Rainbows: Carolyn Middleton

I met Carolyn though my husband. Anthony was agisting cattle on her husbands property and I think (other than Anthony) she was one of the first people I met, when I arrived in Esperance as a “scared-but-never-going-to-admit-it, don’t-you-know-I’m-tough” nineteen year old! For that, I will be forever grateful!

It didn’t take us long to become firm friends after discovering we had many things in common; reading and books being just a couple!

Cal and I just ‘clicked’ – I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. She has been my dearest and ‘bestest’ friend for over seventeen years now and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. In fact, I just won’t!

So a little about our friendship and why, to me, she is a ‘rainbow of inspiration, achievement and hope’.

Cal and I are like chalk and cheese! She’s a real right brain girl; organised, logical – a list girl! (And she ticks off the jobs as she’s done them! If I write a list, I’m likely to lose it!)

I’m the ditzy left brainer, always charging round with ideas in my head and without a proper plan. Ploughing through my overflowing desk, never making real headway and making it to the school bus with seconds to spare.

But Cal is an inspiration to me because of the way she raises her children, because of the way she runs many different businesses from her home and because she can be so organised and in control – she knows when it’s time for her say ‘no, I busy, I’m spending time with my kids’ or ‘I’ve got office work to do.’

So meet, Cal (who really didn’t want to do this blog, but she did coz she loves me!). I bet you love her as much as I do!

Oh, by the way, this photo was taken on the day of the Red Dust launch!

Carolyn

Hmmm, I don’t think everyone has to love me like you Fleur!! However I will say having a friend like Fleur is an inspiration to me and she is sunshine in my world.

Yes I am a list girl and I like to be in control of my life, which has only grown worse since I had children. I’m sure some of you mums out there know what I mean! Life becomes slightly unhinged when these gorgeous gems arrive in our life. We wouldn’t have it any other way but, boy, do our lives change.

To really make the right brain girl come alive, I have a business degree, majoring in accountancy! Hmmmm – couldn’t think of anything else to do at the age of sixteen and earn myself some decent dosh!! It has been a blessing in all areas of my life although I would probably choose to study forensic anthropology or criminology if you asked me now! Neither occupation would be vey useful in our small town mind you!

However there lies the beginning of being organised. I was told when I had my first child that people in my sort of job tend to find it harder to adapt to life with children. Not what I needed to hear!! I have well and truly adapted to this other life now and wouldn’t be without them at all. I find my life enriched daily although, I am only human, and sometimes despair of their behaviour and long for time out for me!! I have two boys (which is alien enough for a girl!!) aged 10 and 6 and a half. Loud, boisterous, physical, loving, smart, funny boys….

When I was little (or younger!) I was fairly quiet. I loved my books, and still do, but I was never the life of the party. I do like to remain in the background as Fleur well knows!! I have had many dreams over the years – some come to fruition and some never see the light of day. But that is what life is all about. Our dreams are important whether or not they become real. At one point I wanted to write a book  – I’m sure there are many of you who would say the same – however I will now say, with a sense of finality, that I will never achieve this. Not because I don’t wish to write anymore but because the romance of the idea has been lost in the practicalities. Having helped Fleur nut out many storylines I realise that I’m a dreamer not a realist and writing is so damn hard!!! I’m now thrilled everytime a chapter is finished or a plot is worked out!!

Apart from this I also live on a farm, although I am not a farmer as Fleur is. I am the office girl! We have two businesses – the farm and a contract spraying business which I oversee the paperwork for. I’m right in my element there! I also have a stationery business with another dear friend. Although I am not far from our nearest town, living on a farm can isolate you. Luckily I enjoy my own company however being involved in occupations you like can help to connect you to the outside world.  Finally, just because I  have so much time on my hands, I’m also thinking of starting an internet based research business helping people trace their family trees. I’ve been researching my own family tree for over 20 years and often help others.

In amongst all of this Fleur and I regularly catch up, albeit mostly on the phone. We live close to 100km apart so it is not easy seeing each other. Our children attend different schools and play different sports so these are not places we catch up. Being a parent isn’t easy either – it is constantly demanding whether it is the kids themselves, what they are involved in or their activities in school. And yes there are times I tell Fleur I have no time for her!! The kids must come first or I will lose all semblance of controll!!

Through all of this our friendship has remained strong. We are yin and yang to each other but for all of our differences we get along famously and, of course, love reading. I have enjoyed immensely my ride with Fleur over the past few years with her journey as an author and it has been an eye opener for me as I’m sure it has been for her!!  Celebrating life each day, whatever we make of it, is so very important……just as having special friends to share our successes and failures is.

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  1. Pingback: The women who inspire me | Fleur McDonald

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