A Story of a Woman Astonishing Herself

I received this story the other day from an Aussie gumptioneer living in Italy, who has continuously pushed beyond her comfort zone to

astonish herself with what she can do. I was so taken with it I’ve decided to pass it on here in it’s entirety:

Dear Shelagh,

Living a gumptious life

Living a gumptious life

I’ve been enjoying reading your blog about Gumption and your new start in Nova Scotia reminds me so much of my new start in moving from Sydney to Canberra, albeit with two small girls and knowing one old school friend when my first marriage broke up.

My move to Canberra from Sydney was based purely on the economics of being able to afford a house purchase outright, and transferring my part time job with the bank. The rollercoaster ride which followed I could never have dreamed of.

Here I was a 40 year old mother of two (9 and 6 year olds) working as a part time bank teller and paying baby sitters in order to attend PTA meetings (my sole form of entertainment) – I ended up being instrumental in getting the National Museum of Australia built in my voluntary role as President and then Vice President of the Friends of the National Museum (we didn’t have one), a role which involved lobbying members of Parliament, taking on the then Prime Minister in the media, when he was about to decimate what there was of a collection; Chair of the Heritage Council of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT); member and chair of various other committees; running as a candidate in a local election (unsuccessfully); President of the Liberal Party of the Australia, ACT branch; finally gainfully employed as organizer and promoter of the Old Parliament House Gardens Rose Patronage campaign; being awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queens’ Birthday Honours list; meeting various ambassadors and heads of governments, along with working closely with a Prime Minister (John Howard) and marrying another two times – all in the space of 20 years and because of moving well and truly out of my comfort zone as an ordinary mother, high school but not university graduate. I came understand and realize that we women have the ability to do whatever we set our minds to.  And of course, then finally realizing my long held dream of moving to Italy to live with husband and great friend, number 3.

I have no regrets – I always said I didn’t want to die in Canberra!

Now I am having to use every bit of Gumption I have to keep on going here in Italy). We love our life here but financially it’s a challenge. However, the thought of returning to Australia is not on our radar so we’ve decided to put the house we’re building here in Polinago up for fractional ownership. I’m writing you this because I used to talk to a various women’s groups about how we sell ourselves short when we each have amazing qualities. Fortunately, often, age finally gives us the confidence we lacked when we were younger. I’m definitely an example of a late bloomer as far as that’s concerned.

Anyone who wants to know more about what Winnifred’s up to with her Polinago house can check it out at www.casamarzana.com .

 

 

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