Guest blogger Danielle Hoston: Be thankful for this recession.
I know. It's hard to be positive and celebrate in times of financial difficulty. It's difficult to smile when you can hardly afford holiday gifts for you and your children. It's impossible to sleep when your rent or mortgage is late. I also know that, in most cases, it is the positively and absolutely the best thing that could ever happen to you.
In the summer of 2000, I delivered my beautiful daughter. During my pregnancy, her young and healthy father was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and died just 10 weeks after her birth. After an emotionally devastating maternity leave, I returned to work just long enough to be laid off. There I was... a heart-broken single mother of a newborn, dead broke, and now jobless.
On top of everything else I was going through, it seemed like the world had waged war against my bank account. I had car problems, maxed out credit cards, ancient bills in collections, and a seemingly endless number of miscellaneous expenses and ... NO source of income. The post office eventually withheld my mail because I refused to visit my mailbox. What for? I couldn't pay one single bill that arrived there.
I started my job search and -- in one of my darkest times -- met with an amazing man who told me that I had what it took to make it as a broker in the extremely competitive, male-dominated industry of commercial real estate. Despite the better judgment of friends and family members who loved me, I took the job. It took a year of hell on earth before I was able to make any money. It took even more years to break the financial habits that had gotten me to the financial predicament I had previously created. It turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made and one I would NOT have made it if everything -- even the worst things -- had not happened exactly as they did. I am now not only financially secure but also better person because of the experience.
So here is the truth ... no matter how bad it is, it's just money! If you have your health, you have another day to get your finances together ... even under the most dire of circumstances. If you have your family and friends, you have a source of support if you should need it and be strong enough to ask. All money problems can be fixed with time, diligence, and patience.
It sounds cliché, but be thankful for this opportunity to grow. Appreciate the gained perspective and financial lessons you are learning. Enjoy the holidays with the time and laughs you are able to share with your loved ones. Use this time to disconnect from the habits that created the financial circumstances that you are currently in and prepare yourself for a better day. Every successful person knows that abundance begins with an abundant mindset. Welcome prosperity back and you will hasten its arrival.
Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together.
May you have the happiest of holidays and all of the blessings and abundance you invite in 2009.