This year I had 3 setbacks I did not think I would recover from. Firstly my business was not doing well and I had to go back to work. I had to find a job. It was a very difficult decision to go back to work after being my own boss after more than 2 years. Would I be able to report to someone again? This worried me as I had come to to value my independence and flexibility a great deal. How would I fit in again within a corporate environment? Would I be able to work in a team again?
Secondly something happened that devastated me. Having fallen into debt I lost my main phone number. The phone company took back my number. I tried to plead with them but it didn't help. The account was in arrears and the only thing that made sense was settlement and full payment of the account.The number I had taken out in 2003 was gone. I took it very badly and it cost me a lot of business. I had given out hundreds of business cards over the year with my old number.
Thirdly a few months ago my son Lwa just tossed my good old Nokia out of the window, and falling down more than 3 metres there was no hope it would work again. For Lwa it was no big deal at all, just another day as a kid. He did not see the fuss. I picked up the pieces, put it together but that was it. The phone was no longer working. I bought a much cheaper phone, a very basic phone.
I am quite sure if I did not write or have other outlets for my energy, I would probably have fallen into depression. In a bid to cope, I channelled some of the energy into writing, reading up things online for hours and chatting online. I started to write like a mad man.
I managed to find to a job with a great company and I settled in faster than I thought. I quickly adjusted and it was not the huge corporate culture I dreaded. I am very motivated and things have gone better than planned.
Losing the phoneline turned out to be one of the biggest surprises so far in my life. It seems I spent so much time on my phone in the past. A good deal of time spent on the phone had been endless and sometimes aimless talking. Some calls were very important but others not so. My phonebill for every month before I lost the line came to thousands of Rand which could not be directly tracked to meaningful benefits from those talks. Now my monthly phone bill has shrunk to about 150 rands. I also found a network that rewards me with free minutes for buying the airtime every month. I also found myself with a lot more free time, time to reflect, time in silence. I had time to breathe.
I had given up on the Nokia phone but for some reason decided to recharge it some weeks ago. I was playing around with it and was surprised to find out that it was still working. However, I have decided to continue using the very basic and simple phone I had bought.
These experiences forced me to revisit my priorities in life. Was I living within my means? Could I use my time better every day? What did success really mean to me and what I was prepared to give up to achieve it?
What did I learn from all this? Some things are going to bend you, stress you and rough you up but they will not break you.
You may be down but you are definitely not out. The undying will to thrive remains very much alive in you. Keep dreaming. Never ever give up. You can do it.
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