Sunday, May 2, 2010

In The Trenches - How did we get here?

It's easy to talk about financial changes when we are looking for ways to cut back, move forward, or  accomplish our goals.  The truth is that many people get  in this position through a jolting life change  that can come without notice.  This may be a  pink-slip at the job, catching your spouse in an affair, a flood, or the death of  a  family member.   These are the times when our finances are turned upside down along with the rest of our whole way of life. We cannot answer any questions about goals because we don't even know what or where we will do next.  These are the tough times.  Amidst our shock, grief, and confusion  we as responsible adults must figure out how to keep going and take care of those who look to us for provision.  It can be overwhelming.  On top of that we may  even have those who we feel want to push us under as we swim for our lives and futures.  We get so much advice or not enough. These are the realities of life and few of us can get through without one or two times of these major life changes.

Where do we start?
1. Pray. God hears us and wants to help.
2. Read the Bible for a couple minutes a day at least.  We can often get comfort or direction for dealing with all these troubles.
3. Don't focus to much on  Why me?   If you  have done something that  contributed to you being in this  situation than acknowledge it  and  move forward.   Don't  spend to much time regretting or getting depressed.  What's done is done.  Learn and move forward.
4. Ask instead, Why not me?  None of us are above  the troubles common to man.  If we have not had them in the past we were fortunate.
5. Receive the goodness, comfort, help, and advice from friends, family, and professionals. None of us are alone and there are caring, knowledgeable people to help us through this time.
6. Don't give up.  Try to find at least one contrustive thing to do each day to move forward.  Keep a list to help you stay on track.
7. Don't be to hard  on yourself.   When we get knocked down sometimes it takes a while for the sore muscles to  heal.
8. Take an inventory.  What is really important at this time?  Is your house still a great investment or has it lost value?  Do you love your job or has it become mundane and with some added education you could enhance your resume and opportunities. This inventory is one of the hardest steps because so much of what we do is based on our heart or our routine and not with our heads.  In this step try to be as objective as possible and if you need help work with someone you trust to give you some honest feedback. 
9.  Make a list all possible options that have crossed your mind.  Get ideas from friends and family.
10.  Now it's time to begin researching.  Learn as much as you can about each of your options.  Though this process you will find information that may cause you to cross the idea off your list or press your excitement buttons.
11.  Hopefully, things will start popping and a plan will begin formulating as to a direction that you might want to go.

The hardest part is leaving the past behind and moving forward.  We all cling to the memories of the past and often choose to remember only the good things. 
If you have gone through a tramatic situation such as a job loss or death in the family it can be very tough.  As you continue there may be many tears, frustrations, and deadends.  It's all part of the healing process of trying to recreate your life. Don't get discouraged.

Have you seen a top spinning?  If it goes too slow it will fall over and stop. Too fast and it will also fall over.  Somehow the trick is to set just the right pace to keep you moving.  One of the most commonly overused phrases that seems like it will fit here is "Smile, today is the first day of the rest of your life."  One of my favorites is "The spring always follows the winter."

1 comment:

Olivia said...

Thanks. The idea of a situation and personal inventory is quite helpful.