Life is made up of millions of small decisions. One decision leads to another and another and another. How we make those decisions becomes critical to how much we enjoy life or endure life. Our families are affected by our decisions.
Our decisions can have a good effect on our family, or they can have a bad effect. That’s why it is so important to have a solid and proven value system on which to make your decisions. We all need a moral compass that points True North. In other words you must get the big decisions right or all your subsequent designs will be faulty.
The same goes for the decisions we make that will affect our families and our relationships.
Let me share with you the story of one of the best decisions I ever made for my family. I rate this as one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I am sharing this with you to help you do the same. You don’t have to go around Australia but it is very important for you to make good decisions as a father for your family
My wife and I love Australia and travelling. We also love music as does our whole family. In 1990 we put those three ‘loves’ together and for a year travelled around Australia, playing music together as a family. It all started in 1987 when we travelled as a family through the centre of Australia to Darwin and then east to Cairns. I threw my guitar in our hired campervan, almost as an afterthought. Everywhere we went on that three week trip it seemed that people wanted to hear our music. Aboriginal communities, churches, schools, overnight truck stops, it was quite extraordinary.
So in 1990 we set off in a Toyota Coaster bus and 7 metre caravan for the family adventure of a lifetime. We had prepared extensively with our vehicles and had even purchased some robust musical equipment as the outback roads are not only hard on cars but everything else as well. Our homework paid off and the year travelling with my family was the greatest year of my life taken as a whole. My oldest son, Nat, was 9 years old at the time, Jono was 7, Levi was 5 and Isy was 3 years old.
We experienced the joys of searching for opals, fossicking for gold and exploring the magnificent Flinders Ranges; enjoying the vastness of the Central Australian deserts and climbing Uluru with my 9 year old son; breaking down on the Nullarbor Plain, looking out for crocodiles in the Northern Territory and dodging giant pythons in the Kimberley’s, and the list goes on and on.
Travelling around Australia around Australia was the dream of a lifetime. When you live out of your heart you will never regret it.
Allow me to wax lyrical. Banjo Paterson’s poem ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ expresses the way I feel in my heart about the Australian outback and its people. I hope it inspires you to find what makes your heart sing and live with no regrets.
Clancy of the Overflow
Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, ‘Clancy, of The Overflow’.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving ‘down the Cooper’ where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
But the greatest joy by far was the joy of experiencing this great adventure with my young but growing family. Several of my friends thought I had gone off the rails but I believe that decision helped me find a new set of rails to travel on. It was a set of rails that put family first and fun and adventure with ‘dad’ at the top of the list for four young growing boys. From my family’s point of view it was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. After all, life is a decision. So live with no regrets!
Why not dream up your own family adventure. We are all different and must find out what makes our heart sing and find the meeting place of our heart with our family. Our children long to have fun and adventure. Why not give it to them?
Yours for heartfelt decisions