Making do

No – I don’t really need that now, I’ll just wait until we move home. I can make do until then. We’ll only be away for 18 months…right? As you can tell, back then I was pretty naive about timeframes.

So, I’d put off buying the things I needed because of the what if’s. What if it doesn’t fit into our house when we move? What if it gets damaged? Or what if the voltage isn’t right in the next country? Will it work? No point spending a lot if it can’t travel with us.

As a result, I’ve become pretty good at making do – and improvising. That KitchenAid I’ve always wanted (and would undoubtably have made my life so much easier)… Nothing wrong with a wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease, is there? That gorgeous little corner cabinet for my daughter’s room? Probably won’t fit in the next apartment, so that old set of drawers will do just fine. Don’t use the bottom drawer though, it doesn’t open. And no, we don’t really need to hang the paintings on the wall – we’ll only have to patch the holes up when we shift out.

Looking back, who was I trying to kid? It was fairly obvious by now that we weren’t heading home anytime soon.

After the third move and another ant infestation, I went and bought some more cheap, plastic storage containers, washed them and put them to use. And surprise surprise – the lids didn’t fit. That was the final straw. Enough with the improvising, it was time to buy some decent things and Tupperware was first on my list.

The tiny cupboard I called a pantry was instantly transformed, completely airtight and finally ant-free. Why hadn’t I don’t it earlier? OK, I still didn’t get the KitchenAid but I bought a decent stick-blender with add-on gadgets and we hung some of our paintings on the wall with proper hooks instead of stick-on adhesive. Makes a huge difference in a humid climate – now they don’t fall off the wall in the middle of the night!

But! Because we’ve been fairly resourceful with what we have, the kids have learned to be creative too. They devise games out of virtually nothing, my son enjoys fixing things and they make the things they don’t have…including touchscreens out of cardboard and paper but there’s a whole other reason why they don’t have one of those!

I must admit though, as adept as we’ve become at making do, I’m glad that soon we won’t have to anymore. But do old habits die hard? Time will tell, I guess.


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