Career changing later in life: From croquembouches to creative writing

I spent the first 25 years of my working life as a caterer.

Objects of a past career (whisk and rolling pin) and of my new career (writing pad, fountain pen).

In my mid-40s, I simultaneously lost the passion for my cooking career and gained a love of writing. I decided to use the skills accumulated throughout the previous quarter century to work for me in my new writing career: the ability to match menu to client, the organisational skills to run a small business and a willingness to learn.

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The Evolution of DIY Woman

‘Can I be completely honest with you?’

Conversations that start like this can go one of two ways: they can leave you feeling deflated or they can spur you on to greater things. My friend D doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. She’s the one who tells it straight when you ask for her opinion. She’s also the one who gives you her undivided attention and support when you need it. And the best home-made scones.

The shadows of two women on timber decking
D and me
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Remembering the good times

What happens when shared memories are no longer shared? When – even as you are living a wonderful moment with a loved one – you know you will probably be the sole keeper of its memory?

Lately I’ve been spending precious time with family at both ends of the age spectrum.

The Christmas break has given me the opportunity to see more of my eight-month-old granddaughter and my 87-year-old mother. Sometimes both at the same time. Along with my daughter, four generations spanning 87 years sitting on the same couch in the same room. It’s a privilege not everyone is lucky enough to have.

Baby girl, young woman, older woman and elderly woman sitting on a couch smiling
Four generations
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Cup Day reflections on the race of life

I am not a gardener.

I have written about tending friendships as you would your garden, but my DIY credentials in the actual gardening department are non-existent. My mother, however, is a Daisy Lady: a member of the Native Australian Daisy Study Group. For the past 40 years, she has met regularly with other Daisy Ladies, not all of them ladies (in the biological sense). Sadly, there are no longer any men in Mum’s posse, but the four remaining Daisy Ladies are as passionate about native plants – and native daisies in particular – as they ever were.

Native flowers, plastic bucket, white background | See more at www.diywoman.net

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How to build your character in seven days

This week was a test of my character.

After enduring months of offline episodes and ‘Not secure’ messages popping up on this website, I made the decision a fortnight ago to change host servers. My previous server – a lone wolf operator in NZ – failed to send the correct passwords to allow this to happen. That is the most charitable way to describe what he did. Or failed to do.

Open laptop, man, silhouette | See more at www.diywoman.net
Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

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Remembrance and reconciliation at Amiens Cathedral

The cathedral at Amiens is a soaring Gothic monument that was once a place of pilgrimage.

In the early 13th century, it was thought to house the skull of St John the Baptist. In 1218, a lightning strike of biblical proportions destroyed both church and contents. The construction of a new church began in 1220. Despite fire, faulty engineering, revolution and two world wars, it has survived intact for the past 800 years.

Amiens, cathedral, France, Somme | See more at www.diywoman.net

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On the road to becoming an author: avoid the caravans

The transition from writer to author is strewn with rejection emails.

Being proactive, resilient and willing to learn from your mistakes will serve you well on your path towards publication. A healthy dose of optimism doesn’t hurt either. I have just completed my first career plan at an age when some of my friends are considering retirement. Here I am, sweating on my CV, while they are swanning around in their four-wheel drives with golf sticks in the boot and a caravan attached. How I pity them.

Caravan, car, arid, road, mountain | See more at www.diywoman.net
Photo by Benjamin Zanatta on Unsplash

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