Most of us feel like every day seems Good Friday since the lockdown. The silence is quite deafening. No sounds of cars passing by, seldom had my phone rings and with social distancing, we were gifted with more time to be quiet and just reflect. If not for YouTube, TV news and rambulan (riot) of my four grown-up kids when they got bored themselves, I would think it’s Good Friday every day. And it reminds me of that old feeling many years back when my husband’s high paying job closed with barely two weeks’ notice.
Yung pakiramdam na gustong gusto mong may magawa pero wala kang magawa.(That feeling that you want to do something but there’s just nothing to be done). I’m sure most people can relate to this.
I cannot remember being too bothered when my husband told me about losing his job then. I don’t know if that posture was due to my immaturity. Or perhaps because I grow up with my mom’s little business and I’m used to having money sometimes and having nothing most of the time. So, I never thought much of the salary coming on the 15th and the 30th every month like it was not a big deal for me. That is what I thought until reality sets in.
With a family to raise, bills to pay and denial to face, we look for a job and later started all kinds of business only to fail. For a long time, I kept projecting that we were ok. How can I not? My whole clan knew I married someone big time lol! And the last thing that I do not like to happen is for my relatives to know what’s going on with us.
Until Divine intervention came in, yes you guessed it right, mother Divine! Our mothers found out how we were doing. So, we were left with no choice but to live with my mom’s house against my self-will run riot stance. It was a humbling and humiliating experience for a strong-willed, stubborn child like me. The no-I’ll make- it-myself attitude was still there inside and after a few months living with her we move out and live on our own again no matter what.
That’s where the real story begins, on an abandoned piggery of around 60 pig pens with a small staff house that serves as a roof over our head and a few papaya trees and some coconut. We reside there for almost four years, with no regular income, no anything, just our family with four little kids and a stubborn belief that we will gonna make it. That’s when I discovered that papayas are good for the skin and that’s another story.
My husband who knew nothing about farming toil the land with his bare hands. Right after we move into that piggery, he started to plant some vegetables from the knowledge he stored during his high school days. He kept telling me to just tighten our belt and go on with what we can. With that experience, living one day at a time make more sense to me. Once in a while friends and relatives will visit us with some kind of gifts or food stuff, perhaps coming from pity or annoyance or disbelief of how those things can happen to us.
We both have our profession to start with during those times, but we didn’t dare make use of it. Why? Because we were so engrossed with our grandiose plan of putting up a treatment and research center for substance abuse. After a decade of a roller coaster ride, I learned that when something is not meant to happen yet it won’t. I do not know then that we were being prepared for something much better.
Many years later I realized that the reason why you are doing something is much more important before the job itself. My husband’s genuine desire for pushing that project was to be able to serve. Though it might be that the grandiosity was coming from his ego after losing his job still the deepest noble motive was there. Mine, on the other hand, was of course opposite of his, and that is to make money. The craziest motives of all! And that is one of the greatest lessons it thought me, stop doing something for money which is quite difficult to apply.
After mountains of debt and ten years of failing to make that project push through I finally go back to my senses and realized that I’ve got to start with what I have. I go back and work in the hospital out of need. At first, it was so uncomfortable; I have been out of the profession for almost a decade and my seniors were nurses very much younger than I am. What do you think? But thanks God, my self- quarantine looks alike experience in the piggery paid off. I had developed enough strength within, resiliency, tenacity, and wisdom to know what matters most, people first.
Three years of working in the hospital just to make both ends meet had been the start of my journey towards finding the job that is truly meaningful for me. With every step along the way, my focus had always been to do something that I love doing and live a life that shows it. Sometimes it brought with it a lot of money and sometimes it’s not. But see, living in the piggery thought me how to live with or without money.
During my son’s wake, I was gathering strength from that piggery experience. I told myself you made it then on a daily basis and you knew everything is passing so hold on. This one might be too painful but believe me, like living in the piggery you will gonna make it. It will pass and something better is in store for all of you. That was my repeated self-talk when too much pain is clouding my thought and making me numb.
And true enough we did make it. His passing made me realized one of my greatest dream of writing a book. In the piggery, I was given ample time to look into myself just like what we have today. And there I found out that there was some longing within to write. I kept dreaming about it, but you see I do not have during those times what we have today except for hundreds of books that I brought with me wherever I go. But just the same I write on my journal every day during that lock down look-alike piggery experiences. We were locked down because we have nowhere else to go.
Little did I know that those small things I am doing for myself would be my greatest cane on the things that would come. Not only that his passing brought us into some kind of business not for money but for a mission that was all related to what we would like to do from the beginning. And in this lock down season, it is a pleasure once more to go back to that piggery experience of planting some vegetables which is what I am doing today along with writing some stuff for all of you out there.
In a difficult time like this, it is always wise to do what we can with what we have where we are. And this is my home wealth hunting #2.