Keep turning up



When I was at university back in the late 1970s, I desperately needed a job and thought I had hit the jackpot when told I had been hired.

The job you ask? Well, it involved selling flowers and stuffed animals to late night patrons in city restaurants and pubs. Oh and to add a little bit of extra pep, I was dressed up as a little Dutch girl complete with a cap, apron and large basket.

Yep, it was a real winner. Or at least I thought so until I finished my first shift and reality kicked in. I couldn’t believe that I had taken on such a crazy task and informed my parents that I was resigning. To my utter dismay, my father informed me that this would not be happening. That I had agreed to a contract and the owner was banking on me to do my part.

A significant argument ensued ending with me asking my father what on earth aside from income could be gained from such a job.

And his response, the ability to keep turning up. He reminded me that life was a series of ups and downs. Rarely a smooth ride. But the people who overcome with their integrity and character intact are those who continue to turn up. Irrespective of the season, the challenge, or the lures of a better offer.

And that was that. In one statement, I had my reason and my challenge.

Turning up is not always easy. It doesn’t necessarily mean forever. But it does mean having the courage to face our fears and remind ourselves that we have a strength and resilience that is often present just below the surface.


About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.

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