When we arrived in Australia I was 50 years old and my children were 17 and 19. Coming from South Africa to Australia to create a new life was a dream come true, and we were lucky to be able to make South West Australia our new home.
A new life beckoned.
Although we immediately warmed to South West Australia as a place to live, we had no friends here, no family, no history and no connections. In many ways we were an expatriate-immigrant family. Yet as a family we were like a little island surrounded by a whole lot of unknown water.
My daughter went into her last year of schooling, my son went to study a diploma, and my husband was immediately occupied with his work.
That left me. Almost an Empty Nester.
I was initially occupied with picking up the pieces and sorting out the details of our new lives, easing my family into their new life situations and occasionally picking up the emotional debris from their stresses and challenges.
Apart from looking after their relocation needs and settling us all in I was without purpose, and I knew I had to find something to occupy me for the rest of my life.
No different I suspect to an army of other Baby Boomer women in Australia.
What to do next?
But what to do? Retrain? Find a part time job? Put my hand up for voluntary work? Importantly, I wanted to do something that would put me in a position to get to know people in the community and more widely to help others in some way, but I also wanted to do something I would love which would give my own life some meaning.
Big call, huh?
I was in a quandary, knowing that the decision I made now would likely be the one that stuck for the next 10 years or so.
And to tell you the truth, after years of being a stay at home mum I lacked confidence. Sometimes I felt really down and useless because I felt old, and thought it would be difficult to find a new job in a new country at nearly 51. Maybe it was time to capitulate, take up knitting and wait for grandchildren to arrive?
A techno dinosaur reinvents
Sometimes things happen for a reason, and the Universe steps in, because suddenly on the horizon within my vision, blogging presented itself to me as a concept.
I knew nothing about building websites, I was a techno dinosaur and I’d only recently learnt how to use a smart phone – surely this new thing called blogging couldn’t be for me? Yet something pulled me towards writing and creating a blog like a moth attracted to a lightbulb.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “I did what I could, where I was, with what I had,” and as I worked with what I had, the dream gradually took on its own form and became a reality.
So doing what I could I got out my computer and learnt everything possible about how to build a blog and what to write on it.
How blogging can change your life
- It can give you a new and wonderful, creative hobby or career.
- It could help you stay ahead of technological changes as you get older.
- It could earn you some money.
- It could be an effective way to promote your current business and products or services.
- It should bring you in contact with a tribe of helpful and nurturing people.
- It should give you confidence to go out and try new things and meet new people in real life.
- It could offer the opportunity for increased travel, or the chance to do product, hotel or restaurant reviews.
- It can give you the chance to learn a whole lot of new things about creating dynamic websites, writing, photography, and how to use a blog to promote your existing business.
How blogging changed my life
- I soon found out that blogging meant I could write about our adventures and our days out in Western Australia sharing what I found out about this amazing region to help others discover its attractions too. Not only was I promoting the region, but soon I received feedback that people found my posts on ZigaZag, my travel blog, helpful and interesting.
- Blogging has given me the chance to write about what it’s like to get older, and so make a difference and help other ‘baby boomers ‘tackle aging in a positive way. On Lifestyle Fifty I now have a community of beautiful-minded, like-minded women sharing their thoughts and life challenges with me too.
- It’s offered an outlet to share photographs of gorgeous places, and given me a new passion, to improve my photography.
- It’s given me the chance to experience things I wouldn’t normally do – at no charge; such as occasional travel, overnight stays in fabulous hotels, and dining at wonderful restaurants.
- It’s taught me tons about social media. Who’d ever have thought I’d be on several social networking sites, communicating with people from all around the world? Not me.
- It’s given me the chance to meet all kinds of people in the local community, and to promote local people and businesses.
- I’m also able to earn money promoting brands and products I use and admire.
- It’s given me the opportunity to meet lots of people from elsewhere around Australia via the internet and in real life, so I am no longer without friends.
- It’s given me the chance to write guest posts on well-known blogs about fashion, to be interviewed about travel, to write about blogging and also writing, and oh so much more, including writing for The West Australian newspaper’s travel magazine … things which have increased my personal confidence enormously.
- And now, after 5 years of finding out everything I could about the art and mechanics of blogging via the internet and via blogging conferences in Sydney, Melbourne and The Gold Coast, it has given me the chance to coach and mentor others as they build blogs for their own businesses or hobbies.
Yep, from small things, bigger things grow.
I may not be Mia Freedman (Mama Mia) but now I can say that blogging is more than just a hobby, it’s a passion, something that inspires me to be the best I can … and the best bit? It’s given me the chance to help others in lots of different ways.
And you know what? You could do it too. Blogging is a fabulous online business if you’re serious about it, or it’s the most creative hobby you can imagine. Either way blogging once started, is very likely to change your life.
It certainly has changed mine.
I’ll be leaving in a few days time for the three day ProBlogger Conference at Surfer’s Paradise, followed by a three day adventure to Townsville and Magnetic Islands with Tourism Queensland, all because of blogging. And I’m so excited about that!
If you’d like to find out more about how blogging can change your life, or how to go about it, I’m currently offering Skype-chat calls and online mentoring for anyone interested in starting a blog or improving their existing blog. Please send an email for more details via the online form on the Contacts Page (above) or let me know in the Comments section below.
Do you think blogging could change your life – has it, would it, could it? Do tell us in the comments.