Sing your song
Hey everyone, yes it’s been about two months since my last blog, and I know I promised I would try and maintain consistency, but in all honesty, I tried to start this blog so many times and after the first page or so I just stopped because I felt it wasn’t what I needed to say right at this point in time. And then, while sitting in a quaint Dutch, colonial-styled hotel in the southern Sri Lankan city of Galle, last week, where I was spending a week with my children before returning to Sydney for Christmas, I got it. I knew what I had to share with you.
Like most of my previous posts, this story comes straight from the heart. I am feeling quite overwhelmed right now as I sit in the corner of my hotel room preparing to release a flood of emotion that had been waiting for the right moment and the right reason to be shared, but in all sincerity it is making me feel anxious that maybe you might not care. But you know what? That’s ok. I need to do this to remain true to me and never allow MY story to be stifled.
So here goes…
The reason for my silence for the past two months was because October and November proved to be two of the most challenging months of my entire life. While I can’t go into the specifics of the events that tested my sanity, patience, intelligence and will, I can say that I have come through the other side more aware than ever of the importance of believing in myself and my truth and never letting anyone muzzle my voice.
As many of you know, I had spent the first part of 2018 preparing to return to Lebanon and travel around the world to complete filming on my documentary film. Between April and July I travelled to Lebanon twice, France, England, Canada and the USA undertaking interviews with all sorts of people, to get answers to questions that baffled me about Lebanon and why it continues to languish in a state of political inaction, corruption, unfulfilled hopes, frustrated dreams, and yet on the surface, portrays a potential of uncalculated proportions through the fierce determination of many of its people who are blindly determined to have the country they dream of, in spite of the crumbling chaos that surrounds them both internally and throughout the fractured Middle East.
“unfulfilled hopes, frustrated dreams… a potential of uncalculated
I returned home to Sydney in late July to move into the post production and script writing phase of my film, but was forced to delay those plans after being faced with new challenges at GDR Group, my marketing business. The problems we were confronted with were nothing unusual for a growing business diversifying into new areas and product lines, and nothing I couldn’t handle, IF I only had that to focus on.
Unfortunately, I had my film responsibilities to fit into my “normal” day, as well as the care and well-being of my three children, although admittedly my eldest had left for Sri Lanka in late June to undertake 6 months of volunteering in a charity for special needs people. Then in early August I underwent an ACL reconstruction on my left knee and although it made me slowdown, which I embraced with delight for the first week, all I could think about were all the things that were piling up and when I was going to get it all done. The film had deadlines, my film Editor and assistant Editor were reviewing and sorting the hundreds of hours of footage we had shot over three film shoots and asking for the script or segments to complete editing.
“…hard decisions had to be made”
The management of GDR Group was testing me with some staff performance issues which were significantly impacting the company’s ability to meet certain targets as new projects kicked off around the country and hard decisions had to be made. The numbers were concerning but only because we had invested so much into the business in anticipation of the growth. But it is all about the timing.
I could never be 100% sure of when the consistent growth would kick in thereby justifying the additional head count, infrastructure, technology and innovation, but then, if we were caught short or were not prepared, it could be worse. Running a business is a fine balancing act and it is only from years of experience, keeping a close eye on the numbers and having wise mentors, that I have learned to make better decisions more often. But still at times the stakes are high and my nerves were tested.
Well, at that particular time, it seemed like nothing in my life was sailing smoothly – nothing at all. I was working 15-18 hour days while recovering from major surgery, managing a marketing agency of 25 staff and over 200 contractors nationwide, not to mention trying to write my script while assisting as executive producer on a separate feature film script. Then, totally out of leftfield, another MASSIVE responsibility got dumped on me.
“…out of leftfield…massive…responsibility dumped on me”
Well not totally out of leftfield, but honestly that’s how it felt. I had been in a legal battle with my ex-husband for nearly 5 years trying to secure a financial settlement to put an end to the wasted money, energy and emotion that it had cost us both, not to mention the impact on our children. Up until August-Sept it had been on a slow boil and then someone turned up the temperature and it became a “full boil” situation. So from Sept to the end of November I spent every waking hour working on my legal matter and I was in and out of court countless times, other than the hours I spent at and on GDR, and with my children. With all this going on something had to give, so my film was sidelined. The Editors were asked to take a break, my producer was put on hold and all my energy and focus was on fighting for my life.
Yep, that’s what it felt like for me. I was not only fighting for justice and my rights and that of my children, but also my life or the life I had worked so hard to build, the investment into my career, my business, my home, my reputation, everything was at stake. I could lose everything. I could lose it all. I could be homeless, almost penniless and forced to start from zero. This meant I had no option but to fight to get the right result for my family. The only way to prevent that was to be focused, diligent, precise, thorough, determined and honest. I had to find the evidence, the proof, the truth that justified my case.
“…I could lose it all…homeless…
penniless…back to zero”
Thank GOD I was trained as a journalist for almost 20 years because it was the tenacity that I learnt as a reporter and the ability to follow a lead that allowed me to uncover some extraordinary information that solidified my case.
“muzzling by the Family Court is part of the problem with our Family Law system in Australia today”
Whilst it was the most extraordinarily stressful period of my life, and my late night conversations with God became a regular fixture, sometimes resulting in one-sided yelling matches as I threw my hands up to the heavens demanding he get this sorted, it was also a time of nervous excitement. I felt as though I was an observer in this court room drama that even
John Grisham or Scott Turow would be proud of.
My lawyers said that we were moving into unchartered waters, there was no precedent for some of the developments that had manifested in my case. Whilst on one hand I was intrigued, on the other I thought “WHY ME”, why couldn’t my case be straightforward? But nooo, I had to create history or potentially do so because of the peculiarities and complexities of my matter.
Unfortunately, because of the Family Law Act, I can’t say more than what I have said already, and I may have already said too much, but I don’t care because this muzzling by the Family Court is part of the problem with our Family Law system in Australia today, and the reason why this case has cost me a small fortune, which again, I am not at liberty to divulge.
By mid-November after a string of decisions in my favour, the writing was on the wall and the end appeared to be at hand. Then as the deal was about to be struck, the unthinkable was inserted into the terms and I lost my shit and threw down the gauntlet and shifted my focus and attention to a higher level and delved deeper into the forensics to identify more proof and facts to validate my case.
“WAR against Oppression and Suppression”
Again I apologise hat I can’t give you more details but it was like living on a knife’s edge…and all the while I was trying to put on a brave face for my children, play happy family, organize my daughter’s 16th Birthday party for over 100 teenagers, help my son with his assignments, have late night chats with my eldest daughter in Sri Lanka, and then rock up to work with a “calm” face, address the questions of the various team, undertake a workshop to restructure the Sales Dept, prepare Tender submissions to retain our biggest client, answer the concerns of our newly-elected advisory board and then turn my head back to my legal battle, that had now become a WAR against oppression and suppression.
NOT one hair on my body or ounce of my being would allow me to submit to this condition. NOTHING!
Then by late November, and thanks to the purity of the prayers of some kind friends, it ended. While true justice was definitely NOT achieved, the settlement was enough for me to move on with my life.
The rest I leave to God, the Universe and Karma.
Now, my focus must return to my purpose…the message I have been called to share through my film and the service that my team and company can offer to other businesses, organisations, individuals and communities through our expertise, our work, our commitment and our values.
Focus on being creative not destructive, productive not pathetic, useful not harmful, innovative not regressive.
So my parting words for 2018 are – NEVER let anyone or anything silence the song you were born to sing.
That’s it for this blog and if anyone wants to talk to me directly on this or any other issue, just email me directly, at daizy@daizygedeon. com, I would be happy to help and mentor you and remember to always KEEP IT REAL!
And finally, from me to you and yours, I sincerely and deeply wish you the warmest and most loving Christmas and exciting, enlightening and nurturing challenges ahead for 2019.
From my heart to yours,