I doubt I am different to anyone else in striving to find that perfect work/life balance.
For many years I was a wage slave in the corporate world, having to go crawling to my boss and beg every time I so much as wanted a few hours hours off.
I am also blessed that for the last 21 years I have been self employed and that 15 years ago I found my hearts work as a civil celebrant. I know without any shadow of a doubt I am lucky to be paid to do something which I genuinely LOVE and am passionate about. The down side of this however is that fact that it turned me into a workaholic! I never begrudged it, I never once dreaded Monday mornings, but I know it did become a case of living to work rather than working to live.
As I travel the world now I do have to pinch myself each and every day that I really am living this life and living the dream. It’s a beautiful dream and one I don’t want to wake up from.
I am loving every second of the time spent with my son BUT spending 24/7 each and every day with a 7 year old can be a little mind numbing too. I do miss adult interaction, intelligent conversation and the sense of purpose and reward which my work brings.
Hence when a colleague of mine from the U.K who is a funeral director & celebrant realised that we were going to be in Sydney at the same time and invited me to conduct a Renewal of Vows ceremony for he and his wife on Bondi Beach, I leapt at the opportunity.
He only gave me 2 weeks notice and it was a part surprise for his wife too as he only told her about it via a cryptic message in her valentine’s card just 12 days ago.
I discussed some further wishes & ideas with Jon back in the U.K., then immediately set to work on creating their ceremony whilst I was in Singapore – ipad in one hand, glass of prosecco in the other as I wrote, already thinking this was most definitely the work/life balance I had always dreamed of.
I always want every ceremony I write to be perfect, but this one being for a friend and fellow celebrant I wanted to ensure it was extra special.
I emailed the finished script to Jon and waited with baited breath for him to approve it. His email came back “It’s fantastic, I couldn’t breathe after I read it, I had to leave the office” I took this that he liked it as he didn’t ask for any amendments to be made!!!
Jon of course knew that I am travelling alone with my 7 yr old son and knew that in order for me to conduct their renewal of vows here it would be a ‘bring your child to work’ kind of a day, which was a first for me but Cameron turned out to be a great little apprentice.
So today was the day. We arranged to meet in a beachside bar ‘The Bucket list’ on Bondi Beach – (a very aptly name place for funeral professionals to meet) Then after a drink we wandered down on to the sand to find a suitable place for the ceremony.
It was a small, laid back but intimate ceremony for Jon & Kirsten, with just their Aunty, Uncle and two cousins present. Still, there were quite a few tears shed all round as they stood in the sand, renewed their vows and beautifully reaffirmed their love & commitment to one another.
Jon then surprised Kirsten (again) by presenting her with another new ring, symbolic of this day and the new promises which they had made. Their rings were then warmed with the love, blessings and good wishes of all those present.
There was then only one way to conclude the ceremony….. “Jon, you may once again kiss your bride”
It was then back to the Bucket List for lunch and bubbly.
I have conducted some very memorable weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies over the years in some incredible places. but I think today’s ceremony will definitely go down as the most perfect location ever.
I am both truly blessed and grateful to have finally found the perfect work/life balance and so honoured to have been invited to play a part in Jon & Kirsten’s beautiful renewal of vows ceremony.
For as long as I live I shall never ever forget this day. I’m pretty sure they won’t either! 💖
CELEBRATING LOVE 💖
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