A new beginning...at the Region!

by LamaLama,

The pandemic landed suddenly in my life.

As a small business owner I was accustomed to working very long hours, and absolutely savored in the time I was able to spend with my family. We were on holiday during the March break, and were scheduled to have a long awaited week of fun. Upon our arrival at our destination we settled in, had a relaxing first night, and just before bed received an email that the resort we were attending was closing, effective immediately.

In a panic I began to think how this would affect my business, how would we survive during a total shut down? What was about to happen? Resolved to make hay while the sun was shining we returned home promptly the next morning, and I worked day and night over the next couple of weeks while the new reality slowly sank in. Business slowed at first, and then ground to a halt. For a month we survived on savings primarily, but then the unexpected happened. The business began to recover, and into June of 2020 we had surpassed any previous month on record. Still on lock down, with nowhere to go, my life was consumed by work, and quiet family time at home. I began to see something more clearly than I had ever seen before; that my family was literally everything I could ever need, or want. Our nights were taken up playing cards on the upstairs landing, taking our chances doing crafts, making the best Lego creations, epic fort building, and quiet conversation amongst ourselves. My friends and I saw each other (virtually) more than we ever had, and carried on in the usual manners in the safety of our own home. I missed very little that first year, but yet work and the stress of keeping up with a booming business weighed ever stronger on my new, simpler lifestyle.

In the spring of 2021, utterly exhausted from the hours I was now putting in, an opportunity to come to the Region was brought to my attention. I remember thinking that I would have to change everything about how my life works, and wondering "Could giving all of this up in the pursuit of a simpler life be the right choice?" It was the most difficult decision I have ever made, giving up everything I built, in favour of a new career with so many unknowns.

Six months into this, I can say that I have never been happier. Looking back, the transition from being a young man to someone who spends every waking minute working doesn't happen over night, in fact for me it took two decades. I lost track of who I was, and what was important in life along the way. The pandemic, and in particular prolonged lock downs, helped me remember both of those things. I am one of the lucky ones that have used this opportunity to take a step in the right direction, and I know that I will never look back.

Time is the most precious commodity. Use it wisely, as this very moment is the only one you have.

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