Have you ever cleaned houses for a living? It’s hard work. Really hard. But if you’re good, like I was, it pays pretty decent money. And now.

Only it doesn’t pay enough.

I couldn’t keep my head above water as an independent realtor any longer, so I moved my license from ReMax over to a smaller company that only took a portion of any commission I made.

It was a defeat, but one I had to accept.

I had no one to fall back on. Not one single person. No parents to call upon and borrow a couple hundred bucks. And I was in debt so deep, I only had one choice I could see to get me out of that mess.

So, I called my attorney that had helped me with my divorce and asked him what the process was to file bankruptcy.

This was an even bigger defeat.

In just 18 months I went from having $50,000 cash in the bank to having nothing. Nothing but debt that is. I threw all of my savings into trying to save my homes that were being taken away from me.

So yes, when a handsome man asked me to go to several holiday parties that year, I was more than happy to accept. I knew if I didn’t find something to feel good about, I was going to fall into complete despair.

It was fun to dress up and go out. I wore the dresses I had worn a few years earlier at the awards ceremonies I’d been to. You know, the ones that praised me for being a successful realtor.

In 2005 I won top awards as a realtor. By 2007 I was going bankrupt

In 2005 I won top awards as a realtor ~ by 2007 I was going bankrupt

Only this time I was a loser. A phony out having fun in pretty dresses knowing back home the makeup would come off, the dresses would be hung back up and I would crawl into bed not knowing what my future would hold.

To put it plainly, I was scared.

For the first time in my adult life, I was truly afraid. If I let myself think about it too long, I knew I would not be able to pick myself up off the floor and keep going. I felt like I had to be Scarlett O’Hara in the scene where she wipes her eyes and says “After all, tomorrow is another day”.

So I concentrated on “tomorrow”.

And I let a handsome younger man treat me to fun parties and outings and even to meet his parents. At Christmas he gave me a beautiful obsidian pendent and took me to his company’s Christmas party.

It was like I was living in two different worlds. The make believe one with J, and the real one scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets. Only I had no illusions of being swept off my feet.

Or did I?