Posted on June 14, 2015
Yesterday, as a nominee for Kidspots “Voices of 2015″, I attended an amazing day at Leonda on the Yarra in Melbourne. It started with an amazing breakfast (I wish someone would fetch it to me now, surely I am not expected to get up this morning and make my own toast..It’s cold!)…goodie bags our chairs, and some really interesting marketing tips, more suitable for those who have a completely different blog to mine, those with home-making, styling, fashion and beauty blogs etc, not for Five Fairies, but very informative. After breakfast, we headed into a blogging masterclass, which had several sessions, and included guest speakers – some of Australia’s most successful and well known bloggers.
The best thing for me about the day was the people I met! Here I am with Emma, from “Dear Melanoma”….
Honestly, it was hilarity at first sight, as we seem to share a bend towards black humour and complete frankness when it comes to how epically shit it is to know you are going to have your life cut short by stage 4 cancer. We sure know how to laugh, and did. Check this girl out at her blog, she is truly awesome. I’m nearly twice her age, but didn’t feel it as we chatted like old mates. Hi Em
Then there was the incredible Carly Findlay, who blogs at “Tune into Radio Carly”. I’ve wanted to meet this woman for a long time. You can’t put Carly into a box, I wouldn’t even know where to start summing her up here, as she writes and educates on so many different issues, she is AMAZING. Check her out, you will be glad you did.
After the masterclass came the really fun part. We all headed back to the garden room, where there was more goody bag goodness,, and a lot of magnificent finger food and champagne goodness, and the announcement of the top 100 finalists. There were over 3,000 nominees this year (I think 3,317 was the final tally), and staggeringly, my little place on the internet, less than a year old found it’s way into that top 100, a finalist in the “parenting and style” category. Pretty.damn.cool. So great to share it with Emma, who was a finalist in the same category.
A lot of you have written to me and said that I have touched your lives, or even just your day in some way. Made it a better place. You know, as I have said it before, that I consider this an absolute honour to be able to do this – thrilled. But my goodness, look what you give back to me. Words can’t actually describe it, but fuck it, I’ll try 😛
A large part of this blog has been about trying to find meaning in the every day, when a glimpse into the “future” sends absolute shivers down your spine. How to really live, with the knowledge that you will soon die. I try to answer questions that I pose to myself….is it worth even trying? Can I make a difference now? Can I really, actually be happy with the knowledge that there will be no happy “ending”.
The answer is a resounding yes. I have to work with the ebb and flow of my energy levels now. A big day (like yesterday!) can land me on my backside, like one of those cartoon characters that has raced headlong off the side of a cliff and landed flat out on the dirt a few hundred metres down. But I want each and every one of you to know that beauty can be found in the every day, no matter how that day looks at face value. Yesterday felt like the blogging worlds equivalent of the Logies, and I loved every minute of it. Yet, I felt every bit as content this morning when my husband pulled me into his arms for a sleepy snuggle, and then when he reluctantly got out to take the 11 year old to soccer, the 9 year old took his place in the warmth of the family bed. The simple hum of every day life is beautiful. If you are reading, I hope you can find it, today.
I was lamenting to a friend the other day the fact that I won’t work again. My diploma is incomplete and may well remain that way, as it has had to make way for other things that I want to do, that allow me to live more fully in the moment, and don’t drain me of too much of my aforementioned limited energy. I won’t be a community development worker, out there at the coalface with the asylum seekers, picking up a weekly wage…you know, clocking on for duty and going home to my own life. A job, in it’s most conventional sense…this is something that is lost to the terminally ill for the most part. No one is going to take you on if you have to take time off for pain, a hospital stay, an infection when your immune system is so shattered from chemo that it just gives up the ghost.
Not long after this chat, I went in for my first meeting with the beautiful people at Black Inc, and we went over the finer points of the book. I’ve already told you about that day, so I won’t bore you again. But I don’t think I have told you about the epiphany that it bought.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS I TALKING ABOUT? What is this book if it is not a job? Purpose. Meaning. LIVING THE BLOODY DREAM. Who gets to do a job like this? Write about what matters to them, connect with a bunch of amazing people, find out that I have touched their lives in some way. That people want to read about my life, and my thoughts, and an actual publishing company is willing to get behind this and back me? That I can go hard when I feel well and take a break when chemo slams me into a wall, as it did a mere two days ago – flexibility my friends. Who gets to have a life like this? Absolutely bloody magnificent. Joy has found me at this postcode, and she’s settling in for the long stretch.
Because I feel so strongly that those of you who are reading this have such a big part to play in all that is happening to me, the utter reclaimation of a life that I thought might be going dark and dim, I am really enjoying taking you along for the ride. I am desperate not to sound like I am some sort of crazed motivational speaker, but bugger it, I want to tell you that I want this for all of you too. It doesn’t have to be something massive like a book (though if that’s your dream too, knock yourselves out)…..no matter what your dream is, you can go after it and you can find meaning in each and every one of your days too. I can’t tell you how energised I feel being able to chase mine. Never in a million years did I believe that my life could become better when faced with a death sentence. But it really a truly has. I’m gutted by what the outcome will be one day, but honestly, I hardly think of that. It’s going to be the ultimate outcome for all of us, and none of us know when. There is a real gift to being able to learn to live in the moment, each day has it’s own momentum, it’s own promise.
I want you all to have a little think about what brings meaning to your days. What do you dream about? Let’s go on a little adventure together, as you readers of Five Fairies, you are my community. Write me a little comment and tell me about it, or come and have a chat at the Facebook page. You all make the world a better place for me, and I hope it doesn’t sound too cheesy when I say I want the very same for you.