Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

I’ve Got Nothing to Lose and Other Things about Death and Taxes

“I’ve got nothing to lose.” This is a thing people say.

It’s something I’ve said, I think, although I do not remember when or in what context I may have said it.

I suppose it’s true, at times. What have you got to lose in accepting an okay job when you need one, even when it’s not your dream? It’s a job, after all.

But what if the thing you’ve got to lose is that tomorrow, when your not-a-dream-job begins, you’re not online to see your for-real dream job come across? You lose that opportunity. Poof, it’s gone. Given to the one who waited for it.

If you’d just have waited a day. A month.

What is waiting for a day or a month in the whole of life?

We wait for spring, knowing that blossoms will bloom.

We wait for childbirth, knowing the one inside of us needs more time. That we need more time, too.

We’re patient. Or, at least, we know when to tell ourselves to be patient.

On the other hand, not taking a decent job when you need a decent job would be foolish. Who wouldn’t condemn a hungry family’s provider for saying “no” to a paycheck that guarantees – at least for the time being – steady meals?

The problem is, we don’t know whether our choices are foolish or brave until after we’ve made them.

We’re uncertain about the path we wander until we stand at the end of it, happy and triumphant, or find ourselves looking at an impenetrable wall.

I think a lot about what we have to lose. More precisely, what I have to lose.


“I’ve got nothing to lose!”

Sometimes, the phrase is said by writers sending pitches. Other times, by those who’ve been told they’re dying but can participate in a new trial. It seems to be a good attitude to have in those cases.

But, isn’t there always something to lose? The parent who chooses the trial rather than dying – will it make her feel worse in her final days? No longer know her son’s name?

Is an editor’s rejection the one thing that makes a writer pack away her keyboard when the next world-altering novel is waiting to bloom from her laptop?

There’s always something to lose.

Life. Memories. A kind smile given to a stressed-out parent.

If anything, what we have to lose is what happens next.

While I’m not much of a believer in dwelling on past “what if’s,” it’s impossible to not indulge in wondering about future ones.

Because how can we not fear losing what happens next, given an alternate path?

I was never fearful of death before becoming a mother. Now, I think about it much too much. With the help of a few free tax tools, I filed taxes this week. So now I’m thinking about death and taxes.


What if you’d died a week later, a decade earlier? What would have changed?

Would I trade past memories and comforts in order to shut the door on death for a minute, an hour, a day, a year. A lifetime? I don’t know.

I’m working on a novel, and these questions are ones that I’m asking myself about the characters within it, and when I lie in bed at night, ones I ask myself. Maybe you’re wondering about them too.

Or, maybe not. But what is there to lose, anyway?


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes …”

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  • Britt - You say this is silly but it’s pretty deep really with wondering about what there really is to lose. Have you heard of the butterfly effect? It’s like that a little. Or traveling to the future or something. You don’t know what you’d miss or change. I really like it and thinking about it a lot.April 21, 2017 – 8:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wow, thanks, Britt. I have heard of the butterfly effect and you’re right – it’s like traveling to the future or something. I don’t know what it’d change but I like thinking about it, too. April 21, 2017 – 9:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - you so made me think about this one. Thanks.April 21, 2017 – 10:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Oh my God…you’re writing a novel? So exciting to hear this. What is it about, or are you keeping that to yourself? I don’t believe I’ve heard you mention it before, until now.

    As a writer, as I’m now experiencing, I’ve got nothing to loose…just as long as I don’t let any obstacles that are placed in my path destroy my creative and future dreams. How’s that?

    Thanks for these deep tax time thoughts Kristi.April 22, 2017 – 6:44 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hi Kerry! Yes, I did Nanowrimo two years ago and only got to about 6,000 words because I thought I couldn’t continue without knowing how it’s going to end but I’ve gotten back into it recently and am having fun seeing where each decision that each character makes will take it. I still don’t know how to end it but I think I now know the point of it – it’s got to do with feeling isolated within our communities even as we make tentative connections. There’s friendship but each person has a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that they keep private and they don’t realize how much they have in common. It’s probably closest to women’s fiction right now but I’m still working on it. I haven’t really mentioned it much because I start and stop so much with it… Anyway. Hopefully more to talk about soon-ish. Not letting obstacles in your path destroy your creative or future dreams sounds perfect to me. Here’s to us both doing that! April 22, 2017 – 8:26 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - It is funny how parenthood gives you a whole new perspective about death, isn’t it? I recently found about about an acquaintance of mine who is about my age and has two young sons – she was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. That sends shock waves and really makes you think hard about making the most of every single moment we have.April 24, 2017 – 10:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh wow, I’m so sorry about the woman you know diagnosed with stage 4. That’s awful, and you’re right that it gives new perspective on everything we do… wow, that’s so sad 🙁 April 24, 2017 – 7:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison G smith - I had no idea you were working on a novel! That’s fabulous! Can’t wait to read it😘.April 24, 2017 – 4:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Louise - Deep thoughts here today. I agree you always have something to lose. The older I get the more I’ve come to believe – really believe – life is about choices. Sure, some are bigger than others – but it’s all Econ 101 – there’s always a trade off to every decision made. What do I have to lose sending in an application for a job? Well, the time it took to do that application for one thing! I could have spent that doing something I deemed more valuable if I didn’t really want that job. Would I trade past memories to live a bit longer? No – your life experience makes you who you are. What do I have to lose in that instance? If we are the culmination of our experiences, then I don’t want to lose a bit of myself. Also, fairly certain fate probably wouldn’t let me cherry pick which parts to cut out in trade for longer life… 😉

    So exciting that you are writing a book! Didn’t know that. Hope it is going well!April 24, 2017 – 8:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hey Louise,
      Good points about spending time on a job application if you don’t want that job – what could you have done instead during that time to make what you do want to happen, happen? I agree that life experiences make us who we are – the good ones and the bad ones. Also? Fate is a nasty bugger, huh? Well, hopefully the book will end up as something I feel like I can share and not just hit “delete” to over and over, but either way, something towards writing a book is happening, right?April 24, 2017 – 8:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menooausal Mother - I hate it when I get into these situations where I wonder if by moving forward, did I miss out on something greater if I had just waited for it? But life is too short to put on hold, and I truly do believe in fate. If it was meant t be, it will happen. Most importantly, we need to learn to live without regret.April 24, 2017 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I so agree we need to learn to live without regret, Marcia. I have a 25yo tattoo on my ankle saying that. It’s blurry and faded but still a good reminder. Still, it’s hard to not wonder, right?April 24, 2017 – 9:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Yay to the novel! (Beta reader -ahem!) You’re right; there is always something to lose. But it’s a choice – is what we lose less than what we have the potential to gain? I ask myself that often when I’m trying to make a decision. Almost always, the answer is that the potential is greater than the possible loss.April 25, 2017 – 7:54 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yes please be a beta reader! Hopefully, I will finish it one of these days. I think you’re right about the potential being greater than the loss…April 26, 2017 – 8:37 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - –I’ve lost so much,
    Yet I’ve also gained so much thru my experiences & pain.
    On the other hand,
    I don’t want to lose one. more. day.
    One. more. moment.
    One. more. second.


    What is your novel about? Tell me!April 26, 2017 – 6:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’ve lost SO MUCH. <3 Here's to not losing a single second. And to love, because that's huge. Bigger than all.
      The novel is about isolation even in suburbia. Mental illness, special needs, people being people and being too private, not sharing, wanting to share... I promise to tell you more as I figure it out. <3April 27, 2017 – 11:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Dhaval - A good article and The click to tweet going to put on my sight . I hope it makes a difference and it will help to make it easier for others to share on that platform, too.

    Thanks.April 28, 2017 – 4:09 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - It’s kind of scary how often your posts seem to come straight out of my own head. I think about death way too much since becoming a parent. Like WAY too much. That’s probably not good. LOL. But I completely understand where you’re coming from.
    I also understand that worry about making choices – what if this choice is smart for now, but not smart later? What if passing up on this job that isn’t great means never finding any? (This hits way too close to home for us right now – I’ll have to catch you up. We need a vidchat or something.) I truly don’t live with regret or what-ifs about the past, but I definitely do worry and what-if about the future. A lot.
    Can’t believe I didn’t get over to read this sooner. April was kind of busy as hell. But I’m glad I did because this definitely hits me where my brain is about a lot of things right now. xoMay 2, 2017 – 11:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - What is it about becoming a mom that makes us think about death?!?! GAH. I want to hear about the job. When can we vidchat or something?? I hope everything’s okay with the job decisions – those are so hard because of all the what if’s? I made what I thought was a good job decision and it was the most awful experience of my life BUT then it turned out maybe good because I quit when I was on maternity leave, got paid for it (because it was that bad and the stupidass CEO knew it) and got to stay home with Tucker for a while. Had I had my previous job, that I LOVED, I probably would have gone back to it and put him in daycare. Which I can’t imagine now. So maybe, with deep breaths, know that even bad and regretful decisions end up being the right ones somehow.May 3, 2017 – 7:53 pmReplyCancel

      • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Weekend maybe? My best times are after Z. is in bed at night. So after 9?
        And I absolutely do think that even things we think are “bad” or “wrong” choices end up being the right ones. Looking back, I always see that. Doesn’t make it any easier in the present.May 4, 2017 – 11:18 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Should we shoot for tomorrow (Friday) around 9? So right that just because hindsight is clear that it’s not any easier in the present. We’re learning though, I think.May 4, 2017 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

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