As a young mother providing for her five children, Linda Ball finds herself navigating financial hardship along with all the stresses that go with raising a large family. Join Linda as she shares her personal journey and strategies for conquering adversity with resilience and creativity.
Just because life is tough now doesn't mean life will always be tough. Life, like a maze, is full of ins and outs, ups and downs. Good times come and hard times go. In those moments when you feel cornered, when life sucks, it’s crucial to remember nothing ever lasts. Holding a positive headspace and adapting creatively helps us make the most of our present situation.
As a young mother raising five children and trying to make ends meet, there were times I felt overwhelmed. Days I’d hold my head worried about how I was going to feed and clothe my children. I’d sit staring wondering what to do, “Why is everything so expensive and how are others coping when I can't.”
Turning Away from the Path of Despair
And then, I’d stop myself going down the path of despair. I’d lift my head out from my palm and say,
“Linda! No room for panic. Worrying about it won’t feed the kids. Now get your creative flow going and learn to adapt as fast as you can!”
It’s in these tough phases of life, when you're at your lowest, that your true strength emerges. It's about shifting your headspace from despair to determination, from seeing insurmountable obstacles to finding ways to grow through them. Every challenge became an opportunity to think outside the box, to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.
I remember the mornings not having bread, so I made pancakes in the shape of their initials. The kids loved them. I learned how thinly I could slice a banana on sandwiches. Jelly with fruit always went down well as an inexpensive dessert. And it’s amazing what you can do with potatoes when you put your mind to it.
It’s in these tough phases of life, when you're at your lowest, that your true strength emerges. It's about shifting your headspace from despair to determination ...
Finding Joy Inside the Struggle
That was the bellies taken care of. Now for fun. I turned looking for clothes in charity shops into treasure hunts. Freebies like walks, parks, libraries, gardening, and swimming kept the positivity up and helped me through another day.
Every person faces troubles at some time in their life. It might not be financial. It could be a natural disaster, stress, loss, or times when life just sucks.
In my role as a Community Development Officer, I encountered many stories of struggle. Some were similar to mine, others of teenagers overcoming drug addiction, women recovering from trauma, seniors who faced deep loneliness, and people who’d lost their jobs. Listening to others, I realized that struggle wasn’t just my story; it was a shared human experience.
This shift in perspective was a turning point for me. It inspired me to turn my challenges into an opportunity to share coping strategies with other families in the community. So, I got busy writing “So Life's Not Going to Plan” – helping people to see that tough times are not a life sentence; they're a call to become more inventive and adaptable.
The Power of Resilience
We are more resilient than we know. The ability to handle a seemingly impossible situation depends entirely on the perspective you create for yourself. We get to choose.
We can stay stuck in a story of thinking life sucks, and guess what? Life will always suck. A "woe is me" victim mentality rises up and forces a tough phase in life to extend into a lifetime devoid of happiness.
Or we can see life as a maze, with its twists and turns, or as a mountain, with its steep climbs and descents. And we break down hardships into smaller, manageable steps, navigating each turn of the maze with the precision and determination of a robot on a mission. Because we know, this too shall pass. There will be a time when we emerge from the maze, stand atop the mountain, and enter a new, brighter phase of life.
Now, my family is all grown up. I have 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Since our days of struggle, I’ve traveled overseas and enjoyed holidays and cruises with my children. Back, during my tough times, it was hard to imagine I could enjoy what I enjoy today. But we kept taking steps forward in hope.
Every journey begins with a single step in hope. It’s about stepping over stones, finding our way through the maze, and reaching new heights.
Let your attitude and creativity lead the way. You are more resilient than you know. This journey, tough as it is, is your path to a stronger, more hopeful future.
About the Author - Linda Ball
As a young mother raising five children amidst financial struggles in Australia, Linda Ball refused to succumb to despair. Instead, she channelled her creativity into providing for her family, turning everyday challenges into opportunities for innovation.
In her role as a Community Development Officer, Linda encountered countless stories of struggle, reinforcing her belief that adversity is a shared human experience. This realisation ignited her mission to help others navigate tough times, leading her to write her soon-to-be-published book: "So Life's Not Going to Plan."
Today, Linda's family is all grown up, and she enjoys the company of ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her life journey serves as a powerful reminder that resilience and creativity can illuminate even the darkest paths, guiding us toward a brighter future. Linda's unwavering optimism and determination inspire us to believe that tough times are temporary obstacles on the road to a stronger, more hopeful tomorrow.
You can connect with Linda and/or pre-order her book “So Life’s Not Going to Plan” here.