It’s going to be one of those posts. The kind where I gush on and on about how much I love my kids, how blessed I am to be able to spend quality time with them, how wonderful it is to enjoy autumn in Maine, and how thankful I am for pumpkin spice lattes. I apologize in advance for the sappy sentiment.
Over the last few weeks, it appears the members of the media who cover the financial beat have been turning to their trusty thesaurus. It’s been two weeks straight of bad news, and they are running out of ways to say “down”. Dow tumbles! Market in free fall! Stocks plummet! Global panic spurs sell-off! I literally heard a news clip on MSNBC where the guy said “falling” about 100 times in 2 minutes. The only thing not mentioned as “falling” by this particular analyst was the sky. He deferred to Chicken Little on that one, but he was reluctant to rule it out as a possibility.
So with global panic as the backdrop on this lovely Friday morning, I packed up the kids and drove them out to Pumpkin Valley Farm. With peaking fall foliage, abundant sunshine, and a clear blue sky that wasn’t falling, it was just what we all needed. We met a bunch of our friends there, and tackled a corn maize together that had even the grown-ups a bit perplexed.
So somewhere in the rows and rows of corn, Sheridan just squatted down and started playing in the dirt. Then she looked up at me and cackled (pictured below).
And that’s when it all became clear. I have everything to be thankful for, and nothing to complain about. And while my 401(k) is most certainly down (falling, plummeting, potentially disappearing forever), my spirits are up (soaring, sky-rocketing, dancing in the heavens). Because what matters to me most cannot be lost during a bank run or a market crash. It can, however, be lost in a corn maize. So I cut my little epiphany short, hoisted Dani onto my hip, and hurried off to catch up with Caed!
We eventually made our way out of the maize, and tried out some of the other forms of farm fun--including a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. Dani and Caed each brought home a pumpkin, and I brought home a new perspective. You might say it is the kind of perspective that sees the pumpkin spice latte as half full, not half empty.
You probably know this is not an outlook I normally embrace. Larry would be the first to tell you that I’m no optimist. I am usually the first to complain, “I don’t think they put two shots in this!” or “This is skim milk...ughh, what’s the point of a PSL with SKIM milk?” But personality flaws aside, I don’t have to be an optimist to see the immeasurable blessings that surround me. And I saw ‘em bright and clear in the corn maize this morning.