36 1999. Focus on what matters

…Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should… Desiderata, Max Ehrmann

 Slowly but surely, like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, I found myself  again and became the person I was meant to be.

I had three great children, two of whom were now teenagers, who were all progressing well with their academic studies and extra curricular activities.  OK – none of them were going to be top of the class, but that never bothered me because all three of them gave their best effort to their study.  Riki was playing the Tuba and Alisha had taken up the Saxophone with both of them playing in school bands and the Rotorua Symphonic Band.  they even put out a CD!!!  Dianne discovered books and along with her drawing this has remained her recreational passion.   All three of them became less dependent on me (or had become so from necessity) and I realized that they were developing social circles that did not revolve around me although we remained a tight knit unit.

Rotorua Symphonic Band
Rotorua Symphonic Band

The internet had arrived and I was able to soothe my lonely evenings by chatting with people from all around NZ and even overseas.  This was amazing at the time although clumsy and cumbersome when compared with the options we have in 2013 such as Facebook and Skype.   I traveled to events where groups of chatters had social activities and met face to face….. and in this way I expanded my social circle.  There were a couple of brief romances…and then BAMM!!!  There was Dean.

My job was going really well and I was involved with teaching a broader range of subjects across all four Waiariki Campuses as well as assisting with course development and special events.  I continued to travel to the annual Food & Beverage Lecturers conferences and managed to catch up with family in Christchurch.

Breakfast with Aimee, Nana, Judy and Lloyd
Breakfast with Aimee, Nana, Judy and Lloyd

I was again undertaking n personal study as I worked towards my higher level of Adult Teaching qualifications and Diploma in Tourism Management.

My Buddy Family
My Buddy Family

My buddy Ally, along with her Andy, the twins (Jason & Megan) and their baby James were our extended family as by now I was the only family member left in Rotorua.    We shared all our special events and holidays with much fun and hilarity.

Camping at Waihou Bay
Camping at Waihou Bay

After many long trips between Auckland and Rotorua Dean moved in and plans were underway for a wedding in May 2000.

Focus on what matters – friends, family, fulfillment and fun.  

Live a little, Love a little and never stop Learning….


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