MARCH To Your Own Beat

Laney over at Crash Test Mummy is hosting a March To Your Own Beat challenge. This week is about reflection and she’s posted some prompts to get us started.
“Before I was a mum” is one of the reflections. Does any mother remember life before being a mum? This will really get the brain smoking.

{pic before I was a mum – in Vegas before we left the US to move back to Australia}

Before I was a mum I lived in the US for 11 years. Before I was a mum, I ran a nonprofit organisation. I used to run meetings, crunch numbers, have the final say in decisions, wear nice clothes, eat dinner out at least 3 times a week. I used to stay up late and wake up late. I used to play tennis 3-4 times a week. If I was sick I stayed in bed. If I wanted to go out for ice cream at 9 pm I did. If I wanted ice cream for breakfast, I did that too. Before I was a mum, I had a dog and cats, and thought I knew what unconditional love was.

Laney’s also asked what is somethig we have always regreted. It annoys me when people say they have no regrets. Surely everyone has something they wish they had or hadn’t done, and would change if they could. I’ve always regretted not traveling more while I lived in the US and was not a mum. I regret not going to NYC. I should have gone to the US Open Tennis at Flushing Meadows. I regret not taking more weekend trips away before being a mum. I regret spending so much of my disposable income when I had it. I regret thinking I was fat my whole life, before being a mum. Looking back now, I’d love that body back that is in this picture above. I’ve always regretted getting rid of my Honda Civic coupe.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in life?
The most important lesson I’ve learned in life so far, is that life is short, time flies, and you don’t get it back. Your time could be up tomorrow, so what are you going to do today? We take for granted that we have tomorrow to do things. My dad thought he had tomorrow, then he didn’t wake up. He was only 61 years old. There are no guarantees in this life, so why do we take it for granted?

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?I’ve been trying to think of the craziest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m finding there’s a fine line between crazy and stupid. Once, in college, my roommate and I drove 14 hours from Jacksonville to upstate New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. Three days later we drove back. My car was a piece of shit, and we had to stop every few hundred miles to top it up with oil. That car eventually got me to Atlanta after college, but barely, I think it was running on 3 of its 4 cylinders and the brakes had to be pumped to get them to work. Crazy? Naaah, stupid. Then a few years later, in Atlanta, I wanted to get rid of my Honda Civic Coupe, which reminds me….sorry, had to go add that to the list of regrets. I ended up trading her in for a Chrysler Sebring sedan. Without consulting my husband (who was still “partner” not husband yet). That was absolutely stupid crazy. It seems anything remotely crazy that I’ve done has revolved around a car. About 16 months ago my husband and I went out and bought a brand new car. I said I’d never do it, but we did!

What is something you’ve done after people told you you couldn’t?
When my boss left the nonprofit I was working at, I thought I’d replace her. But a surprise applicant came out of nowhere and got the job. I was told I wasn’t ready, that this person was best for the job. Less than 12 months later, she had left, and I was given the job. I was considering leaving when I was passed over for the position, but I took the high road and was the bigger person. I then went on to run the organization for 3 years before leaving. And you know what, I did a pretty good job.

I knew what to do and knew I was right when…
I knew exactly what to do, and I knew I was right when we packed up and moved to Australia. There are times I question it, not the move, not living in Australia, but what we left behind, what we had there, compared to what we have here. I used to think the US and Australia were exactly the same. I know now they’re not, and I feel like I’ve had 2 completely different lives, the one there and the one here. I came home, to Australia, pregnant. I did the most growing during my time in the US. I was there from 18 to 29 years old. I was single and got married in Atlanta. I have been a child, and am now a mum, in Australia. Completely different stages of my life in completely different countries. And I am grateful for both, believing I have been right where I have been meant to be, every step of the way.

March To Your Own Beat with
Crash Test Mummy

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9 thoughts on “MARCH To Your Own Beat

  1. I absolutely love this Aroha! I really hoped you enjoyed this little journey back in time. Like you I came back to Australia as a mum. It’s quite a defining moment in my life. Life before filled with travel and frivolity then home to settle down and raise a family. I’m looking forward to travel again. Are your parents from New Zealand?

    • No, parents are Aussies, but we had a family friend back when I was born who had the name Aroha and they liked it so much they stole it. I’ve never fully forgiven them šŸ˜‰ I guess we all come home to put down roots eventually. Only the luckiest get to be raised in Australia! šŸ˜‰ Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It is so easy to forget who we were before we were a mum! It’s nice to remember I *am* smart, I can do great things, and I’ll do great things again. Hopefully!

  2. Love your most important lesson – i try to live my life for now (so enjoy things like travel rather than save up for retirement age which might not come) but still find day to day I get caught up in crap.Must let it all go…

    Great post! I liked reading a bit more about you

    • Thanks Deb! It’s an important lesson, but one that you do need to remind yourself of constantly I find. When it’s all getting too much, I try to just stop and be thankful for the whole lot! I’d rather have my petty problems than have much worse ones, or even worse, not be here at all!

    • Thanks Megan! I think people associate “regrets” with “failure” but they don’t have to be. If we don’t have mistakes/regrets from our past, how will we learn to make better decisions/choices in the future?

  3. Really enjoyed your post. Good for you by taking the high road in your career. I think I would have been way to stubborn and proud to hang around, but you definitely made the right decision for you. I look forward to reading what you share for week 2.

    • I wasn’t completely honest, they gave me a really nice “bonus” to stay around. If it wasn’t for that I’d probably have walked, too, but it all worked out in the end! Though I really did take the high road and did everything to help the person settle in and adjust, but it was not what they expected and couldn’t handle it.

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