Mrs Janet Norton - Words of Wisdom
This week we caught up with the very cheeky, fun-loving and active Mrs Janet Norton, the kind of active that makes my 24-year-old self feel like I need to go out and get myself a gym membership. Janet was born in Cudal and has lived there ever since, on the family farm.
Age: 73, soon turning 74
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? Work hard and be respectful.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Kindness, understanding, thoughtfulness, generosity, encouragement, especially when you make a mistake, are essential in marriage. My husband and I live on a farm and we have our business meetings over coffee at 10am in the morning. *laughs* My husband practices holistic grazing, rotational grazing, looking after the land and so we practice regenerative farming. I love the land and trees, and just being outdoors, the outlook and especially the birds. We farm sheep, cattle and lucerne hay, we have a lot of little lambs at the moment.
What big world events were the most memorable while you were growing up? I think for me going to University it was relatively unusual for a female to go to Uni in those days. Protesting against the Vietnam war, I was in Armidale at the Railway Station with rolls of toilet paper. *laughs*
What took you a long time to learn? Ahh.. patience! *laughs* The RPT team know all about that one.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Riding ponies on the farm and at pony club. We were there when Pony Club first started actually, we took the old Clydesdale in the cart to the first meeting.
What could you tell me that I would be surprised to learn about you? I’ve had two hip replacements... I don’t know if you’d be surprised to hear that *laughs* I work out twice a week at RPT and I cycle three to four times a week for about an hour and a bit.
What life advice would you give your grandchildren? When I do have grandchildren, I will urge them to find their passion, do things with all their heart, and they will do it well, and someday somebody will pay them to do it.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Not a teacher *laughs*I wanted to be an Adventurer.
What was your first job? Teaching, that was at a girl’s private school, and then I went to North Sydney Boys High which I really enjoyed. I spent a year in New Guinea, I taught for a while and then went over to Europe and taught English in a German School for a couple of years. Learning to be a foreigner was interesting- just say hello to everyone, and smile. *laughs*
If you could change one thing about modern society today, what would it be? Oh the anger, the rudeness and aggressiveness!
What are you most proud of? Being able to work out and be active, still. I had just had my first hip operation and I knew I needed something desperately, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
What have you not done that you still hope to achieve? Oh! Build a house, an ecco- friendly one. I love the farm, but we would move probably. It’s been in my family for two generations now.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? I’d have to say God, I changed my life from being terribly self-sufficient, and rebellious *laughs*, I’m much nicer now.