The professional cliffhanger

A couple of weeks ago I received a creepy phone call. For various reasons, it crossed my mind that it might be a friend of mine kidding around, so I texted him.

Did you just call?  

No. Wasn’t me. He replied. 

At the time I was with another friend, she’d just arrived and we were ordering a glass of wine. I didn’t want to be rude by paying too much attention to my phone, so I quickly wrote back: OK. Very creepy caller, then!! More later.

Many hours passed before I checked my phone, only to see that my text friend had replied to my last message with the accusation: What are you? A professional cliffhanger? What creepy caller?!?

I’ve never been called such a thing, but I’m excited to try to live up to the title.

As you know, we recently survived the predicted end of the world.

This prediction came from the Mayans, ancient calendar-makers, and it’s been suggested to me that, unsurprisingly, they weren’t being LITERAL.  It was just that they didn’t know what came after 2012, but believed it to be sufficiently different that it marked a new era.  Either that or their hands simply got tired, I mean they had to stop somewhere and they had loads of other things to be getting on with — art and astronomy and architecture, for starters.

And so, like the Mayan calendar, I can report that Counting Zeros, in its current guise, has come to completion. Today. Right now.

I have done what I set out to do 365 days ago: I have blogged every week, twice a week, about my year-long game which involved 52 assignments designed to damage, shake up or at minimum, poke, my relationship with money.

A year of weekly personal finance homework has been a massive chore and it was made possible by you, dear follower. Trust me, you are the only reason I managed to stick with the program. Counting Zeros is one of countless efforts I’ve made to change my relationship with money throughout my life. I pulled it off because I had you as my witness and because many of you weighed in and helped me along the way.


I am grateful for each and every one of you, but can’t help but call out a special extra thanks to these followers in particular:

Catherine, Jen, Dave, Heidi, Your Adorable Dad, Andrea, Liz, Lisa, Deborah, Michelle, Hope, Angela, Barbara, Patrick, Fred, Feargal, Adrian, Maxine, Rob, Frugal, Jessica, Abigail, Alysia, The Driver, Frank, Linda, Ralph, Lambskinny, Iwtkangaroo, momofautismgirl & everyone who encouraged me offline — especially my mother and brother and my ace writers group.

But has it actually worked? Have I changed my financial ways? Do I feel any different? Am I richer? Wiser? The answer is Yes all ’round. To be more specific about how I’ve changed, why I feel different, in what ways I’m richer and wiser — for this you’ll need to remain your patient, charming selves and wait by the cliff. I shall reveal all, but it won’t be by blog or tweet or post-it note. Something bigger is coming.

Till then, happy New Era!


15 thoughts on “The professional cliffhanger

  1. Nat- I have so enjoyed watching you go through this process…I await the next installment of whatever has caught your fancy. And while I cannot say that I am devoted writer (although I would LIKE to say I am), I have really seen an improvement in your writing… as I write this, I am worried you will think that I think your writing was poor in the beginning….not so, but I think that you really got into your groove through this process. I have looked forward to each weekly installment, and have done some of the activities along with you. it has caused me to want to create a self-esteem building/shame reduction activity along these lines for my clients…we’ll see what transpires…happy new year to you!!!! I hope to reconnect soon.



    1. I am so pleased you think my writing got better 🙂 I hope I never stop getting better & am delighted you’d say so. Also very pleased you did some of the assignments with me. Yes, please do create the shame reduction enterprise! Just yesterday a friend and I were discussing the history of shame (in connection with her christmas present to me — fascinating new exploration of the irish famine) and what poverty can do to the spirit. Go for it!

  2. Congratulations Nat, great achievement. Totes impressed. II can’t wait to hear about all the specific changes, as well as the new project.

  3. Congrats Leamie, bruce and leon ( and me) are proud of you!!! Very happy for you and impressed too, you’ve completed something huge!

    1. Now is that “leamie” or “lemmy” and did the boys really say that?!? Thank you for all your support and friendship. Now … When will we have your blog?

  4. CONGRATULATIONS NATI!!!!! What an amazing year and huge accomplishment, absolutely fabulous. Was so interesting to take the ride with you! Cannot WAIT for the your next project… will miss Counting Zeros…. Happy New Year! Wish we could have stayed in Dublin… XOXO

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