Saturday, March 26, 2016

Getting the house in order

What a day it has been... more so like what a two days it has been.

Thank God for public holidays. Really.
I cannot imagine what I would do without them... they are so important for rest.

I've come to the realization that you will know when you're overworked/working way too hard when you look forward to "forced" holidays, so that you can sleep (instead of looking forward to festivities). But tis' the situation we are in right now - that my family just has to work extra hard, and hopefully I'll be able to celebrate my birthday in October with much peace and anticipation.

In the meantime, we just need to pull through this season!

I basically spent the whole of Good Friday at home doing 3 main things - eating, sleeping, and working.... and today was pretty much the same, except that I also accomplished my springcleaning task this week.

As so:

Finally cleared the landing which was chucked with
all sorts of random junk from the other family members.
I'm not quite finished but I'll get to the rest of it when it's time to tackle the "Books" category with mum
(because most of them are hers).
It was the bane of my mornings.

Running a family business is interesting in the sense that sometimes, or rather, in the early parts of the life cycle of the family business, the professional and personal parts of family get so intertwined that goodness knows what paperwork has gone where. And now I'm on a mission to stop it.

Tomorrow I will tackle an office declutter project - and I'm tackling the main office. And then send a motherlode of stuff to the Salvation Army! I can't wait!

I will get this house in order!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Working out finances for the family

It's the wee hours in the morning and I'm up as I've just concluded a 3 hour conversation with my sister about money and her concerns about how money will affect family life.

We spoke about how the parents want to buy a house, their dreams about living in a bungalow again, her feelings of having burdens, concerns about money and how it can tear a family apart... It was slightly disconcerting having that conversation.

Perhaps she's a little more pragmatic and realistic than me, but I really don't have that many concerns about money. I simply don't hold money in such high regard nor do I have that many fears over having it or not having it. Or perhaps it's the idealist in me that believes that one should just have a dream and work toward it with wisdom... And not be kept on the chains and limitations of fears of potential outcomes. Does money have that much power? Isn't it just a means, a tool, a catalyst. It's something we use - not something to fear or be controlled by.

It's not as if I've lived in a bubble and have little "practical knowledge" of "the real world" because I've lived in comfort or never felt lack... Goodness knows the fears and struggles we've had in the business. Not to mention that I have been looking at how to get loved ones out of debt. And yet, my view of money is that as long as one has 1) the smarts, resourcefulness, and creativity to think of a strategy to make money, and 2) a right attitude to be willing to work hard, surely it isn't that tough to work toward a monetary dream.

The parents want to live in a house which costs a whopping 1.2M. Our old house which I know my mother has been dreaming of returning to (which I have been secretly watching because I'd like to one day purchase it for them) was something like 10.8M.... And recently 8.6M. It sounds like a lot of money, but why a 3 hour conversation about fears and how money can be crippling? Isn't it better to just work out the numbers and think of ways to reach the goal?

Everything in me wants to buy that house back for my parents. I don't know how it's going to happen, but I will somehow make it happen. I just need the work out the numbers, pray for a strategy, and have a plan.

Let me get my house in order and it will happen. I will make it happen.

God, please give me the tenacity, creativity, intelligence, resourcefulness, and many open doors to be able to bless my parents in their golden years.... In a way that I cannot imagine how yet... But I know that with You, all things are possible.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Just keep swimming.

Written 6 March 2016
For the past couple of months I've been trying to clear out my office amidst a whirlwind of issues both at home as well as at work.

About a month ago, things just started getting crazier as we struggled (and still are) with problems at work with HR and finance (two departments that my sister held). I think it was sometime then that I realized that I needed to stop the confusion and clean up the mess, that I started making it a point almost every evening, and Saturday, to make organizing a priority at work.

One of the best things I did, using Lent as a great excuse, was to delete Facebook and Instagram off my phone. It's amazing how much time I've found. The next thing I did, was basically to accept the relentless mission of getting my office in total order - that is, to give up every excuse or complaint I ever had of how things were just going too slowly, or how situations (or people) were hindering my progress, and just take responsibility.

I read a wise quote recently: 
"Never organize what you can discard"
And that's what I've been doing. 
A WHOLE LOT of discarding.

Going into my sister's office was a daring move I made... I pretty much had to force myself in. Her office was known as "the vortex". There were stacks of paper everywhere - in the cabinet, in drawers, on chairs, on the floor... It was just a whole mess of paperwork. She was really overloaded with work and she was evidently drowning under a huge burden of way too much responsibility, and on a paper chase she just couldn't catch up with. She needed help.

I told myself "enough is enough". I had to help. 
So I did... And the discoveries that were made were tremendous!
From open invoices worth thousands of dollars from years ago, to expired cheques, to... all sorts of random paperwork that were mailed out/responded to... I could have chosen to have been really upset, but to be honest, I was just glad I started the process of weeding! I only wish I had started the process sooner.

I've been reading, or rather, listening to the audiobook, Marie Kondo's "The life changing magic of tidying up" and it's amazing how many similar experiences I've had in my life! And the way she organized the information, as well as the progressive steps of purging and organizing, made total sense!

Considering the main bulk of issues are currently from paperwork (and that the company doesn't quite have a problem with clothes - which is what she recommends we start with), that's where we have been working on. Every week since early Feb, we've been throwing away bags and bags of shredded paper and gosh it feels AMAZING. It does take a lot of perseverance, but I honestly absolutely love my 12-14 hour Saturday organizing and cleaning sessions. :) I truly believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that my sister sees that.

For the past year, in fact, we (my sis and I) have spent most of our nights at work trying to get the place in office. But it's only today, after cleared out a third of her lower cabinets it felt like we had made such tremendous progress that we deserved a break and are making time to have a relaxing day on a Sunday with my parents to the river safari.

It's been a while.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Just keep swimming.