I have learned a lot about squeezing every ounce of vibrant joy out of my life, and I consider myself blessed to have come so far with so much to be grateful for. I know that rewards often come only when we refuse to accept any other alternative. There is an inheritance that we can give ourselves, and it comes to us because we invest our entire selves into it and refuse to accept anything else.
Settling into my home in Wagga was an important milestone for me. Taking the plunge to rent a three bedroom house with a room each for my two kids was a risky commitment to make financially, because they still lived in Wodonga with their dad at that time. I guess if I had looked at it logically, I may not have jumped into such a significant investment, but in reality my heart was completely sold out to returning to the privilege of raising them. I could not have come close to happiness without putting my hope into actions: I wanted them to come back to me. While I was away in Sydney preparing my first business with Alec, I had been working an arrangement that involved making the six hour drive to and from Wagga every weekend to see them. It was a massive exercise that left me exhausted, but my happiness relied on doing everything I could to remain involved with my kids and participating in their childhood while I set up something grand for all of us.
To this day I can’t believe that I left them for such a long time, but the dedication I had to breaking us all out of that small-town life into a big world full of opportunity would not be quenched. I was encouraged by a fable that I had heard sometime earlier, about a small village with no water. Two men saw the lucrative chance to supply the town’s water. The first man walked all day every day to and from the nearby well, selling the villagers bucketfuls of the water he had fetched. The water was warm and dusty by the time he had returned, and his supply was limited, but in the absence of any other alternative, the man did well for himself, making a small living from his efforts. The second man also saw an opportunity, but with the first man offering an adequate supply for the village, he quietly went about building a water pump. For a full year the first man mocked the second, who foolishly thought he had a monopoly on the town’s water. But the smile was on the other side of his face when the second man turned his water pump on. The first man’s business was instantly ruined, because the villagers were overjoyed that they could enjoy the fresh, clean water flowing from the second man’s pump at a fraction of the cost.
I knew my children were safe with their dad, and that he was always going to be able to offer them an adequate life of love and care. But, I needed to be the second man who opened a never-ending flow of opportunity for them. Come hell or high water, I needed to give this freedom ambition a red hot go. I demanded that life honour my expectation. I staked a claim in the inheritance I had set up for myself.
I cannot possibly convey the overwhelming rush of relief and gratitude that I experienced when the kid’s dad agreed that they should move in with me. He could see that I had put some runs on the board with my work, and that my efforts were starting to pay off. He was confident that I was going to be able to provide everything that they needed. Within a couple of weeks of me moving into my Wagga house, the kids were moved in too. I was overjoyed and elated. And I was proud. I had pushed through and the pump I had built was working.
When I first embarked on this risky part of my journey, my plan was to establish a limitless life. I know I am not alone in fighting to achieve the end goal, but it breaks my heart when I see people miss out on their reward, even though they have struggled so hard for so long. All of us have hopes, and all of us work hard to hold on to them, but perhaps we can get better at committing to pushing through to nail it at the end. You deserve to cross the finish line if you have run the race. You should have the reward if you have done the work. Having the kids move to Wagga with me was the first time I experienced the fulfilment that comes from hanging on till the end. But I only got to enjoy it because I refused to give up till the spoils were mine. I had set up the inheritance, I had done the work, and then I cashed it in. There are some things that need to come to us while we still have breath in our lungs to enjoy them.
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