When the stock market crashed in October,I looked at my entire net worth. It had dropped nearly in half. I double checked my glasses. Perhaps I wasn’t seeing the statement correctly. Maybe I needed a new pair; one that could read numbers correctly.
“It will go back up, it always does”, I told myself. It hasn’t, and unfortunately my glasses are fine.
“I will earn the money back, after all, i have a job”. Those were the words I told myself, but then it happened again. The job disappeared, in an instant. No preparation. No warning. They just closed the mental health center. You would think that would be the last place closed during an economic decline. It wasn’t.
Then I said those dreadful words again, “I still own rental property. At least I will have an income during these troubled times.” Then the tenants began to call me on the telephone. They had lost their jobs, and couldn’t pay the rent. They would have to move.
Now I was in deep doo doo. No job, no tenants, and little money left in the stock market.
I did what any sane person would do under the same circumstances, I found the hidden treasures sitting in my home, and began to sell them. The garage, a collection of toys and games, were listed on Craigslist.org. The old 1977 Mercedes is now gone. So is the dime, slot machine that I picked up in Las Vegas years ago. I was sad to see it go. After all, had I been able to set it up in a location outside of my game room, I could have made the money back, but I couldn’t. Slot machines are against the law!
I delayed the mortgage payments a month, and unfortunately watched my credit go down the tubes. When I did find tenants again, I played catch up. When the phone was turned off, I didn’t miss it to much, after all I didn’t have to listen to bill collectors calling for money due.
I had lots of free time, so I did what i love to do. I wrote, and submitted articles for pay. I discovered that I could get paid for my words, and earned some extra income during this time.
I looked for a job, and began actively applying for employment. I found that people began asking me to coach them in starting a new business, and so that is what I began to do.
There was even an unexpected benefit to this economic mess for me. I was able to lose 10 lbs without trying. When you live on soup and salad, the pounds slip away. When you give up driving, you learn to walk. Do both of these things together, and the pounds disappear. Had I not faced these tough economic times, I would have tried dieting the old fashioned way.
Since I had some caulk, I set out to caulk the loose cracks in my home, and discovered that I cut back on the utility bills. I advertised for a roommate, and found one to help pay the bills due.
This economic mess hasn’t been all bad. I am thinner and healthier. I now get paid for what I love to do. My home is energy efficient, and I even know my neighbors, as walking the streets, has some unexpected benefits. Times are difficult, but I have discovered that behind every cloud lies a silver lining.