I Only Lost My Job

A lot of people in distribution range of this magazine are reeling from losses sustained through Hurricane Harvey. The horrific storm swept through randomly devastating some and sparing others. It wasn’t a matter of who deserved to loose, keep, or prosper. Mother Nature was indiscriminate between what we might call good neighbors and bad people.

The storm seems to have brought out the best and the worst in all of us. Some sulked or filed lawsuits. Others reached out to friends and neighbors while they licked their wounds. We all know people who have stories that make us laugh and cry. Most of our stories are still unfolding.

They say if you want to see what’s inside a fruit you only need to pierce and squeeze it. If it’s a lemon, something sour comes out. If it’s a grapefruit, something tart comes out. If it’s a peach something sweet comes out.

Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve seen a storm brewing on my personal horizon. Several years ago, I inherited a business I had invested tens of thousands of dollars in with a close friend. The owner was foreclosed on, and I thought I could turn it around to salvage my investment. Things were worse than I realized and between my initial loss and what I chased it with, I was $150,000 into the project before I knew it.

It wasn’t easy, and I invested another $60,000 over the next couple of years before things started to level off. That’s about the time President Obama declared that when I started making a decent profit, I needed to start paying “my fair share”. Sheesh. But, not to worry, a $14,000 air conditioner repair and some major commercial equipment replacements put me back in the hole again over the next couple of years.

Then, a frivolous lawsuit I eventually won distracted me and drained my energy and my purse a little more. Then, I learned I did something wrong and owed the government a bunch of money. To make a long story short, what has unfolded over the last several years would be comical if it weren’t so heavy.

About a year ago, I had to invest in equipment and facility repairs and renovations to the tune of over $25,000. That didn’t include carpet replacement and bathroom repairs that are seriously overdue. Our Point of Sale computer equipment was constantly breaking down, so I invested $26,000 thinking I’d never have to do it again. Then, my bank account got hacked. I’ve been behind the eight ball, digging out of a hole every year for eight years.

It seems so strange that about the time I genuinely saw blue sky for the first time, in the midst of fending off gators, I got bit by a snake. I don’t like it. I don’t understand it. But I accept it. And, I hope to accept it in such a way others will see something sweet while I’m being pierced and squeezed. A lot of people have lost a lot more than I have — a home, a lifetime of memories, even a loved one. I only lost my job. I value a lot of things more than money. You’ll see.