Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Life keeps doing this. Or maybe I let life do it. I'm talking about life's little trick of forcing me to refocus, reinvent, pick up and keep moving -- finding the gumption to be resilient.
Like millions of baby boomers, I'm suddenly and unexpectedly at a point where I need to be resilient. Carefully nurtured and hard-earned financial plans have soured, leaving me looking at decreased income while money is pouring out to keep me from losing even more. The nuts and bolts of that are that I have been forced to refinance a property I own, and the increased cost to keep it is $400 / month more than I was paying .... while the value of the investment has dropped because the entire commercial real estate market is frozen solid.
One result of this is that I can't afford to stay in my own building, so I'm having to find a tenant while I locate office and gallery space elsewhere.
So far, this is bad, but doesn't call for a lot of resilience.
What does call for resilience is that in leaving my business premises, I'm having to terminate my portrait business and stick with photo restoration, which pays but isn't my life's work, while trying to market art photos, travel photos, and stock shots. And I'm a good photographer, but a lousy marketer. I have a hard time with failing at something I've worked so hard at (portrait studio). But I can live with that .... IF I can figure out how to overcome the barriers to successfully getting my stuff known and selling.
Add to this that I'm getting on in years and getting enough physical problems to tell me that I'm surely in my final productive decade. Time's winged chariot is a damn sight easier to board than a commercial jet, that's for sure! So how do I best use my time? How do I make the best use of my assets, personal and financial?
I'm sure more shit will hit the fan ... and splatter on me. So the challenge is to wipe it off, look around, and see how to make the best of a suddenly sepia-toned landscape!
So, how to find the energy and focus to move forward? How to be willing to run risks when my age, finances, and health are all screaming "hunker down, you fool!"? Yet hunkering down would be the worst thing to do. It would destroy me emotionally and artistically. Wouldn't stop the financial rot, though hunkering hard enough might slow it down.
"Fall forward" was a bit of advice given me many years ago. Now's the time to remember it and put it to work. I'm not the only one who must be resilient. As a nation, it's time to fall, if we must, while doing our best to move forward. And if we do fall, bouncing back is the one thing we're good at.