As I contemplate Thanksgiving

by francine Hardaway on November 15, 2006

As I contemplate Thanksgiving again, I think about the tag line I often use in my email signature: “It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you come to it.” I borrowed that line from my former psychiatrist, who I think just gave up on me after failing to make me understand what the phrase meant. Years later, the light bulb went off, and I stole the line from him.

This is a good week to evaluate how I come to things. On Sunday, I dumped the third Blackberry in two years into a toilet, because I never remember to take it out of the back pocket of my jeans.

I didn’t curse, and I didn’t swear. I jumped into the car, went to TMobile, and bought a new Blackberry Pearl. It’s only money.

Last night, I came home, opened the MacBook I bought a few months ago, and couldn’t get it to power up. No power. No nothing.This morning I jumped into the car, went to the Apple store, and left the computer to be repaired. $146.00 to replace the connection to the power source. It’s only money.

Last week I got a letter from the developer of a condo I bought two years ago, before it was even built. It’s finally ready for me to close and move in.

The only problem is, I don’t want to live there anymore. Life has changed. When I put the deposit down, I thought I’d walk the dogs on the Biltmore golf course (this condo is on the golf course). Now, I am facing a hip replacement, and for the past year I haven’t been able to walk without a cane. One dog has gone to doggy heaven, and the other one weighs 85 pounds and would sled me around the golf course on my butt if I tried to walk him in my current condition.

So I need to sell the condo, but the real estate market is in a “stabilizing period,” which is real estate-speak for a period with more sellers than buyers. So I will have to close on this condo and won’t move into it. It’s only money. Eventually, someone will buy it.

I did not always think like this. There is an enormous freedom for me in finally coming to the conclusion that money is not worth being in a panic about. For years, I feared starvation (that was the reason to visit the shrink) while building my business. I drove everyone nuts with my concern about whether I was going to have “enough money” to educate the kids, save for my retirement…etc.

Well, NOBODY ever has enough money. That is a mind game. Truly poor people don’t have enough money to keep a car running, but truly wealthy people don’t have enough money to preserve their health and grant them immortality. The rich and the poor get old, get sick, and die.

So I have simply abandoned the fear of not having enough money in order to live a more fulfilling life. And nothing has changed. Miraculously, I don’t have any less money. And probably not any more. Finally, I always seem to have “enough” money. After all, what is money but pieces of metal and paper that we have imbued with sacred status. I’ve come to the conclusion that by abandoning fear, I can manifest money,almost the way I manifest parking spaces.

Because of my attitude toward money, I don’t save for retirement, even though alll day long I hear people talking about saving for retirement.

But I don’t save for retirement because my father dropped dead at age 57, and all the retirement savings in the world didn’t help him.My husband died at 65, despite his savings. I believe all the financial planners and journalists and Suze Ormans who throw the fear of God into people about how they will outlive their money are creating an unhealthy environment for a generation of people who already too materialistic.

So as we all prepare for the holidays and try to think about what we’re thankful for, I know what I will be thinking. I’ll be thinking that I’m thankful to live without those old fears about money.

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