In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be into a new decade. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were contemplating the start of this one. In any case, a new decade is a perfect time for a look back at the old one; and when I did I was amazed at just how much had changed!
Despite what the photos and words below might show, it hasn’t been an easy 10 years – and some years (in particular the middle ones) have been harder than others.
As difficult as some things have been to deal with, in hindsight, it’s been those challenges that forced us to make the changes we made – the ones that we needed to make. I’ll never be thankful for some of these events but we wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for 2015 and 2016.
So, without further ado, grab a cuppa and settle back, this is quite the round-up…
- My husband and I both had busy corporate roles
- Our daughter was 12 and starting high school
- We lived in the Hills district in Sydney and I, in particular, was quite unsettled.
- We’re living on the Sunshine Coast in South-East Queensland and we love our new lives.
- My husband has retired and is volunteering 3 days a week for a local charity
- Our daughter has just completed the 3rd year of an Occupational Therapy course at university, is working at a not for profit organisation here on the coast and we couldn’t be prouder of the independent, well-balanced woman she’s becoming.
In between there have been:
- hellos and goodbyes
- houses bought and sold
- memories and lives packed up and moved
I was working as a Vendor/Business/Project/Facilities Manager for a global BPO (Business Process Outsourcer) in cheque processing.
I’m working for the same person in much the same capacity but in a different company. I’m so grateful that I can work remotely back to Sydney 4 days a week.
In 2020 I’ll be taking on the additional (voluntary) role of President of the RWA (Romance Writers of Australia).
In between there have been:
Redundancies (me), resignations (me) and retirements (Grant).
- Completed a freelance Writing and travel writing course
- Pitched and had published a number of freelance articles and horoscope columns – both in my own name and as a “ghost writer”
- was a regular guest on a podcast talking all things astrology
- wrote a regular career astrology column for astrology.com – the largest astrology site in the world
- Published my first novel Baby, It’s You in 2015. This was followed by Big Girls Don’t Cry (Dec 2015), Wish You Were Here (2017) and Happy Ever After (2018) which was placed 2nd in the RWA Romantic Book of the Year awards. More are scheduled for 2020.
Travel and experiences
The last 10 years have been an amazing ride. We’ve worked and planned hard to be able to not only do what we have done but also be willing and able to take the opportunities that have come our way. My gratitude is boundless. Long may it continue.
Aside from domestic travel, during the last 10 years I’ve travelled to New Zealand and Bali on multiple occasions; and also visited Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, New York, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
We spent 7 weeks road-tripping through the UK when Sarah finished school at the end of 2015 and another 3 weeks in 2018 following the food and wine in France. As this post is published we’ll be in England for our very first cold climate Christmas.
I’ve snorkelled on a South Pacific island, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, gone to the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building in NY and been bitten by a monkey in Bali (long story but let me tell you the rabies immunisations are not pleasant).
I’ve watched the moon rise from behind Mitre Peak on an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, walked across Mackinnon Pass and into Milford Sound, tramped the Routeburn Track, marvelled at the colours (and smells) of geothermal Rotorua, sat in a hot spring in the middle of a freezing NZ winter, been across the face of Mount Cook in a helicopter, and landed on snow on the top of New Zealand.
We’ve cruised the South Pacific and Halong Bay (Vietnam), been hot air ballooning in the Hunter Valley and jet-boating and zip-lining in Queenstown.
Compared to 2010, am I:
Happier or sadder?
Much much much happier. In 2010 I was ridiculously restless and now I’d go as far as saying I’m actually quite content.
The middle years of this decade were ridiculously heart-beatingly stressful – for reasons I won’t get into here. The outcome though has been positive.
Our lives now are so simpler, day to day cost of living is substantially less, we eat and live to the seasons and the natural rhythms of life, and are more sustainable in our approach to most things.
Thinner or fatter?
Fatter – by nearly 3 kilos. At my heaviest (before commencing Project Excess Baggage) I was almost 13 kgs heavier than I was in January 2010.
Richer or poorer?
Poorer – a lot. We’ve gone from two very good corporate salaries to one okay one. In the process our combined income has reduced by about 60% – but we’re far richer in terms of contentment and experience.
Okay, that was my decade…what about you? Have you looked back? You might be surprised at what you’ve achieved…
(Just so you know, I’m on holidays at the moment so mightn’t get to respond to comments etc… but will definitely do so when back home.)
Richer in life experiences. Happier, too, I would argue. You look lovely all around the world.
Awesome post,,,,except the part about the monkey bite. Love the fact that by living more simply, life has gotten better. I am on the verge of doing the same thing. Oh, and I too, am about 15 lbs heavier than I was in 2010 and I am totally ok with it. Life is good 🙂
That’s a momentous decade! Good for you for making changes that work for you and glad you’re enjoying, albeit less $$. I’ve had some big changes, including retiring, seeing two daughters marry and produce 4 grandkids, lots of travel and embarking on a new travel writing direction – so all in all pretty fab. Life’s good and love every day. Hope you have a great Christmas and next decade is a howler all around. Christine
What a wonderful decade to look back on. Your travel experiences in particular seem varied and amazing, and I am not surprised that moving from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast has made you happier. Here’s to another decade of amazing life experiences! Wishing you a fabulous 2020!
An interesting read, Joanne. I learned a lot more about you. Kudos to you for taking on the role of President of RWA. When I say you have had quite the decade, I realize this is an understatement. Your post also made me reflect on my decade. Yes, a lot of good and not so good. I am enjoying following you on Instagram, Joanne.
I love looking back and seeing just how much has changed and just how much you’ve done. As for the RWA presidency, I’m in a bit of overwhelm at the moment but I suspect that I need to be.
I am sure you will be great at it. They are lucky to have you!
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