Monday, November 18, 2013

Full hands, happy heart, closed book. The goodbye post.

This will be the last post on this blog. 

The truth is that I have other digital assets kept more up to date. This blog was started many years ago when most people reading it probably knew me as Josue Habana (Second Life Avatar name).

Life has changed so much since I started writing here and I hardly recognise the individual who began this blog. I'm now a Father of 3, a husband and a business man. 

Life has changed my schedule and love has changed my heart.

I've used this as a sounding board and as somewhere to process feelings at time. I've been guilty (years ago) of using it as a weapon at times. It was juvenile behaviour and, as I said, I don't even recognise the guy who did that anymore.

Very few people who read this blog would recognise me these days. The exceptions, of course, being my real world family and friends. But I've evolved in so many ways in recent years. I've shaken off the bitterness and hatred that polluted my attitude. I've shaken off the self-pitying side of myself that I used to blame on the passing of my parents. The truth is, my Mother would have been mortified to think I got so down and out about what she considered a natural part of life.

I'm not proud of some of my past behaviours. But I'm incredibly proud of what my life has become and I feel blessed to have the love of so many beautiful friends and family. 

Thanks for reading, the handful of you that do. Merry Christmas =)


Monday, September 9, 2013


If we were able to turn back time,
Re-make all our decisions,
Take back choices,
Undo angry voices
And pull back words
We wish we’d never said,
There’d be a lengthy list
Of things I’d unsay
Of things I’d undo

But I’d still choose you.

You are the best choice I’ve made,

The thing I’ve gotten the most right.

Monday, August 5, 2013


I've been fortunate enough to meet and know a lot of talented people. I've been close to talented writers, teachers, artists, musicians, dancers, actors and business people.

Talent manifests itself in so many different ways. Yet any type of talent has a common enemy - lacking self belief.

If you don't believe in you, you make it harder for anyone else to believe in you.

I watch many I've believed in over the years succeed, sometimes from afar and sometimes from up close. And it feels wonderful.

A good friend of mine landed a book publishing deal and her first novel will be out in a month. She can still hardly believe it having doubted her own capabilities for so very long.

My wife's artwork will be exhibited locally in Autumn. She can hardly believe it, having struggled for so long to believe as much in her own talent as those around her did. As soon as she developed a bit of self-confidence, her natural talents came through bigger and stronger.

My son has been enrolled into a professional football league club's youth academy, despite having spent a couple of years frustrated at being 'too small' in his own eyes. Once that mindset changed and he started to believe he was a good footballer, his talents shone.

And there are so many more of you out there succeeding in making the most of your talents.

But it's difficult to do until you see in yourself what those closest to you see. Open your eyes, talented folks, and look at what you can achieve when you just believe in yourself.

It's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dedicating More of Me

The sale of my business is finally complete. It leaves me and my family in a position where we can do two things we really want to do:

  • Move to a house Chloe's been eyeing up for some time. It's still on the market and it's now in budget.
  • Spend more time together as a family
No matter how much I tried to have the office run itself so some degree (I brought in some excellent management to whom I remain truly grateful for all the hard work) I still ended up in the office for 12 hour days at a time far too regularly.

I can't complain though. After a relatively short time, the business and its clients sold for a sum I could never have expected and I had a wonderful time setting it up.

After my business sale completed last week, I set the wheels in motion to acquire an established ecommerce business that is flatlining in its marketing efforts. This will be something more home based and something Chloe gets involved with too. The distribution centre for this business is run well and I intend to keep that management team in place. My bit will be in the marketing - the bit I love. It means I can spend more time at home and get into a position where my working days are a more normal length and I can see more of my three children.

I owe them myself. 

I never wanted to be the type of Father who is getting home long after his girls are in bed. There were periods in the last few months where I could go two weeks at a time without being able to get home in time to check through my son's homework. Granted, my wife does a wonderful job of taking care of all that. But I miss it too much. And no job or business in the world is worth giving up quality time with my children for.

Here's to the next chapter. It starts with a promise.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Second Chances

Things change. And people do. And I believe in second chances.

My son’s Grandmother (his biological Mother’s Mother) is Russian and lives in Russia. After his Mother died, we tried our hardest to make it work so that she could see him and he could see her. That was, of course, until she threatened to take me to court for full custody. She was advised by her own legal team her chances would be limited, given the fact he had lived with me full time before his Mother’s death, was in  happy, loving and secure home environment and has expressed his wish to remain in it. So, instead she embarked upon a plan to effectively kidnap him.

Since this plan was discovered, my son has not seen his Grandmother.

Last week, we received a letter from his Babushka. It was full of apologies. She misses her Grandson and she needs him back in her life. “Please call me,” she asked at the end and included new contact details.

I agonised over it for a day or two, spoke to my wife and agonised some more. But I realised that I forgive her. She tried to take the most precious thing in my life from me, but I hold no further grudges. It all worked out well – he is here with me and he is happy.

She wrote in her letter about her behaviour being the result of losing her daughter. She told me it was an irrational reaction to a painful situation she never believes any parent should face.

I believed her letter. It has an air of the genuine about it. I don’t think she’s up to anything unsavoury.

But it wasn’t just my forgiveness she needed. For a young boy, my son is mighty in tune with what’s going on. He knows why he doesn’t see Babushka anymore. He accepts it. So I showed him the letter.

“What do you think, kiddo?” I asked him

“What do you think, Dad?” he replied.

“I think that we have two choices. We either believe her or we don’t. If we believe her, we call her. And if we don’t believe her, then we don’t call her. We forget all about it.”

I didn’t want to share with him my opinion. I wanted him to decide free of any influence.

“Let me think about it,” he said and he took the letter from my hands and went off to his room.

He emerged an hour or so later.

“I believe her, Dad,” he told me. “But we both need to believe her don’t we? Do you believe her?”


So we called her. I spoke to her first and as soon as I said, “It’s Adam,” she burst into tears.

“I’m so relieved to hear from you.”

Her English is improved from the last time we met. She tells me she’s been to classes in the hope she will see her Grandson again one day and just in case his Russian is rusty after so long in the UK without any native Russian speakers in his life.

I heard genuine relief, I heard an overwhelming sense of apology and self-accountability for what happened. And that was enough for me.

“Would you like to speak to him?”

It didn’t need an answer. They spoke for 10 or 15 minutes. We agreed we would call her back again this week and we said we would talk about her coming here to see him.

I don’t trust her enough yet not to be with them when these meetings happen. Forgiveness? Yes. But trust is hard won. And that will take more time. But my son is willing to give it a try and I owe it to the memory of his beautiful hearted Mother to do my best to make it work.

So we’ll arrange a visit. After all, this broken hearted ageing lady has already lost a daughter. She shouldn’t lose a Grandson as well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Letting Go

Regret tends not to get anyone very far. Not ever.

We can (and very much should) be apologetic for our mistakes. We should admit our wrongs, acknowledge and, where required, apologise for them. But we shouldn’t spend our lives feeling bad about them, regretting them…

We have to move on.

I’ve been, at times, an asshole of a boyfriend, husband, brother, son and friend. In times when I had no clue what I wanted from my life or during times I’ve been living in a past, I’ve made decisions that have hurt others.

And I have said sorry many, many times.

But regret, if you let it, will swallow you up. It will stop you from living in your present and giving your all to those around you.

I made a decision some time ago to stop regretting things. We make mistakes. It’s part of the human disposition. How you respond to them and the learnings you take from them is what will ultimately define you as a person.

I was, once upon a time, a pretty unreliable brother. I was an awful boyfriend, a lethargic son (‘sure, Mum… I’ll call you later.’). I’ve changed. I’ve grown as a human being. My children and my wife have changed me for the better. Happiness and genuine satisfaction with my life has changed me for the better.

We cannot live wrapped up in mistakes we’ve made. And it feels good to let them go.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Faith Restored

She told me I’d return to God again when the time was right for me. She told me He’d wait for me.

At the time, of course, I ignored the idea.

But my Mother was right.

I started going to church again a couple of months ago. At first, it was to accompany my Sister and Wife and to give my eldest son the opportunity of exposure to the Catholic Faith my family lived so staunchly by. I believe him to have sufficient intelligence, common sense of individual sense of identity that he will make up his own mind about God. But I owe him exposure – I owe him visibility over Faith so he can make an informed decision.

I say ‘at first’ it was for those reasons because I now find myself returning weekly, praying at home and having internal conversations with God.

I believe again. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual reintroduction to a God who was really always there for me despite my rejection of Him.

I’m not a perfect Catholic. But I am working on it.