How about some good news? This week held so much good news that I had to take notes. Enough happened that I had to make some adjustments to me.
So, here we go. To all of you who have graciously listened to my challenges, here are some celebrations. The really good news is that they don’t all fit into one category. To paraphrase myself from facebook, “I just had such a good week that I treated myself to a copy of The Last Supper Catering Company by Michaelene McElroy. Details to follow.” I’m starting with small celebration. Here are some of those details. You decide if they require bigger celebrations.
Within the last seven days:
- I’ve watched GIG go up 50% (and then fall back a bit),
- Sold some books,
- Sold a print, and got paid for another,
- Taught a class about LinkedIn,
- Learned that students are registering for my classes and workshops at WICEC,
- Logged my first solid week as Information Manager for New Road Map,
- Made some nice progress for HCLE’s Virtual Museum,
- Signed up another large client that needs a lot of work done to a close deadline,
- Found out that another author wants help with publishing and social media,
and just when I was learning how to integrate so many good things into my previous stream of not-so-good news,
- Watched my portfolio jump 41% in one day because RSOL was up 129% and MVIS was up 19%.
Oh yeah, and my back improved enough, and I learned some new coping strategies, so I was able to enjoy dancing Tuesday evening. (Thank you, Dr. Craig Weiner, for the professional help. Thank you, fine dancers, for the dancing.)
Wednesday’s post cheered on GigOptix as its stock, GIG, rose rapidly. In a phone call with one friend, and when I met another while shopping, I made a point of thanking them for listening for the couple of years, and that I was making sure they heard the good news, too. I passed along the good news I had at the time. Foul weather friends should be invited to the eventual good news celebrations.
I know that every phone call, every email, every reply to a post can be the news that makes my day, my week, my life; and that there is rarely any warning. Therein lives my optimism, that and the 10,000 Hour Rule. Unfortunately, the last two years have been a list of preponderantly unfortunate events. Despite my optimism, I found myself prepared for the letdown whenever I heard something good. This week’s good news came in so steadily that each item didn’t get a chance to settle before the next one arrived. By Friday afternoon, trying to incorporate and respect each and the total meant I had to quit work early (5pm! instead of 7, 8, or 9!) and sit on the deck with a glass of red wine (from a fine box), and ponder.
The sum of the good news is a marvelous improvement over recent history, but I continued to feel cautious. In my optimism I knew that, aside from windfalls like winning the lottery jackpot, recoveries take time and are not delivered with guarantees. A marvelous week can be the sign of having passed the lowest point, and is the beginning of the rise. That is worth celebrating. It is also worth respecting the necessary next steps. Keep at it, whatever it is. If this good fortune continues, it will probably involve a lot of work; but, that’s okay. The way things are lined up now, I’ll replace working hard at little pay for working hard enough to cover many, if not all, of my bills. Working for a living. I’ve heard of that before. It’s an improvement over just Working.
I felt better. But, something was unresolved as I sat and pondered. What was I missing?
Most of the financial gain required no more work at all. I say “no more” because work was involved, but it was done months and years ago. My years of work at books and photos have created online opportunities so people can buy without any more effort from me. The clients were unsolicited, no cold calling or marketing or advertising involved. Consulting and teaching are things I would do for no pay, though I’ll value them so others will too. The largest financial improvement was the jump in my portfolio. My effort there was time spent in research years ago (an element of Long Term Buy and Hold, aka LTBH), and a deliberate effort over the recent months to maintain at least some investments while paying most of my bills. Recover enough from the investments and debts are more easily paid. All of those items are either partly or completely passive income that frees me to spend time living rather than just working.
Logically, I saw the boundary my emotion didn’t want to cross. As I said on Wednesday, “See, I told you it was hard to believe.” Whether caution is American Puritan values, humility, realism, or a guard against hubris, we discourage ourselves from dreaming big. What would you really do if you won the lottery? MVIS, RSOL, GIG just provided evidence that they may be as grossly undervalued as I logically expect. I can calculate expected values for each. I can daydream about living with such a net worth. But, I did that just a few years ago, followed by the aforementioned unfortunate events; so, my current emotions balked at committing to expecting such levels of comfort and ease. It wants more proof. Don’t spend it until you make it. Besides, if it’s passive income, there’s nothing to do but wait without getting in its way. Relax. Let it happen. And remember to enjoy it. And that’s why I bought a book. My emotions can use a bit of proof, and if we saved up every celebration to the end are only parties would be great wakes.
These recent weeks have felt like a series of small steps in the right direction. This week, and these last couple of days, feel like genuine progress and increasing momentum. Small celebrations will be followed by larger ones. I hope you can, at least vicariously, enjoy the recovery.
It was, and is, a good week. It is Saturday afternoon. The week isn’t over yet. There’s time for more good news.