There are plenty of heartbreaks, distractions, disappointments and challenges that often make their way into our lives every once in a while.
Life isn’t easy.
Some of us may have it a little easier than the rest, while others often have it really rough.
Often, bad things can happen anyone. We don’t have control of many of these things that happen to us, however, we have control over how we respond to our trial.
So when you look at this glass of water, do you see a glass that is half empty or half full?
I sold my home in Sept 2011. At first hb and I though our family could be comfortable in a new place for some time before settling down longer term in another home. But to reduce household commitments, and allow the chance for me to give a shot at my ‘dreams’, we went on to stay with my mom for close to 7 months and finally settled down in a new place in the east. A new room to be accurate, as my family shares common areas with 2 other ladies who live under the same roof.
If I choose to see my life like a glass half empty, this is what I will see…
- An old, dim and dreary flight of stairs leading to the house that I have been staying in for the past 3 weeks. The flight of steps leading to the house always have puddles of what K thinks is cat urine.
- Common areas in the house consisting of two sofas, which is covered with a mishmash of recycled printed bedsheets and cardboard box,
- this rusty old deckchair (which I think belongs to a junkyard) is the only thing I can sit on if I want to sun myself or read a book in the balcony.
- TV channels like TCS 5 and 8 are non-existent in the room that my family stays in, and what about cable? If we want cable TV channels, we need to fork out $2000.00 just to get a new antenna fixed for the house.
- Bed for hb comes in the form of a mattress, which will be propped against the wall in the day when he goes to work.
This used to be the mattress that I slept in when we stayed at my mom’s house the last 7 months. So hb and I don’t share a bed, and we have an additional room mate who is the biggest and noisiest ‘lamp-post’ who sleeps in the same bed as I do. Can someone remind me what does the word intimacy means?
- What we use daily is stored in this wardrobe with 3 doors. The greatest trial a reformed clothes-horse can experience is to have minimal space for her own clothes.
- K has his personal space sandwiched between the bed we sleep on and his toys stored in wooden trolley/shelf. I only have my work space on the study table between 9am-5pm on weekdays, no other personal space in the room for all other hours in the day, except for my side of the queen sized bed.
- Going the loo does make me a little nervous sometimes, especially when I forget to put down the lid for the toilet bowl, or when I discover that K has left some ‘skid marks’ in the toilet bowl or the sides of the bathtub, when he tries to climb over the bathtub to wash himself.
- After I take my bath, I will scan the bathroom thoroughly to make sure that I pick up every strand of hair that I can spot on the floor or in the bathtub. I drop hair like crazy, so i have to ensure that I don’t have strands of hair all over the sink / floor of the bathroom.
Has this new arrangement been stressful? Initially.
How long will my family have to live here? I have no idea. Maybe things will change in the next 5-6 years. Well, if it doesn’t, I will be sharing a room with my teenage son.
Pondering over this things from a real but negative perspective sure doesn’t make me too joyful about the present state of the arrangements at home.
But It is really isn’t all bad when I choose to see a different perspective to my present situation.
Living in a room reminds me of my carefree days in university, where I rented a room and had to live with 5 other people in the same house. The only difference is that I now have my hb and our 5 year old staying in the room together and my landlady who lives in the same house as we do, is hb’s auntie.
Auntie A is a wonderful person to stay with, she is kind, considerate, loving and adores K to bits. So K now has an additional ‘grandma’. K loves her company and has been staying up late (even on weekdays) to want to wait for Auntie A and chat with her before she sleeps
We have another house mate that stays in the same house, a china-born lady who has been staying with Auntie A for close to 6 months. She works really long hours, or when she is not at work, stays in the room most of the time and hardly ever eats (I hardly ever see her eat). She is not exactly the neatest person, so the little ‘rules’ that Auntie A puts in the bathroom, ensures that the common areas are kept clean and pleasant for everyone in the house.
Auntie A is a cat lover, and the cardboard and recycled bedsheets that are placed on the sofa is for Pat the cat, to ensure it doesn’t destroy the upholstery on the coach. Pat is my companion in the day when I work at home, so it does not get lonely in the day.
There is a part time cleaner that comes weekly to clean up the common areas in the house, so the only housework I regularly do is to wash and iron hb, k’s and my clothes, cook once in a while, and keep our room clean and tidy. So really not having a whole house of my own is actually a good thing, considering I have been having domestic help since I was 12, and I don’t like doing household chores.
Even though I don’t own a house, have to stay with 2 other people (not part of my family unit) and have my family squeeze in a little room together. I still call this place my home.
I am so thankful that the 3 of us have a proper roof over our head, pay 40% less rental than the market rate and our home is located in a very convenient area in the east. There are plenty of amenities opposite to the estate, which includes cafes, restaurants, clinics, coffee shops, a supermarket and a convenience store. And it is just a stone’s throw away from Katong and Joo Chiat areas, so we never have to worry about not knowing where to go on the weekends whenever we want to eat out.
Besides, we get sea breezes from our room’s window anytime of the day and even get to see the sun rise in the mornings.
What does the future hold for my family? I really don’t know, and I probably can’t tell you when will I ever get a place that I will be able to call my own.
My family’s trial has given me plenty of opportunities to teach K, that it doesn’t matter that we don’t have our own house. We still have a home. What matters are that we are together as a family, will never stop supporting and loving one another, regardless of the circumstance.
Many of you may have experienced or are still experiencing various trials and tribulations that are likely be more dramatic, heartbreaking and challenging. How have these tnt changed or moulded you into the person you have become and what life lessons has it taught you along the way?
Do link up and share your TnT stories in your blog!