The Reserves

May 5, 2015

It’s been nearly a whole week since my last day of work, and things have more than set in for me. I have come to the realization that I don’t have to go to work anymore (except on weekends – I have a job on weekends).

That is a liberating realization, until reality strikes.

So, I don’t have to go to work … that means, I don’t get paid for the work that I would have been doing.

The first few days of not working, I was unsure what to think or feel. I felt as though I was simply on vacation from work. It wasn’t until my world crumbled in a matter of 48 hours that reality hit; when I really realized I don’t have that security net called a day job anymore.

The World Crumbling

OK, I was being a little overdramatic in saying my world crumbled, but I’ll tell you this: when reality hits you, it hits you hard.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “when it rains, it pours.”

That’s how my weekend went. It started raining (literally and figuratively) and the downpour just kept going.

I’ll try not to bore anyone with a self deprecating pity party of sorts, so I’ll just get to the nuts and bolts of it all – a close relative went to jail and my family was trying to figure out what to do, all while the jailbird is calling all of us to try to post bail; I got a flat tire while driving to New Orleans in the rain and changed the tire to the spare in the trunk, which I quickly found was also flat; I woke up from a glorious Sunday nap to find that a pipe under my kitchen sink had burst and I spent much of the night pulling up wood laminate before the house started smelling of mildew and rot. On top of that, an accident that I got into two months ago provided me with a ticket and a busted up car. The ticket, for “following too closely” I paid today. The car, my Ford Mustang – Betty, was totaled and I had to buy a new car. I bought a used Honda Accord and I scheduled maintenance, including the changing of a timing belt, for tomorrow.

All of those items listed above will take a lot of money out of my pockets.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” right?

All I have is lemons to work with, here! No sugar! No water! No, wait, there’s plenty of water strewn throughout my kitchen and hallway, under the wood floors and inside the walls!

And THAT is when it hit me – I don’t have a job to help take care of all this, financially. The money I have saved over the last couple of years will quickly be depleted if I have to spend thousands at a time.

After that realization hit me, I did what any normal person would do … I freaked out. I freaked out, I ranted to a close friend, I ate a bunch of ice cream and I fell asleep.

I’m being tested and I don’t like it.

**note: I feel it is important to clarify that I didn’t only freak out, rant, eat and sleep – I did work to pull up wet flooring, and do as much as I could. I just thought that was a fun sentence to write.*

Now, after I’ve woken up, I am trying to have a new, brighter perspective.

It’s life.

Life happens to us all. And yes, it seems to hit us really hard at the most inopportune times, but that’s what you save up for.

And I’m not just talking about money.

We save up great memories and moments with friends and family – and when we start to feel sad, lonely and downright depressed, we dig into that reserve and remember those times, which we use to make us happy enough to start digging ourselves out of the funk.

Spiritually, we immerse ourselves in goodness. In my case, it’s Christianity. I spent years studying God’s Word, listening to sermons, memorizing scripture verses, learning songs – and when I feel an attack from the enemy, I dig into the reserves and am able to use what I know to “fight the good fight.”

Financially, we save money – not just for something specific that you want to purchase – but also just in case something bad happens that you need to take care of.

Those reserve funds, memories, scriptures and songs all played a part in my own tiny resurrection today.

I thought I had figured everything out. I planned to be able to live on my reserve funds for a while while I traveled and visiting friends and family I hadn’t seen in ages, and did other things in my search for happiness – and I’ll still be able to do those things – but maybe not exactly how I had it etched out.

Plans change; life happens. What actually shows your character – what proves what you’re made of – is how you act and react when things don’t go your way, when life happens, all at once. When you’re shaken, what comes out?

If you have an unlabeled bottle, the only way to be sure of its contents is to open it and pour out what’s inside.

Weekends like the one I just had will really pour out a person’s contents.

What are you made of?

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