If you have a job. And it's secure. And you haven't lost your house. And were already okay before the recession. And can afford to buy anything advertised in Esquire.
If you have the courage to buck the prevailing mood (and are among the 93% of who still have a job), these are actually damn good times. Not just because every morning paper's jammed full of amazing stories, but because life has actually gotten easier.
Gas is under two bucks. There's never been a better time to buy a new car (half off! 0 percent!) or a new house (depressed prices + 5% over thirty years = unprecedented opportunity). Tables are available in the vast majority of excellent restaurants, to eat reduced-price menus. TV has never been better ("30 Rock," "Fringe," "Friday Night Lights," plus everything on the winter season of cable). The new TiVo box offers miraculous access to, essentially, the entire history of filmed entertainment on the best generation of flat-screens ever, which retailers are giving away. Airports are way less crowded, there are empty seats on flights, and those flights land on time more often. There's momentum afoot in the land to address the problems (infrastructure, education, health care, energy) we've ignored for the last eight years. All in all, it's easier to live a more enjoyable life right now than at any time in recent memory...if we can just convince ourselves to go ahead and do so.