Everyone says it … changing times, times are changing, nothing stays the same. We can get quite sick of hearing it but, we cannot get away from it, can we? This (it) is the one true constant. Instead of fighting it, we just have to embrace it and realise that there is beauty in change too. Just have a look at the spectacular photos I’m sharing with you today. Both are of Tamborine Mountain, in the Gold Coast hinterland. They have been taking facing eastwards, i.e. on the other side are views towards the Pacific Ocean. These images may not have sea views, but they are a spectacular landscape all the same, and I am blessed to live in such an awe-inspiring environment. At different times of the day, these ‘changing times’ come into play and my breath is taken away …
Changing times have been a big part of this past month and for now, I’ll reveal just a few of these. The first was the fact that on the 8th of August, my husband and I, along with our two daughters, marked twenty years to the date that we left Zimbabwe, Africa. As both me and our two girls were born there, it was, at the time of departure, quite traumatic.
Yet, when I look at the images above of our ‘backyard’, I wish I had known then how happy we would be in an Australian life ... That despite the struggle of those first few years when acclimatising to a new culture and way of doing things, this gorgeous part of the Scenic Rim is where we would end up. It certainly was all worth it in the end. Not only has this landscape played a part in making me appreciate all that we have but we have made some amazing friends. Furthermore, our two girls have had access to some incredible opportunities and are now living lives that many would envy. Don’t get me wrong though, it has been hard work for this family; but we’ve been able to dream big and go for it, if we wanted it badly enough.
Part of celebrating those twenty years and the changing times is the fact that as much as I have enjoyed being firstly, the Treasurer and now, the President at the Gold Coast Writers' Association (GCWA), I have decided to step down after only thirteen months into my two-year term. My situation was quite different on first putting my hat into the ring for the top appointment in 2019. Since then, life has gotten extremely busy. My husband and I are at work for many hours of the day from Monday to Friday and the weekends are the only time for us to do things together or, for me to find some time for ... well, me. It is essential that time is set aside for both, otherwise, there is always busy-ness and 'noise’ that can start to overwhelm.
I know you will all agree with me that we owe it to ourselves and to our family to keep that life-work balance. Especially now, at a more mature age (!), and with such changing times. This was brought home to our family rather forcefully with the recent and unexpected passing of a beloved brother-in-law. When such sadness occurs, it is a wake-up call as to what our priorities in life should be.
Changing times, therefore, can be the least of our worries when faced with the possibility of our own mortality. It is an important reminder to look after ourselves; to live life to the fullest; to love and laugh and practice gratitude. Living in the shadows, holding onto regrets, or complaining, will only pull us down. So, let’s welcome these changing times and look at ways to turn them into prospects for new and better approaches to do things and live a more fulfilled life.