Monday, August 27, 2018

Send my regrets

The thing about being pro-active and ahead of the curve (in my mind) has always been that by the time I get there, I spend more time waiting for everyone to catch up.

What really happens is that they don't catch up always. Sometimes they abandon mission. Sometimes being ahead of the curve means that the curve is washed out in a hurricane by the time folks reach it. Or maybe your "great" idea has run out of steam. Like being the first person to get an iPhone (though I'm not implying that idea will ever run out of steam with some people) but some people want to have it first and will pay $1500 for an $800 phone.

As someone who has been successfully using a $90 smart phone on a $15/mo plan for 6 years, that last sentence seems like we're already living on Mars. Who'd a thunk? But we've got a reality television star who was famous for nothing more than saying "You're Fired!" actually in the White House (firing people!) so I'm not surprised that $1500 phones where we type heart emojis as grown ups is a thing.

I try not to have regrets. I move forward, like a shark. I maybe reflect TOO LITTLE some would say. But regrets over choices I made when I was 28 (giving up my apartment in Brooklyn for example) have been buried long ago with better and blingier choices of recent decades. But places where I made goof ups in the last decade seem to wake up with me every single day like the severed horse head in the Godfather.

Oh, hello. Thanks for the reminder.

And when I've gotten the publishing deal and the option picked up...and the real estate is all sold and I'm in some room with a view somewhere retooling a screenplay or just making soap for a living, I will laugh at the life choice "roommates" I keep now. Which if I don't have some movement soon, will be ACTUAL roommates. But for now, let's look at the top 3 regrets that haven't been covered up yet.

This House.
Big Fish Little Pond my dad used to say. Never completely sure why that was bad, but now I know. A huge estate no matter how beautiful in the middle of a trailers and rural tract houses is just the last thing that didn't get torn down in the 80s for another trailer park.

Renovation Station.
I love house projects. I have been tearing down walls and rebuilding kitchens and "updating" since I bought my first house at 23. I made just enough money off that first house to get the fever...a newbie gambler making it big on slots and moving over the the craps table. I got this!

It wasn't until 2007, the Year of Everything Collapsing that I got bitten by the hand that fed me. I sold a bunch of investment properties and either broke even or lost my shorts, that I said, hmmm, maybe I should stop putting so much money into my renovation basket. So down to just one house, I put all my project impulses into it.

Way before Fixer Upper, I OPENED IT UP and got rid of what I thought to be and old fashioned layout...5 bedrooms? No one needs that. Made it a 3/3.5 with big living spaces to gather and cook. Cut to now, everyone wants to live like the Clampetts. Most families have a college kid in the basement, Grandma in the attic, no one cooks, gathers or watches TV and everyone wants to squirrel away in their own room with a tablet and a closed door.

Selling my restaurants.
Most people sell or close restaurants when they aren't doing very well or they just go out of business. I sold my restaurants because I wanted a lifestyle change. I make BIG sweeping gestures in life. Shut. It. Down. I sold one restaurant as a going concern and they wisely kept everything the same and are millionaires. I sold the other just as a space and she put her own bad idea in there and closed after several months. I have learned since being a Hobbit in the woods alone for ten years that I can retool, regroup and take a Leave of Absence (and keep my income) without closing the doors on something. Ahh, hindsight. I would have done well with a 2 month European vacation and a new boyfriend (or two). Instead I sold all the things and moved to the middle of nowhere where I knew no one. And still know no one.

Will it all turn out to be a funny novel and Netflix series? Will it be the thing that sends me into a catatonic state that I rock myself to sleep over at night? Will I really rise from the ashes or just sweep those ashes under the last rug that I didn't sell at the yard sale.

MN 8/2018