|Horseriding in Finnish Lapland- pic by Chris van Hove|
Today it’s my birthday, so I hope you’ll all forgive me this little self indulgent post. The last year has been very good and very challenging for me, the typical 'that’s life' mix of good and bad things. I got engaged, did some incredible bucket list trips, and made some really tough decisions.
One big thing that I wanted to reflect on is my health. During the late winter and spring I was quite ill for three or four months; irritating colds and flus and fever and upsets that severely dented my workload and it was pretty much on the verge of becoming chronic illness. I took a big step back from the work I had on (something I’m very afraid I’ll feel come to bite me in the next few months) and rested up. I even headed back to Australia to sort out what was going on after no luck with the doctors here, and by fluke, managed to get a diagnosis.
While I’m not prepared to spill my entire guts to the net just yet, I have been diagnosed with a serious condition. It basically explains about 15 years on on-going, (non-life threatening) niggling, unexplainable, health issues.
The good news is it’s completely manageable with changes to my lifestyle. Given an old colleague I knew who was younger than me died last week from cancer, I’ve gotten out very very lucky with my diagnosis.
The bad news is it means a complete change to my lifestyle- for the rest of my life. And I like being a fathead, food-obsessed travel writer. Luckily, the changes I have to make won’t get in the way of me travelling and writing and doing what I love.
The even better news is the changes I’ve been making the last few weeks means I’m already feeling better than I have in years. I don’t feel fatigued anymore. The bags are gone from under my eyes. I wake up raring to go at my day like a jack in the box. My fiancé says it’s like night and day with me. It’s an incredible feeling to actually feel well. Its going to take a while for my body to heal, but I’m churning through work and I’m generally far more pleasant to be around.
I’m trying my best to make lemonade from lemons- and particularly given the storm that is brewing over the journalism world in Australia (along with all the chicken-littles running around claiming the sky is falling), it’s a good time to get a better attitude.
The climate in Australia for journalism is undergoing massive shifts. Both privately and publically, a lot of writers and freelancers I know are worried. Some are readying their parachutes. Others are fastening their seatbelts for the long ride.
I’m taking a good measure of what’s going on at the moment and having a think about how I want to play the game. I honestly believe there is a market for good quality writing and unique story ideas. I do believe there will be paying markets for content that can meet this criteria.
Now I’ve got my health back, I’m feeling more match fit. I have a few projects that will emerge in the next few months. I feel like I can only be positive about the opportunities these changes can bring- and that those who emerge in a few years from this time period are the ones who can adapt to change.
So this is kind of a preview to a few new projects I’m working on. I will be jumping the great divide and starting to publish online in a few different capacities (expect some changes!). I’ll still be writing both online and in print across a few different markets and continents, and I’ll be expanding on doing video work. The future will be what I make of it.
And as a last note, I couldn’t have gotten through the last few months without a lot of support. I have a few editors who were understanding when I had trouble getting the work done. Even some people on twitter made me feel better just by sending a quick DM asking how I was- I appreciate you reaching out. Most of all I couldn’t get through it without the care and effort of my family in Australia, my good friends (who fed my email box with daily musings, cooked me roast lamb dinners, made me pots of tea or were forgiving when I was incognito in Sydney) and most of all my fiancé. Without him I can’t even imagine having the strength to get through this with the right attitude. You mean the world to me.
|Venice with C. Sick but happy then, now available in new & improved healthy version|
I can only feel gratitude for everything I have.