Rowena Hardy reflects on the decade just gone

ON THE day this is published, I will be quietly celebrating a significant birthday. Significant not because it's mine but because another decade has rolled around and it feels true that time seems to move more quickly the older you get. The weeks, months, years fly by and suddenly it's a decade and I'm left pondering what exactly I've done in that time because it doesn't seem like very much at all but, considering I'm a person who often doesn't remember exactly what I did last week, that isn't entirely surprising...

However when I stop and think about it, the last ten years has been a decade of change, unexpected events and progress.

It's ten years later this year that we established our business in a year when Nick was undergoing a 12-month, self-administered chemo program and continuing to work a full-time, busy schedule and I ended up in the UK for a total of five months. In fact the decade has included other significant health events for Nick: an angina attack and having a stent implanted; a cataract removed and two heart attacks, the most recent last year which stopped his heart for a good couple of minutes when time seemed to stand still.

It was also a decade of family events.

The five months in the UK was to help care for my mum with dementia who had remained in hospital after a bad fall. After recovering as best she could we were able to help her make the transition into a care home where she passed away peacefully a couple of years later. Earlier that same year Nick's mother in New Zealand had a severe stroke and died.

Throughout this time we were also focusing on establishing and building the business, reviewing and updating our certifications and adding to our skills and experience to support our clients and grow our expertise. For those of you with your own business, you know how all-consuming it can be. We were also fortunate to be able to take holidays to see family and were offered some wonderful opportunities to work with interesting people both in Australia and overseas.

All of this plus Nick's health and his experience of being attacked on the Black Cat Track in 2013 in particular certainly changed the way we approached business and life in general over the past decade and required me to step up, dig deep and challenge myself in ways that I hadn't expected. Would I change anything? No. And I think if you were to do a similar review of your last ten years you too might have some insights.

Too often we get caught up in the busyness of life rather than being in each moment as life unfolds and every birthday offers us a time for reflection and appreciation of what is past and anticipation for all that is to come. That's what I'll be doing!

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