All the Things

I recently lost 352.7 lbs and a combined total of 246 inches.

I look so much better. I feel great. I’m like a new person. 

It was actually pretty easy.

You see, I cleaned out my closets, drawers, and garage and got rid of everything we don’t need or use anymore. I got rid of broken remotes, half eaten granola bars, and tons of paper clips. I can’t even remember the last time I used a paper clip.

I stopped doing things that were wasting my time. For example, if you actually bring the grocery list to the grocery store, you are not making multiple trips to said grocery store which saves you a lot of time, reduces frustration, and helps you cuss a lot less.

I let go of people that were a drain on my mental and physical energy. 

Aww….so much better.

I can say this was easy because I’m not a hoarder by nature. I don’t hoard “stuff”. That’s not important to me at all. I don’t hoard guilt, resentment, grudges, or ill will toward anyone. I don’t think that’s productive, so I just…don’t.

At least a couple of times a year, I do a complete purge. It’s really liberating. To a lot of people letting go of junk is really, really hard. And I think that’s an issue, because holding on to crap in your garage and in your life can hold your entire future hostage to your past.

That stinks. I mean, why would you want to do that?

Two things really screw us all up: fear and regret. How different would your life be if you weren’t afraid and you didn’t regret anything? Let me rephrase that – how much BETTER would your life be without those two things? 

Well, let me answer that for you: a lot better. In fact, your life may be totally different.

If it didn’t cost you anything to play blackjack at a casino, would you play?

Sure! You may say…why wouldn’t I? I won’t lose a dime!

True. But you won’t win anything either. Or have much fun. You might as well be playing Candyland with your neighbor’s kids. 

The fear of losing something, of letting go of that sweater you haven’t worn in two years, of throwing away that old cooler in your garage, of quitting a job you can’t stand, is holding you back from something better. It’s holding you back from winning. It’s holding you back from making more room in your closet. It’s holding you back from getting rid of crap. It’s holding you back from having a brighter future.

 Then the fear of “but what if I throw that away and then I need it next week and then I ‘ll regret giving it away” becomes the regret of “I wish I would have quit that job or started that company or cleaned out this crap 7 years ago”.

Both kinds of regret are worthless.

It’s the same kind of thing when you buy a stock or make a bet on anything in your life. If it works out, you didn’t bet enough. If it doesn’t work out, you bet too much.

 The main thing is this…make a bet. If you’re going to take a chance of something, bet on yourself.

 A few years ago, my hubby and I were fooling around with stocks and options. We try to learn new things all the time and the best way to learn is to put your money on the table and play. Now, options are a different breed of investment. Without boring you, I’ll explain the obvious. Buying a call means you are betting the price of the stock will go up by a certain date and buying a put means you think the price of the stock will go down by a certain date.

 We thought Netflix was way overvalued. At this time, the stock was around $190 and Netflix was not really generating any revenue. We bought a $100 put for the end of the year, around the time their last quarterly report was due. We made a large bet.

 It was a long year. The stock price continued to go up. And up. And up. Our option was worth less and less. We studied. We read. He even took an options course and considered being a financial consultant. Should we sell and take a loss? Should we hold it? It was torture.

 Finally, the last report came in. It was bad news for Netflix. The stock price dropped from around $240 to $200 to $175 to, finally, somewhere around $70. We made about five grand.

 Which we lost on other bets soon after.

 That’s okay, though, because we learned a lot about the stock market. About patience. About each other. About how comfortable we were with losing. About how we handled it when we won. About financial statements. About revenue forecasts.

 We learned so much. Some times the cost of knowledge may be more than we think we can afford, but this is hardly ever the case. 

We all throw our money away on clothes we don’t need or groceries we don’t use. In fact, I went grocery shopping the other day and got the following text:

“Jen – do you have baby carrots or bags of bell peppers in the cart? If so, put them back. Trust me. “

Apparently, instead of collecting stamps or figurines, I collect vegetables in our refrigerator crisper. To be fair, I intend to eat them all, but in reality, this is where a lot of perfectly healthy veggies go to die.

Point taken.

I think we all have good intentions when we do something, but then we just keep collecting and things pile up because we’re afraid of not having all the “stuff” – and the good intentions and great ideas just slowly…die. And then we regret that we never got to use them.

We’re hedging our bets. We think we’re playing it safe. In reality, we’re not playing at all.

We’re being played. We are collectors. We are not doers.

You don’t need “all the things”.

You need things that don’t collect dust in the corner. You need things that can’t mold, rot, or decay. You need things that don’t depreciate in value the second you use them. You don’t need grudges and resentment weighing you down.

You need courage. Moral integrity. A sense of humor. The ability to learn. A quick smile. A slow temper. A firm grip. A true north. 

And, yes, maybe a bottle of wine.

Heck. Make that two bottles. I mean…if you’re gonna collect something…


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