It is my favorite holiday and the sights and sounds of fresh baseball make me happy.
For me, opening day symbolizes so much more than just the start of a new baseball season. It is the day that transitions Winter into Spring.
It is a day that signifies hope, optimism and camaraderie. There is a playful, positive uncertainty that fans and players display.
Even if you root for the Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates or my team, the New York Mets, opening day is a “fresh start” for everyone. Each team controls its own destiny.
The Day After Discharge
So you had a bad “season.” Like a baseball team that suffers unforeseen injuries, most likely situations out of your control led to your bankruptcy filing.
Your bankruptcy case went through without a hitch and you received your discharge. The day after discharge is your “opening day.”
You are debt free, the sky is blue, the grass is green and the weather is warming. Like your favorite team, you now control your financial destiny.
In baseball, championships aren’t won on the first day of the season. It is a grinding process and requires dedication and hard work.
Your fresh start in bankruptcy is a two way street. You are not guaranteed anything and it is your responsibility to make the most of the opportunity.
The Supreme Court of the United States defines the bankruptcy fresh start:
This purpose of the act has been again and again emphasized by the courts as being of public, as well as private, interest, in that it gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor who surrenders for distribution the property which he owns at the time of bankruptcy a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt. Local Loan Co. v. Hunt – 292 U.S. 234.
The bankruptcy has paved the way for your fresh start and now it is time for you to step up to the plate and make the most of it.
It is important that you take positive steps to rebuild your credit post-bankruptcy. Also, like a team with a “deep bench,” it is important for you to have a contingency plan in place should you run into financial trouble again.
Proper planning and strategy are essential to avoid future financial hardship.
So, after discharge, step up to the plate and make the absolute most of the unique opportunity you have been given. You’re an underdog, but the game must be played on the field.
…and as always, lets go Mets!
Image courtesy of mistycabal (Flickr).