I turn 40 tomorrow!

Reflecting on my life so far, I’ve packed a fair bit in. It’s been a good first 40 years. I’ve been blessed with a very loving kind family, something I now know not every baby gets. I had a fun and carefree childhood, playing, and imagining to my heart’s content. I’ve been to a few different schools, public and private and made great friends along the way. I was always more interested in socialising than in applying myself to studies, although when I did, creative writing was my thing.

I was a wild child of a rebellious teenager. I ran away from home and did all the things my mum told me not to do. Mostly because she never told me why not to do them, and I needed to find out for myself. I’m curious like that. After all, how are we ever meant to be old and wise, if we weren’t first young and very naughty and naïve.

While most teenagers where focused on their school work, I was already hard at play in the real world, skipping school at every chance, figuring things out by my own direct experience. I learned so much of what not to do, by doing it and suffering the consequences. Drugs, taking pills was definitely not for me. I tried that once and overdosed and ended up in the Balaklava hospital having my stomach pumped. I woke up with charcoal around my mouth, very gross and undignified. But I wasn’t going to let a minor set back like and OD stop me from my wild adventure in being free. I ran away from the hospital and continued to find my own way in the world.

My poor Mumma. She tried so hard to wrap me in cotton wool and protect me from the world, or the world from me. As it turns out, I was a force of nature and could not be contained.

I was homeless (because I refused to conform and obey authority), couch surfing with friends for a bit. I had a friend who used to be a street kid, who had her own house when I met her, who I hung out with for a while. That was an education in dysfunction 101. We got drunk and had house parties all the time. She had a boyfriend who was a seriously mad driver and we piled in the car and sped everywhere, with plenty of near-death moments, I thought it was so much fun. I really had no fear of dying.

I did a lot of driving with people I should probably not of gotten in the car with. Once when we were coming home from a farm party early hour of the morning with me and my friend in the backseat. Our driver (a different mad driver) launched over a raised train crossing and stacked his car into the crossing sign. We all bumped our heads, a couple of bloody noses, but otherwise unscathed.

The car was well and truly stuck though and couldn’t be driven off of where it was perched on the train tracks. Lucky is was the country and trains were a rarity. Lol, wrong. As we sat across the road waiting for help to arrive, what did we see coming down the track, but a freight train. The owner of the car ran up the road along side the track toward the train to try to warn the train driver and get him to stop. To no avail, freight trains do not stop very quickly at all. In front of our eyes, to all of our astonishment, we watched as the freight train ploughed into the car we’d been in just a few short minutes before. Smashing it into an unrecognisable wreck, with metal on metal sparks flying everywhere, it was pushed hundreds of metres further up the track. Things you don’t see every day!

living with my young friend and her mum for a bit, I even moved to Queensland with them briefly, before I realised home was were my heart was. Which was with my high school sweetheart from the beginning, Toby.

When I came back from Queensland Toby and I picked up where we’d left off with our on again, off again, teenage romance. It took us a bit of doing our own thing, Toby moved to Alice Springs for a bit too. Before we found home in each other. Once we decided on each other, we were all in together, all the time. We began to become domesticated, living together first in a caravan out the back of Toby’s mum’s place. I even had to learn to cook stuff other than toast. I’m sure all our parents would have preferred to keep us separate being so young, only 16, but again we together were a force of nature. No one and nothing could keep us apart.

We got jobs, as they came up. I had a production line job bottling and packing wine for a while, which paid fairly well but was as boring as bat shit. Eventually after a while I got a job as a receptionist at the Red Shield Industries in Gepps Cross, where my Dad was the manager of the collection truck fleet. I got to answer phones, run the office, collate the drivers runs for picking up the furniture donations people made. I got to talk to the drivers on the radio and help them with navigation by the old street directory, because I am SO OLD that we didn’t have GPS in the trucks when I was 18.

Meanwhile (side note) Toby started working with his Dad as a brickie’s labourer, eventually learning the trade and becoming a licenced bricklayer himself. Which he got pretty bored with pretty quick. He went back to being an understudy and learned heritage stonemasonry, which it turns out he is a natural at.

By the time Toby and I were 17, we were two years into what we knew was a life time love affair and decided it was probably a good time to have a baby. Lol. Who left the teenagers unattended?

A few months after my 18th birthday, Kye was born. The cutest, chubbiest, most perfectly adorable baby boy a mummy could ever hope to meet. And that was it, I was all in, whole heartedly all his. Being his mum became my whole world.

That’s pretty much what I’ve done for the first part of my adult life, read some things, studied some stuff, started a magazine at one point, run a few big events, and written a book. Renovated a couple of houses, moved to our little farm. Loved Toby while he went through his extended over grown child phase. Helped Toby get through cancer and a pretty big motor bike smash. Helped Kye navigate the system and emerge as a fully functional human being.  Loved my sister Skye as she went through 10 long years of a horrible degenerative illness before she died in 2012 aged 27.

I’ve gained and lost friends along the way. As I’ve worked out who I am at heart, and what really matters most to me in life.

At almost 40 (last day of 39 today!), I feel more clear than ever before about who I am and what I stand for. It’s been a winding journey of the path less travelled for me. I’ve never fit in or conformed to the social norms. I just don’t care enough about what other people think of me. I care about how my life feels as I’m living it, not what it looks like form the outside in. I let love be my guide. Because of this, Toby and I have built a pretty unique life and lifestyle together as completely self-employed people. We’re very entrepreneurial and able to make something out of nothing with creativity and commitment to do our best at everything we do.  We do not answer to anyone but ourselves and our private clients. We’re not governed by fear and conformity, we make our own way in the world, and we’re governed by love and our own creative spirits. We’re both very spontaneous and it’s fun! All these years on, we’re just as in love, and we’re an even better team, than we’ve ever been before.

Kye’s pretty well grown now. He’ll be 22 in November. He thinks his mum is a crazy hippie, which might be a bit true, I’m definitely a free spirit at heart. He’s sure he’s going to do a way better job at adulting in the real world than I do. Still for now, he’s hanging out in the comfort and safety of home with mum and dad, while he finishes his apprenticeship and saves for his own home deposit.

What now I’m about to be 40? What next?

Honestly, even though I’m getting old in terms of the way most of society frames women, I actually feel the strongest and most capable I’ve ever been. I’m fit, I have plenty of energy and a passion for life and adventure that always inspires me to dream a new dream for myself.

Where once I wanted to go out into the world and adventure and explore, now I feel a deep calling to stay home on our little farm and plant things, grow things, build things, design and create things here in our home soil. I have a whole new vision of developing our little farm as a flourishing, abundant natural food producing eco system.  I want to come up with ways to bring people in to experience what we’re working on to share the eco harmonious inspiration.

I plan to continue to learn about permaculture and get my permaculture design certificate. I’d also like to learn to fly and get my pilots licence.

In the last two years I’ve started training for endurance horse riding, I’ve completed my first two 80kms rides, which has been a very special (and painful kind of) joy. One more 80 km ride completion and I will be qualified to attempt a full endurance ride, like the real horsemen and women of the sport. That’s 100 miles, or 160km. The seed has been planted.

As I look back at my first 40 years, I feel so blessed and so grateful. Not necessarily because of where I’ve been or what I’ve done, or what we’ve acquired along the way, but because of the people I’ve been blessed to know and love. My family is my biggest blessing of all. I’m so grateful to have such good, kind, inspirational, hardworking, supportive, challenging at times, and overall, loving people in my life. What an extremely blessed woman I am. My sister Em and my Mumma are my people, as very, very different as we each are. We’ve learned to celebrate each other’s strengths, and do our best not to push each other’s buttons 😊 in the way only those who know our vulnerabilities can.

As I look inward, I feel full, and bubbling with anticipation for whatever comes now. I love and trust in my soul to be my guide through all life’s seasons and in every type of weather.

My deepest desire is to play my little part in helping to steer our world out of the old dog eat dog predatory system of human slavery and unsustainable consumption and waste. And to help be a light, shining the way forward into our new, ‘we’re all in this together’ eco harmonious way of being in our world.

My hearts tells me, we as individual human beings, and collectively as a human family, have infinite creative potential to imagine the most beautiful, healthy, abundant, loving, peaceful world we can, and the power to co-create it. Why would we ever settle for anything less. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can learn and grown and share in however long I have left.

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