So how did I start?

Some years ago I created a mental list of things to do before turning 50. Parachute jump, go on a game show, win Best of Breed at Crufts and write a novel were among the things I was determined I would achieve.  Well the Parachute jump was the first thing I crossed off the list.  Back in 1997 my home was burgled whilst I was holiday with my daughter in Spain.  Of all the things that were stolen, a fairly cheap (to buy) necklace that had been given to me as a Christmas present back in 1985 was the thing that hurt most.  I was devastated.  So much so that I posted the neighbourhood with flyers offering a no questions asked reward for it’s return.  No joy.  It made me so ill to think I’d lost this much loved keepsake that I was losing sleep over it, it was ridiculous really.  One day at work someone told me that I needed to do something to take my mind of it.  So I did.  I jumped out of an aeroplane!  It worked.  In the process I raised around £500 for a special needs school.  This was the first truly cathartic thing I think I’d ever done.  It gave me a sense of empowerment, the feeling that anything was possible if you put your mind to it.  If only I’d realised that was how I was feeling at the time.  It is only when I look back that I see that that was the point at which everything started to change.  It was going to be another 16 years and several struggles later however before my oldest ambition was realised.

I would never ‘thank’ anyone for being a thief, for breaking into someone else’s home, rifling through their things, leaving them heartbroken when precious items are taken, however, I am a firm believer, always have been, that everything that happens to us in life happens for a reason.  We don’t always see the reason at the time it happens but sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get to see that reason and are able to grow from it.  I’m not saying that if this hadn’t happened then I wouldn’t ever have gone on a game show or written a novel, but I know without a shadow of doubt that in this instance what didn’t kill me made me stronger, made me more determined not to let things get me down and to live each day to it’s fullest.

To be continued…


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