This isn’t a fun post to write. It’s about a failure, or should I say, another failure.
I had planned to re-launch my book, You Can Sleep In Your Car But You Can’t Drive Your House To Work, on August 27th. I had it all set up. I even had 28 incredible people signed up as a launch team. Yet for almost two months I’ve been relatively silent on my blog.
On July 9th I had a knock on my door. When I opened the door the man standing there apologized and handed me a yellow sheet of paper. It was a court summons. One of my old credit card companies was suing me.
This one little act took me out of the game for two months, spiraling me into depression. I isolated myself and stayed at home. I figured if I didn’t go out I wouldn’t spend any money. I ate plenty of comfort food and started smoking again, after I had six months smoke-free.
I felt frustrated. After eight years of not drinking alcohol I was still having financial problems. Just like with drinking, the problem wasn’t the money, it was me. My biggest stressor has been financial concerns. I’ve quit smoking to have my car break down and then I start smoking again. I lose weight and then lose some extra money I was making so I start eating junk food to deal with my stress. At age 45 I still had not learned to live off of a budget. I have no financial peace.
After about six weeks of worrying about what to do I wrote out all of my problems on a list. There were five of them. Then I made a list of all the things I was grateful for. I quickly came up with one hundred. Looking over the short list of problems next to a long list of things to be grateful for put things into perspective for me.
It also helped me realize that I had some things worth fighting for and that this debt is a manageable. After my gratitude list I started doing a few other things differently:
1.) One thing I was not doing was my morning devotions. I felt I needed to get back to spending time reading a few things and praying a little. If I want a relationship with God I figured I should spend a little more time with Him, Her, It or whatever God is.
2.) Take care of myself physically. I had let myself get fat this year. Depending on whatever my ideal weight is I had become 75-85 pounds overweight and relatively inactive. I had a gym membership but it required that I go to them and use their facilities, which I wasn’t doing. So I started using them.
3.) Eat properly. I live right next to a grocery store. One that sells cake by the slice and has a ‘day old’ bin of cookies and scones they sell at a discount. It is like a fat guys paradise. By eating sugary and salty junk food I was killing my energy making myself lethargic. Daily two and three hour naps became the norm for me. I had to change this to help fuel my workouts and my attitude.
4.) Settle this ongoing financial problem. What I was doing financially was not working so I signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
If doing what I am doing is not working then I need to change what I’m doing or stay the same. Life is cause and effect.
What have you done to overcome the challenges in your life?