Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Silver Lining Tale

My wife lost her accounting job last Fall. The reason stated was a downsizing one. The real reason was her inability or refusal to kiss ass and play the Yes man. I mean Yes girl. Her job as a CPA was the foundation of our income. Lord knows, my bike shop wasn't. So, here we are, just before Thanksgiving, no steady income and nothing but bleakness and negativity on the horizon. There was no silver lining to this cloud. Or so we thought.

For the first time in our lives, we went on the dole. Just the process of filing for unemployment stuck in both our craws. But she did it, because we absolutely needed all the short term help we could get. My bike shop was suffering the worst Fall since it opened. There was nothing to pull from it.

My wife decided that she would aggressively pursue interviews in the Public Accounting field. She would also begin to find her own clients and maybe go into business for herself. The beauty of that idea was it wouldn't take much of an upfront investment. Her stock in trade was in her head. All she needed were clients. She hung out a shingle and went for it.

Fast forward to the here now. A month ago, she pulled out of the unemployment thing and in just 4 months, she has picked up enough clients that she is now considering not bringing any new ones on. She works harder than she did as a staff accountant for someone else, but man o man, is she a much happier camper. The financial hole we dug is still there, but looking better. It is the quality of our lives that has seen a major uptick. With her in a much better place mentally and emotionally, I have followed suit and both of us seem to have become more optimisitc. We laugh more. The nit picking on both sides has diminished. And while we may not have a pot to piss in at the moment, we are no longer pissed off at the World. Life seems worth it again.

This current crisis in my life has reinforced some of the attitudes I have held for many years. Life is a series of highs and lows. If we allow these lowpoints to take over our lives, the climb out can and is sometimes impossible. But if we can allow the low point to run it's course while actively seeking alternatives, something is bound to turn up. Wallowing in self pity can become a kind of perpetual motion machine. A monster that eats it's own tail. The only way to fight it, is pick your sorry ass up off the mat and go at it again.

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