….on the way to the poor house…. I started to enjoy the ride.
When it comes to going down, I don’t take the elevator, I take the laundry chute.
I went from two huge homes, a beautiful wife, three cars, a million dollars worth of video production equipment, a horse, six dogs and a big fat 401K.
Needless to say, I like to take chances. I thought my winning streak would never end.
But it did. I think they call it entropy.
I was on the phone with my Fidelity broker one afternoon looking to withdraw 400K to buy a big spread with a pool and a Casita in Cave Creek, Arizona.
He tried to warn me that the immediate penalty would be 170 thousand dollars. I said, “Just do it.” (I honestly hate telling that story)
Not long after, I started losing big clients and life began to have its way with me.
It was time to start un-assing my properties. I was imploding.
Then I picked up a drink after almost forty years and found myself at a VA hospital in a ward full of screaming, moaning, men.
My health was rapidly deteriorating from my overly helpful, overly prescribing, internal med doc.
I took a crappy apartment next to some railroad tracks for a year and planned my move out west.
I was getting broker by the second.
Just when I thought I hit the bottom of my bottom’s bottom, the excavation began.
By the time I reached Arizona a year later, I was looking in gutters for change.
I couldn’t even afford to feed my dogs.
I once made a grocery purchase with eighty dimes, much to the chagrin of the moody cashier.
I used to groan myself awake those days, but somehow, I stayed sober.
Soon, my car was gone, my dogs were gone, and down went my credit.
They say, whatever doesn’t kill you.
Then one day the lights came on and my attitude changed.
It was a game on, from then on, so bring it on.
I cut coupons, followed supermarket sales, bought a rice cooker, soaked my own beans, cut, cut, cut.
I worked retail, sold insurance, became a personal trainer and stashed my dough. Yeah, I was getting good at this shit.
I was running at a high idle. I grew more cunning, agile and alert.
My eyes even got bigger, if that’s possible.
My many years of slaving away in hot kitchens was paying off.
I was eating sumptuously for pennies on the dollar. Burp!
I traded my Lexus SUV in for a Walmart bike and a Goodwill knapsack.
I skinnied down to fighting weight and grew more muscular by using what I learned as a trainer.
Not bad for a man society considers elderly.
I still live this way today. I am hipper, happier and healthier.
The moral of the story? Every belt can use a little tightening, if it happens to you….enjoy the ride. 🙂