I am not a tree . . .

You are not a tree

A few weeks ago on my Facebook timeline one of my friends shared a quote which said:

“If you don’t like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree” – Jim Rohn

Today, a new found friend of mine wrote a blog post which contained the exact message of this quote. What does all this mean? I’ve been a tree all my life, firmly rooted in a steady job, living with my parents . . .

A few years ago I decided I was tired of the routine of going to work each day at an office for X amount of hours, sitting in traffic to get there and back in the traffic again to get home. I put plans in motion to start up a “work from home” business. The idea was to provide administrative support services (Virtual Assistant) to small businesses that could not afford to employ a full time administrator.

I got myself a desk top computer set up at home with internet and e-mail access, telephone line and fax. All this was set up by October – the plan being to first take my end-of-year annual leave and resign from my job in January when I got back. This never materialised because the man I worked for at the time got a bee in his bonnet about something one day and dismissed me (unfairly) on the spot without any prior warning. I won my unfair dismissal case in the labour court but that’s a story for another day.

The day I went home after being dismissed was also the day my mother informed me that she was definitely going to divorce my father (she tried two years prior to this but he muscled her into retracting the divorce action). This time she said, was definite. No turning back. I was still living with my parents at this time. What this meant for me was that I was now going to have to become the breadwinner and take on the financial responsibility for my mother. I had to find a house for us to live (mom had to give up the house because she was married In Community of Property so the house had to be sold and the proceeds split. Mom was 10 years away from retirement age so she would not be able to get a mortgage bond for another house and there was no way I was prepared to rent and pay off someone else’s bond). A week later, my car decided it had enough and was ready for the scrap heap which meant having to get another because our public transport system is not exactly the best in the world and being physically disabled, public transport was not an option for me, so another car it had to be. While all this was going on, my sister came home and decided that she wanted to get married. The salary she was earning was not great. Daddy was definitely not going to pay, mom was not working and in the middle of a divorce . . . so sister was going to have to chip in to give little sister the wedding of her dreams.

So my dream of starting my own business working from home had to be pushed aside because of all these more pressing issues. I could not think of starting out in my own business. Who would give me a mortgage bond to buy a house? Finance for my car? So it was back to finding a stable place of employment where I could work long term earning a steady income to pay for all these things. I became a tree once again. That was back in 1999.

For the last fourteen years I’ve worked in very steady, stable places of employment. Got the house and the car. Sister got the wedding of her dreams. Life went on.

This year, I celebrated my 50th birthday and just before my birthday I decided that this was going to be MY YEAR. I was going to be selfish. I would stop thinking of others and putting their needs before my own. I was going to take care of me first.

Then the rug was pulled out from under me again. We discovered towards the end of last year that mom has Cancer but the day before my 50th birthday we were told that chemotherapy would be stopped because it was not working and that mom is now in stage four of her Cancer i.e. there is nothing more they can do for her.

Blow me down with a feather! Why me? Why can I just not get my plans to work the way I want them to? When am I ever going to be able to get out of this rat race and be able to do my own thing, for me? All these questions . . . so easy to be thrown off course again, and push my dream aside. The easy option would be to just forget about my dream and remain a tree.

Then I reminded myself of the promise I made earlier this year. This is going to be MY YEAR. I re-started my research on being a Virtual Assistant. I also found other options I could look into – one of which involved taking an eight week intensive training course by a business coach which is what I’m currently doing. There are other options I’m considering as well.

By June 2015, I want to wake up each morning knowing that I will be doing what makes me happy, earning a salary but being in control of my working hours.

I am not a tree. I need to move. I want to move. I have to move . . .

Watch this space!

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