In June, unemployment hit 9.5%, the highest rate in 25 years, and a "sobering indication that the longest recession since the 1930s has yet to release its hold", wrote the NY Times.
Not that any of us needed this statistic to know that times are tough.
Many of us have seen our net worth dwindle, and are tightening our belts to an extent we haven't had to in years, if ever.
Yet I find myself curiously optimistic.
When the Wall Street Journal asked Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen how the recession would affect innovation, his responding that it would have an "unmitigated positive effect on innovation" was seemingly counter-intuitive.
He continued, "When the tension is greatest and the resources are most limited, people are actually a lot more open to rethinking the fundamental way they do business. That's when breakthrough innovations occur."
A recent CNN Money article tells of a woman whose husband was out-of-work. As she and her husband fundamentally rethought how to do business, they've made ends meet -- and then some. This same article cites a study by the Kauffman Foundation indicating that 51% of the Fortune 500 companies began during a recession or bear market or both.
Maybe Christensen's ideas aren't so counter-intuitive.
As an analyst on Wall Street, would I have amassed a set of portable skills if the resources I'd needed had been readily available?
Would our 'dare to dream' community have had the marvelous month of guest blogs, if I hadn't been resource-constrained?
Most women, particularly mothers, continually feel the tension of having too little time and too small of a budget. Because of this tension, we are expert at rethinking how things get done.
And with the 'recession to have yet released its hold', is the time not ripe for our expertise?
I'm dreaming of disruption.
In my own life and in yours.
And that's a good thing.
What are some other breakthrough innovations? Under what circumstances did they occur?
Have the current economic difficulties opened doors to your dreams sooner than you had anticipated?
Thanks to Dana King for passing along the CNN article.