Anxiety of a Different Sort

Charlene Norman
3 min readNov 20, 2023

Let’s talk about a different sort of anxiety.

In my late twenties, hubby and I bought our first house. We had precisely ten grand to put down, interest rates were 20%, and we ended up taking a first and second mortgage for a home that cost us exactly double our combined annual income. I wasn’t overly concerned because I knew my job was very safe, that generous pay increases and bonuses would keep coming, and ultimately, we would do so much better than our parents had ever done.

What a feeling of freedom those days had.

That exact house costs today nearly six times the price we paid. I am unaware of any young people receiving generous pay increases or believing that job security over two years could ever be a thing. Based on the stats I keep reading, they take home far less than we did at their age and have little hope of exceeding their parents’ lifestyle.

There is nowhere near the level of forward-looking freedom that we had. Now pile on the unmistakable fact that the globe is 40% of what it once was, and you can feel the world’s entire weight resting on their shoulders.

Lest you think I am overreacting …

Please visit the World Wildlife Organization and pull out their 2022 status report. Last year, we in North America were still blithely unaware of how bad things are because we had lost ‘only’ 20% of our biodiversity. Latin America lost 94%, Asia Pacific 55% and Africa 66%. The measurements for the Arctic and Antarctic regions were not included, and yes, Europe remained ahead of us with just a 19% drop. Based on the wild weather patterns we’ve seen this year and the blazing fires across Canada and much of Europe, I fully expect the 2023 results to come somewhere around 38%.

In other words, the kids of today (i.e. those under 45) will never have the idyllic future we had. They are worried about the earth running out before they do. They are concerned about holding on to jobs, keeping any roof over their head and maybe never raising families.

This brings me to this week’s point

I decided to do two series on The 5Cs Podcast about Climate or Eco Anxiety. First up was a provocative American health and wellness certified board coach. The second begins shortly with a Canadian psychotherapist specializing in Climate and Eco matters. I suggest you listen in because I’ll bet you are like all of us.

You want to provide some support without an overdose of ‘just be happy’ advice. And yet, you may not know how to begin the conversation or what to say that would work. Six short episodes are running from November 4th through to December 9th. In total, they take about 90 minutes to get through.

In my interviews, I learned how easy it is to provide support. And even better, sharing, listening, and sharing some more is healing for everyone involved. Please tune in this month and next. Climate or Eco Anxiety is real and also manageable. It is not covered by any medical plans anywhere. AND we are ALL feeling the effects of it, regardless of our age or whether we realize it or not.

You and I know it’s always safer to have quiet, non-judgemental conversations with the people we know and love. Be the light for YOUR family and friends!

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Charlene Norman

Inspiring good humans to make a difference for all on Planet Earth. Podcast host, author, and community leader. Fanatical about change for the highest good.