Downsized: How Our Family — and My Priorites — Have Changed

Posted April 22, 2011 by

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It’s amazing what you get used to when economic circumstances change. I’ve learned that if you just go with it and try not fight what you can’t control, you’d be surprised how creative and innovative you become.

Two and a half years ago, we lost everything. We had a business, but the investors pulled the plug unexpectedly.  Gone was our investment, as well. It was devastating.

Yet that set us on the road toward re-invention — the one on which we are still traveling. And consequently, the one that brought us back to the United States to start anew after many years in Panama, Central America.

Had you asked me years ago how I would manage without all the non-essentials I enjoyed back then, I would’ve simply shrugged my shoulders. Yes, it has been challenging. But like the palm tree, I have learned to bend in this financial storm; and break I will not.

I feel mentally stronger and more confident in my ability to prevail.

I know what matters most.

Is there food on the table? Yes. Are the kids well-kept, happy and thriving? Yes. Are there recreational activities we can still enjoy as a family without breaking our tight budget? Absolutely.

And yes, such a lifestyle change requires some serious organization and planning. As a family, we share ideas on how to accomplish our goals unconventionally, nontraditionally. And when we put our heads together, imaginations soar to new heights.

And the outcome is always favorable. We find a way.

Just huddled around the kitchen table telling jokes or relating stories over a hot plate of homemade pancakes reinforces our shared bond. And with a united front against adversity, it’s surprising how much we can endure and overcome as a family and still stay together.

That makes me proud.

Am I still striving for a more comfortable and stable life? No doubt. But there are lessons I’ve learned on this downsizing journey that I will continue to apply, regardless of my future financial status.

Because when everything comes too easy and life offers no challenges (now I think of them as opportunities), we’ll never know for sure just how deep our devotion to one another runs.

You don’t know what you’re made of until you are ripped apart.


Darah Zeledon aka The Warrior Mom is a wife, mom of 5, writer, fitness buff and thinker. Her unique voice reveals an experiential and academic knowledge of the social sciences—particularly psychology and sociology. Her empowering messages are born from an appreciation and passion for life and a nonstop quest for truth, reflecting a wisdom and resiliency earned by an array of challenging life experiences. Despite it all, Darah’s personal favorites are the quirky anecdotes exposing the chaotic tug-of-war between motherhood and personal passions. She’s currently working on her memoir—a tragic, yet inspiring story of the last five years of her life entitled: A Lucky Girl. You can read more of her musings at:

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