Sunrise, Dempster Head, West Beach, Esperance, Western Australia
I’ve always enjoyed reflecting on Fandango’s Provocative Questions in the past but I don’t believe I’ve participated before, for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with lack of time. But as we head towards the end of the year, Fandango’s prompt made me stop and reflect on the question.
For me, ‘a good life’ is one of choice. The ability and means to choose how one wants to live. Having lived on a tight budget as a single parent with young children for many, many years, I am in a better place now. Years of hard work and study have paid off dividends. I can choose to work … or not. The fact that I choose to work is a good life for me, because it is filled with the unknown and adventure.
From the age of eleven I wanted to do outreach work. My mother’s mantra of giving back to the community still resonates strongly. I’m now in a position to do just that. And, yes, frequent travel is gruelling and believe it or not, I don’t like flying.
The State of Western Australia is the combined size of Texas and Alaska. Although most of the two million plus folks live along the coast, there are areas where people live in the inland towns, and even desert. I can work in uncomfortable conditions of extreme heat and less than interesting facilities. My choice of food is limited in some towns to greasy foods only. Salad and fruit belong to the exotic category. Sometimes there is no time to eat all day, and a crumbled muesli bar in one’s pocket, is the meal of the day. The beds are always clean, but ordinary. The air con does not always work in hotels where the only stars that are associated with the hotel, are the ones in the night sky.
The days of power dressing is a distance past. I now dress for comfort and there is freedom in this. I enjoy working with teams dedicated to providing an outreach service to families. Our collective commitment and sense of humour in difficult conditions, is always a bonus. Bumping into another team in the most unexpected place like an outback pub, has the warmth of family at Christmas. I visit well known tourists spots like beautiful Esperance every month. Or, the most amazing off the tourist track places. The folks we visit are always so grateful for the service provided. It is rare for my colleague and I not to smile and say, “that was a good trip!” as we leave town.
Like most, yes there are burdens and sadness, for me too. The city is where I feel ‘an absence’ the most. I never thought I would be in a position one day where I would chose to be single. But, I made the choice and I embrace it as all roads have led to here. I love the wide open spaces best, be it coast or outback. The feeling of being small in a big world is oddly comforting and lessens any burden I may have. It is moments like this, when I know I live the good life. And, it has come about because of the choices I have made.
Thanks Fandango … I needed to reflect on this.
Until next time
a dawn bird