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A Difficult Time in the Financial Downturn Creates Growth 

February 01, 2020

A Difficult Time in the Financial Downturn Creates Growth 

I was very lucky to marry my high school sweetheart. I married when I was very young and still in college to become a pharmacist. After I graduated from pharmacy school, we began our family. My husband owned his own business and things were very good. As a new mom, I felt that I was living the life of my dreams. 

As time went on, we had our third son and I was able to stay home with our children and I enjoyed spending time with my children and my family. I was living a very comfortable lifestyle. My children were involved in a lot of activities and attending private school. My life was very full. I loved being able to be home with my children and also have time to myself going to yoga or lunch with a friend.

My husband and I were investing in real estate. We began building custom homes. Our focus was to build a smaller home with multi-million-dollar amenities. This concept went very well for us and then we decided to actually build a multi-million-dollar home. 

We were very excited to be building this home. However; this was just the time that the real estate market began to crash in 2008. Just as the market began to turn, so did my life. My life began to turn upside down as the market turned too. We were left with not only our own home but an extremely expensive investment home. Life has as I had previously known it, completely changed for me. 

My name is Lisa King. This is my Kintsugi Story. 

The house was held in escrow for over 11 months. At this time the real estate market continued to deteriorate. The home was located in a Country Club and we had to pay the fees for the club as well as the mortgage and taxes on this home. The buyer kept it in escrow for over 11 months and continued to sign documents stating he would buy the house, but he never did. Our bills continued to mount as we paid expenses for our own home as well as the investment property.

The value of the home continued dropping and dropped over 1 million dollars during this time period.

While other homes were in foreclosure at this time, my husband and I were not comfortable with this idea. We were raised in a very traditional setting and believed if we invested in these homes it was our obligation to continue to pay.

Our children are very spread in age and I had my eldest son heading off to college as my youngest was in pre-school. As much as I wanted to continue to stay home to care for my family; I knew I would have to head back into the workforce. This was an absolute must to save ourselves from complete financial ruin.

I have a degree in pharmacy, but I had only worked full time right after graduation. I grew up in an Italian family and enjoyed the traditional sense of family that I grew up with in my own home. As my older boys were younger, I was able to work part time and still be able to cook, clean and care for my family. When my youngest was born, I was able to stay home full time. Now heading back to work was very difficult for me. I missed my family terribly when I was on my 12-hour shifts. My youngest was only 4 years old at the time and I wanted to be there for school events and play dates.

I felt that I had to turn my life around. My life felt like it was happening to me and I knew I had to take control of my life. I was not sure of how that would happen, but I knew I had to find a way. 

Discovering Self-Development

At that time, I started reading books. These books centered on self-development and choosing to live a positive lifestyle. I kept these books everywhere. They were on my nightstand, on my desk and in my purse or car. I knew I had to keep reading and learning how to turn my thoughts around or they would overcome my day and night. I did not want to feel anger to the man who had kept our house in escrow. I learned through this lesson that we had allowed it as well. I actually learned to thank this man for giving me my career back. 

It was extremely scary going back to work after being home with my family. I knew that I was blessed to have this career to fall back on during this difficult time for my family. My friends with grown children told me that I was lucky to have a purpose and I knew that I was lucky as well. I continued to work on turning around my thoughts and finding gratitude in the situation. I soon started feeling like I was in control of my life again.

Happiness Despite Financial Despair

I learned to turn my thoughts around. I would focus on the fact that being at work gave me an opportunity to make people smile. I concentrated on that. I made a conscious decision to take the focus away from me and put it into other people, the people that I would come in contact at work.

My sister was going through a health crisis. She had breast cancer when her baby was only 11 months old. At that time, she was just 35 years old.  She couldn’t pick up the baby after her mastectomy. She had to move with the baby to our mom’s home so she could get the help she desperately needed.

My sister founded an organization called “Happily Ever After” that helps moms undergoing cancer treatments. Her first fundraiser was a year after her diagnosis. She successfully raised $50K. This was 15 years ago. She has been raising money ever since. Together, we co-wrote a book called Tiny Life Changes. In this book, I talk about keeping only the thoughts that make you stronger, when you get negative thoughts, turn them around.

My workdays are long, 12 hours long. Still, I know that I am helping our family financially.  

I am paying for my kids’ education and providing the health benefits that my job offers.

When I focus on that, my thoughts go from a dark place of loss to a place of winning and joy.

Thinking of Others

I take the time to get to know the patients that come through the pharmacy. I can make a choice to just fill their prescriptions or really understand who they are and what they are going through in their lives. I choose the later.  I build relationships. These relationships and connections put my whole life in perspective.

The fact that our financial downturn caused me to change the way I face hardship must have been the biggest gift of all.

When the market crashed, I felt that I was on a scary merry-go-round. I felt that so many bad things were happening one after the other.  I felt I had no control over them, I couldn’t fix things. Every month that we had to make a payment and didn’t know where the money was going to come from was pure torture, until I chose to learn to change my view on my life.

I am happy to say I have recently retired from my staff position at my pharmacy after 32 years of combined practice. Through sharing my story online and through podcasts; I have also shared my story of living with chronic bladder pain and an Interstitial Cystitis diagnosis. I have since been able to create an environment of healing in my body and now teach others to do the same through my website at www.ditchbladderpain.com

Follow Lisa on Instagram where she shares so many health tips @thefulfilledpharmacist

Buy the book Tiny Little Changes

Happily Ever After Organization: https://www.happilyeverafterleague.org/about-us/

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