Life’s Constants

Every twist and turn in life is an opportunity to learn something new about yourself, your interests, your talents, and how to set and then achieve goals.

Jameela Jamil

An excitement mounts I struggle to contain. A hopefulness. The prospect of attaining a goal seeded in my mind for years. All interference forbidden. Well, a bit of a lie as I cannot control a COVID outbreak or Western Australia being thrust into lockdown from November 6th to 14th.

Five years ago, I went on a trip with my husband to Busselton with his family. Between doing the winery and bar runs, he and I slipped away to drive through Cape Naturaliste Park. At the base of the sidewalk to the lighthouse stood an information board about the Cape-to-Cape track, which runs along the southwest corner of Western Australia from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwen. The track travels 135 kilometres along limestone ridges, white-sand beaches, giant granite marbles, and a Karri forest of towering trees.

After I read every word of the story twice, an inextinguishable spark ignited in me. “I’m going to do this, going to walk the full length of the track.”

Chas, my husband, shook his head. “No, the distance is too far. You can’t take such a trip alone.”

A significant statement because he would never be able to accompany me as Chas was terminal. Mesothelioma. Diagnosed three years after we married and given a year more to live. The next thirteen months he spent in and out of Charlie Gairdner Hospital as he faded physically and emotionally. His funeral proved the most difficult day of my life. The next two years not much better.

During that time, the Cape-to-Cape walk slipped to the back of my mind but the ember still burned quietly in a corner of my soul. Near the end of those two years of finding my feet, the spark became a pilot light. So I spoke with my daughter and a writing friend, Bev, about the trip. Both loved the idea, and my daughter intended to fly over and join me. COVID ripped through the world and derailed those plans, but not my intentions. The ember is no longer a slow burn but a sausage-on-a-stick roasting bonfire.

But throughout that unbearable period, it wasn’t a grand goal like my upcoming 8-day trek but a deliberate shift of focus to a constant in my life that pushed me forward. NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July required goal setting and provided a place where a small community of writing buddies snuggled in a virtual cabin and encouraged one another. Bev and Jill were constants within the group while others floated in and out. We helped ease or chase writing doubt and angst, the stress and fears over the pandemic and the approaching bushfires. Made sure we poked members who went quiet to at least communicate they were alright.

What I’ve learned about human nature, about myself, is life requires anchors. Those constant elements that hold us together when our world tilts. Not only connections with others but meaningful purposefulness, which provides something worthwhile to strive toward. Goals. Otherwise we are doing nothing more than existing in a pool of disconnected boredom or fear or confusion or loneliness; most likely all the aforementioned. If you haven’t already, consider your writing support system. Those who shore you when the process confuses or gets you down. Discover your niche, ignite a spark and stoke the fire so it will burn bright and become a constant. A beacon to guide you while striving to achieve your goals.

Thanks for listening. Cheers.

S.C. Roberts

4 thoughts on “Life’s Constants

  1. Your openness make me feel like a friend sitting on the couch with you talking over a glass of wine. Hearing your ups and downs make my own trials feel more normal. That I am not alone in my worries and fears. Thank you.


    • You’re welcome and thank you, Roxanne. When I write these posts, it does feel like I’m chatting with a friend. But replies such as yours deepen that feeling. There is no escape from the hardships day-to-day life delivers, is there? We’re all battling on the same sea just at different times and locations, and under different circumstances. All the best to you. Thanks again.



  2. I love it. So glad you are close to taking this adventure. When you wrote, “the Cape-to-Cape walk slipped to the back of my mind but the ember still burned quietly in a corner of my soul.” I felt confident you would be able to accomplish this incredible trek. Take me with you- I want to hear all about it as you hike.


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