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14th April
written by Susan

Welcome to The Bridge to Somewhere.

This is the site for those of us searching to find our place in this crazy economy or as we fondly refer to it – the New Economy.

We need a BRIDGE because we’re in transition. Plus, bridges are also a means of connection – which is what we hope this site will be.

And going SOMEWHERE is so much better than going Nowhere!

Of course, it’s no secret that this economy has hurt a lot of good people. For many, the process of trying to understand what happened and what to do next is confounding. Despite our best efforts, it’s easy to feel like you’re getting nowhere – fast! Since we’re on the path to discover a new direction ourselves, it makes sense to document our progress. Why not share what we’re learning?

Experience transformed into thoughts, words, and deeds is power. This moment in time is precious and we choose to use it in pursuit of finding the way forward.  


Let’s start by telling the story as we’ve lived it.

Once upon a time (over most of the last 25 years) nearly everyone who wanted to work was working. Opportunity was abundant and most of us could enter or change career direction through education, training and or through individual efforts like proving yourself. “Making a living” was a course to be charted and a process to be followed; that’s probably why many of us referred to it as a career path. We took the process of work seriously and we even allowed it to define who we were in the world.

Our commitment to work helped build an economy. In return, the economy generated work. And in our paradigm, work and the economy became the YIN and YANG of economic PROSPERITY.

The evidence of prosperity – in terms of opportunity and growth – was everywhere! And no matter the circumstances in which you were working, it was possible to achieve your chosen definition and degree of prosperity.

But somewhere along the way things started to change. The tested and true strategies for overcoming obstacles, achieving success, and generating prosperity stopped producing.

We found ourselves in various forms of transition; we were being squeezed out of good positions or downsized, passed over for promotion, working for greatly reduced commissions or on straight commission, and even working for FREE (on the promise of future revenue). In addition, the abundant opportunities of the past (new positions, new projects, contract work, startups) were becoming scarcer.

It’s hard to say if it was the economy or the work side of the equation that broke down first. Perhaps both were eroding simultaneously. What we would later come to realize, is that things really hadn’t been what they seemed to be! Our beliefs about our security in the world of work and the reality we were facing were two completely different things. It was one of those shocking “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” moments.

Unfortunately, we never took the time to fully understand the economy/economic/financial side of the equation.  It’s accurate to admit we took it for granted. Consequently, we were not prepared for the crash (October 2008). This final event forced us into some heavy soul-searching…

The truth is that what we had created and sustained was an illusion of prosperity. “Prosperity” had been (and is being) nurtured and supported through unsound practices – fancy financial manipulation – bubbles and debt – with help from Wall Street, The FED, Uncle Sam, Congress, unions, a corporate-owned media, and corporate-sponsored lobbyists. Sadly, the working people of America are bearing the burden for the combined failures of the entities and institutions listed here. The loss of equity – in everything from our careers, our home values and retirement/savings, and in our lives – is unprecedented.

We were living “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs” story all along and didn’t know it. Or if we did suspect that things weren’t right, we didn’t or couldn’t do anything about it. Yes, we “goosed” the economy to death. For what, exactly?


We know that the world of work, the economy, and one’s economic prosperity are intrinsically linked. That’s why there are so many talented, experienced, hard-working folks finding themselves in the following categories.

  1. Employed Under Stress.In a situation where layoffs have decimated work groups and everyone must do more with less. The impact is felt in real terms such as permanent pay cuts and a decrease and or elimination of benefits like paid vacations, 401K’s, healthcare benefits and insurance. Add the constant fear of losing your job, and for a few – guilt that you’re still employed – and you have the new normal at work.
  2. Underemployed.
  3. Unemployed.

Check. Check. Check. We’ve been there too.

And when/why did so many of the things we believed in and could count on stop working for us? 

  • I’ve always been able to make a good living.
  • If I apply myself and work hard, I create financial success/security for myself and my family.
  • If I did want to change jobs, or if I found myself in a search of a new job, my experience would produce options – a choice of where I go and what I do.
  • You can do meaningful work in the world and make a living.
  • You can reach key contacts and prospects by phone during work hours.
  • A great resume will help you get noticed.
  • I can sell the house in 3 months and move out of state for that new position.
  • The contractors and or consultants (1099 employees) are making all the money and having all the fun.
  • Teachers and Government workers don’t do as well financially as those of us in the private sector.
  • We’ll be better off financially than our parents.
  • The free market rewards those who play by the rules.
  • The system rewards those who produce positive results.
  • Performance and pay go hand-in-hand.
  • You are never too good or too big to fail.
  • If we don’t buy a home now we’ll be priced out of the market.
  • Taking personal responsibility for our mistakes is a virtue.  
  • The fundamentals of the economy are strong.
  • Excuses (“We didn’t see it coming!”) are always a cover-up.

If any or even all of the above are no longer true…than this blog is for you. If any or all of these are still true we want to hear from you too.

Here’s what we’ve learned from our experiences:

  1. The old ways and the old rules (at work and in the economy) – NO LONGER APPLY. They won’t/can’t get us where we are going next.
  2.  The work/jobs (as we knew them) are never coming back.
  3. More for less is the new normal in the workplace. More work, more hours, more responsibility, more stress, more fear (of losing your job). All with less people and for less compensation (measured in both wages and benefits)!
  4. There are lots of great folks out there who want to work, to contribute and who are finding the marketplace unbelievably challenging and inhospitable.
  5. The way forward is not understood and or well-known.

So, how did we get here? Where are we headed? How do we get from here to there? Which path do we take?

We believe that getting from here to there will require a major transition. Like you, we’re not sure exactly where we’re headed or what the final destination will be. But hey, we’re optimistic! We’ve got faith that wherever it is – all will be well.

That’s why we’re building The Bridge to Somewhere - to the land of what’s next. Our intention is to share our experiences. To let others know they are not alone. (And NO! You are NOT a loser!!). We’re not just walking this path…we’re living it!

Here’s what we believe in:

  1.  Prosperity. For those who choose it. For those who create it, collaborate, and contribute to it.
  2.  We create value and build equity by giving more than we take.
  3. It’s up to us to develop a plan, find our next steps and get moving in the New Economy.
  4. There’s a place for everyone who wants to “play” in the New Economy.
  5. Together we can create a world where cooperation, harmony, and generosity leads to success, abundance, and prosperity for all.

We know all of us are going to have to readjust. To redefine our goals, dreams, expectations, and values as they relate to work, the economy and our prosperity.

The future may be a little foggy…but with some focused effort and collaboration we can find ourselves heading in a positive new direction!

 Are you in?


  1. patt

    Hi Neighbor!!
    Your house is still empty, though Riley runs up to it hoping to see you!! As do I! (Wish to see you not run up to your house!!)

    I miss you and I love what you have written. As….

    I have joined the gainfully unemployed.

    We closed our paper in Long Beach, 4 weeks ago, so I am making art!! I love making art but this is not the best time to be trying to make a living off of art!! But is there ever a good time? I have wanted to be an artist for over 50 years and well this may be the only chance I am given. It is scary and great all at the same time.
    I want to believe what you wrote… “Prosperity. For those who choose it. For those who create it, collaborate, and contribute to it.”

    I will write that in my studio and read it often!!
    take care Susan and I hope to see you SOON!!

    Love ya

  2. 16/04/2010

    Great job! You are so right and insightful. I miss seeing you around the corner. God speed on the bridge!

  3. 16/04/2010

    Wonderfully written Susan! You are such a positive and beautiful person. Challenges, while difficult, are what make us stronger. Hard to believe sometimes! But can’t wait to see what future adventures await us.

  4. 18/04/2010

    This hits me right between the eyes. I am one those over achievers and has always been very successful in my career. But with this economy my past does not matter. I too am searching for answers but I have not received them as of yet. What I have decided is to be thankful for what I have today, and each and every day. This replaces those feelings of uncertainty.

    You have shared what millions of people are experiencing. We are not alone and I agree we are all on an adventure to discovering. Today, it is what it is. Don’t beat yourself up to what it use to be.
    Debbie Nichols

  5. Dave Coats

    Well done, Sue. I miss standing out front between our houses and discussing life with you!

    Whatever insecurities the current culture and economy has delivered, we still don’t begin to approach the horrendous insecurities of life and property that our parents and grandparents faced in the 30′s and 40′s.

    When the dust settles, if and when it ever does, things won’t be what we remember they once were. I imagine some things will be better and some will be worse. That’s life here East of Eden.

    In the meantime, one thing never changes and that’s that our friends, family and neighbors always have needs that we can joyously attend to – something at which you excel.

    My best to you and Bill!