Feast or famine seems to be the mantra for many of us over the past five years. Who knew that surviving the recession, family in tact, a bit battle worn no doubt- but still standing, would be sure to become a life achievement? It wasn’t one that I would have consciously chosen, that’s for sure!
“Oh please, may we have the Pu Pu Platter for five, complete with sweet and sour layoffs, one order of spicy curry mortgage- dipped in and out of default, and stacks and stacks of those crispy-fried unpaid bills. Oh, and hold the health insurance. One more thing, does that come with rice?”
My husband and I knew when he was laid of by Citibank, two weeks before Christmas, that no one was going to save us. No one but the ultra rich (neither of our families) was going to survive this unscathed. We had to figure something out, and quickly. Unemployment wouldn’t even cover our utilities and groceries.
One idea led to another and we started a cookie company, yes from our home kitchen, yes with a secret family recipe. Everyone helped that year, (if they wanted anything under the tree.) It was an eye opener for our suburban California kids and an exercise in not-so-controlled panic for the grown-ups. We worked together as a family, not perfectly, not quietly, not smoothly, and often not happily, but we did it. We made it though. Over 5 years we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, and this past Christmas we shipped our last order.
We decided it was time to stop working two jobs each and enjoy a little more of Life. I want to relish what is left of the time our kids will be living under our roof. It was a great decision. Over the past five years we had no idea from day to day, making cookies, jams, and more, if we would make it to the next mortgage payment, but we did. We are grateful. We didn’t know if we could do it, but we had to try. There was nothing else.
I now know that the last five years of struggle, will be one of the many momentous life experiences that transforms into a great story at the dinner table 10 years later. Everyone will have their own version and it will be very funny, despite the tough lessons learned. We still love to laugh together.
I am happy to say that once again we are all trying new things. College, Law School prep, first love, independence, grad school, new careers and more. You never know till you try.