‘All Stitched Up’ — by Anonymous

A former TV reporter who was laid off reached out to me to talk about the “shift” that happened to him, post-layoff. He said he was inspired to change his attitude after seeing Goinspirego.com. Thanks so much “Anonymous.”

Now the question I have for all of you is, “How can you make lemonade out of lemons — and how can you help others?”

We all can, no matter how big or small our paychecks are! Pay it forward…


“All Stitched Up” by Anonymous

In recent weeks, I have come to learn that optimism isn’t a personality trait and it certainly isn’t eternal.

For most of my life, I’ve been the “glass is half full” sort of guy. Then, the current recession hit and I became a statistic. I joined the growing ranks of the unemployed.

I used to be a TV news reporter. I say that in the past tense because I don’t want to allow my job title or lack there of to define who I am. I must confess it was much easier to see the good in things and myself when I was able to check off a box in the profession column of a survey.

The other day, I went to a doctor’s office. I had to fill out one of those background sheets. I found myself leaving portions of it blank. After a college education and spending nearly my entire adulthood in television news, I was reduced to a bunch of unchecked boxes. I couldn’t even get myself to fill in the box labeled “other.” The truth of the matter was I didn’t know what to put in the blank line next to “other.” I figured “couch potato” might be a bit crass for something like a medical background

Last Friday, I found out I was one of 8.9 million “fill in the blank” Americans. But I’ve decided to not leave the blank spot unfilled.

I may not have a job but I certainly have more than plenty others. I still have a place to live. I still have food to eat. And I still have good friends and family who continue to support me.

I know I have a lot in life. Sometimes, too much. That’s especially true with my closet. During recent years, I worked to buy my dream home and I dumped as much money as I could into my 401(k). I also bought a lot of clothes. The thinking was my wardrobe was an investment in my TV news career. Like the real estate and the 401(k), I’ve gotten diminishing returns on my wardrobe.

I hope one day my investments on my condo and my retirement account will rebound. In the meantime, the shirts and ties and laundry list of things hang in my closet without a graph to chart ebb or flow of their values.

That’s when I realized value is only a measurement of perception. How I view my unemployment or an article of clothing is really up to me. Like my clothes, I can choose to allow my life to dangle like slacks on a hangar or I could do more. I could be selfish and continue to horde everything or I could do some good with them. In recent days, I’ve been in a purging mode. Clothing that I don’t need, I’ve been donating to charity.

I’m not so foolish to think that my donations are going to change anyone’s life. But the act of clearing out my closet has made a difference in my own disposition. It reminds me that being able to give is something that never goes out of style.

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