If You Had a Do-Over, Would You Take It?

A client asked me this week if, knowing what I know now, would I still have expanded my business last year.

What a question!

It is true that this past year was brutal! I have worked for next to nothing financially, and how I actually was able to keep things running, is a complete mystery to me!

My answer, though, was, yes, absolutely.

You see, when I decided last year to expand my business, I was in a very good place. I had a steady clientele, and the only way to grow was to move into a larger space and bring on additional people. Everything fell into place, and I truly felt that it was the right move at that time. For many reasons that I will not get into at this moment, though, it was a disaster.

But, yes, I still would have expanded. I know that, had I not taken the plunge, I would have regretted it. I would still have been mulling whether to expand, and been angry and frustrated that I did not do it. I would have been restless and eager for change. That, though, was not the most important lesson.

You see, over the past year, as I have worked my ass off, I have learned some very important lessons.

First, I understand the value of time.
Each moment spent is a moment you will never have again. It is gone. No matter the price attached to my work, sometimes your time is more important than money.

Second, I have learned that possessions are a waste.
As I have evaluated my possessions, I have come to realize that no matter how beautiful, expensive or special an item is, in claiming it, you have an obligation to it. Years ago, as I was just starting out, I bought myself a beautiful piece of crystal. It made me feel special, important, rich. It was beautiful, and I loved it. Twenty years later, when I hold it, I wonder, what in the hell am I going to do with this? It does not fit into my new RV life, and though it is lovely, and was very expensive, I'll be lucky to get $20 if I put it up for sale. It is asinine to put it into storage, and somehow, it seems sacrilegious to donate it. I suppose I will offer it as a gift to a friend. Possessions claim you as surely as you claim them. When you own something, you must have a place to keep them. As you gather more and more possessions, you have to work harder and harder to protect them. At the end of the day, I find that it just doesn't mean that much to me.

Third, I am sick of working my ass off just to have a place to sleep and work.
When you are a massage therapist, you tend to have a lot of quiet time with your thoughts. One of the thoughts that often surfaced as I was rubbing a body, was just how much money I was spending on rent. Between my office and home, my first two to three weeks of work in a month was simply to pay for the ability to sleep and work. That just didn't seem right. I suppose this goes with the thought before, but when you are literally working your body for money, you become very aware of the value of your time and body. My joints are creaky, my hands get weak, and I wonder just how long I can do this work. Do I really want all of my effort to go to paying rent?

Finally, I discovered the power of giving up to God.
I make no secret of my beliefs. I was raised Christian, but I have found the dogma of organized religion to be lacking in the answers I seek. I have found, though, that sometimes you just have to LET GO. I have found that trying to manage things just makes it worse. I kept finding myself deeper and deeper in the hole (whatever that hole may be) and it was not until I was literally at my wits end and praying for a resolution, that one came to me. I think what happens is that, in giving up and asking for help, you surrender your ego. In that surrender, you are finally open to solutions you would never have recognized before. This discovery has made a gigantic change in my life. Ask, surrender, and you shall receive.

This past year has been Hell. I will not deny it, but it has brought me through to a new awareness of the precious time that we have. In this year, I have pulled away from things that were a drag on my time and money. I have been able to purge that which was not serving me, and find a new balance where there was none. I feel that I am finally on the other side of the chaos, and I have smooth sailing ahead. I suppose, like the Trials of Hercules, sometimes you must endure challenges to finally come through, purified and ready to fight.

So, yes, despite everything that happened, I would not have changed a thing. I needed this. Sometimes, you just need to take the leap and follow the road that Fate has laid before you.

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