do you just enjoy the view, the cool mist of the falls? Do you just close your eyes and hope you’re still alive at the bottom?

I like to think that I and my neighbors would get out and start swimming the other direction. By the looks of things, however, most people are looking around, enjoying the view, hoping against hope that someone will turn the boat around. Yet others are taking a deep breath, preparing to scream their lungs raw.

Which one are you?

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