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I’m sitting in a cafe in Mansfield, Victoria eating fruit toast accompanied by a mug of flat white. The coffee is good, the fruit toast is really good and the cafe is now heaving with people. As I sit here watching people come and go I realise I’m looking through a glass window at what life may have been if events in my childhood had of occurred differently.

Setting the scene

The reason I am in Mansfield is for a friends wedding. We’ve been friends since we were 4 years old and were inseparable throughout primary school and went on to the same high for a year and a half until my family upped and moved from Victoria to the Gold Coast in Queensland. I didn’t realise at the time, we were just kids, but it must have been really hard on my friend that I left quite suddenly and moved away so quickly.  For me it wasn’t so bad because we moved into a small beach side cottage where I fell in love with the sun and surf and never looked back at my country living, markets, shows and horse riding days.

Back in the Country

But now I’m back in the country and my heart strings are being pulled at in a way I never imaged. As I sit here in the corner of the cafe reflecting on 37 years of life, I feel like I’m looking through a glass window at how life might have been if I stayed in Victoria.

I know that if I couldn’t live by the ocean, I’d need to be in the country surrounded by mountains, horses and adventure. It feels more connected to be living and working on the land, with fresh air and open spaces all around. Living life by the seasons, by the weather, toughing if out day in day out and wanting for very little.

Thanks Cowboy

I guess I need to thank the handsome guy that walked into the cafe (boots, jeans, check shirt and cowboy hat), exchanged a brief look which launched me back 25 years to wonder what might have been. I find it so crazy how you can feel connected and be moved by a complete stranger which forces you into a state of deep reflection. On the other hand I love that. I love how powerful this life can be if you are can listen to and feel what’s going on around you and most of all acknowledge things in the moment so you don’t carry unnecessary baggage into your future.

But then again…maybe he only looked at me because I am wearing a fluorescent pink trucker hat! Hahaha

P.S Post wedding…

It turned out to be quiet an emotional day.  The weather delayed the outdoor wedding by 45 min to reveal the stunning clean crisp country air.  Weddings are never fun going solo so I was missing my man but the most emotional part for me was seeing my friends step dad tear up when he greeted his newly married step daughter.  Even the thought of it makes me well up now.  He’s a quite gentle guy that has done so much for her over the years and to hear my friend thank him for everything is something to look forward to.

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The Triantiwontigongolope

This has to be the most random memory I’ve had in a while!

I don’t think I’ve said “Triantiwontigongolope” in close on thirty years…but this morning it popped into my head and became the days mantra.

I recall the poem always felt inspiring and motivating, a little bit cheeky with the emphasis on ‘try’. I assume it was at my request that this poem was read over and over again during my childhood.

When things get tough, try, tri, triantiwontigongolope.

Take a read and a trip down memory lane!

The Triantiwontigongolope

There’s a very funny insect that you do not often spy,
And it isn’t quite a spider, and it isn’t quite a fly;
It is something like a beetle, and a little like a bee,
But nothing like a wooly grub that climbs upon a tree.
Its name is quite a hard one, but you’ll learn it soon, I hope.
So try:

It lives on weeds and wattle-gum, and has a funny face;
Its appetite is hearty, and its manners a disgrace.
When first you come upon it, it will give you quite a scare,
But when you look for it again, you find it isn’t there.
And unless you call it softly it will stay away and mope.
So try:

It trembles if you tickle it or tread upon its toes;
It is not an early riser, but it has a snubbish nose.
If you snear at it, or scold it, it will scuttle off in shame,
But it purrs and purrs quite proudly if you call it by its name,
And offer it some sandwiches of sealing-wax and soap.
So try:
Triantiwontigongolope .

But of course you haven’t seen it; and I truthfully confess
That I haven’t seen it either, and I don’t know its address.
For there isn’t such an insect, though there really might have been
If the trees and grass were purple, and the sky was bottle green.
It’s just a little joke of mine, which you’ll forgive, I hope.
Oh, try!

Author: C. J. Dennis

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I wanted to share with you a fantastic YouTube video that’s both inspiring and motivating. What motivates someone is such an individual thing and I’ve spent many years learning what motivates me in different situations, picks me up when I’m flat and inspires me to get on with life.

The words in this video are powerful so I recommend you listen to it a dozen time over the next week to really hear it like it should be heard.  Yep, that’s Steve Jobs kicking things off…what a voice, what an inspiring man.

This is a great one to share with the kids.  Ours love it.

What’s your motivational lift?  Maybe it’ll become this video?  Let me know what you think of it.  In fact I’ll have another listen to it now!

StairMudda - Jo Rodway

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One small word, one giant outcome.

I’ve never found change to be intimidating. In fact, it excites me. Change presents an opportunity to experience something new, step out of your comfort zone and exercise things like courage, passion and self-belief that often sits dormant inside us.

Hey, don’t leave?!?

If you were about to leave because ‘change’ just isn’t your thing and quite frankly is scares the beejeebies out of you, that’s totally ok and I get it.  Change doesn’t sit the same way on everyone.  For those who embrace it and for those who want to start, here’s some insight into the changes I’ve been through recently.

I got too comfortable

I had a dream job I absolutely loved, with an amazing global company, where I travelled internationally a few times a year.  I was nicely rewarded for my efforts which resulted in some disposable income that went towards the usual clothes (including hats and beanies), nice dinners out with friends, weekend getaways and more overseas travel. But after 7 years I found day to day life had become far too comfortable.

I was utilising less than half of my professional skill-set and I realised I was losing sight of what really made me tick.  As I became more comfortable I found myself focusing of different ideas and dreams that have been floating around my mind for years and then one day, a very significant day, I realised I needed to make a considerable life change.

The world shifts under your feet

The decision to change doesn’t happen instantly, for me it’s always a slow burn until the moment I commit to it.  Then it feels like the world immediately shifts under your feet and you scramble for a while to stay upright.  Soon the uneasiness melts away and you start to adjust to your new surroundings with eyes open wide adjusting to your new, altered environment.

Change brings an opportunity to learn through new experiences which is what gets me excited and what I am truly passionate about.  That’s why I will continue to embrace change and at times create change to ensure I am always learning and growing.

Why the change you ask?

Don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciated everything I had and was 100% committed to it to.  But the thought of being in the same place in another 3 years was a large part of why things needed to change.  I wasn’t being challenged personally or professionally and I had realised I had so much more to offer.  So after the slow burn had created a large consistent fire within, I found enough courage to resign from my dream job.

On a side note, change doesn’t come without a little anxiety, tears and a lot of unknown.  These emotions and feelings are all real and confirm that you have considered the potential outcomes and respect the significance of the situation you have created.

What now…

This.  Exactly this.  I’ve listened to my life, where I am, where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced up to this very moment in time, whilst I look ahead inspired to create a positive future for myself and my family.

I can only hope that my story sparks a flicker of light in you that ignites the confidence to change whatever it is you know you need to change to create a better tomorrow.

StairMudda - Jo Rodway