Archives for September 2008

Don’t Panic!

Just a word or two of warning. I am seeing lots of people who are in a panic. They are in the process of losing their homes or jobs or both. The daily news offers little or no comfort. All the “bailout” talk doesn’t include any concrete help for individuals that I can see. This state of mind increases the probability of being in a serious accident or incident. Or such is my personal observation.

I mentioned this in passing while meeting with clients recently. The next time they came in they greeted me as “Nostradamus” – comparing me to the Sixteenth Century prophet or wizard. The type of thing I was talking about had happened to one of them. Sorry about being vague as to exactly what happened, but I need to not break confidentiality. I expressed the hope that it had not been the power of suggestion – the result of an idea that had been planted by me. They were sure it was not.

I bring this up here because I really want to say that I believe we all need to keep the events of the past year or two in perspective. The Romans had a saying – THIS TOO SHALL PASS. It’s a universal truth, and I’m convinced that it certainly applies to our present economic climate. Panic and anxiety always just makes any problem worse. The harder and more difficult times are, the more important it is to take care or yourself. One of my favorite slogans – prominent in a lot of the self-help literature – is abbreviated as “HALT” – don’t let yourself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. A good concept to keep in mind when going through a bankruptcy or any other crisis.

On several of my web pages I talk about how easy it is go get ahold of me. I wrote most of that a couple of years ago. It has become untrue over the past few months, for which I apologize. Between the clients and the creditors of clients, my voice mail box often fills up. My goal has always been to return my calls within 24 hours. I have of late been unable to be that prompt. If you need me and don’t get me right away, keep trying please. I am around and I do want to talk with you; it’s just that things are really busy right now. I would say that it’s more busy than it was in 2005 right before the new bankruptcy law went into effect.

Correction: I’ll be back in the office on Thursday September 18th!

How embarrassing!

It has come to my attention that the message on my answering machine at my office says that I will be out of town until “Thursday September 19th.” Obviously that is wrong, because Thursday is the 18th and the 19th is Friday.

It should say that I will be back on “Thursday September 18th.” I’m at Grand Marais for a few days, and I would change that message from here if I could – but it’s not that kind of machine. I can’t change the message without being there.

So just please be advised that I intend to be in the office again starting on Thursday the 18th of September. I suppose I’ll try to call everyone who is on my schedule that day to make sure they are not confused by the message. The names and phone numbers should be here with me on my Palm Pilot.

The fact that I made that error tends to support the proposition that I really needed a couple of days off.

It was a chilly and misty day today at Grand Marais. Not good for outdoor activities. I spent several hours with my wife sipping premium coffee at the Java Moose, and reading an edition of Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln. I’ve been working on that book off and on for years. It’s slow going, very intense and detail filled. I’m still only about half way through.

This evening the sky began to clear and we were able to watch the full moon rise over the harbor, while having dinner at the Angry Trout. It was very beautiful. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and sunny. For tonight we are snug and comfortable in our little pop-up camper.

September 10th and 11th

I’m working late here in the office this September 11th evening. It was a funky day, seven years after the big attack on our country. I was wall to wall all day with appointments, and the phone rang constantly. I finally gave up on the phone. I just could not keep up. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Strangely, only about one caller in ten actually leaves a message. I have managed to call most of them back, but I really wonder about the others. If it was important enough to call in the first place, then why no message?

I have to share this with you all. While September 11th is a sad anniversary, so is September 10th. On that day in 1897 a taxi driver in London, England, became the first person in the world ever to be arrested for drunk driving — after slamming his vehicle into a building.

If I at all can I would like to get to the north shore for a peek at some fall colors. I might run away and try it this weekend. I’m up to date with most of my work. I can’t keep up with the calls in any event, and staying home would not fix that. These are the most desperate times I have seen in my lifetime; but I’ll be able to help more people if I take care of myself. I keep telling my kids: when the plane loses pressure and the oxygen masks come down, put the mask on yourself first. Then put the mask on your children or others who are in your care. The person who is first to pass out is no longer able to help others.

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