It wasn't at birth. Nope. Please don't get me wrong - I had a wonderful and very unique (in my opinion) childhood and the rest, leading up to the present - well, like everyone, I have had my share of ups and downs. But I do feel that my life really did begin only a few years ago. It happened something like this.
I awoke one morning, suddenly realising I had to get my late father's book published.
Dad had been working on this book for the last twenty or so years prior to his death in 1993. Every spare minute, when not focussing on one of his other passions - his family, our family station, his veteran cars or nature, was devoted to his book. He literally just finished the actual writing when he passed on. In the years since, the manuscript passed between my siblings and me, back and forth until it landed in my hands for the umpteenth time and I finally typed it out.
Then - on that particular morning I knew I had to get it out. This feeling was a tad overwhelming - I presumed that my mother's advancing age had something to do with it. Fit as a fiddle all her life she was also the world's leader in hiding minor details like health issues.
But - that little block that stops so many would-be authors in their tracks - some forever, others only temporarily - how do you get a book published? Seriously - how? Now this just might have been enough to put me off altogether but for the memory of Dad's passion for his writing, ancestry and the outback of Australia - added to that the thought of Mum's pride in Dad's efforts - but not seeing them come to fruition - that did it. Full steam ahead. There was no stopping me.
The book was published exactly a week after Mum died in 2010.
Darn! But - I had tried and was reassured that Mum knew that something had finally been done about the book - that it was close to release and that, I was told, made her a happy woman at point of death. Well, as happy as anyone can be when facing the end of life.
Thus was the catalyst for my writing. It was and is now in my blood and I am following a lifelong dream of writing and publishing books.
Next came one about bullying. I had been a victim in the past and it was rife throughout my family. I am now an advocate in this fight. While embroiled in this and with my book safely published, I was finally able to turn my attention to combining two of my passions - writing and the outback. Thus work on my book about stations was borne. The research has presented the biggest challenge of my life (apart from childbirth...) but to say I am loving absolutely every nano-second of it would be the understatement of my life. Doing this has also finally given me a chance to put my journalism and photography into action.
Picture this, if you will. I am a 57 year young woman, have been very happily married for 31 years, with two successful adult daughters, have enjoyed a great life so far, but after my epiphany - well, let's just say I really do not feel life could get a lot better. I am on this road now - writing is well and truly coursing through my veins and I am meeting the most amazing and unique people. Doors that I would never have even looked at in the past are now actually opening for me - and letting me through. I am now doing media interviews, both national and international. All so good.
I am also writing for several online publications - some voluntary, others paid. Love it all. It is all such invaluable experience and exposure. At times I venture well and truly out of my comfort zone and have made more than a few enemies - but also many, many new friends who well and truly outnumber the former.
Every day something new happens or I discover a fresh approach to an old idea or problem. Yes, I certainly do meet with some very negative obstacles - which do halt me - very briefly.
In summary, my life has been a very unique, unusual and happy one, to date - but since that epiphany - the sky really is the limit.
After that - who knows.