I wrote this note for my teenage daughter today on International Women’s Day.

I encourage her to do public speaking at every opportunity: and I find her peer-pressure and hormones are my opponents, against who I am at a significant persuasive disadvantage. She’d rather be, & blend into, the audience than to lead and inspire it.

A bit like the torn paper I wrote this on, parental relationships aren’t always complete, or pretty. It’s the words, mine or borrowed, that I hope can make a little difference.

As her father, I’ll continue to do everything I can to support her growth into the kind, generous and wonderful young woman she is.

Being the parents of a 16 year old hero..

Jessica Watson, the Queenslander, reached home soil yesterday, to a loud cheery welcome after a 210-day round the world trip. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was there, along with NSW Premier Kristina Kenneally, to welcome her back, besides her proud parents & 3 siblings. Read about it here.

Rudd called her Australia’s newest hero – something she quickly cast aside – “

“I’m an ordinary girl who believed in a dream…,” she said. “You just have to have a dream, believe in it and work hard.”.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to follow your dream. It takes even more courage for the parents of a 16-year-old girl who wants not to go round the block, but round the world, alone, on water, in a sailboat, without any power, to let her go. I’m impressed, & dare I say, inspired by Julie & Roger Watson.

Why do we, (myself included) – be the obstacles for our children in following their dreams? We may have failed to follow our dreams – call it circumstance or destiny or fear – or whatever. & then, when our children want to follow their, we try to “protect” them from failure.

Food for thought?


Apprehension. Agitation. Knots. Anxiety. Cold feet. Chicken. Cold sweat. Creeps. Distress. Doubt. Dread. Misgiving. Faintheartedness. Fright. Panic. Qualm. Terror. Trembling. Trepidation. Unease. Worry.

I have fear. Of various things. & in various degrees.

Today, I promised myself I would speak to a recruiting manager in the company I work in.  I promised myself I would be bold, walk up to him & speak about the position he has advertised. Maybe even ask him for the job. I am competent surely, I said to myself.


One of those words listed above defines my level of fear. On a scale of 1 to 10, I think I feel 10.

Of what?  I am unable to define.

Meeting him? Perhaps.

Making a fool of myself? More likely.

That I will be refused? That too.

I called him. The phone rang. Several times. & he didn’t answer. I felt a sense of relief! I didn’t have to meet him!

My usual response is to wait . Give myself excuses. Maybe he is busy. Maybe he doesn’t want to talk to me. Maybe the role is already filled. All sorts of weird & wonderful excuses.

This time round, I did something radically different.

I sent him a mail, asking to see him. Can’t wriggle out of that now.

I will call him again tomorrow.  Talk to him about the problem he wants solved. Who doesn’t have a problem he can pass off to someone else to solve? What have I to lose?

Wish me luck!