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Your Current Circumstances Don’t Define You

“There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third.” — John F. Kennedy

It’s wild to take a step back and realize that we’re writing a unique chapter in history right now. More than likely, all of our lives will be divided into before COVID-19 and after COVID-19. Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, and some have been dealt a more difficult set of cards than others.

Perhaps you’re one of those people who are struggling—you’ve lost a job, you’ve incurred unrepayable medical expenses, you have missed the boat (for now) for a PPP loan that you needed for your business, you’re arguing with your spouse in close quarters, or having difficulty with the required homeschooling of your children. There is an endless list of desperate consequences that have resulted from this crisis, but I want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark the tunnel may seem right now.

In the history of the U.S., there have been as many as 47 recessions. History has taught us that what is lost can be gained back, even for the worst of times. This challenging season of life that we’re in is part of the human experience. We are guaranteed peaks and valleys throughout our time here, and it’s critical that we support each other through to the other side.

I feel most hopeful about this crisis when I spend time with my children. My daughter, Letha, turned five this week and we were determined to not let our circumstances cast a shadow on her birthday. I watched the joy she experienced as a parade of friends and family drove by to sing to her while she wore her smashing princess dress and hosted a drive-by “tea party.” She may not remember every detail of her fifth birthday, but I will remember how her smile shined brighter than the darkness around us. #BestBirthdayEverDaDa!

My son, Owen, wants to be an astronaut (and a scientist, an engineer, a baseball player, and a professional golfer). April 17th marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 13 crew returning to earth after an oxygen tank failed two days into the mission. I have always marveled at how the Apollo missions and the successful moon landings were each achieved in short order with less computing power than a cell phone or a calculator, using slide rulers and a lot of grit. The crew of Apollo 13 exemplified courage and grit. Subjected to extreme challenges as a result of a catastrophe, limited power, low temperatures in the wet cabin, and a shortage of drinking water, they invented a way to get home. My son is well versed in the history of the Apollo missions and he chooses to focus on the successful missions to the moon and the safe return, not the failed attempts. I’m inspired by his optimism, his ability to dream big, and his innocent perspectives on what the future holds. With our backs up against the wall, we will all invent a way to get through COVID-19.

In this difficult time, you may be juggling the added responsibilities of homeschooling. It’s ironic that, while we’re teaching our children, they can teach us so much in return: We must not give up hope and maintain grit. We must smile in spite of the challenges and laugh more than ever before. We must continue to dream big. We also have the unique opportunity to help our children grow stronger roots and form tighter bonds with their siblings. They might even listen and not argue when they become teenagers! In all seriousness, I predict that this generation of children will do amazing things and become one the greatest in history. I cannot wait to see what they will accomplish!

While we don’t know exactly what life looks like on the other side of this pandemic, we do have tools and resources to help you get there. If you’re feeling depressed, reach out to a loved one or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. If you’re arguing with your spouse, consider consulting with a therapist (I highly recommend my good friend Dr. Nari Jeter. And if you’re struggling financially, there are ways to overcome that burden too.

If your problem is financial or credit-related, seeking counsel is a great first step to helping you create a strategy for your comeback. In my industry, we have already filed our first COVID19-induced Emergency Motions in a multi-national Chapter 11 bankruptcy case—and it will not be the last. I anticipate that the tools available for small businesses through the new Subchapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code will be a major part of the solution for many businesses who have been blindsided by COVID19. I also anticipate an increased need for Chapter 7 bankruptcies after this event, given how many individuals have been living paycheck to paycheck and amassing credit card debt. Chapter 12 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code will also provide much-needed relief for family farmers and fishermen, and other individuals who need to catch up on arrearages on mortgages and write down the principal balances as we get through to the new normal. Bankruptcy is not a failure. It’s a strategic pivot to help you remedy an unexpected and unfortunate situation.

We can help you take that one small step in the right direction that will help you take a giant leap to the other side. Give our office a call for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story to see if your case is the proper fit for our services or point you in the right direction so that you don’t have to face your financial challenge alone.

Our current circumstances are merely a valley in the grand landscape of life. Throughout history, as a human race, we’ve often achieved the impossible with much less than we have today. Moving on to after-COVID-19 will not be impossible. With grit and grace, we will get through this together.