Do you get to live by your highest values?
My second highest value is family and today I am so grateful that I have created the flexibility, the freedom, the ability to create time, space and financial freedom to be with my Dad, as he heads in for hip surgery today.
Family has always been super important to me, I’ve grown up in a super connected family where we spent lots of time together and I have so many beautiful childhood memories, traveling the Birdsville Track, traveling to New Zealand and playing on all the playgrounds as a 7 year old, traveling to Darwin in winter and getting off the plane and desperately wanting to put shorts and t-shirt on because it was so damn hot!
However, creating more space and time for my family became even more important when I had my own children.
I still remember the tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart sinking, as I drove away from my daughter when leaving her at day care for the first time when she was 7 months old…..
There was nothing more that I wanted than to just be there with her and be a full time Mum.
I know I would have wanted to be doing something else as part of that, but to have the freedom, the flexibility at the time, to choose when and how I wanted to work, would have meant everything to me, yet I didn’t know how I could do that….
I was 7 months pregnant with my second daughter when my former husband and I bought a 7 day a week café….
Not something I’d recommend, doing 17 hour days whilst 7 months pregnant was not fun. I literally couldn’t wait to go into labour, so I could have a rest….. Crazy right…..
And whilst I “thought” we had more freedom by being self-employed, we were more tied to the business than any job I’d ever had, working crazy hours, not to mention the stress of organising staff and all the other things such as bookwork that come along with that, all with a newborn baby and an 18-month-old.
I will never forget the guilt I felt, when my baby was crying in her cot, I could hear her on the monitor, and the cafe was absolutely full of people…. I had to call my Mum to come get her…
All of these moments whilst heartbreaking and filling me full of Mum guilt, also created a much bigger desire in me.
And when I became a single Mum, more than ever I was determined to be available to my girls, when I had them, because that was just a non-negotiable for me, because my time with them now was effectively halved….
To be able to pick them up from school. To be there to have fun with them in the afternoon, to go on beautiful bike rides, play netball, kick the soccer ball, walk in the park, all of these are moments, I so dearly remember, and I am eternally grateful for, that I found a way and created this.
Yet it was a huge challenge. Juggling being a super present and available Mum and being the only income provider for my family, meant I absolutely had to find a new way.
I worked for years and years to create my own business and to do it in a way that meant I could show up and be the Mum I truly wanted to be.
It meant lots of failures along the way, it meant lots of stress along the way.
It was a lonely journey, as I was doing it all by myself and trying to figure it out by myself. (I wasn’t very good at asking for help either!)
Yet where there’s a will there’s a way and I did manage to create it with sheer determination, but not without burning myself out 3 times in the process….
Yet I couldn’t be prouder and more grateful today. (Although knowing what I know now, I’d do it differently, with a team, with leveraged and automated systems and support and a winning strategy!)
It means the world to me, to be able to take off from home for two weeks and come stay with my Dad to support him in his hip surgery recovery.
It has meant the world to me, to be able to travel and take my girls on incredible holidays, full of special memories and be there in an instant if they needed me.
It meant the world to me to be able to take off for a week in March to help and support my cousin and my aunty, that had been severely impacted by the floods.
To not have a boss that dictates to me when I do and don’t work, or when I can and can’t have holidays, or take leave.
I will never allow myself to be in that position again.
That’s how important my freedom and flexibility is to me.
It means the world to me that at any point, I could just jump in my car and be with my family if they needed support, love and or just a huge, big hug.
After losing my Mum to cancer, it hit me so squarely in the heart, just how precious our life is. That really all that matters at the end of the day, is having the time, the freedom to be with our family and loved ones, because we never really know how long we have with them.
To hug them, to love on them, to be present with them in their most vulnerable moments.
To laugh, to cry, to hold hands and for them to know they are not alone.
This is what I will be most proud of in my own last days of my life, not the accomplishments, not the things that I have or even the things I’ve done, but the love that I got to share with my family and loved ones and my beautiful soul community.
Do you feel the same?
Make sure you tell them how much you love them today and what would you do for your family and loved ones?
Oceans of Love,
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