Life in bullet points.

This morning I went to the local TAFE college to speak to a Women’s Education class about being a writer. They were a lovely group of women, and they made me feel very welcome. I admit, giving them all a lollypop may account for some of the goodwill, (ah yes, the old “bribe ’em with candy” trick) but even so, they were a nice bunch of people. Hey, they gave me chocolate, which proves my point. (Sorry darling, there was only enough for me.)

Preparing what I had to say proved to be an interesting exercise. I did a little resume of my life – particularly my various educational and career paths – and I must say, I was surprised. When your life is in bullet points it’s amazing how good it looks. Yep, if I ignore the decade-long gaps between school and jobs, it’s almost impressive. (Oh, come on, humour me.) And I have to go on record: I owe a lot to the various governments I’ve had the pleasure of living through in my lifetime, because quite often it it wasn’t for their financial help I wouldn’t have done half of it. (In fact, I wouldn’t have finished high school.)

What the whole exercise showed me is how long I’ve been infatuated with words/stories/books/drama and how deeply ingrained into my psyche has been the desire…no, the need to write. To misquote that poor melancholic prophet, Jeremiah, it’s a “burning in the bones”. How blessed am I that in the last decade I have finally been able to realise my dream. Not everyone gets to do that. And even though I regret not pursuing it more persistently when I was young, I’ve also realised that all the “detours” I took, and all the set-backs I’ve had in life, haven’t been wasted. They are a deep resource from which I can draw.

I’ve also realised that I’ve had a lot of help along the way. From government financial schemes, to the belief (and sometimes push) of parents and friends, to the long-suffering support and loving encouragement of my husband, I wouldn’t be doing what I do if it weren’t for the generosity of others. We need each other. My husband describes the church as a pilgrim people on a journey; we’re meant to help each other along the way. And that’s true. But, you know, I think it’s true of the whole planet. We’re in this together, people.

I’m grateful for everyone who’s had even a moment in my life. I’m even thankful for those who were nasty, selfish or general poops. Yes, even the really weird ones. (Doesn’t mean your behaviour is excused, so stop it!) All of you have contributed to the rich tapestry that’s been my life so far. I expect little snippets of your personalities and sayings and actions will make it into my writing somewhere or other. And the really awful people will probably end up as murder victims. (Writing can be so cathartic!)

Perhaps if I thought about things in bullet points more often, I might learn to overlook the yucky stuff, and see the things for which I can be thankful. (Mind you, this is a good day. I’ve had chocolate. It could be a whole other story tomorrow.)


  1. Liz Burden
    Nov 8, 2010

    We were all wrapt and enthralled Wendy, with your dot points. and the lollipops. Thank you so much.
    So glad the experience gave you something back…. and not just chocolate, sorry Jeff there REALLY was only enough for her. lol

  2. Paula Vince
    Nov 2, 2010

    Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for this tip. I love the idea of writing your life experiences down in bullet points. I think it would be a good ‘feel good’ exercise for anybody.
    Paula V

  3. Lauri
    Oct 30, 2010

    Wendy you are so correct. Look at me sitting here in Botswana. I took my first tentative steps into this writing world over at Writers Weekly where I met you and I can’t say how much your support has mattered to me. You might pass me on the street and I wouldn’t know you but I know the part that is far more important- your generous heart. Thanks you!

  4. groovyoldlady
    Oct 29, 2010

    Wonderful idea, Wendy, except that I’m one of the weird characters in your life story. I think my bullet points would be a bit off center! 😉

    • Wendy Noble
      Oct 30, 2010

      Nothing wrong with off-centre, Groovy. Sometimes they’re the best bits.

  5. Trevor Hampel
    Oct 29, 2010

    Pleased it all went well, Wendy. Those precious times when we reflect on the good times of life can be so encouraging and your positive outlook is an encouragement to the likes of me.

    You’ll be pleased to know I’m on the last step and will be submitting my thesis next Thursday!!!!!!!!! (Yay – break out the chocolate, crack the bubbly, cheers all round!)

    The essay has been fun – as you promised. Sitting on about 9500 words with one little section to go. Phew – has meant many long hours at the computer in recent weeks.

    • Wendy Noble
      Oct 29, 2010

      Good on you, Trevor. When you finally finish, and hold the bound copy in your hand, savour the moment. It’s a really lovely feeling.

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