LIFE AS WE MAKE IT
Life is what we make of it.
Two years ago, after a decade of relative success in the Metro, our family business plummeted to nothing -taking with it almost everything we own including our savings and small investments. Everything went to paying debts and old employees.
My husband became depressed and I went into survival mode. I avoided friends, choosing to nurse our wounds alone. We also avoided family as much as possible. We pulled off our son from regular school and put him into Homeschooling. We delayed our daughters’ start of school. We wanted to move, go back to the province for us to get a bit of rest and rebuild but we couldn’t. We are stuck. We couldn’t move. We literally scraped by with what I can gather from small freelancing jobs.
I went back to Buy and Sell online after almost 5 years of absence. This allowed us a bit of breathing space. Unfortunately, tragedy struck again when Ensogo – the ecommerce site where I’m selling, went down. I went into all sorts of things including selling food online and delivery. I always had a passion for food and actually enjoys feeding people.
Curiously, as my husband and me realized, this was a time of healing for our family. Yes, we had no money. We werent able to go out, eat out, watch movies, shop, take vacations. But we had more time. More time to talk, to plan, to involve everybody in the great undertaking. We had all sorts of investments before yes -but we forgot about investing in memories. In all those years, I can count on my fingers the times when we had a real vacation, where I don’t sneak in work. I can even remember times when I get annoyed with the children because they keep bugging me to play or just talk. I was simply absent. And my children, I fear that they have a huge gap in their memories, and they can barely remember anything that has “family” in their formative years.
With our “semi” vacation, we were able to focus and also spend more time with our son, who, without our noticing it has turned into a reticent young man, who had literally grown up with Youtube and has an attachment to his laptop. He has also acquired a culture that is so far from our own. Before, we hardly go out because we are busy, with our son, he refuses to go out because he can’t bear the thought of losing time away from the internet. Day by day is a battle, but learning to live with intention, we are slowly getting back our son from computer addiction.
Our marriage, which has over the years grown from brittle, to tense, neurotic and ultimately -destructive, is now starting to have a foundation of trust and we are beginning understand how we can navigate this crazy life together without destroying each other. Certainly, there are days when it feels like we’re not making any progress but with more conscious effort, I believe we can get there.
Between losing our business and being forced to get rid of our “stuff”? It would be simplistic to say that it was losing our business that did it. But in a roundabout way, I found a way to existing more simply. To be clear, I am not advocating living poorly. But getting rid of all the stuff I thought we need, gadgets, jewelries, television, kitchen paraphernalia (which I have a passion of collecting), even clothes, allowed us a more comfortable home where everybody can relax. Never again will I allow myself this mindless collection of stuff that feeds our need for bigger, newer, and fancier but not bettering our life.
Life is indeed what we make of it. Our struggles and successes help us connect the dots. Whether in courage or in fear, to closing your heart to possibilities, and finding your way back to happiness, family, and love, the key is finding a path, or a mantra if you will. And to try to live, instead of simply existing, as I did before when when I had a successful business -where everyday is a battle of things to do, but nothing that is really fulfilling and everything feels empty.
Sooner or later, I know I will be successful again, but I vow not to forget these lessons, my mantra, and the very foundation of this blog. Simplicity, intent, and happiness.