Last updated on August 5th, 2019 at 12:57 pm
After I wrote my financial dream article, Financial Success Dream: 4 Hidden Faces of Personal Credit, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about personal financial chaos, I suffered an immediate tinge of regret.
The lyrics by cabaret singer and pianist, Bobby Short, “Laugh, clown, laugh” kept running through my head, to the point where I had to look them up online to find out what the heck my subconscious mind was trying to tell me.
I got the message, and here it is:
Personal financial chaos hurts, no matter how often and heartily we joke about it.
Take a minute and check out those lyrics. Think about the comic geniuses of your acquaintance, or even the famous ones–Charlie Chaplin, Robin Williams, John Belushi. Beneath that silly, zany, sarcastic, hilarious exterior resides a deep well of pain and sadness. Many say the well of grief and sorrow is the precise inspiration for the best humor.
What are you going to do?
Well, in my case, I made up some funny credit state-of-mind scenarios to make it possible to talk to strangers about my financial chaos. As my southern grandmother used to say, “Laugh, I thought I’d cry.”
But just because we’re laughing doesn’t make it fun.
I have to acknowledge that personal financial chaos is painful. All of us who suffer from it feel it. We laugh to hide the pain or ease it, but that doesn’t make it go away.
The good news is, pain is an excellent motivation to change if ever there was one.
Repeat after me as I tell you (and myself) what I say to my kids when they say such things as, “Mom, my foot hurts if I hop while wearing a 5-pound ankle weight,” or “Mom, it makes my teeth ache when I eat a spoonful of straight sugar.” Or how about this one: “Mom, it hurts when I spend all my money on yarn, books, and artisan bread, and I’ve come up short on the mortgage payment.”
Well, honey, if it hurts; stop doing it!”
Let us count just a fraction of the pain of personal financial chaos, and pay it honor due, for all of us who feel it:
1. 3 a.m., awake in the pitch dark, staring up at the ceiling, imagining losing the house.
2. Peering fearfully out the window every time a truck rumbles down the street, afraid it’s the water guy come to turn off the water.
3. Hiding the garbage cans around the corner in hopes the disposal company won’t trouble to look for them and haul them away.
4. April 14, a tax bill of $599.12, and $25 in the bank.
5. Saying no to a lunch invitation from a friend, because you can’t bear to let her pay for it. Again.
6. The bottom of a boy’s tennis shoe worn clean through, and it’s raining. Keep him housebound, or play a shameful game of credit card roulette?
Picture yourself a middle-aged, educated, reasonably talented woman with a better income than a lot of other people, who, by any number of outward appearances, is a success.
Now look in the mirror and see a woman in financial chaos, asking the angels once again to intervene and make an economic miracle happen.
Laugh, Clown, laugh.
What kind of pain is personal financial chaos causing in your life? Isn’t it time to stop?
Jayne Speich is a small business coach/consultant who writes, thinks, and coaches extensively on customer service, business finance, and ways to thrive in the new economy.
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