08 July 2007

With Hindsight 30 was......

Ghastly for me. However, to be completely honest, I'd made rather a mess of my life by then and it was possibly the best thing that ever happened to me in a nasty yet useful way. It's over 10 years ago now, so with that kind of space from it, I can see the benefits.

Karen Cheng asks about turning 30 in her post The Big Three Oh- Women Turning 30 - I'm glad you asked Karen!

Picture This
On my 30th birthday, as the sun was coming up, I was barefoot in a muddy field with an aching back and my precious babies sleeping in the backseat of my celica, whilst I cut not nearly enough asparagus to make it worthwhile. My once beautifully manicured hands were calloused and cut. There were rows of asparagus ahead of me to cut.

How did I get there?
I was separated and trying to raise two kids under 5. I'd been in decorating business with my friend and business partner. It was long hours and I felt I didn't have enough time for my kids. I hoped that by selling the business and taking casual jobs, I would get more time and have a more peaceful lifestyle.
It took a lot of convincing for the farmer to give me the job so I was too stubborn to leave after promising I wouldn't quit in the first week. I barely made a living and had help every day from fit, experienced blokes who would see me struggling and jump the fence and cut out my rows so I'd finish before the asparagus went off in the field.
I remember one day picking up my daughter from kinder and one of the mum's asked me if I'd been to Bali cause I had such a great tan. I rushed out to the car so I wouldn't blubber in public. It was a painful time.

Benefits of the Harsh Experience
I saw the most amazing sunrises and dragonflies. I made some good mates and for the first time learnt why labourers drink beer. It tastes damn good after hard work! It was a physical challenge.
I knew I was insane doing it so hard . I had a BA and lots of skills and it was one of those turning points that makes you get your act together. It took a while but I made progress to making a better life from that day on.

I still feel ...
In Karen's reflection she says she still feels like she is 24. Even when I turned 40 I still felt like a kid. I don't think age is about feeling a certain way. I did have expectations of having my act a lot more together when I was 30 than it was. I felt like a failure in so many ways and I didn't match up to my vision for 30. I started to feel that it was time to take my life a lot more seriously and that I had to stop fluffing around.

10 Years Later
Turning 40 was bliss in comparison. I not only felt pleased with my life but had the perspective of how painful it had been only 10 years ago to amplify my gratitude. I feel like I am now living the best years of my life. I know you can decide this at any time.


Anonymous said...

jo, i love this blog! you always manage to stay positive, no matter how shit a situation is.i was just telling tom how amazing i think you are, honestly! thankyou!

Joh said...

Aww thanks, I really wasn't that positive at the time. I can be now, cause it's all good. No pain, no gain. It's quite true, even though I avoid pain, like the plague.

Arliah said...

extremely true.
you really are amazing and i look up to you.
i hope you are enjoying your holidays.

i have a new blog i would like you to have a look at. =]

Joh said...

I like your new blog, thanks for the comment, I don't know about amazing, but I have had lots of learning experiences ;-). I'm loving my holidays and I hope you are too!