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March 2020

Lessons everywhere


For the last ten years I have managed my retirement account.  My philosophy has always been to invest in stocks that are companies and products that I believe in or use everyday.  When I started investing I looked around my house...Paint, Bounty, Charmin, Tide, Clorox, Apple, Amazon, Verizon and once I learned that L'Oreal no longer tests on animals, I considered them a definite possibility.  I read and listen and do research but I am conservative in my choices and DO NOT TAKE RISKS. 

Well, until CoVid 19 and Super Tuesday and earnings and job reports and the wind changed direction and the bottom fell out of the market.  After losing more than I could stand, I sold sold sold.   Then, when I read that there were several companies that make paper suits and masks and shoe covers and disinfectant products, I decided to buy buy buy.  Support the companies supporting the planet in crisis right?  NOPE !  In their infinite wisdom, the experts announced that the facemasks and paper suits did nothing and not to waste your money.   Lost even more.  Thought I could ride it out, certainly the market will recover as the panic and sadness eased but this morning I couldn't take it ... Again.

We work our whole lives for our "golden years".  That time in life that affords us a more relaxed clock and calendar, leisurely coffee  breaks and long walks in the woods.  That time in life that we have worked and saved and planned for... slipping through my fingers like sand and I got out.  Totally.

What I kept thinking as I beat up on myself for being reckless is that my family is healthy.  We are not quarantined or hospitalized or planning memorials.  We have a safe comfortable home and food and clothes and one another.  Money is necessary but it is not the most important thing in our lives.  So I cautiously reinvested a little in what makes me happy.   Apple, Amazon, Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Bristol Myers, Home Depot and Lowes....and lost more money today. 

BUT... I am comfortable that they will recover and I have regained my equilibrium with these old friends.

Everything on the planet is evolving.  Everything including the virus that we are facing with uncertainty because it is unknown.  Very wise people are working on understanding how it can hurt us and how we can prevent that hurt.

I have learned how to put drops in Henry's eyes, even though he hates me for it.  He will recover and love me in a couple of weeks.

I have learned that facials feel wonderful when you receive them but you look like you have been pummeled for several days afterward, while new skin cells are forced to the surface.  My face will recover and look amazing ... in a couple of weeks.

I have learned that pouring paint on a canvas is an art form and extremely therapeutic.  

Like life, we can make choices and control some things but a slight tilt in one direction or another and the entire picture changes and we have to adapt and adjust and trust that it's all going to be okay.  I'm not one for change or patience or leaving things to chance, but I am finding a real joy in choosing colors, filling a cup and pouring paint onto a canvas just to see what might unfold.  

I'm trying to look at life that way, these days ... pour myself into each day, with crossed fingers and a deep breath ... and see what will unfold.