Life for me completely changed in August 2010 when my dad was diagnosed with a stage IV Glioblastoma (brain cancer) back home in Australia.

Until that time, I would have guessed that my dad would have lived to 100 no questions asked. He lived a relatively simple and stress-free life, ate all of his own home grown vegetables and fruit, and led an active if relatively mundane existence in the small town where he’d spent the vast majority of his life.

No one would of guessed that my life would have taken such a dramatic turn during and more so after his passing.

It truly is incredible when you have a watershed moment in your life that you can actually recognize, you can either choose to ignore it or you can listen to your heart and embrace it.

I’m a hugger so all I could do was embrace what was in front of me, interestingly I felt compelled by something bigger than me if that makes sense….

Some might say that this was my midlife crisis, and to be fair they’d be right. However, the term midlife crisis always sounds so shallow and needy (be nice!)

I like to think of it as my awakening…I know, that sounds just a little too airy fairy and granola but, in all honesty, it was one of the most pivotal points in my life. I found myself evaluating each aspect of my life and listening to my heart, but then the reality hit and I had to take action.

The easy part is the evaluation, the hard part is putting into practice and following through…it was a long and sometimes very painful time in my life. Literally letting go of everything familiar and at one time trusted to pursue the unknown.

Spending six months with dad, prior to his passing on Valentine’s day 2011 was a gift although this unfortunately has made Valentines a tricky one to navigate personally as there are tons of emotions roiling around inside my head on the day of “love”. And as you can imagine, not always aligned to those around me.

I learned a lot of valuable lessons over the course of his illness, but more importantly it has served as a strong foundation and springboard for choosing a different life.

Until I started with my first tentative blog back in August 2011 who would have guessed that I would have two published books to my name as well as a popular weekly blog (over 600,000 readers and counting), definitely no one I knew.

Until I first sat down to put pen to paper to write that initial blog I’d never written anything or even felt compelled to write, yet for some reason something outside my control pulled me along and lured me into starting to write.

One of the lessons I took from this period was to resist life less and go with the flow more, so rather than questioning why I should write, I just sat down and wrote. 🙂

As you know, my writing then took a life of its own and before I knew it went viral.

But what I found was the more I wrote the more I enjoyed it, and I suppose as I reflect on my writing it’s been both cathartic and therapeutic in that I’ve had the opportunity to write about the things that make me passionate, (Zach and Sam), traveling the world and living an contented life as well as sharing some of my flaws along the way…ah yes, fun times indeed!

My writing has become an important part of my life, it’s an anchor that I look forward to and do almost every day in one form or another.

Over the years I’ve tackled a lot of topics, I guess that’s what happens when you write and publish a weekly blog for as long as I have.

Let me see, seven years and six months which is 390 weeks at a run rate of a blog a week that averages between 850 – 1000 words per story.

If I’m calculating correctly I’ve written, in the blogs alone I’ve written somewhere in the vicinity of around 350,000 words, perhaps a few more even. That’s the equivalent of a 1,400 page book with an average of 250 words per page.

Wow, the startling thing is that War and Peace (which most longish books are stacked up against) is only a paltry 1,225 pages. Lol! 🙂

Now, clearly not the same quality of writing, but it’s still a huge number if I say so myself!

By the time August rolls around and it hits the eight-year mark I think it’s time to celebrate.

As one of my readers asked recently if I would re-publish my most popular stories.

Well, that sounds like a fabulous idea! One which I’ll have to get busy on.

Until next week