Monday, July 26, 2010

365 Days, Day 49

Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. (Napolean Hill)

I met a lady on Saturday. She was promoting her new book. A year ago, Tess Burrows was part of the expedition to the South Pole. She has climbed the Andes; she is preparing to climb Kilimanjaro. Tess Burrows is in her sixties. She looks amazing! [Doug, I have bought an autographed copy of her book for your Birthday].

Amazing achievements.

Of course, I thought of Doug, who does insanely remarkable challenges and pushes himself to the limit and beyond.

And of Aileen, who recently completed the Comrades marathon.

I think of Tom, who rose to the top of his career, then ran his own successful business, all the time being a wonderful husband and father, who would do anything for his little family.

I think of Nicki, who after a hugely traumatic period in her life, has bounced back and followed her dream and calling to become an alternative healer as well as an inveterate traveller travelling to far-flung spiritual, ancient places like Peru, Tibet and India.

I think of Karen, who as a single mother juggled a high-powered career, while bringing up her two wonderful children; and surviving the agonising loss of Brent.

I think of Mom who has nursed Dad over many years of his illness, always cheerful and positive, such a very strong, brave woman.

I think of Dad, who never wants to admit (even to himself) that there is anything wrong with him, such a very strong, brave man.

I think of Hanlie, who cared for her dad when he was ill, and then her mum for so many years, and always the rock solid foundation of her household of males.

I think of Ada who has spent her life caring for her parents, teaching so many students, being a magical aunt to our children.

I think of... wait I am stopping here.

So what have I achieved?

No great challenges….

I am not a successful career woman. I don’t have a meaningful career, or at the moment, even a regular job. I have no great sporting achievements (only two mini ones: Midmar Mile twice). I have spent most of my adult life being a wife and a mother, leaving little time for anything amazing…


I am proud of my children though. I think they have turned out pretty well. They are delightful people, good little people (I do miss Kyle and Roarke so terribly much).

Today I chatted to two of my former students from Aurora: Dane is working as cabin crew for Ethiad Airlines, and Matthew is in poultry equipment retail. I felt honoured that after all these years they would take the time to chat to me, online. I thought about this, and remembered that many students have come back to me, to say Thank-you-for-making-a-difference-in-my life.

So I think I will allow myself to see Kyle, Roarke and AriĆ©l as little achievement in life. And making a difference in some of my student's lives. I will read about other people’s great achievements, and bask in the warmth of stories shared with my achieving friends and family, and will be satisfied with my achievement (shared with Tom) of being a good parent.


  1. I too struggle to see the good i have achieved in life, however i see my children and hear what others say about them and know what i was placed on this earth for. I took them to a national trust property today, they were polite and curteous to all people they spoke to, they were respectful with the furniture that they were not allowed to touch and were quiet when indoors. They played happily together in the great outdoors while we ate our picnic and they put rubbish in their pockets untill a bin could be found. They visited the shop and did not "i want" the whole time and chose modestly priced things they knew were ok. I was told by a volunteer in the house that i was remarkably patient with my children (Jess took a few different explanations to understand a question on the childrens work sheet) and they never cease to bring a smile to peoples faces. Children may be a gift from God but only the very best people can raise them to be a gift to humanity. I may not leave a great legacy or be remembered for the wonderous things i have done - but the 2 most important people in the world will remember me and thru my education, encouragement, praise and chastisment will make the world a slightly better place for the people they come into contact with. Being a parent is not just a thing you and i have done its something you and i have excelled in and continue to grow in as we take pride in our achievements. xx

  2. I think of Deidre who through her dedication as a teacher (not only at school), actor, artist has made a difference and changed more lives than she can ever imagine....