Often, we want so many things. There are so many options out there in the world, so many dreams to chase. I think it’s good to find a few that is important to you, and focus on that rather than get lost in a sea of unrealised dreams.
A long time ago, I was my family’s breadwinner. We lived in Albert Court in Knightsbridge, just a little stone’s throw from the Royal Albert Hall. On balmy summer evenings, we would throw the long French windows wide open, and we could sometimes hear the faint music coming through.
Our neighbour, whom as shared a corridor with, was a chieftain who only visited UK with his four wives during the Harrods’ sale, so we effectively had the whole floor to ourselves. My kids would play on the corridors in this magical fairytale building.
They would cycle through Hyde Park to Notting Hill Gate, to pick up a chocolate bar, accompanying their father on his runs. Later, when they were older, their father would cycle and our fit, strong children would chase after his bicycle.
It was a magical time of our lives.
But we paid a heavy price for it. I was always stressed, because even though I had a very well-paid job, we were precariously close to being overdrawn every month, with the bank gleefully charging us for unauthorised overdrafts. I went back to work three days after my fifth child was born, feeling sad, sorry at myself, and angry at my life’s choices.
As life would have it, I fell sick when my youngest child turned one. I didn’t have much choice but to sell that beautiful family home, and moved back to my hometown where the cost of living was much, much lower.
Recently, on the plane flying from UK to Phuket, my children’s father saw in the newspaper a flat in our block being advertised for sale for a whopping £7,950,000. It was of the same dimension as ours, just more done up. We did go a little green. Here’s the property. We have seen the price going up and up over the years, but never this high.
We felt sick, because we know we could never afford to buy our old family home back, and it had been such a happy place for us all. The years were simply magical, and we kind of always had this dream of buying our old family home back.
Shouldn’t have sold it, I mumbled. Should’ve struggled on being a slave to the huge mortgage.
Then when we walked into our rented house high on the hill in Phuket, we were greeted by the sight of the Christmas tree that had not been taken down yet. And dangling on the Christmas tree was the ornament my 1-year-old daughter made in her playgroup.
Seeing this precious cardboard star reminded us of what we set out to do all those years ago when we left Hampshire: to see the world a bit, do some good maybe but most importantly, to build a happy, stable family. Wealth accumulation had never been on our agenda. We have stuck to that, as this little star reminded us ❤