As we come to the end of an Era, I'd like to reflect on what the last 10 years has been for me.
We had returned to the UK in September 2007, leaving Melbourne Australia where our daughter was born in 2006. I went back to various Performance Analysis roles in Exploration Angola, Shipping and Finance for BP at Sunbury-upon Thames, UK.
During this time, my husband moved back and forth to different IT Roles in Zurich Switzerland, whilst I remained working and living in the UK with our daughter. Our son was born in 2010, and for a week, my husband had time off work to be with us before he returned to Zurich, and I went back to my 'single-mum' status with two young kids.
After years of insisting that life was better in Switzerland, we packed up our home, pulled our nearly 6-year-old out of British school and moved to Zurich in August 2012. This was the beginning of yet another adventure with many challenges. We would spend our weekends venturing over to the bordering Countries like France, Austria, Italy, and Germany to explore, shop and pick up our post!!
Our 2 kids learned both High German and Swiss German during these 7 years here, adding basic French and Italian to their vocabulary. The made some friends at playgroup, school and clubs, though tend to feel like foreigners despite their language capabilities. We have faced many challenges in the Swiss schooling system, which is much different from what we know. Though we try to instill in our kids the desire to continually push on and never quit. These trials have also taught us a lot about those who regarded themselves as our friends, who are no longer around.
In 2014, my husband moved for 6 months to Munich Germany and I remained in Zurich. I home-schooled our daughter after school, translating her Class 1 and 2 books from German to English before re-teaching her. We saw her confidence increase as well as her grades.
In 2015, I took a chance and began making my Nourishing Face Balm, hoping that perhaps someone would love it and want to use it too. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but suddenly there was a demand for my all-natural product, as it helped calm, soothe and hydrate the skin. At the end of 2015, I was studying in London and joining the school where I could study remotely.
From 2016 to 2019, I achieved High Distinctions in 7 Diploma Courses I had taken on - Aromatherapy, Holistic Skincare Products, Clinical Nutrition, Reflexology, Stress Management, Holistic Pain Management and Business studies for Therapists.
In 2019, the year I turned 50 in May was also the month I was interviewed by Sovereign Magazine based in London. In June, I became a skincare Columnist for their magazine, as their readership went from London and Germany to many global destinations, including Head offices in London, Cruise ships, hotels, airlines, airports and hotels. In 2020, I will begin writing for the new 'RichWoman' magazine in London which is exciting!
In summary, never take anything for Granted - from your health, friendships, and your loved ones near or far. You never know how long you have to be around them. And don't be afraid to remove yourself from those that don't have important values like integrity, compassion, empathy, love and respect. Be the best versions of yourselves in all aspects, being willing to learn and grow as a person. The World definitely needs more of this. Make this next decade Count for you and your family. Lili x