Opinion

Treasure your family and friends

As we wind down to the second half of the year, I had my first road trip for some time, and it gave me time to think of the important things in life especially as my mother’s health is not good. 

It made me remember my four “F’s” theory, the four essential things we need in life: family, friends, faith and fun.

With these we have everything we need. We need these now more than ever before, after the trying times we have been through over the past several years and are still encountering, as we try to return to an acceptable way of life. 

My parents taught me that your family does not have to be related to you, when we joined the trucking industry at North Bourke, and many a weary, hungry, and lonely driver became part of our “family” and I still hear about times my Mum fed someone “a time or two.” 

My family, my friends and acquaintances have given me strength as my mother’s health has deteriorated and as I must decide whether to continue to look for a role in the industry, or to start my own business. This is our strength – our private army!

The trucking industry has given me a career, a good life, plus family and friends and over the past few weeks people from across Australia and the US have been praying for me and with me for the health of my mother; many who have never met her but simply because of who she is, my mother.

We always come together in times of need, whether it is the nation, an individual or the needs of a community. Never has this been more evident as we have endured fires, floods and a global pandemic but how soon everybody forgets when things return to what we are expected to believe is normal. 

Everyone wants this. Our service is extraordinary but now it is back to being ordinary and expected. At the Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) conference in Melbourne, in the words of keynote speaker, David Coleman, he said: “Those in Transport – we are heroic”. That around today’s globe, truck drivers all around the world are heroes for their efforts in feeding and supplying the populace during a time of possibly the greatest need that hasn’t been caused by war. 

The “huddled masses” sheltered in place, the treasures were out there every day, going about their daily business without even having their basic needs met. 

As for the faith, it doesn’t matter what you believe in but you must have faith in something; self-belief, belief that things will get better, that they won’t get worse, that you are going to get through the day, day after day, that you are going to make it home safely, because if we didn’t believe in something we would never get up in the morning. 

We need faith to face the future now more than ever because we need to believe there is a better and brighter future, and we need to strive towards it.

As for the fun stuff, sometimes we forget this especially over the past couple of years as they have been very difficult. Now we can do fun things again with family and friends but you can have fun in the simplest things in life, running in the rain; having a sword fight with your cats; at the TWAL conference dinner when hair products were auction items and we were trying to convince the men at the table, one who is completely bald, and one who had an awful mullet, whether they should buy Young Again Hair products or Smooth and Purifying products.  

Unfortunately, because everyone was laughing so much, they did not buy either!

Now with open borders, we can look forward to good times ahead as we make plans to for those parties and missed celebrations but more importantly, to celebrate and spend time with the people and animals that are important to you, before it is too late. 

So, treasure your family and friends because if the pandemic taught us anything, it is to be kind and that life is short. 

  • Jacquelene Brotherton is chair of Transport Women Australia.
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