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What Time Has Told: 40s, Tash Maguire

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These days, we know age is no barrier to experience and youth is no barrier to wisdom.

For our latest HerCanberra Magazine: Time, we asked eight women across eight decades what life has taught them.

Tash Maguire

Named Lifeline Canberra’s Rising Women of Spirit in 2016 for her work supporting families of seriously ill children, Tash now dreams of a writing career that supports a nomadic lifestyle. After surviving her thirties, she is excited to see how her forties unfold.

What do you wish you could tell 30-year-old you?

If given the chance to chat to my 30-year-old self, I’d let her know, that while things were going to get rough for a while, they will calm down. Every moment only ever lasts for that moment. A difficult day will only ever last for 24 hours. Nothing is permanent.

On the flip-side, I would encourage the younger version of myself, to never be ‘too busy’. To stop and consciously take time to appreciate the good things in life. I’d remind myself to be grateful for my health and happiness, and that of the ones I love.

I’d recommend eating less and moving more, and to spend more time enjoying the company of positive people. People that make me feel good; deep down inside. I’d suggest seeking out exciting experiences, and taking up a creative hobby, something just for me.

Finally, I’d remind myself to really appreciate all the happy moments, and file them away, so they can be reflected on, especially when times get tough.

What do you wish you had done a decade earlier?

Invested more time in my own health and wellbeing.

What have been the biggest challenges of the last decade?

My thirties provided lots of opportunities for personal growth. I’d compare it to being thrown in a raging river, with my legs and arms tied together. After almost drowning, multiple times, I’ve learnt strategies to keep my head above the water. Even if it means just rolling over and floating on my back for a while.

The challenging decade began after I gave birth to our second daughter Maya. Maya was born with a rare form of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma. Heartbreakingly, after almost two years of treatment, Maya died. Words cannot describe the overwhelming pain and sense of loss our family experienced.

After Maya died, I threw myself into a lifechanging legacy project. A way to honour Maya’s life, while helping others in similar situations. It was a finely-tuned distraction, one that I thought was helping us grieve. However, over a four-year period, it took a toll on my health and, sadly, the health of my husband and daughter.

My late thirties involved learning how to ‘let go’. Over time, I learnt to let go of negative feelings, self-destructive behaviours and the hardest of all, negative relationships. As I embark on my 42nd year of life, I finally understand the importance of caring for myself.

What piece of advice has stuck with you?

Live life with no regrets.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to expanding my writing career. I love writing and have my own copywriting business. During the summer holidays, my daughter Amelia and I wrote a children’s book. It started out as a way to keep her entertained, without relying on technology.

I wrote the story, which Amelia illustrated. Her dedication to each illustration impressed me so much, that I decided to self-publish a handful of copies. I recently used the book as an example in a creative writing course, enjoying the opportunity to pick the story apart and make improvements. Feedback from the course facilitator urged me to have the book published. An exciting thought, one I am eager to explore further.

Also, I’m looking forward to a whole host of new opportunities and adventures that may come my way. I feel like every challenge I’ve been faced with, every obstacle I’ve overcome has laid the foundations for what lies ahead in life. I’m excited to see how that future unfolds.

PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Bean

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Time (AW2020), available to read free online.

Read it here.

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