How do I start this without being mushy? I’m just going to jump in. I am 77 years old and last year I thought I was stuffed. I have led a busy life, had lots of wins and a very big collection of what I will call ‘big learning opportunities’ – which, when translated, means plenty of stuff ups! These I am now very grateful for because they have got me to the place I am today.
As a late bloomer – or bloomin’ late – I seemed to have had to experience things before I could assist others. I’m not sure I will be able to help anyone after I experience the final goodbye to this human existence – however, I have threatened to come back and haunt a few people, including my kids if they fight over my will.
Whenever a new one of those ‘learning experiences’ happened, my kids would say: “Well Mum, you’ve never had that happen before”. Some experiences were pretty daunting. For example, I was sued for $1 million once by someone who accused me of breaching copyright when my second book was published. She was a powerful woman and even though it wasn’t true, she succeeded in having my book taken off the shelf with big apologies from the publisher. Facing a million-dollar lawsuit was particularly daunting, but my kids just said: “You’ve never been sued before, Mum”. I was very fortunate for a special lawyer taking on my case and finding me not guilty. What is more, he only charged me $400. He really didn’t like the way she went about things and was very much on my side. I will love him forever.
When my beautiful husband died, someone did say: “Well, you have never been a widow before”. Yet mostly they saw me in a new role and I did learn about grief, which I had never completely understood before. I also now know what it feels like to completely lose your mind and feel completely out of control. I am one of the fortunate ones who was able to claw myself back.
After my year of escaping into pain, I have been given another role and I am learning new valuable lessons. One is that it is possible for the body to regenerate at any age, but it does take effort. I’m so grateful for those who helped me through because my work has not finished and now I am facing the biggest challenge of my life. I couldn’t even consider it had I not had all of those learnings and stuff ups.
I am now working on an amazing project founded by one of the most brilliant women I have ever met. I have been coaching her for seven years, but in many ways she has taught me so much. Her vision has always been to assist indigenous people to get out of victimhood and she has started a stunning foundation that has attracted a board of great people who also believe in her vision. I am excited to be part of the vision and I know it is going to be challenging, but I believe I am up for it. I had never really understood the concept of ‘lateral violence’ before, but I’m certainly seeing lots of evidence. I’ll keep you posted.