I have a litany of optimism. Regular readers have read it before: stocks, consulting, books, photos, house sale, windfalls. I’ve spent the last three years recovering from stagnant finances that then imploded. My litany of optimism has been a daily mantra that got me out of bed, was repeated as I looked at emails, repeated in the shower, repeated during my commute, repeated after every opportunity for improvement proved itself to be yet another normal moment in an unusual episode of my life. Imagine if you will, the possibility that optimism arrives in plural form. The litany becomes such a chorus that I can’t sing it all at once, or include it in one post. This post isn’t that post. This post is the possible prelude.
Preludes, (not the Honda variety), set the tone without revealing the depth or detail of what follows. This prelude fits that description because it may seem more like a teaser or trailer, than a main event. For those that have read so many of my dour posts, here’s a post that hopefully marks a transition to more pleasant news.
In no particular order other than I chose it for the opening line:
- Stocks: My portfolio recovery hasn’t happened in any great fashion, but GERN has more than doubled in the last few weeks; good things are being written about RSOL; and MVIS continues to tantalize with potential that could be announced any day, maybe by April, or unexpectedly delayed, or probably a mix we can’t predict because that’s the way the world works. The irony is that I sold half of my GERN to cover some bills and guessed that MVIS would move soon enough to buy those share back. Well, yes, that is possible; but, it will cost more than before. But hey, my portfolio inches upwards.
- Consulting: Business has never been better, or more fun. September was a continuous sweep of clients, several of whom expect to return, a few who’ve decided to start in October. Peter Jungman and I have identified a joint consulting business opportunity – with details to follow. (Though I do like the idea of providing monthly checkups to small businesses on a subscription basis.) There’s even very good reasons to believe that there may be a dramatic increase in billable hours.
- Books: Book sales rise and fall, and it is encouraging to see my most recent book, Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland, is usually number in search rank for “Walking Scotland”. It is a trip, pardon the pun, to get a higher search and sometimes sales rank than Lonely Planet. As it sell, others sell. Passive income is a good thing.
- Photos: The holiday season approaches and by request I established an online gallery for cards. Optimism. I even celebrated the passage of an era. The last of the satins from was sold to a couple from Vancouver, B. C. Artists know the feeling; sad and glad to see it go.
- House sale: My house is for sale! Okay, most of you already know that. Picking the price is the hard part. Having it confirmed by a neighbor putting their house up for sale was a relief. The house across the street went up for sale at just below my price. Anyone want his and hers vacation cottages with a marina in the neighborhood and views of the Olympics?
- Windfalls: I leave that door open, by at least buying lottery tickets. The world delivers surprises. Some can be very nice.
- Unexpected Goodies: Maybe these are windfalls, maybe these are the consequence of years of steady effort, but I’ve been asked to teach a class in Abstract Photography, iPhone Photography, and to reprise my Social Media class. Each inspiration came from a different source. All were unsolicited. All are welcome. Now I just have to figure out the details: schedule, pricing, content, where to find time to breath, etc.
- Others: Undoubtedly, but you’ve heard enough. But I will say that I welcome autumn and the chance to dance. The lawn and garden can wait a few more weeks. Right?
My litany isn’t as important as the existence of a litany. My successes aren’t as important as the fact that something is happening, or maybe about to happen. It is possible that my first book continues to sell because its title suggests perseverance and persistence, “Just Keep Pedaling“. I suspect more people are away of Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Whatever personal battle you’re going through, the simplest response is to just keep going. (Note: If you’re in a hole, quit digging unless you can dig through a planet. If you’re in a rut, quit rutting? Nah, that’s the wrong word. If you’re in a rut, take a look around for a path with a bit more freedom.)
Sudden losses happen more frequently than sudden recoveries. Disasters happen more frequently than lotteries are won. There is time to dwell and doubt during a recovery. Numerous times within the last few years I was convinced, or at least eagerly anticipating, good news. The sudden recovery hadn’t happened. It may yet. The good news I’m seeing hints of may prove to be yet another Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown moment. But walk far enough and mirages actually turn into oases. The trick is finding the strength and will to keep walking.
The prelude is welcome, but there’s an urgency to the beat. Next week’s Wednesday blog post may be postponed because that’s the day when I meeting with the mediator, the mortgage servicer, and the mortgage counselor to talk about whether I can keep my house or if they have to foreclose. At best, as I walk into that meeting I may not have the money in my account (unless one of those windfalls happen), but I may have letters of intent. Maybe that will appease. Maybe not.
To my Facebook friends, I can’t add much more detail to my cryptic post.
“How to phrase and share possible good news that requires discretion and hope and includes significant uncertainty without raising expectations? At least I can pass along that I’ve heard the most significant financial encouragement in three months. A bit more good fortune and I might be able to get out of the threat of foreclosure – if the news is confirmed and in time. If I wasn’t at work I’d be having a drink. Guess I’ll have some tea and get back to work.“
I hope to fill in the details with good news in good time. And I hope that others finally get their good news as Erin Waterman has. Maybe Angela sells her tiny house. Allen’s Savvy Caddy wallet sales kick in. And more of us experience unexpected successes from casual acts like David Sharpe’s Going Viral.