So it’s that time of year. The time to reflect on the year that was and think about what’s to come while also trying to enjoy the moment.. hmm.. It’s funny because we did a whole episode on surviving the Christmas silly season on the podcast that I co-host “Spreading the Good Stuff” but I don’t really feel like I have taken my own advice this year. It all feels to have been a bit rushed lately and it hasn’t really felt like Christmas but I am very much looking forward to getting in the car and heading North for Christmas Day.
It’s been a mixed bag this year really. For me personally, there’s been a lot of challenges but ones that I can now see as learnings which is good. Off the farm, there’s been lots of great developments but also some challenges there too.
I’ve learnt a lot about change and how people cope with change. I’ve learnt a lot about leadership and what it really means to be a good leader and I continue to learn about the importance of mindset and good wellbeing as the foundation for thriving no matter what the situation.
Last week we had a live event for our Spreading the Good Stuff Podcast in Echuca and it was just a lovely way to finish the year. My co-host, Leonie, Christy and I, each shared our personal experiences. I thought it would be nice to continue looking at the year through the lens of gratitude here.
I guess overall I’m grateful that through my daily practices and my healthy mindset, I can now see the difficult things I went through this year as learnings and that I have a good foundation of wellbeing which allow me to cope better overall.
So I guess the stand out things for me this year are:
My experience on the Basin Community Committee.
I started off the year as a member of the Basin Community Committee which is basically a community advisory group for the Murray Darling Basin Authority. The purpose of the group is to advise the MDBA on what’s happening in communities across the Basin with members from all the different regions. But, mostly the role is to advise the MDBA on how to engage with the communities better. Being in this role proved to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. It put me in a difficult position in my community and I felt compromised because I am such a community person and I try to do a lot for my community and really want to help drive our community forward. So I actually decided to step down form the role and put my focus back on to more positive things.
Setting up the Daycare Service in Barham
I was also involved in the establishment of the daycare service at our local preschool as I was on the Preschool Committee. This also had its challenges. It’s a fantastic thing for our community but going through a period of change with any organisation is tricky. I’ve learnt a lot about change management and called on Brene Brown a lot. In the end it’s been a fantastic thing and its going so well so I’m really proud of what we have achieved for our community and it taught me a great deal.
Harvest and the Avos
On the farm we had a pretty average harvest after a fantastic fruit set due to the really hot temperatures over Summer and prices were down a little bit this year as well.
But we expanded and bought another sand hill up the road and have planted another 2000 trees which is really exciting. It’s a great block of dirt with lots of potential. We continue to try to make our farming systems as sustainable as possible and think about how we can adapt our systems to a changing climate and less water. It’s an ongoing discussion!
Family and Travel
We went to Portugal for my sisters wedding which was truly amazing. Hard work with four kids, but just amazing. I was grateful every day to be there experiencing it. The wedding was amazing and we had such a special time with Sars and Andre showing us the life of the Portuguese.
I guess that’s the things that really stand out for me and I am so grateful for all of it.
Next year I really want to start working on empowering rural women to create change, become leaders, start businesses and thrive. We need more female change makers everywhere and particularly in rural Australia and I want to do my bit to encourage that. I want to share what I have learnt to help other women rise.
For five years I’ve been writing in my journal about wanting to start a business for rural women but I just don’t seem to get it off the ground. This is going to be the year. I think I’ve finally got myself to a point in my own self development where I can do it. Watch this space.
Thanks for your support again this year, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and see you next year!