You wake up the next morning and confirm with yourself that yes, it's all real, we're in it. It's not a bad dream. Not a bad mood or a hormonal dip.
Don't be scared, I'm with you. People are panicking - still - even when we're told the worst is over. We may have bounced off the bottom in the Dow's plunge, but that doesn't mean we won't keep hitting the sea floor at home. Whether it's the bills which just keep on coming. Or the tax man knocking with claims of underpayment in 2 thousand bloody 6. Or the roof leaking, the plates breaking, the children growing. And we can't pay. It's limbo, scary limbo, and we don't like it.
In this mornings New York Times, an unfamiliar Op Ed contributor, Daniel Gilbert, wrote a piece you just have to read, called "What You Don't Know Makes You Nervous". Gilbert's saying that those of us who are busy predicting the fall are less able to operate these days than those who've already received the news. How many of you expect your job to go, your business to plummet, your health to tank? And aren't you TERRIFIED? But the truth is, once it happens, as Gilbert says, you weep and moan, but then you clap your hands and get on with it.
So what does that mean? That you have it all: your job, your house, your health - and you're so worried about losing it that you're miserable before you need to be?
Limbo is one Hell of a state, indeed. We are going on 2 years of limbo. Not one single day since August 2007 have we felt at home, situated, comfortable or sure that we'll be living in this house, in this zip code, in even a month's time. But a secure place will be reached again, it's guaranteed. And when that time comes we'll ask ourselves why we were so worried in the interim.
Time to create the New Now in Limbo. The collected songs and memories you'll associate with this time. Poems or articles we read when we couldn't get ourselves out of the house. It may not be all wine 'n roses, but it'll be a chapter of our book. As we see Time waft in the door and out the window, don't we want to make sure that this time is accounted for?
My Songs for the Limbo:
Ben Folds and Regina Spektor singing "You Don't Know Me"
Crosby and Nash singing "Lay Me Down"
My Writings for the Limbo:
David Sedaris' "When You are Engulfed in Flames"
Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies: Some Notes on Faith"
My Sustenance for the Limbo:
Trader Joe's HUGE dark chocolate bar with hazlenuts
Starbucks' Venti Caffe Misto ($2.49 compared to the latte at triple the price - note that)
My Memories for the Limbo:
Fires in the living room at 5:30 on a weeknight, mid-winter
Driving up Limekiln Road for the 4th or 5th time that day, watching Winter turn to Spring
"Even though it's hard to know just how the story ends
the road is long and it takes its time, on that you can depend..."