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Here’s how I judge my days now

Emma Grey

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson.

I was excited to attend my first meeting as a new volunteer radio presenter at community station, Canberra 2XX. I’ll be creating the content for a regular 30-minute program (once I learn the ropes) and couldn’t be more curious and interested about where this might lead.

Radio feels like a great next step. My co-author, Audrey and I have been on the other side of the desk a lot lately promoting I Don’t Have Time, and it’s so much fun. I adore the work I do as the interviewer for Canberra Wise Women, which has given me lots of great experience in learning how to draw out people’s stories.

Then there’s the fact that, like many, I’m just completely over bad news! I’d LOVE to share nothing but uplifting, inspirational stories about local unsung heroes on air. Just as important on a personal level, too, is that this is the first ‘new thing’ I’ve taken on since my husband, Jeff, died nine months ago. It’s the first thing I’m stepping into that he didn’t know about. There’s something bittersweet about that.

When I was in America recently, one of his international colleagues told me that the work he had done in the very short time he was president of the society of his peers was something they will likely look back on in 10 or 15 years and say, ‘It all started turning around with Jeff’. She said he might not have seen the long-term results of his initiatives come to fruition in his lifetime, but he set something in motion that will have long-lasting positive results.

It made me reflect on our obsession with ‘completion’. We love knowing something is ‘done’. We draw a big sense of reward from seeing the finished results of our endeavours. Sometimes what we’re doing, though, is just one step in a long game.

Isn’t it the seeds we plant that make the difference? Doesn’t this matter, even if we walk away before they grow? Just because we’re not there to see what emerges from our efforts in a certain role or relationship doesn’t make our involvement any less meaningful. It’s all of these little seeds, added up, that make our difference in the world.

I don’t know how long I’ll be involved with the radio station. I hope to plant some seeds while I’m there, like the people who volunteered there before me and the ones who will come afterwards. When we contribute something that touches someone or adds to something positive somehow, whether we’re there in the end to see the long-term impact or not, it’s always special.

This is the latest in a series of articles from Emma Grey. Read others—and discover her back story—by clicking on her author bio.

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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