OK, the news has been relentlessly bleak these past few weeks– Black Thursday followed by just as black Monday through Friday.  To keep things in perspective, here are five great things about the 2009 depression:

1. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses or the Cravaths… They’re not up either.

2. Remember how you always used to say that you’d love to do business development but you just didn’t have the time?

3. "I told you things might go to hell in a handbasket."  Even if you didn’t quite get the specifics or the timeline right, isn’t a global meltdown at least a little gratifying to us world-class pessimists?

4. With the downside not so far down anymore and the upside potentially critically profitable, why not give all those crazy ideas you didn’t dare experiment with before–flextime, merit compensation, fixed fee billing–a whirl!

5. What an incentive for change!  The time and tumult generated by the downturn can stimulate a tune-up of both your practice and your firm that will serve you well in the long-term, whether it is totally rethinking and retooling your career, becoming expert in getting your best work done even more efficiently, or redefining what your firm or department is and how it functions.  It is today’s inquiries that will fuel your future.

And as an added bonus:

6. Gratitude for your blessings, whatever they are, large and small, never felt better.