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A Canadian Down Under: “I Hope You Dance”

by Marquette Turner

in Features, Marquette Turner, Special Reports

After my second week in Sydney and an apartment out of the way, I am falling in love with this beautiful place more and more every day. There is something new happening at every turn and so many places to explore I don’t think I will ever run the risk of “getting bored.” I can’t wait to see all that this Country has to offer and am planning to make a trip to the “Great Barrier Reef” and of course the outback.

I also have to take a moment to thank the wonderful group of people that I work with. They have made me feel so welcome here and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with such an innovative and energetic company.


I was listening to the news yesterday and something was mentioned that caught my attention. It was pointed out that there was a positive aspect arising from this economic downturn and I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes we continue to work in a field that is of no interest to us or keep our heads down and don’t take that “leap of faith” to develop a new idea or move to a new place because we are too comfortable.

Sometimes it takes us losing our job, which essentially pushes us off the ledge instead of leaping ourselves to pursue the career of our dreams or take on a new adventure. A very successful realtor from Ottawa, Canada once told me that “you will never reach the height of your potential unless your career is something that you love and are passionate about.”


I wanted to share with you something that an 83-year-old woman wrote entitled “I hope you dance”, which gave me the extra little push I needed to make the move all the way from Canada to Australia. It is a bit long but I would encourage you to read it. She is telling us something that we all know but so easily forget.

“Dear Bertha,

I’m reading more and dusting less.

I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for a small bag of groceries.

I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing. I want to see and hear and do it now.

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.

“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there”

Life may not bet the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

With love, ……..”

I hope you liked this and it encourages you to “dance,” in every way it holds meaning to you.

Brittany West

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