Don’t go out This Week in The Can. Instead, stay in, or venture out only…
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.
HerCanberra’s resident film reviewer, Roslyn is a ‘loud and proud’ nerd of all things historical, sci-fi, fantasy and steampunk.
A Canberran for 20+ years, Roslyn is the proud mum of two daughters and two dogs and can usually be found in the garden with husband, Stephen, or tending to their bees. She loves to write, sew a lot of her own clothes and tell stories.
What was your decade of biggest change?
All of them.
So far in this current decade, I’ve had to change eating habits for my health, lazy habits for my work-life balance, weekend habits to fit in a regular visit to my dad who’s now in a nursing home.
About the only thing I haven’t had to change is my drinking habit—always in moderation, as long as it includes HerCanberra gin!
What’s still on your bucket list?
I’ve had some wonderful jobs in my life—from drafting and commercial art to cleaning a motel. I’ve gotten degrees, worked in retail and tourism, museum education, curation and now management.
But when I grow up I’d still like to be a writer. I did a tandem free-fall a year ago and a zip line a year before that but there are still a few adrenaline challenges out there I’d like to try, like bungee jumping or hang gliding.
Maybe I’ll just get back on my skis or inline skates and see what I can break. I have promised myself I will learn to fly fish when I retire but that’s still years away.
What do you wish you had done a decade earlier?
Lost my inhibitions. I worried so much about what people thought of me. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough, stylish enough, wasn’t reading the ‘right’ things? My creativity wasn’t radical enough, my house wasn’t tidy enough?
I wish I could have been as comfortable in my own skin then as I am now.
At least part of this comfort has come from understanding that I have a right to own my heritage, I think. I have always been proud of my Indigenous origins but I have not known how to articulate it. I was never sure if I was Indigenous enough, I guess.
With the encouragement of local Elders, my husband and my own children I have learnt to speak out and stand up—I truly wish that had come sooner. All my mother’s mothers for a thousand generations have been Australian.
I am a descendant of the Maiawali people of Western Queensland, I am of the Channel Country, of the Jump Ups and the Min Min light.
What are your hopes for your daughters?
An inhabitable planet above all else.
There’s also that saying about wishing them ‘enough’—enough tears so they feel joy keenly, enough struggles so they enjoy their triumphs. It might be hackneyed but it is true. I know that everyone’s path through life will be bumpy so I wish them both resilience in everything.
I hope that their lives are fulfilling. It is not my wish for them to find partners or give us grandchildren. If that is part of their journey, so be it. I do wish them careers that are stimulating and personal lives that do not hinge on those careers.
I wish them to be, and to have, good friends. I wish them to always know their parents love them—relentlessly, respectfully and regardless of what happens.
What would you tell yourself a year ago?
To stress less—but I wouldn’t have listened. My need for perfection in myself may have relaxed but I still aim for 100 percent all the time at work.
That makes it tough when there is a lot to do and not enough time or people to do it. I think it would be better to simply tell myself that this too shall pass.
Oh, and buy a P2 mask before they sell out…and extra Ventolin…and park the new car under cover all the time.
PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Bean
This article originally appeared in Magazine: Time (AW2020), available to read free online.
Read it here.