Storytelling has been around for century’s, since cave men drew on the walls before the English language was a thing. We all love a good story and no matter what our life’s tale, we can all relate to a story, we all have emotions in common and can all remember once upon a time.
Stories are great, whether that’s TV, a film, a good book or the latest gossip with the girls over coffee – guilty! But what storytelling does is open up our mind to learn something new, and it’s said that stories we can connect with, that we have experienced ourselves, that make us emotional, give us inspiration or evoke our passion are the ones that stay with us, forever.
‘What’s Your Story’ is a new feature here at WorkKidsSleep, a feature where Q&A blogs are written on inspirational people from all walks of life. Business, psychology, charity work, those that have lost children, the every day working parent struggling to make ends meet, the single Father smashing it, the anxious Mother, the super entrepreneur. These stories will give you an insight into what these people have gone through, what makes them tick and what got them to where they are today, in that exact moment.
Not that I have a very interesting story to tell but I figured I’d kick this off with me, questions asked my Hubby.
What was your childhood like and do you think it affected the person you are today?
My childhood was pretty normal, well, normal to me. Mum, Stepdad, 3 sisters, 2 brothers, me being child number 3. My parents both worked, Father 2 jobs, we had a nice house, we went on holidays and although day to day cash was tight, and I remember my parents having conversations about ‘living to their means’ , we never went without. We had grandparents we saw often, we all had good friends and we had fun.
I have a lot of fond memories of my childhood of playing in the pond, catching tadpoles, and going swimming with my friends without parents, but there is one that sticks in my mind, the one when I left all my friends at the age of 11 and moved to a new house, that was horrible. I remember saying my goodbyes playing at the side of the train track (like we used to back then!) and being really upset, that one hurt a lot at the time, but we were young. We moved again less than a year later where I made new friends, real good ones that I still have today but I still kept in touch with the old ones when I visited my grandparents, and still talk to them now albeit via social media!
I do believe that your childhood upbringing makes up so much of the people we are today. I read once somewhere that the first 30,000 words you hear as a child define your character and your mind, and that the environment you’re reared in can affect the way you life your life. I guess I do agree with this to some extent, but I also believe that nothing is set in stone, that anything can change if you want it to, including your mind no matter what words you hear.
What has been the biggest challenge in your life to date?
For those who know me, they’ll know that I love a challenge, always looking for something to do, always making plans in my fancy new notebook so over the years, I guess there’s been a few. One of the biggest that stands out has to be doing my Masters Degree. I had been working for the same company for 12 years at this point, running the marketing department with a team of 3. I started there straight from school I loved it. After a rubbish week I was contemplating my future and figured if I ever went for another job, I would have all this experience but nothing more than a HND in Business Administration to show for it, no marketing qualifications at all to back up all the practical work I’d been doing for all these years.
After looking into it, I decided to go back to Uni and even though I was 30yrs old at this point and would be the oldest in the class by a mile, I was really excited! What I didn’t contemplate when I signed up, was how I was going to do this with a 30 hour a week job, a house to run, a 3yr old and a 1yr old! But, with a structured plan of work | home | Uni, and none of them slipping into the other’s allocated time slots, I got into a routine and it worked, plus your shifts helped, as did my sister doing school pick-ups and the after-school club at the Nursery where the youngest went daily. The course took 18 months and looking back now I don’t know how I managed it all, and probably couldn’t again but even now I’m super proud to have achieved that degree, finishing top of my class and with a Distinction. Happy Girl.
We all have hopes and dreams, what’s been your biggest achievement? (Besides having our gorgeous kids!)
But as a Mother, I have to say kids, right?! Again, I’m quite an ambitious as you know and am forever writing lists of goals and plans, things I want to achieve. There’s lots of things I’ve done which I see as achievements, I wrote a blog on it a while back actually. Jumping out of a plane for charity, making my Grandmother laugh when she was really ill, doing charity work.
Going backpacking was a biggy for us. We talked about it from literally day one, on our first date, and we saved for a good 12 months or so before making the trip, which was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. And it was that trip that gave us the urge to live in Australia full time, to up sticks and move to the other side of the world, something we talked about for 16 years, and at the end of 2018, we did it. That has to be one of my biggest feats, although I still feel, and probably always will feel guilty for uprooting our kids knowing exactly how that feels.
So what’s the plans now?
Now, in Oz, we start again. Well, not from scratch but certainly settling back into routine, new schools, new working life, running the house, and building back up our circle of friends, which we’ve started to do, making new friends is fun!
Also, for me is to find my path again. Media is my game, but I don’t think it will be forever, or maybe not every aspect. There’s so much I want to do, want us to do and yeah, I guess I have always worried about what people will think, what society will say but no one really knows me over here yet, so I may use that to my advantage! Podcasts, vlogs, who knows, we’ll see, no set plans… which is so unlike me!
To date, what has been the most memorable time in your life?
Ah, this one is easy, losing my mother. A long time has passed now, will be 18 years this Christmas since us older sisters sat with her while she drifted away from us, but it seems like yesterday.
Memories are funny things, the strong ones never seem that far away, it’s only when I think back to all the things that have happened in my life that she’s missed out on, do I truly realise just how much time has passed since I saw her last, another reason why I intend to keep making so many for us and our kids.
What’s the one thing you regret?
I’m not really one for regrets, live is short, learn from them, but I guess if I had to pick something, I would pick leaving to go to Australia when my mother was ill. In my defence, I truly thought she’d get better, she didn’t tell us she was terminal, she’d been through chemo twice before and gone into remission, so this was just the same, or so I thought.
We had planned our backpacking trip for the last year, our tickets had been booked 8 months before, I’d quit my job and we were physically and mentally ready to make this massive step in our lives. My mother was in hospital when I saw her for the last time. Her leg had swollen up and she couldn’t walk so she went in for them to keep an eye on her. We said our goodbyes that Sunday, promising to call her and write often, and I spoke to her Monday morning just before we left for the airport. Story goes that on the Wednesday she was put onto a morphine drip and slipped into a coma, which I found out on the Thursday before we made the journey home from our LA stopover.
I made it home to her Friday night and she passed on the Sunday, but going back to the regret question, yes if I’d stayed it probably would have gone the same way, I couldn’t have changed anything, it was out of my control, out of anyone’s control at this point, it would have made no difference but I would have had an extra two days of her before she went, an extra two days’ worth of memories with her, and for that I am sorry.
What’s the one value you pride yourself on?
I have lots of values that I base my life upon, or at least try too even if shouting at the kids makes me steer off track on times! Going back to my childhood, I think values are installed at a young age, things our parents and grandparents teach us like be truthful, keep your promises, be grateful, and one of the most important I think, which is be kind, probably the one I hold the highest.
Ok so talking about kindness and helping others, if you could do one thing that would impact the world, what would it be and why?
Oh that’s a tough one, I want to do so much, I often think about what I can give back, how I can help others. I’ve done some charity work and have volunteered many times just by lending a hand when needed, and whilst I would love for this to be on a global scale and help the masses, I think to answer your question, I have to rein it in a bit and consider changing someone’s world, or at least a group or people, rather than the world itself.
If I could, I would help multiple people. I’d set up a programme to help the homeless find work and accommodation, I’d work with people who suffer with mental issues to find their place and path in life, I’d work with adults and children with learning difficulties to help overcome restrictions and help them move forward, I’d help starvation in countries where it’s rife, and I’d help in the fight towards curing cancer. Ok, not the one thing you asked for, but what can I say. There are so many people that need help and support, why stop at only changing one thing if you can change more. One world.
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable (Thanks go to Hubby for the questions)
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.