How I Lost $1,500 AND Kept Smiling

learned a real lesson about the power of a positive mindset a year ago and all it took was one small decision that ended up making a big difference.

November 2013, I decided to get rid of stuff by selling valuable items that were sitting unused & undesired. What I chose to discard of in that instance was gold jewelry & precious stones...about 2oz of it. None of the rings and chains I was getting rid of I cared for, so it was an easy thing to do. The value I was expecting in selling it? About $2,000 CA.  

I chose a reputable Canadian company I selected from a few options I found online. The Better Business Bureau rating and customer reviews were good and they'd been in business for some time. I entered my information online and received a package the following week. Following instructions, I mailed the jewelry to the buyer via regular post and waited. Now I must admit I was leery about sending it without using priority/uninsured mail but again, I wanted to follow the instructions provided to the letter. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I should likely have followed my gut on this one and taken extra precautions.  

Then the waiting game began...

Over a month went by and...nothing. So I called the buyer. I was assured that these delays from Canada Post happen and that I should be patient. I waited about another month during which the owner of the buying organization and I exchanged a few phone calls. From the owner's perspective, a package not making it to destination was unusual but had occurred once before in the last 3 years. After much discussion, we agreed to wait one more month and, if the package didn't arrive, the owner would pay me $500 for my loss. He would be out of pocket after receiving nothing and I would get a fraction of what I was owed were the transaction successful. 

One more month passed...nothing. The curious thing was the way I viewed the situation. I was NOT upset!

I'd decided to get rid of this jewelry. Period. I was no longer attached to these possessions and I could do much better things with the money. That decision was important in itself. And what was more important still was that I was letting go of it regardless of what I would receive in return.

Sure, I was expecting about $2,000 but I was not counting on it. That made all the difference in the world for me. I felt that anything I received for the gold would be a bonus. It was value that was just sitting there in my jewelry box, unused...for years! The presence of it in my home was a weight and getting rid of it was a relief in and of itself.  

So what happened?

In the end, I did receive and successfully deposit the $500 from this company, with the understanding that if the jewelry did arrive at some point I would be compensated for the remaining value.

One could easily think that I'm being taken for a ride, that I'm being taken advantage of. In the past, that would be my feeling and I likely would have taken greater steps to "right" the situation. I wouldn't trust the people involved. I have to admit I'm a bit amazed at my reaction. It's a great feeling and one I hope I have for any such "potential disappointment" in the future. 

Why did it work? Why was this experience so different from others I'd had in the past?

...and, most importantly,  how do I make sure I feel this way again?!

The source of my peace with the situation is that I imagined sending the jewelry and receiving nothing in return. Would I still send the package if that were the case? Yes. So, I'd imagined my reaction to the proverbial glass being not just half empty but containing not a single drop! I valued not having to worry about having that jewelry in my life anymore and enough to get rid of it EVEN IF I didn't receive ANY compensation for it. The difference I received, if any, would be a bonus. Therefore, it was! There was no point in focusing on what I might "lose". 

Less than a year later, I had the opportunity to apply the same type of thinking again.


Our 3-year-old LG washing machine went on the fritz - it would no longer power on. My husband took it apart, determined what was wrong with it, only to find that parts (a circuit board in this case) were no longer available for this model (after only 3 years!).

Believe it or not, that was a real blessing in disguise because we thought we would have to replace the washing machine with a new model - that was $700 we weren't expecting to spend.

That mindset resulted in my delight later that day when my husband found we were able to use a workaround to address the issue by unplugging the machine after every load. So, instead of being upset by the inconvenience, I felt lucky and relieved that all I needed to do was unplug/plug in order to do a load of laundry.

Do I feel inconvenienced? No. Am I going to dwell on the fact that I have this extra step to complete every time I want to do a load of laundry? Absolutely not! In fact, I hope I have to take that extra step for years...because that means our washer is still working and that no action is required ;).

How do you handle bad news or a disappointing situation? Do you have tips on how to cope? Share your story!

Image credit/copyright: Radoslaw Maciejewski/Shutterstock