Sometimes I write here about the process of starting up the business

I usually run out of steam halfway through, and leave it as a draft. I tend to do that with a lot of entries, actually; writing furiously seems to be cathartic for me. These day I am older and wiser and my husband and his practical, reliable advice have rubbed off on me. I pretty much never publish emotive entries (95% of the posts) immediately any more. I sit on them for 24 hours and then decide. Sometimes yes, much more often no.


I suppose even a slow learning person like me (literally; takes a lot to sink in, not meant as derogatory in any way) eventually absorbs life lessons. For some of us it takes a lot longer to get it right. I’m there now but it is still hard.


I worry all the time about balancing my mental health condition with my lifestyle and the business factors a lot into this. I know, KNOW, that I do my best work manic. Every good job I’ve ever had, every good position in life, has been obtained in a manic state, even though it wasn’t stripper boots manic level. I truly believe that I can do anything when I am in this state and I pretty much always achieve what I’ve pitched at.

When I am neutral, neither depressed or manic, I am just ordinary with no particular skill set and no confidence. I’m neutral a lot these days. I worry that my ordinariness might be the thing that stops my business from taking off.

So I write about it. I don’t publish all the doubts and fears but I have them. I also want to document the process of setting up a business but my personal emotions come into it so there aren’t many times that I feel comfortable  publishing. I at least can look back upon them one day and maybe analyse what I did wrong and what I did right.


It is March. Next Wednesday I go out on tour for an 8 day trip to the Goldfields. I will forever hate March because that is when cancer, going for the long con, annexed most of my brother. I learned about it inadvertently, via an email from a concerned aunt, and I never got to speak to him before he became ‘other’. I can remember the room I stayed in, the shock I was in and the awful agony of working that day and not knowing if he would even survive.


We stay in the same accommodation and do the same things on this exact tour. It was hard last year and it is going to be hard this year.


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How much do I really want this?

I had some sort of idea about the amount of backwork required to set up my own tour company but I wasn’t very realistic. All of the process take a very long time, nothing is straightforward ‘you need to do this, this and this’ and any online effort invariably leads to dead website links.


Plus, it feels like I am giving so much money away, all of the time, with no tangible results. That isn’t a problem in of itself as I’ve saved specifically for startup costs, but when your first potential income isn’t for months ahead yet you need to start licencing programs NOW to make that a legal happening, there is an huge cash outlay with nothing guaranteed.


I want to make this work, I believe it is a viable business model (we already have our first booked and confirmed tour) but I am not prepared to outlay any non-existent funds.  If I can’t fund it from current earnings, then I won’t use my family assets to do so. If this fails, it fails within the business structure and my husband, house, superannuation and potential kid inheritances are not involved.

I am away next week for the start of a really busy season with my main employer; there is  a period coming up where I work 70 days straight. Good money accumulation but no time to pursue my own business. I can expect this for at least the next two years, I think. Starting up a tourism business is expensive and most people can’t afford to just concentrate on a business that won’t break even for a while. I am more cautious than most and I won’t leave guaranteed income for a speculative one unless the figures show that I can afford to do so.


All of these necessary steps seem like a sort of test – how much do I really want this and am I prepared to go through all of the legal and financial requirements to make it happen? I do want it and I will work through this. It might take a little bit longer to make a sustainable long term operation but it will be worth it.



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Shitty day but my daughter made me laugh

She’s absolutely livid that her sister, living back here in Aus whilst she is in Canada, hasn’t picked up a present brought back by somebody visiting her in Canada. And she endlessly berates me about it, to which diatribes I am generally soothing about.


But today business stuff and the repercussions have made me feel very down and I just can’t take on the squabbling sister rivalry. So I asked her not to involve me in the dispute because I couldn’t choose between my daughters. I asked her to look at what her sister has done and whether it was malicious or not and she came back to me with “Yes! She’s evil spawn!’.

I laughed for a good ten minutes straight. I am Queen Mother, She who is Supremely Bad, and I make girlchildren in my own image!

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This resonates with me

A year and a bit since my brother has been gone and I haven’t been able to view the recorded (for overseas family) video. I can’t look at any FB posts his widow puts up or I go into the black funk.


I’ve unfriended and blocked so many people on FB just because they were friends of his and have since dropped off the radar: there was a huge amount of interest in how he was progressing during that time and I felt like every enquiry was some sort of status symbol for my brother. He was admired and respected and loved and I wanted (he wanted) people to know of his situation.

It hurts too much to see the happy photos of all of his friends carrying on without him. Not their fault, not mine but why bother to continue a superficial friendship online when the sole reason for it was his illness and subsequent death?

Life, in many ways, is totally back to normal. I just feel there is a hole where he used to be.


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Making me giggle in the middle of the night

Busy five days, with lots of meetings in the process of getting the business up and running. It did’t hurt that I’d previously worked with a lot of these people before, in the field of conservation, and they mostly remembered me.


They all asked after my father though, and one recalled last seeing him at an airport with a patch over his eye (it was damaged and disfigured). Probably it was unprofessional to ask if he was wearing a parrot on his shoulder (he frequently did) but it might have been even more unprofessional to assure the colleague that he saved parrot wearing for special occasions, such as bemusing small children and winning all the fancy dress competitions.

Looking back, I found it typical as hell for someone out of our family so probably why I was very matter of fact about it. But it made me laugh so hard.

I miss my dad a lot.

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And so it goes

It has been a horrible few days.

We are still in Canada but leaving soon and it is really hard. I want to be here (because my daughter broke her leg,horribly) but I want to be home (because another extended family member just died from cancer).

Either way, I can’t do it. The airfares are non-refundable outside of immediate family death. And probably not even then but it would help with minimising costs.


I feel sick when I think about my daughter’s accident. It was so unexpected.

I’d been staying with her for a few days, just hanging out. My husband was staying with his family in their mountain lodge; her boyfriend works at a resort around an hour’s drive away. We had all planned to meet up together at the boyfriend’s resort and husband and I were going to take them out to a really lavish dinner that night and then my girl, husband and I were going skiing together at a really cool place with his family the next day, after staying at the lodge all together.

Daughter and I took the bus from Banff to Lake Louise and met husband up there by pre-arrangement in the afternoon. We were walking down the path to the carpark, to put our bags in the car, and she slipped on a non-visual icy patch in the (gritted) path. She screamed and screamed as she landed and I knew immediately her leg was broken because I heard it snap.

There was an awful hour wait for an ambulance to come, kneeling in the snow around her and holding her leg up. Passerbys were so helpful and donated rugs, coats and sleeping bags to keep her warm. There was a paramedic literally walking in front of us, who stopped to help. (I knew what to do and was starting to do it but when he offered, i gratefully accepted; my child needed my emotional support more.)


She’s a tough cookie and kept her complaints to a minimum. The entenox mask in the back of the ambulance had her immediately laughing but I wasn’t surprised to find that the x-rays showed a shin, top of the foot and ankle break, as well as a dislocation. They admitted her to hospital that night, relocated the leg and organised surgery for the next day.

Her insurance company tried to make her fly back to Australia for surgery because it was cheaper (they phrased it as ‘non-emergent’); it appears to be the default option so you have to get a doctor to say it is urgent. Which it was: she was losing blood circulation in her foot, let alone the pain level.

Anyway, the next day was the worst, before surgery. So much pain for her: they ended up bumping her to the top of the surgery list because of it. She had an epidural with twilight sedation but the epidural had unpleasant side effects and it was hard for her after.

Husband and I did a lot of running around, sorting out insurance, buying clothes for her to fit over the cast, getting prescriptions filled and organising her stuff so that she could stay with her boyfriend a while (he lives up two flights of stairs as opposed to four).

She came back from surgery with a nice purple cast and a pair of crutches. When she was released my husband drove her up to BF’s place, after we cleaned out her apartment and packed up things. I knew things were getting better when she felt ok enough to be snappy with me!

I’d called all the members of my immediate family to tell them because I knew they’d want to know; being away from people doesn’t mean that you aren’t wanting to be involved, as I know to my cost.  Only to hear that my sister-in-law’s dad was seriously ill and, again, nobody had told me.

SIL and my nephews came back early from their overseas trip. The trip that was meant to distract them from the fact that my brother had died just a year ago. Her father died last night. We can’t get home in time for the funeral.

I am just so, so sad for her, for the boys, for us, for the whole family again. It has beena tough week.





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