Nineteen months. Nineteen months ago, just as I thought my portfolio would recover from an earlier decline, it took three massive hits. My optimistic side expected a recovery because the businesses were making progress, even if their stocks weren’t. My pessimistic side knew it was time to begin applying for jobs, just in case. The responsible thing to do was both. Besides, I could always quit looking for a job if the portfolio recovered. I could quit worrying about a recovery if I got a good job. There were a lot of IFs back then. I’ve passed through a lot of those IF gates, with currently insufficient good luck. Hope remains in the IFs that remain, and in the possibilities I haven’t considered.
The good news:
The stock market, the real estate market, and the job markets are recovering.
- I haven’t heard any friends cheering the markets, maybe it’s because they don’t believe it, maybe it’s because they don’t want to celebrate in front of me.
- The real estate market is keeping my real estate agent friends busy, and there’s talk that Seattle is starting yet another housing boom and bubble.
- As for jobs, very few of my friends are jobless. One even went from jobless to having two part-time jobs in less than a month.
The not-so-good news.
- The global financial situation has a shaken foundation that some question. That’s not good for a system that’s based on faith.
- The real estate market may be creating a boom in Seattle, but I haven’t seen it yet on Whidbey. My home for sale and the pending foreclosure are in a tight race.
- And, as for jobs, many people are able to live comfortably by working eighty hours a week and not having a life. Several of my middle-aged friends have lost their jobs or are in fear of losing them. Well, at least some have gotten very good at quickly updating resumes and cover letters.
The sooner-or-laters that I considered in August 2011 evidently weren’t sooner. The laters are stacking up. Small victories can create massive positive effects at this point. A few items have already made a big difference: a gifted truck that allowed me to sell my beloved Jeep, buyers for some household items like my couch, and public and private emotional support. Most of the events are measured in how many days of living expenses are generated because no combination of them have been sufficient to thwart the threat of foreclosure. The items of good news may not be enough to pay the mortgage but I celebrate each anyway. Good news is happening more often. Gain enough momentum soon and the bad news can suddenly fade.
The more substantial good news is actually less substantial because it is only a potential as I type. (Nerd note: Time to collapse some sufficiently positive quantum states.)
- One friend has referred me for a very nice job doing very good work. Referrals are greatly appreciated because they are more successful than trying to appeal to resume bots, especially, for jobs that require critical thinking and people skills rather than certifications and labels.
- We kicked-off the indiegogo campaign for the HCLE Virtual Museum. It gets funded, I get funded.
- Friends are kicking around creative housing scenarios that keep me in my house. The leading candidate is for someone to buy it, rent it back to me, and possibly rent it back with an option to buy. That way they already have a potential buyer lined up for their real estate investment.
- The movie idea progresses. This long episode in my life is so bizarre that several folks have suggested making a movie about it. We think we’ve found a way to do it. Stay tuned.
There’s even some currently slightly substantial news that could become more than sufficient. Sales of my book about Scotland are picking up in places I’ve never contacted. The reviews are good. Books are essentially lottery tickets written by authors without guarantees. Maybe Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland can carry me through to the comfortable life of my daydreams. Buy. Read. Review. Tell your friends. Buying my ebook funds my life a dollar or two at a time.
My friends’ stories help. Whether it is one friend finding two jobs in one month, or Erin Waterman’s significant upgrade, or Angela Ramseyer’s progress with Mighty Micro Built houses, I see inspiration in their success. And I witness that those successes were the result of diligent work that was rewarded in ways they didn’t expect. An astrologer friend told me years ago that I would succeed in ways I couldn’t imagine. I continue to believe her because otherwise it can be hard to imagine succeeding on those days that are filled with rejection letters, mortgage company concerns, and a lack of sales, students, or clients. My friends’ successes came from unexpected directions. What direction will work for me? Will success wait until I am not looking for it?
The unexpected happened on Whidbey today. A few hundred yards of land slid to the sea, cutting off more than a dozen houses. People who never lost a job, who dutifully paid their bills, and who moved to Whidbey for a view of the sunset over the sea had the ground shift from under them. The videos and photos are eye-candy for the news teams. The main message that may be lost was paraphrased from a neighbor. Despite the worries, no one was hurt.
As I consider the sooners and the laters, the potentials and the unexpecteds, I try to keep in mind that this is temporary, the only person that can hurt myself is myself, and as my Dad asks, “Is there food on the table? If so, good. Start from there.” And I do. And I remind myself that my greatest ally is myself. And I pour myself a glass of wine or such, and look at my view and appreciate what I have and what can be. I might just have to wait a little bit more.
PS Want to catch up? Here’s last month’s report.