Weathering the Storm

IMG_2471
Weathering the Storm

I sat in the hot tub last night. 19 degrees out and I was outdoors nice and comfy in my hot tub. I thought kind of crankily how with the big storm coming in I was kind of upset my fireplace wasn’t fixed yet. I am not a fan of this weather, but a nice cozy fire and glass of wine makes it bearable. So not having my fireplace was quite the inconvenience.

Missed My Fireplace Over the Holidays
Missed My Fireplace Over the Holidays

It hit me how much has changed. Just 5 years ago Corey and I were getting ready to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. But everything around us was falling apart. We had just opened our school, and our only source of household income was my job as a store manager. I had broken my arm and had been out of work 2 months with a possible 3-6 months more out.

Needless to say, we were in financial crisis. We were now 2 months behind in our mortgage. For Christmas, we had nothing. We were blessed that someone close to us had an idea of how things were and the local police dept dropped of to huge bags of wrapped gifts for my boys. Even though it was a huge blessing, I still was feeling a failure.

Then we ran out of oil. It was one of the coldest spells in years, some schools closed due to the sub zero temperatures. We lived in a house that was 200 years old and very drafty. We didn’t tell anyone. We asked Corey’s parents because of how “busy” our work schedule was that next couple days if the boys can sleep over their house.

Huddled around a space heater.
Huddled around a space heater.

Then we closed of the rest of the house and huddled around a space heater and wore 5 layers! We bought a cheap electric blanket.

I became very discouraged. I started doubting if we had chosen the right path. Maybe a martial arts school in Spencer MA was not a good decision. Such a small farming community surrounded the area. Maybe, when I go back to work I should focus on finding a district or regional management position. I mean, I really did enjoy that kind of work and I loved to travel. Maybe Corey should look into a full time career outside the school also. Nothing was going the way we hoped it seemed like we would forever be stuck in this place unless something changed. I was facing a wall of discouragement, I began to feel foolish in my goals and worry what others where thinking of me and my failures. Real Mistake

Corey had been doing some side work and we had oil again within a couple days. I did return to work and we were able to tread water and make some serious changes, but not the kind that forced us to give up on our dreams.

I would like to say after that winter it was all better. It wasn’t, we faced many more challenges.

A little over a year later our electricity was turned off for non payment,  I owed over $2000. We went a week with no electricity. We told the boys it was an experiment to understand what real farm life used to be like. It was summer so we didn’t freeze, but all of our food spoiled.

This time though my attitude was very different. I understood in the long run this was only a few days. It was not going to destroy my life or even seriously hold me back. I didn’t need to abort my goals. I could see progress happening and knew we would overcome.

When challenges come your way you need to step back. You need to ask yourself, will this matter in 5 years? How will it affect me in 5 years? How old will I be? How old will my kids be? What do I want my life to be like in 5 years? How will I  get there? As awful as that year was, it was a small part of a big life. I had the opportunity to be blessed by my amazing community, who helped us survive during a challenging time. I got to find out what was really worth it. I got to learn that success isn’t sprint, but a marathon. Just like a marathon, sometimes you want to give up and take the easy way. Stay on the path, don’t give up, don’t life’s discouragements stop you. It’s your life, don’t let it happen to you, create the life you always wanted.

Follow that dream

My dream grew into http://www.abdspencer.com — now we also have http://www.abdshrewsbury.com, http://www.ilovekickboxingspencer.com,

http://www.ilovekickboxingshrewsbury.com

7 thoughts on “Weathering the Storm

  1. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. It’s hard when you know so many families that are going through the same thing now and I pray that this year with bring them more peace and comfort as they take on their challenges. I feel that it’s so important to reach out to those in need. I was there once as a single mother of five. You learn so much from the experience. It’s humbling when people show you that you are important and cared about. I’m glad that you had the community surrounding you and helping you move on to a better place. I’m so glad that you didn’t give up on your dreams because everyone deserves to make there dreams come true. If you did, then Krav wouldn’t be in my life and in so many others’ lives. So bless you for all you have done.

    1. Yes Jean it is so hard. I hope people find encouragement knowing others have been there and have pushed through. I see how many lives have changed now through America’s Best Defense and it affirms that I am glad I never gave up. Now I get to help others make their dreams come true.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read. I agree many have been in that situation, but as we go through those challenges we assume no one else has. Knowing that others have and overcame I hope gives someone the hope in times of desperation. Gives someone the strength to ask for help and never give up.

  2. jim caldwell

    I would go by your house on prospect and knew something was not as it should be. When I would see you and Corey, neither of you would give any indication that you were struggling. I have always admired your moxie but I need to say that as a free mason that there are times when everyone needs a hand up from the family that is community. It is not a hand out and as you have always done, is paid forward to the family community that brought it to you. In short never be to proud to “ask”. I respect and admire you both for who you are and what you do. Be well, jim Caldwell

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I agree, people need to be brave enough to ask for help because there are so many out there who would do whatever they could to help. I also realize some people struggle silently. I was to proud at that point to admit things were not going the way we planned. We did later develop the courage to ask, and be willing to accept that we had to let some things go. Now, one of our commitments a business owners is to give back to our local community.

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