Life Really Is What You Make It

August 2020

Birthday season in my family has just kicked off and having my eldest ask me about what was happening around the time of her birth, has made me stop and take a look back on my life so far… and what a wild ride it’s been. I sometimes feel like I’ve had more than my fair share of ups and downs, but I don’t think that I’d trade in any of it. My life thus far has shaped me into the person that I am today. And I like who I am and where I am now in life.

I don’t think that you can look back on your life without thinking about school. It formed and consumed, so much of childhood and those teenage years. Memories of my school years make me think of running around the school playground, playing on equipment and then being a school prefect in my final year of primary school… those years were also filled with teasing, chasing, morning multiplication drills, dancing, and always dreading the school swimming carnival because I was never a good swimmer. My high school years were filled with catfights and constant drama amongst the girls (which probably contributed to my preference later in life, for befriending guys more than the girls), school dances, lots of studying and exams, but also lots of laughter, new friendships, good times and pen pals.

Early adulthood meant juggling university and work, whilst finding my own feet, before finding a job that I really loved and one that kicked off my work career; A job that had me travelling the world and working in places that I didn’t think that I would at that age. I met so many wonderful people and had so many adventures. Some people helped to open doors and new experiences for me. I fondly remember being taken under the wing of a very senior executive who gave me so much great advice for life and my career, and I’ll be forever grateful to him for everything that he showed and taught me.

Travelling overseas with friends and my fellow sports crew for international comps was also a big highlight for me. So many characters… so many new sights… so many new experiences… so many medals and celebrations. That trip with that crew is one that contains many fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish and look back on with a big smile.

Then there were the years that I became a mother and gave birth to three gorgeous children over a 7-year period. I can’t say that being with their father was the best thing that I did, but having my children certainly hits the top of my “best of” list. I’ve loved every minute of being a mother. I’ve loved watching them grow and learn. I’ve loved playing with them, teaching them, exploring things with them and just doing life with them. It really has been lots of fun and I know that it will continue to be.

And then I reach the more recent years. The ones where I faced up to the fact that my marriage was destructive and toxic; That there was no use trying to save it anymore and that I needed to get out of it and make sure that my children and I were safe and free to lead a happy life – one that was not linked to continually walking on eggshells, or being abused in any way. As uncomfortable as it was, walking out on that marriage was one of the best things that I ever did.

I remember the feeling of freedom, peace and relief, when I stepped into my own place (albeit a rental). We all felt relieved to not always be watching our backs or second guessing ourselves. For the first time in the children’s lives, they were free to really be themselves without judgement or ridicule, and I was able to breathe easy too. From a legal viewpoint, the battle with my ex is still going on, but at least I’ve divorced him and we’re all away from him, physically. The rest of the details will work themselves out, even though it’s taking much longer than any of us would like. But I wouldn’t change it. All the battles along the way on this part of my journey, has made me the strong, confident, independent woman that I am today.

And now I feel like I’m on the edge of the next major chapter in my life. The one where all the dealings with my ex are done and we’re free to move on. The part of my life when we have a home that we own, and with the space inside and out, to spread out and really be ourselves… a home that’s our own little sanctuary. I know that it’s all coming… it’s so close to manifesting.

Life really is what you make it. You’re given choices every day. How you view those choices and all your experiences, really is up to you. I bet that if you look back on your own life, you’ll find a lot of things to be grateful for and lots of happy memories. (I can think of a few hundred more myself.) Maybe if you stop and look back on your life now, you’ll realise how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved and overcome; How much you’ve grown and changed. Chances are that you’ll also figure out how you want the rest of your life to look and be, if you haven’t already. Whatever you decide next, just remember that every day matters. All the little things matter, because lots of little things come together to make those big things… those big memories… those big life events. And each decision you make or don’t make, inevitably leads to the next thing.

So which way are you going to go next? What do you need to do to make sure that the things that are important to you, don’t get missed or left on the side lines? What’s your next step going to be? You’re the author of your life… so take the lead and start writing.

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