One month at home has already given me lot to think about.
In January, had I known what March would bring, I would have probably acted differently.
But hindsight is 20–20.
We don’t know what the future holds or how it will hit us. One moment you are making plans to travel and the next, the entire world is on a lock down!
Life has a way of giving you clues, of nudging you slowly on the right track. At first it is mostly subtle but when we ignore, it charges at us like a rhinoceros and forces us think.
Well, think I did! And my procrastination has glaringly stood out! So these are the first things that I am going to tackle starting today so when the next pandemic hits, I can be guilty about other things.
My Relationship With My Wife
We have been in a long distance relationship for 10 years now, out of which, we have been married for 1. We only see each other two or three times a year when she visits or I am traveling for work.
We talk a couple of times in the day and then get on with our day. The physical intimacy is missing. The joy of doing accomplishing things together is missing. Goofing around together is non-existent!
Now, not being able to travel has cleared up the fog! I think it was Gretchen Rubin who said
The days are long but the years are short
And the one regret I don’t want to have in our short span together is not spending more time together. I don’t want to look back to this next decade and wish we had spent more time together!
People all over the world are getting laid off or being asked to go on leave without pay or they are working with pay cuts. Just in US alone 22 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week!
And I don’t want to be a part of that statistic. Not now, not ever.
For the last 4 years, I have been dreaming about having multiple sources of income but not acting on it. I read about all these people who have successfully managed to do it and it all seems doable but I have not been able to take the bold step of jumping out of my comfort zone!
Call it lack of self confidence or creativity but my fears have held me back. The carrot of a monthly salary and all the other benefits that have come with it has made life very comfortable!
As much as I like the work I do, I don’t want to be dependent on just this one tree for my income because I would hate for that to be chopped down. And I know it can be. I have seen it happen to people. I know people who were outstanding at their jobs but when the business was in trouble, they had to go.
So, I plan to act very diligently to change this moving forward.
Any sound financial advice starts with asking you to build a strong base first.
What is a strong base? It is having the basic setup in place to keep you going during tough times — a good health insurance, at least 6–12 months of emergency funds and an active retirements account.
Well, guess what — I don’t even have enough for a month, forget 6–12 months of emergency funds.
It was always something that I knew I should put in place but I always kept pushing it because that meant confronting harsh realities. It meant being honest with myself. It meant downsizing and cutting costs — which is hard!
It asked for a true assessment of where I stood. And I was not ready to act on it!
But not anymore. I am living with the fear of losing my job every day on top of having to cope with the new normal. And it is not a good place to be.
If there is anything that has made getting through this isolation easier, it is work! I am very grateful that I work at a great company, with some of the nicest and the smartest people I know!
At a time when people are losing jobs, I feel blessed to be able to contribute and provide for my family.
Not to be sexist but the papa bear in me is on his two legs thumping his chest!
Don’t get me wrong, I have my frustrations with work but in the past, I let it impact me a lot more than it should. I would worry more than necessary about things that bothered me and sometimes, it would end up taking a lot more of my mental peace than I would have liked.
I promise to not let it impact me that bad in the future. I will look back to this time and this post as a constant reminder of the blessing that it can be.