Karla Ramirez is a single mom to a healthy 11-year old daughter. Until last February, she was a production director at a major advertising agency, then she made the difficult decision to walk away from her powered-up profession. Like so many of us, she wanted to rethink her career for many reasons from being too busy to spend time with her daughter to realizing she just needed a change after a few years with the same company.
Before even planning to leave her job, she had sold her house and bought a condo with her ex-husband. “Our house was in an area that was gentrifying and we knew we could sell and make a great profit. I was also looking to move closer to a specific school for Anjelina.” During her house hunt, they surprised themselves and fell for a 1,200-square foot condo loft (which, FYI, is comparable to the square footage of her previous home and so many houses in the heart of the the 6ix). “It’s a corner penthouse unit and it’s full of light with a 400-square foot roof top terrace. It was really hard not to fall in love with it.”
The move let Karla send Anjelina to her preferred school and even better, it didn’t dip into any savings or increase the mortgage. With the financial wiggle room, she could actually consider quitting her job and changing her work schedule for the better. “I wasn’t able to parent the way I wanted to. I barely saw my family; I would see my daughter for an hour after work and only get three hours of sleep. Plus, I just had this feeling that something was wrong. I had to follow my instinct and make a change.”
After her last day at work, Karla’s life took the turn she was intuitively expecting. The evening of her going away party, she got the call that her great aunt was dying. She rushed to the hospital that night and by the next morning, her tia had passed away. While arranging the funeral, she was finally at home with Anjelina full-time and noticed she was drinking a lot of water and going to the bathroom far too often. An appointment at the GP’s escalated to an ER visit to Sick Kids hospital. She was immediately diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. “If her dad and I had waited, she could’ve gone into a diabetic coma.”
With her daughter’s diagnosis, came a wave of change. “Until she was stabilized, we had to check her blood sugar levels regularly all day long, including waking her up at 11pm and 3am. And now we have to monitor her diet daily. We’re learning that it’s not only what she eats that affects her blood sugars, but also what kind of activity she’s doing. When she swims, they will plummet, but if she runs, there won’t be as drastic of a dip.”
While many may consider a condo a blank box, Karla sees that her home is full of soul because it has allowed her to be the kind of mom that she always wanted to be. “Downsizing was certainly the right call. It has let me adjust to everything that’s happened.” Your home, after all, is arguably one of your best friends.
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