‘I’ve had a wonderful time...now the adventure begins’

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IT’S never too late to embark on a new journey they do say, writes Diane Crabtree.

And the great thing is that there’s no set formula for adventure - that’s what makes it fun.

In Chinese astrology I am a horse, or Wu, the adventurer and I am about to discover just how bold, brave and self-reliant I can really be.

After a lifetime of working for this paper I am stepping out of my comfort zone into the unknown. Hands up it’s scary, but as anyone who has faced big changes will tell you it’s blinking exciting too.

It forces you to sit down for a 360-degree appraisal of your life. You undergo an in-depth analysis in order to get a new perspective. It can feel overwhelming but at the same time its powerful because it wakes up your mind to what you are capable of.

`What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve’ said Clement Stone so I’ve set myself new goals and I’m aiming high. I’m not going to procrastinate too long on my past but instead look to my future.

Having said that I have had the most amazing 30-plus years working for this paper and have loved every minute of it. My job has been made easier by the inspiring females I have written about every week. This area has a wealth of talent and I like to think my stories about them haven’t just been informative but entertaining too.

My finest hour to date hasn’t been interviewing some well known celebrity, it has been giving local women a platform and voice through my All Woman supplement. I hope I’ve helped to sell their services or point of view.

Let’s face it we are all selling. It is part of life. The irony hasn’t been lost on me that after helping so many others sell their wares I am now about to sell myself.

So where do I start? Probably by saying that people and words are the two things I couldn’t live without. And goaded by a happy-go-lucky attitude and an independent spirit I am going to enjoy striking out on my own.

All I need is the courage to be myself. Our real value is rooted in who we are, not what we do. And I believe you never know true happiness and fulfilment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.

If I can get through losing a parent, a divorce, bringing up a teenage son single-handed, and the dreaded menopause, I reckon redundancy should be a piece of cake.

Thanks for reading and being such a big part of my life. I hope our paths will cross again in the not so distant future.