Monday, April 21, 2014

Just Like The Ants


Let me begin by stating that I keep my small apartment clean and sanitized every day. However, no matter how clean I keep it, there are ants here and I just can't get rid of them.

I moved into this apartment three weeks ago and I noticed the ants right away. Using a towel dipped in a mixture of alcohol and dissolved detergent powder, I wiped them out from around the sockets. They transferred to my bathroom wall. I wiped them out from the bathroom wall, they transferred to the kitchen, near the sink. I wiped them out from the kitchen sink, they transferred to another socket. From the socket to another socket to my boxes of toiletries to my boxes of personal belongings to  my water dispenser and now, to my laptop and the modem.  The other day, I went as far as to unplug all the wires connected to my modem and laptop, and put the laptop and the modem under the sun for hours. The ants came out and (sadly) I crushed them all. At 4 pm yesterday, I declared victory over them. But this morning at 5:00, when I got up, I  again saw hundreds of tiny red ants marching to and from my laptop and modem.  As I am writing this, I have a wet towel nearby which I use to pick them up from the keyboard when they can no longer endure the heat of the computer and finally come out.

While wondering what possibly attracts them to the electronic devices, a positive thought struck me. Look at the ants. No matter how often they are wiped out and how hard they are trampled on, they collect themselves, they come back, and they start right where the others before them stopped. What valiant, hardworking and tenacious tiny creatures. The ants made me think of my life for a while.

How is this related to my life?

Recently, I decided to temporarily shut down my boarding school, moved to this apartment I am in now, and started teaching online. (My dear brother is sick and we all want to help take care of him. This may sound strange to some people but generally,  in the Philippines, the family always comes before job/business.)  It was a tough decision, but it had to be done. I sold most of the assets I acquired over the years and now, I have only my old laptop, some old kitchen  utensils, some books and my not so big collection of Hello Kitty notebooks. The only "luxury' I have now is a three-year-old percolator.

I admit that at first, I questioned myself whether or not I was doing the right thing. But then, I figured that there are a lot of jobs out there, and I can always set up another school when things get better. A lot of people can take my place as a teacher/school owner, but only I can be my brother's younger sister. Moreover, I realized that I was not totally giving the school up; I was just changing the mode.

And here I am, with my old but still reliable laptop and the internet connection, picking the pieces up, and starting right where I stopped. Just like the ants.




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