We're on the home stretch in our Year of Plenty. All novelty has been worn away by inconvenience and we're just kind of hanging on at this point. I'm seriously considering moving Diet Coke into the "medical necessity" exemption category, along with Listerine fresh breath strips and Red Robin Banzai Burgers. The trip to Thailand is keeping us going though.
It's a good time to start reflecting on our experience. One twist in our year has been the far reaching collapse of the economy. When I posted about "Bringing Down the World Economy One Beanie Baby at a Time," back in March, I had no idea the catastrophic impact our change in consumption patterns would have. If you doubt our role in this, do a Google search for "bringing down the world economy" and you'll find our original blog post as the first listing of 1.3 million results. I'm just glad that we made it under the radar during the election. I would have hated to come up in the debates alongside Joe the Plumber, as Craig the Master Food Preserver or Craig the Butter Maker.
On a more serious note, one of the key tensions we've lived with is defining "Plenty." How much is enough? What does abundance look like? We typically define that in terms of money and net worth. I came across this astrological commentary on 2008, Year of the Rat, predicting a "year of plenty."
I think I smell a rat or at least the worst prediction ever. Notice how the "year of plenty" is defined in economic terms and yet our experience in America over the last fifty years of increasing financial adundance has not resulted in an increase in happiness. See this article at ethics daily for further discussion on this. Go here for the Happy Chart that ranks countries according to their level of happiness.
So can a year of economic collapse be a "year of plenty". More later.