Hands up if you love to learn? I have two hands up and both my feet! I love learning – in fact, after homeschooling my daughters for a mere 20 years – you’re welcome and thank you – I set out to make my way back into the working world and enrolled into TAFE to complete the Early Childhood Diploma. I wasn’t sure what I should do – so much had changed since I was in the work place before having kids and I figured if I do something that is familiar to me I should succeed and somehow give me the confidence to keep moving forward. Well, I did succeed and went onto University and commenced my Bachelor of Early Childhood/Primary Teaching. It wasn’t until I did my first work practicum in a Primary School that confirmed to me I could never work in a system that is restrictive to children’s freedom to explore and create. I respected the teachers I worked with and could see they were doing a fabulous job despite this system but I found it stifling. I had completed half of my course but knew deep in my heart, this was not for me.
Don’t you hate leaving things half undone and not finishing? I did and this was a bit of a thorn in my side!
But I wasn’t going to sit around and mope…I went to Fiji and volunteered wherever the need was – which so happened to be in the schools. I was still not sure what I was going to do with my half finished studies but I knew in time it would come to me. Meanwhile, I helped the teachers deliver activities that were interactive, educational and hands-on. I can’t complain, I was having lots of fun!
What did come out of this time was that many of the teachers I was connecting with were desperate for some resource books to use in the classroom. They asked me if I could help them out. So I rolled up my sleeves, put my head down and compiled my first book of icebreakers, stories and memory activities. It was called, “From the Inside Out” and it contained lessons for the teachers to follow. That was my first book published and then came a couple more. In fact, what was so good about these books was they were written in a way that trained the teachers as they followed these lessons in a new way, a way they were not used to, but they embraced and thanked me for taking the time to help them out.
The point I am attempting to make here is – nothing is wasted! You may be wondering what am I going to do in the future? How is my passion going to be realised? Have I just wasted the last couple of years studying? These are all very good questions and if you believe that life is a journey of learning opportunities in whatever situation you find yourself in, then life becomes a win/win! Sure, I had an unfinished course, I was still wondering what direction my life was going to go in, did I still have a purpose in life since dedicating my life to raising my daughters?
After writing and publishing those resource books for my friends in Fiji, I went on to complete my bachelor degree in Professional Writing and Publishing and received credits for all the subjects I have already completed! Nothing was lost! Which then led me to writing my first children’s book and cookbook. I love how nothing is wasted and everything has purpose.
And what a wonderful highlight to grace the cover of the Newcastle Weekly just 12 months ago!
But one of my greatest joys in the last couple of years has been becoming a yiayia (grandmother) to my little granddaughter Florence. This is where my joy is found – in my family. I was overjoyed becoming a mum to all three of our daughters, but becoming a grandparent was the icing on the cake! I love hanging out with my granddaughter, I love cooking with her, building blocks with her and reading her books while she sits on my lap. There is no greater reward in my opinion but to experience the love and connection of family.
Look at that cuteness! What’s not to love? Lol!
Which brings me back to what motivates me to do what I do today.
As I planned and strategised as to what was I going to do in my business, my core values were integrity, connection, authenticity & excellence.
Anything I did, it was important to me those four core values motivated me. You see, the programs are not the key, the relationships and how we go about these relationships are the key.
I want to personally invite you to my rustic cooking workshop in February. We have an Early Bird Special happening – pay for yourself and bring a friend or spouse for half-price. We have gift vouchers so shoot me through an email if you are interested and I will organise this for you! Hope to see you there!