Thursday, May 31, 2012

The best of both worlds.

"You say times are tough
 We've got the best of both worlds here
Things are rough
We've got the best of both worlds here
Times are tough
We've got the best of both worlds here"......

In three days time, it will be two months exactly since I started a different job, in a different industry, in a different part of Australia. It's been one hell of a ride! I truly do have The Best of Both Worlds at the moment. It's such an adventure, in every way, and I still sometimes sit and ponder how vastly different my 2012 is to what I had planned. 

For one thing, it is a wonderful feeling to be earning a wage. More importantly, and despite the fact that I still have many loose ends to tie up regarding Karra Yerta Wines and Collective Barossa, it is an incredible feeling to be able to travel home and have 'days off'. Real days off where I do only what I want, and feel no guilt whatsoever. I have gone from a lifestyle of Barossa/wine/dine/retail/people/people/people to one of the Outback/mining/isolation/no people/emus/kangaroos.

But most importantly of all, I see almost everything through different eyes. I feel reborn. Enthused. Inspired. I have turned my life upside down and many of the changes have been scary but as a person who used to need plans and order in everything, I am embracing disorder in my new life as a gypsy. My goals now are to take things a day/week/month at time, sell all of our older wine stocks (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages), enjoy more peaceful days and have more quality time with my family, good friends and my dog (and hopefully a new little lamb which I bottle fed tonight. He was orphaned a few days ago.)

I am finding life outside, or somewhat outside, of the wine industry rather relaxing. The pressure has lifted and I now find myself enjoying a glass or bottle of wine regularly and from a totally different perspective. There's no more hoo haa. It is so refreshing! I am now more of a consumer than a producer and I like it. In fact, I love it.

A lot of things happened, most of them unexpected, and it has been a thought provoking past twelve months. As one who was so passionate about promoting the Barossa, and I guess, feeling obligated to as an owner of businesses and as a resident who really did love what the Barossa stood for, I can now stand back and have more freedom with much. I also see the Barossa with very different eyes. Where I spend most of my time now reminds me of how the Barossa used to be twenty or thirty years ago. I wonder where both places will be in another thirty years. I wonder where I will be. So many questions in life, and most have no answers. 

So (while I ponder which questions are important to continue to seek answers for, and which ones are to go in the Forget-About Box) on the days I am back in the Barossa, I shall enjoy my time at home in my cottage, enjoy popping into my favourite coffee shop (Keil's Fine Food and Coffee) for my lattè fix and to see Veena and Sarsi, enjoy replenishing my stock of Gumpara, Kurtz Family Vineyards and Yalumba wines, and spend as much time as possible living. Doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want. Then I will be back off to work in the amazing part of Australia where the sunrises and sunsets are like no other. 

I do have the best of both worlds, for now anyway. While I have it, I will lap it up and enjoy it. Life is too short and there is still so much to learn, see and experience. To do that, I need to be out in it, not stuck behind a counter day in, day out. I miss working with Steven and Mark and meeting the amazing people who used to come into the Collective Barossa wine sales/tasting room but I am still working with and meeting great people and sometimes but not too often, I even talk to them about wine:)

Cheers for now,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's not really a road to nowhere. It leads to a pot of gold.

 "We're on a road to nowhere,
Come on inside,
Takin' that ride to nowhere,
We'll take that ride......"

I've arisen after an eleven hour much needed sleep. It's been a massive five weeks since I started a new life, out of the wine industry, out of the Barossa, and in a whole new world. I have seen parts of Australia that I never thought much about before and my passion has come back, but not for the wine business, and not for the Barossa, but for the remote parts of Australia where the things you see most often are emus and flies. Oh, and the most amazing skies; sunsets, clouds, sunrises, stars and moon risings. And more than ever before, I value my rare time spent with my family, in my cottage in the Barossa Ranges.

I am still selling wine (taking orders via the internet whilst away and processing them on the rare days that I am home in the Barossa) as there is still a lot to sell, and the sooner it is gone, the better. I am also still indulging in wine - most nights I lob to dinner with a bottle in hand. It's a great way to ensure a deep sleep after a long, hard day at work.

I don't miss anything right now, and it sure has opened my eyes to much. Life has become an adventure. Nothing is permanent so I am enjoying the ride. To have received my first pay after so many years of working for nothing, in fact, working to only get deeper in debt, was the best feeling ever. I have even had very premature thoughts of planning my first ever overseas holiday. I am going to Texas. Yep, I sure am! Everything is bigger in Texas! Ha! I have some great mates who are keen to have me lob on their doorstep so I am going to do just that.

As a person who lived, loved, breathed, my life in the Barossa, (and more particularly, the Barossa Ranges), loved the rain, mist, fog, windy roads through the hills, my transition and new love for life in flat country, dry, dusty, colourful country where everything appears to be just waiting for an artist's palette and a willing eye and hand, has been as much of a surprise to me as my sudden life change was to many of those around me. No promises. No regrets. A new life. Life did not begin at forty for me. It began at forty-five.

Tonight though, I am looking forward to a peaceful evening in my cottage, and a Barossa/German dinner of kassler, vegetables and wine. I am waiting for the rain, then the wood fire will get started and I will spend my blissful days off indulging in doing not much. After all, now that I actually have 'days off', surely that is what they are for:)