A mortgage-broker friend called me today, despairingly. “I know you don’t read the newspapers or watch TV or anything, but did you hear what’s happening out there?!” My first thoughts were “Something’s on fire? George Clooney is getting married? They’re going to stop making orange juice?” Remembering her livelihood is deeply entrenched in the state of today’s economic forecast, I simply answered “No. What’s happening?”
I don’t read the newspaper (with the exception of my daily horoscope, weather and the sports page). I don’t watch the local news, CNN or FOX. I don’t look at my stocks or my retirement fund. I don’t know the current value of our home right now or the price of gas until I pull my car up to the pump. I do use coupons at the grocery story, but then again; I always have. (Hey – I’m all about free money!)
Apparently, my outlook and attitude are driving my friends crazy. They don’t understand me and downright implore “Why isn’t this poor economy thing affecting you? Why aren’t you running around gathering acorns and covering your head like everybody else?” It’s simple. I am not Chicken Little, and the sky is not falling.
I thought the sky was falling a couple of years ago. I was working like a mad-woman at a highly stressful 10-hour-a-day-job that I absolutely hated, all the while being a wife and mother, running a home business with over 100 clients, helping care for my dying father- in-law, and trying to maintain a household, a social life, and a healthy body. My day-job paid very well, offered great benefits, a retirement plan, healthcare; the whole ball of wax. The economy was booming and I was trying desperately to keep up with its run-away-train pace and my self-induced obligations. Sharp slivers of sky were falling, piercing my heart and brain every day; yet I continued like a rabid gerbil on a flaming wire wheel. Finally, the slivers became sharp enough to grab my attention and I figured out that a smoldering rodent would never be able to catch a speeding locomotive. Enough was enough. I left the corporate world cold-turkey, gave up my home business and pursued a career as a life coach; the work I knew I was meant to do. This, of course, immediately ended the consistent money flow and benefits. It was a major change in my personal economy.
It was also a major positive change in my quality of life. Our house became more than a place to sleep. I actually began to see my kids as people, not just bodies in car seats being toted from one “must do” event to another. My husband had interesting things to say now that I was listening. Most of all, I allowed myself to be the great person I really am. My sky miraculously returned to blue and sunny.
Yes, my economy changed a couple of years ago, but by choice. Quitting my high-paying, benefit-full job meant there would be a lot less “things” in my family’s lives for a while, and it was a difficult decision to make. Yet I knew if I kept up the high-speed pace just to sustain the flow of “things” into our lives, I would most certainly lose me before the end of the race; a price I was not willing to pay.
Do I have less money now? YOU BETCHA!!! It’s truly a temporary state as I become more financially successful every day. My future looks great because I took a risk and invested well in my “take-stock” fund. I’ve made huge deposits of self-love and emotional wellness that I will draw on for the rest of my life; something that can never be foreclosed on or be left uninsured. My friends don’t realize how rich I really am.
I invite you to take your inventory. If it feels like the sky is falling, it just may be time to change your personal forecast. If anything is “worth it”, you are.