I could’ve been a millionaire…

I have been sworn to secrecy about this for over a couple of months now. But it really doesn’t matter anymore. I decided to do the 30 day writing challenge partially to avoid talking about it. I am really good at avoiding things. I should’ve listed it as one of my greatest strengths a couple of posts ago. Or maybe it is a weakness?? Who knows?

Nevertheless, a secret is a secret no matter how hard it is to keep.

It all started back in August when my husband Paul was approached by a multi-million dollar company that wanted to acquire us. We really didn’t think much of the idea at first. We weren’t interested in selling. But they wined and dined us. After a couple of meetings, this company offered to fly Paul across the country (all expenses paid) to tour the corporate office and meet with all of the bigwigs. The meeting went well, REALLY well.

After Paul returned from the meeting, this company requested all of our financial reports. Paul keeps meticulous financial records and they corresponded with each other over the weekend. Over the weekend! Although we weren’t looking for a relationship, they relentlessly pursued us. They even spoke of us moving in together.

We thought things were serious, like we would be getting a big honking diamond ring.

Then we started to dream… Suddenly our small 3 bedroom house wasn’t good enough any more. Our college age daughter already expressed disinterest in coming home for the summer. She didn’t want to have to share a room with her younger sister. I noticed the worn flooring. I grew tired of the neighbor yelling obscenities at his dog. I wanted something bigger. I wanted a 4 bedroom house out in the country. Then I got tempted. I started looking at houses online. We even went and looked at one.

Then I found “the house”. It had everything I wanted and more…It had 4 bedrooms on 6 acres of land. It even had an in ground indoor hot tub and swimming pool. I imagined myself throwing lavish parties there.. But it would be practical too.. I could train for triathlons in my pool without having to spend money on a gym membership. It was almost 7,000 square feet of pure bliss. I know, it seems excessive…But who cares when I could buy it in cash??

Then I started to dream bigger. I had it all planned out. We would go through with the acquisition. I would work many hours over the next 6 months training my replacement. Then I would have the summer off to spend with my kids and train for my races. In the fall, I would start working on my Master’s degree in creative writing. Then I would start writing my book about growing up with an autistic sibling..

Paul started sharing our good news with close family and friends at the time the deal seemed certain to go through. I told my mom my plan of writing the book and she was excited to work on it with me. It seemed so perfect. I wouldn’t have to work or worry about money. I could be a writer. Let’s face it, I am not going to write the next Harry Potter series..I’d probably only sell a few copies…I would do it because I enjoyed it, not for money.

I admit, perhaps I was a bit greedy planning my new life as a millionaire. It seemed like all of the hard work of starting a business was finally paying off. All the years of pouring ever extra penny into our business. I thought especially of the early years when we barely had enough to pay our monthly bills and we had three little mouths to feed. I thought of the long hard hours when we couldn’t get away. I remember dragging Paul to the office after major surgery when he wasn’t supposed to work. I thought of Paul working hard to earn an MBA while running a start up business, raising a family, and still making time to volunteer in the community. Finally, we could enjoy the fruits of our labor. Or so we thought..

Not only were we planning on paying off all of our debt and investing our money, we were planning on helping others. We were thinking of helping out the woman at church whose husband lost his job. We just found out that Martha’s (Paul’s mom) cancer has spread and that the chemo is no longer working. She needs a new medication that she can’t afford. We could help her pay for some medical expenses. Hell, I was even thinking of supporting some of your blogs..

Then the day came and went when we were expecting the initial offer. They kept putting the meeting off. Our patience started to run thin. I became edgy, worried, and depressed. The uncertainty was killing us. What was going to happen? Were they going to offer us what we were worth? Would it be months of bargaining? Would someone else buy the house that my heart was set on??

Then yesterday we heard the bad news that they were no longer interested in acquiring us despite having every reason to believe otherwise. Instead, they wanted to see if we might be interested in consulting with them in how to start their own division. Consult our new competition with deep pockets! Hell no!!

The CEO wanted to go forward with the deal, but the owner said “no”. The CEO said the owner might change his mind and come back to us in a couple of months if things don’t work out. I really don’t want to be with you anymore, but maybe we can still be friends with benefits (without health insurance)… Yippee!!

I was expecting a nice big fancy engagement ring, but instead got a one night stand. Talk about leaving a bad taste in my mouth!!

This all happened yesterday. I felt so angry that I couldn’t even talk. I wanted to be alone because I thought I might scream at the first poor hapless person who stumbled upon my path. I am still pissed. I am disappointed. I am depressed. I want to break something.

How can I explain how it feels? How can I expect sympathy when others around me are struggling?? Losing their jobs…barely able to make ends meet…getting divorced…Woe is me, I am not a millionaire..condolences please..

So we will continue to build our business…slowly placing one small block upon another…until one day hopefully this all pays off.

We will continue to live in debt…mortgage…two car payments…high health insurance premiums…another kid in braces…college tuition, for my daughter instead of me…business loans..

I will continue with my 30 day writing challenge…

Although a few tears still drop for my dreams that died..

At least we still have each other…

Maybe this is for the best… My husband won’t be gone all of the time playing the corporate game…We can come and go as we please now that our business is not in its infancy anymore. I can take a long lunch to train for a marathon without anyone to answer to. I can tell you all of my secrets while I am at work if I want to. I can even leave early to attend my kids endless events…or to go to all of the wonderful orthodontist appointments..

I have to think this is for the best, otherwise I would be devastated.

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