The gate post turned in its moods, making it temperamental to latch.
Like everything with my new almost 100 year old house, it had character.
And I love character, right???
Except when it left me tired and frustrated, cursing my decision to buy whenever I tried to get cold metal wrenched into place.
The numbers started to run in my head.
How much it would cost to fix it.
How much the guy would want to replace it.
How much it would take to sell the house entirely and move to Argentina.
SPOILER ALERT: None of it cheap.
How could my dream home be so costly?
I manifested it from nothing. I can still remember another set of calculations running over and over in my head:
How much I would need to save (thousands each month)
How long it would take me (ten years)
How much I needed to be competitive in an escalating Southern California housing market.
The interest, the inflation, the impossibility of it all.
Then, in the miracle way these things do, something broke through.
An unexpected dividend from the Universe.
Paid from the time and effort put in over years.
Received from resources given away freely from my heart.
Manna from heaven.
How I ended up with the beautiful bungalow I now own is a story for another day. But suffice it to say, there are always better outcomes on the horizon than we can dream of, Horatio. Promise.
And even so, all the
did not stop the expenses from triggering my Money Monsters.
Those guys kept rapping at my mortgaged door.
I can still feel the thump of my heart hitting my belly when I got his text Friday.
‘We are getting a new fence on Monday, sorry for the short notice. I see that your gate post is lashed to our fence so we should talk about it.’
That’s all my friendly new neighbor said but somehow that got my Money Monsters to howling.
Howling about how it was broken and could never be fixed.
Howling this would suck up all my savings and leave me nothing to show for it.
Howling that now I could see the folly of my financial selfishness.
Howling that I should have just stuck to stocks where I’m comfortable, not stuck my toe in the real estate market.
That, my creative co-creators, is Roger the Regretful and he is a tricky fellow.
He will tell you that you made the decision, okay, but it really wasn’t a wise one and, oh, did you know everyone else knew that too and just didn’t say anything?
He drives home the point that you can’t trust yourself to make strong MONEY choices so you might as well give up trying.
For you, this may manifest in:
- Spending all your money because you never seem to manage to save anything anyway.
- Splurging on your credit card since statement balance $0 never seems to happen.
- Socking away savings in cash in a bank account, instead of allowing it to increase through investments over time.
Roger the Regretful shows up in so many insidious ways. He thinks he’s being helpful, of course, but his help is passive aggressive at best. It undermines your confidence in yourself and your ability to know what’s best for you.Which, my dear creative light, is
As creatives, our confidence is key.
It is the turbocharge that lets us to tell the world: I have a vision of something (that doesn’t exist yet) and when I build it, you’ll think it’s cool too.
This could be a sculpture, a performance, a beautiful, ease-filled life.
Everything is creative expression at its root.
And we must have confidence in our ability to create those visions to start on the journey we dream of completing.
It’s like the Choose Your Own Adventure books I checked out by the dozens when I was a kid, so excited to save Montezuma’s treasure, free the kingdom from the dragon, or root out the villain hiding in our midst (ahem, MONEY MONSTERs!).
I loved that the journey I was taking in each book was a collaboration with its creator, a path prescribed by the author but masterminded by me.
Brilliant storytelling, no? Get the audience involved while also having them tell the story to themselves. Gotta love that business model.
But, my friends, I could never just let the story unfold.
Not this kid.
Who could wait to find out the outcome until the end?
So I would ‘reverse engineer’ the ending I wanted and try to chart the course from the page with the best resolution back to the pages that led there.
But it never tracked back exactly. I don’t know if I just wasn’t that careful in my pattern tracking as a kid or if there was some kind of magic spells on those books that changed page numbers like shifting walls in a labyrinth if you tried to outsmart the ‘choose’ in Choose Your Own Adventure. I just may never know.
For whatever reason, I was never able to successfully navigate the ending back to the beginning.
The only good resolutions I found where in making the best possible choices as I read the book forward.
Yes, sometimes that meant I ran out of oxygen at the bottom of the ocean (dark, I know! Who writes this stuff? And for kids??) but mostly it meant I had an ending that unfolded in an entertaining way and ended up better than I expected.
It’s hard to beat floating to the bottom of the Pacific, no doubt.
So these days I have accepted I can’t live my life backward to maximize the endings.
I use other tools instead:
I called in my personal construction crew to brainstorm solutions to this incoming problem.
I deep googled fence latches to reassure myself I was not the first person in the history of the world to need to replace one.
I repeated my best money mantras on an endless loop until finally we finally met on Sunday night….
And he didn’t have an answer for me.
He just didn’t know enough about the fence to tell me how we could solve my attachment issue.
(As if I needed more deeply triggered stuff to work through!)
But I had done all I could do and had to step aside to let this growth moment play out as it would.
The first thing I noticed was how careful they were coming in and out of my unlocked gate. Then the thoughtful way they swept up the overgrowth they cleared from my side of the gate. And finally how many times they checked the alignment of my gate channel to make sure it would slide closed like butter.
And best of all ~~ how they attached it firmly to the new gate so it would no longer swing out of reach when being latched.
And the gate works better than ever.
Cost to me: FREE
The only thing invested was the mental strain I put myself under as I let my MONEY MONSTER Roger second guess my ability to navigate unknown waters.
And so, my dear creatives, I ask you, what confidence undermining are you letting yell in your ear? What MONEY MONSTER is taking up your time and energy? How are you distracted from creating, trying to reverse engineer an uncertain outcome?
Just because you think you know how the story ends doesn’t mean it’s how it ends for you.
Take a moment today and recenter yourself in the moment. Tap into the sense of knowing and self trust that has brought you so successfully to this point and remind yourself you have always found a way forward in the past.
Recite to yourself: I have done it, I can do it, I will do it. And then let the events unfold.
warm wishes & cold cash,
P.S. I’m taking some of my own advice! The Money Monster Masterclass is moving to the afternoon on Feb. 19th. We’ll be convening at 2 pm to kickstart our creative abundance and kick our MONEY MONSTERS to the curb. Are you joining us?
Click here to purchase tickets: https://selftrustfund.ck.page/products/money-monster-masterclass