I replied that I created and raised him. He said, “but what have you really done in your life?”
I told him I was saving some adventures for when he and his siblings left home, to which he replied, “by then you’ll be too old and unfit to do anything”.
For my son, who cannot see that which is all around him, here is a list of some of my achievements. They may not change the world, but they shape our little world.
- I have raised four amazing, talented, creative children. I changed their nappies and wore the carpet threadbare walking them up and down as screaming babies. I attended parent-teacher interviews and swimming lessons and sports games. I bandaged knees and brushed tears from grubby cheeks. I blew raspberries on chubby tummies and read stories until my throat was hoarse.
- I created a home. My house may not always be the tidiest in the street, but there are hot meals and warm beds and clean clothes (well, most days). When we moved interstate six years ago, the house changed — and changed again — but home remained, safe, secure and inviting.
- I created a garden full of food. Wherever I go, I plant a food garden. Our garden nourishes us with fruit and vegetables and herbs. Roses and other flowers delight the senses with their blossoms and their glorious fragrance. Some visitors may see weeds and messy leaves on paths and imperfect pruning, but I see beauty and growth and potential. I see what the garden will one day become.
- I recreated a career. After years out of the workforce, and in a new city with few contacts, I found a good job aged 39. Since then I’ve worked in two universities, re-learning and building upon almost forgotten skills. I struggled with anxiety and fear of failure in those early days, but kept going. In 2014, I studied as well as worked, completing a Graduate Certificate in Food Writing. Now all sorts of doors are opening, aligned with my passion for food and food gardening.
- I have balance and beauty and love and joy. I have a marriage of over 20 years which has thrived across three states. I have friends and family in many places whom I cherish and adore.
I am rich in all that matters.