What I Learned From Taking Out The Garbage

Robert Hruzek of Middle Zone Musings "tagged" me to participate in his writing project. Well, Bob -- this one's for you! And we'll still talk about mortgage loans if that's okay with everyone.

What I learned from taking out the garbage is that most of life is maintenance. There are moments of glory. There are moments of despair. But the majority of life is doing what needs to be done, day in and day out, with a combination of responsibility and discipline. (It helps if you find a way to enjoy it too!) Taking out the garbage is just doing what needs to be done. It's not glamorous, but it's necessary.

I can't help but think of mortgages when I think of this kind of maintenance work. When you sign up for a mortgage, you sign up for years and years of regular payments. Without any particular glory, you keep making those payments -- responsibility and discipline.

That's all that stands between you and losing your home -- as many borrowers are finding right now in the subprime crisis. Mortgage defaults are at a 10 year high. When you sign up for regular maintenance work - or a mortgage - you also have to make sure that you have the capability. Many borrowers are finding that they signed up for more than they can manage.

In that case, you get help. If you are a borrower, you get help from your lender. After all, they don't want to be a homeowner; they want to lend you money. If your borrower isn't cooperative, you find a way to increase your income stream if at all possible. You can get rid of your mortgage, but that usually means getting rid of your home -- and that's not ideal.

Can't make the payments because you aren't working after you broke your leg? Mortgage disability insurance can help here. This is fundamentally a special type of disability insurance that simply makes the payments on your mortgage if you can't. It's expensive coverage, but it does the job if you don't have any other kind of disability insurance.

Of course, this problem is much simpler In the world of taking out the garbage. If you find you can't take out the garbage because of that last run at Whistler, you recruit your son or you hire the neighbour's kid. Taking out the garbage doesn't go away, even if you find you can't do it - but it's also easier to get help.

From taking out the garbage I've also learned that the majority of success is achieved simply through showing up. In fact, I'd say 90% of any success can be attributed to this one thing.

You just go and get the garbage and you take it out. You don't expect miracles, but who knows? One day, on the special collection day, I put out an old metal desk. When I walked out later with my garbage, I was in time to help out the painter from around the corner who saw my old desk and knew it was perfect for his workroom. So sometimes, something amazing happens.

The same can be said for your mortgage. One morning, after years of payments (and perhaps a few extra lump sums that you saved up and dumped against your loan), you'll get a statement from the bank. It will say that your last payment is coming up and you are ready to discharge your mortgage. Mortgage free at last! It's something we should all be striving towards. Just imagine what you can do with the money that is going towards your mortgage every month.

So, responsibility, discipline, capability and showing up  - today's life lesson based on taking out the garbage. What more could you ask for?

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And there's more interesting reading you can do, courtesy of Robert's writing project. Here is the complete list of entries, each one finishing the phrase "What I Learned From…"

"… Teen Girl Squad", by Markk at My Opinions Are Important

"… the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption", by Ronald Huerca at Ronalfy.com

"… Drugs", by Sam Brougher at Forest Azuaran

"… a Mesquite Tree", by Mike DeWitt at Spooky Action

"… Drinking Starbucks Coffee", by George Manty at Can I Make Big Money Online

"… My Wife!", by Rajaram Sethuraman at Thoughts of a Rambler

"… Having a Daughter", by Marco Richter at FitForFreedom

"… Norm", by Joe Raasch at The Happy Burro

"… my mentors", by Karin H. at The Kiss Business Too

"… Procrastinating", by Yvonne Russell at Grow Your Writing Business

"… a Squirrel", by G.L. Hoffman at What Would Dad Say

"… Blogging", by Gayla McCord at Mom Gadget

"… a Weight Problem", by Monique Attinger at Insurance Guide 101

"… Taking Out the Garbage", by Michael Chantrel at Mortgage Guide 101 Blog

"… RUMMAGING!" by William Tully at LOGICal eMOTIONs

"… A Light Switch", by Robert Hruzek at Middle Zone Musings

Don't miss reading Robert's posting, especially if you need a laugh about the joys of dating.  

Michael Chantrel 

3 comments
Posted by Michael on May 7,2007 at 8:06 AM

Robert -- it was a good project. Happy to be part of it!

Mark -- not a "sexy" topic for sure! But all part of the mortgage game... and perhaps, any game that you play in life.

Posted by Markk on May 7,2007 at 3:08 AM

Responsibility and discipline: not sexy, but necessary all the same. Top post, and well worth remembering.

Posted by Robert Hruzek on May 6,2007 at 7:57 PM

Michael, a very good and timely subject! Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us in the writing project!

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