10 Year Reflections

looking out over houses and trees with a big rainbow in  a light blue sky

Every year on (or around) my birthday I like to indulge in a little reflection – in 2021 I was inspired by Jo to share 50 Things About Me and in 2019 and 2020 I did an annual taking stock post with 48 on 48 and 47 on 47 respectivley.

This year, I was inspired by Mim who recently wrote a wonderful post reflecting on the last 10 years and seeing as the blog celebrates it’s 11th birthday later this year and I celebrated my 51st birthday at the weekend, I thought now was a good as time as any for a bit of then and now action.

10 years ago I was recovering from thyroid cancer

Then: Urgh! In 2011 I got cancer twice and this time 10 years ago, I was about 9 months out from my total thyroidectomy and had just undergone my bi-annual check up which included a nuclear medicine thyroid scan. This involved taking a radioactive tablet and the scanxiety was real! I felt lucky that I had made a full recovery and embraced life with a heartfelt enthusiasm because I knew that I was only as good as my next check up.

Now: It’s hard to believe it’s more than 10 years since my diagnoses. On the one hand it feels as fresh as if it happened yesterday and in other ways, it feels like a bad, distant dream. These days I see my endocrinologist once a year and instead of having nuclear scans, I just need a blood test and neck ultrasound – so much more civilised! That said, the scanxiety is still very real.

Me and the Prof
With my surgeon AKA “The Prof” in February 2012

10 years ago I’d just started blogging

Then: My blog was not even a year old and looked and felt very different to how it is now. I started blogging because I wanted to write about my experience of thyroid cancer and hoped that one day, my word tsunamis would help someone with a similar diagnosis.

The photography varied between non existent and absolutely awful and I mostly shared recipes, cancer stuff and random daily happenings. It was more like an online diary than a blog but it gave me a purpose when I needed it most. I don’t know how I found the time but I was working full time and blogged almost every day!

Now: Since then, my blog has had a makeover and these days I write less about cancer and more about dogs, travel and lifestyle. There was that one time I even won a blogging award. Of course, I’m still sharing recipes and all the yum but I blog a lot less frequently, even though I’m not working right now I can just about manage one post a week!

Bupa Blog Awards 4
The one time I won a blog award – Bupa Blog Awards Best Personal Blog 2017

10 years ago I had my mum

Then: 10 years ago my family had a lot more people in it.

Now: Since then I’ve lost my beloved uncle, my aunt and most recently my dear mum. I remember my pscychologist telling me that nothing can prepare you for losing someone you love and she was so right… As usual! Losing my mum has certainly been one of the biggest personal challenges of the last 10 years. It’s so bittersweet, knowing I have a lifetime of missing her but a heart full of wonderful memories.

Me, mum and Calvin in 2015

10 years ago I was slimmer

Then: After 18 months of religiously weighing in at Weight Watchers, I got to my goal weight just before my first cancer diagnosis. The doctors assured me that losing my thyroid wouldn’t make me gain weight and that may have been true but it definitely made it difficult to lose weight (especially when you love cake as much as I do!)

Now: Over the last ten years I’ve “found” the 20+ kilos I lost. I’m not proud of it but I’m not sad about it either. I’m happy, healthy and alive which is good enough for me.

The Real Deal - Venetian Pizza
In Venice – April 2013

10 years ago I though I’d live in Australia forever

Then: We were still Australian Permanent Residents and were planning to become citizens as soon as we were eligible. We loved living in Australia and if anyone asked me if we’d ever go back to England, I would promptly reply “not unless Australia goes underwater.”

Now: I might have to eat my words about my return to the motherland. Australia has not gone underwater but we’re still going back to the UK. It’s not going to be without bumps in the road but we know it’s definitely the right move for us. Home is where the heart is and our heart is definitely in the UK where we have love, history and deep connections.

We became Australian citizens in 2015

10 years ago we were renting

Then: We had been in Australia for 4 years and were loving life. We had been in the same rental since arriving in Sydney and loved it. Little did we know that less than a year later, our landlord would not renew our contract and we’d buy our own apartment in the same complex. As it turns out, we put a sign on the noticeboard asking if anyone was selling, someone responded on the same day, we saw the flat and put an offer in the day after. It was the property purchase dreams are made of!

Now: Earlier this year, we sold our unit and have moved into a new development around the corner. We love the amazing views and the luxe facilites but most of all we love that we can still see our building and literally have a bird’s eye view of our old apartment.

a man and woman holding flutes of champagne on balcony with view of sydney in background
Moving in to our rental in February 2022

10 years ago I was working

Then: 10 years ago I was working full time as an English Language Teacher is a language school in Sydney. It had been my one and only job in Sydney and I absolutely loved it. I made some wonderful friends there and the students were amazing. It’s hands down one of my favourite jobs of all time.

Now: I am a full time domestic goddess and love it. The pandemic desimated the English teaching industry and I haven’t taught in a school since late 2019. I do miss not going to work but I love homemaking. It’s not for everyone but for now, I am living my dream. I am looking forward to teaching back at a language school or in a primary school (I originally trained as a primary school teacher) again when I return to the UK.

What a cute class!
Class of June 2012!

10 years ago I didn’t have a dog

Then: I have wanted a dog for as long as I remember. We always knew we wanted a dog but were waiting for the right time and to find the right breeder. Much to David’s embarrassment, I would be that person asking to pat random people’s dogs and asking strangers where they got their dog from. What can I say? My research was very thorough!

Now: Teddy is our much loved fur child and has changed our lives for the better. He’s not my whole world but he’s definitely made my life whole.

woman holding cavoodle
Ted is the birthday gift that keeps on giving!

10 years ago I was a runner

Then: I was definitely a late starter in terms of running but I did my best to make up for lost time. I ran regularly around my neighbourhood and entered as many fun runs as I could manage. I ran my first half marathon in 2012 and went on to run many more all over Australia and as far away as Disneyland, USA!

Now: I am most definitely not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. If I was under the pump, I could probably run for a bus but it wouldn’t be pretty. I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner again but I like to think I’d be fitter than I am now!

I did it - Half Marathon 2013
Blackmore’s Half Marathon June 2012

10 years ago I had never heard of a Thermomix

Then: I only went to the demo to support my personal trainer and friend, Kathy but I was totally hooked. I came home and persuaded David to invest in a machine purely on the promise of a lifetime supply of restaurant quality mashed potato. I kid you not! The irony is that when I first got the machine, I was terrified of using it and would only cook with it when David was home.

Now: How times change! Last year I updated my machine to the TM6 (which I later sold when we decided to move overseas.) I use my Thermomix multiple times a day and have created hundreds of Thermomix recipes on the blog. It’s going to break my heart to part with my work horse of a Thermomix but getting my hands on a new one will be a priority when I’m in the UK!

Getting to grips with Thermomix
Here I am at the original demo in May 2012

Oh and I also entered a new decade which I’m embracing because I’m well aware that getting older is a privilege denied to many.

How is your life similar or different to your life 10 years ago? Tell me in the comments!