My route to 66 and beyond
I had a happy, carefree childhood, playing outside as much as possible and keeping up with my older brother. I had lots of friends at school, joined the local Brownies and loved our family holidays, whether caravanning in the Highlands or visiting relations who had a farm in England. My parents were very sociable and welcomed visitors too, so we were used to lots of comings and goings – our friends always being welcome to come over to play. Life was sadly about to really challenge us, when the sound of the doorbell, late one night, brought the devastating news that our father, a Granite Merchant, had been killed in a car accident while travelling on business.
Thanks to the down to earth support of family, friends and school, we started getting on with life as normally as possible. Our mother was determined that our family life would not suffer and even although she took over the reins of the family business which was very male dominated, she made sure she was always there to support us, whether watching hockey or cricket matches, visiting me at Girl Guide camp or taking us on holiday. Indeed, I spent many happy hours helping her at the office, seeing how a lump of quarried granite transformed into a beautiful headstone. In my final year at school much to our delight, she remarried.
Graduating from University in Mathematics and Psychology, my first “real” job in Insurance made me realise an office job was not for me! After training as a Secondary Mathematics teacher, a dream then came true when I was selected to be flown out to Australia to teach. What excitement and slight trepidation – no internet, social media or even mobile phones in those days! Returning home after an amazing couple of years teaching, travelling, playing sport and making life-long friends, I bought a flat, tried various jobs, but was unsettled. I eventually took advantage of a Government Initiative promoting Post Graduate one year business courses and became a student once more.
On graduating, I jumped at an opportunity to apply for a job at that College lecturing in Industrial Psychology. I had found my true vocation. I became actively involved with Junior Chamber Aberdeen, winning “Best New Member” and “Grampian Topics”. I played squash for a local team and generally enjoyed my single lifestyle, returning to Australia for a visit this time! But there was another dream, to be a wife and mother and this came true when I met my husband while negotiating the purchase of a new flat. Within 2yrs of meeting we were married and had our first child, born two weeks before my 39th birthday!
Another child followed 19 months later and our family was complete! I continued to lecture part-time, helped run workshops for local businesses and became involved in the development of a “state of the art” media centre using VHS Cameras. Family time was – and still is – precious, so when an opportunity presented itself in 1998, I took a calculated risk and established my own Independent Training Consultancy, specialising in the behavioural aspects of performance. I had, and continue to have, wonderful support from family, friends, past colleagues and indeed past students.
By setting realistic goals for both myself and importantly my family, I ensured that work did not rule my life. I settled on a level of growth that I was happy with and although at times, growth was slow it was sure and long term business relationships were cemented. My reputation grew as I sat on various committees, spoke at functions, networked and continued to develop new workshops. I qualified as an NLP Practitioner and importantly for me became a Specialist Volunteer with the Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland. I took up golf once more and enjoyed family time, holidays and planning for the future.
2009 – 2018
I start to receive my pension but I was not at all ready to retire in 2009! With a growth in a global customer base, I completed an Introduction to TESOL course to help better empathise with those who do not have English as their first language, became a volunteer mentor with Business Mentoring Scotland and spent time researching Resilience with special reference to overcoming maths related anxiety. In November 2018 I retired from being a formal Trainer for AGCC to concentrate on my new dream of developing on-line coaching and mentoring sessions, not to mention self-publishing a series of books by the time I am 70yrs old!
Well, this lady is not for sitting still! Here I am, celebrating my 70th birthday and what a learning curve I am on, showing you can indeed learn something new every day. There are exciting times ahead with the launch of T.I.P.S. Publishing to promote “My Route To…” series of Self-Discovery Activity- Based Workbooks. These are the culmination of my life and work experiences that I want to share with everyone. They are there to help you discover how to take first steps to your new horizons. There are more titles in the pipeline, so watch this space!