My life as an undercover volunteer
Secret Millionaire ‘“ Channel Nine 9.30pm 29 Oct 2009
Episode Four: Features Naomi Simson
To wake knowing that today would be a significant day in my life, one that I would never forget. There are only a handful of days in one’s life like it. I consider myself to be a person who doesn’t really get ruffled. I’m quite controlled and measured. I rarely get flustered or nervous. I’ve not slept well, too much to think about. I’m out of my comfort zone. I have no idea how today is going to go.
I’m enjoying the experience of being excited but concerned. There are butterflies in my stomach. Today I will go back and visit each of the organisations of I have chosen to give money to. I’m curious about how the day will pan out. To say ‘I’m a millionaire’ might sound so pretentious – it’s so un-Australian to big note yourself. We’ve worked hard and we’ve been lucky, but Pete and I have had tough financial times too, especially when we were first married and the first three or four years of the business things were pretty tight. What about our friends and family watching would they say’¦ ‘ooh lah dee dah so you think you are a millionaire now?’
I need to not think about all this, I’ve got to focus on who I will visit. I have my last bowl of yogurt, nuts and apple. Tidy my room at the green Hilton. I’m looking forward to seeing my family at the end of the day. I can count the hours now. I imagine that first hug from my children. I hope that they are coming to the airport. I know they will talk on top of each other with all their news. I have missed them.
Time to turn back into me. I’m glad to not be wearing the same jeans and black tops – that I have for 10 days. It feels fantastic to have my hair blow dried. I wonder if my friend Judy from 139 Club ever has the luxury of having her hair done, and with her impending Chemo it will be a long time anyway.
The last 10 days experience I realise will effect me always. It will put so many of the aspects of my life in context.
It is time for me to dress into my red business suit, I look in the mirror, I have clearly lost weight ‘in this Urban Hostage’ program.Â I have played by the rules, lived on $20 per day.
I will be glad to leave this life behind. Given that years ago I back packed through Asia, I have stayed in some dodgy places. More recently I have been on many camping trips with the family ‘“ and this motel is better than many of the camping grounds I stayed in.
I prepare carefully for what I am going to say. The words go round and round in my head. ‘how will I come across? I’m getting more nervous as time passes. I have written all the cheques out. I have them tucked neatly in a red notebook. I know I must speak slowly; I want to clearly thank them for the experience and insight they gave me. I must reveal that I am not just a mother but also an entrepreneur and then pass the cheque to them and explain the purpose of the donation.
I set off on the long trip to Brisbane. All the work, energy and effort that has gone into the program – but I’m on my own. I coach myself ‘If it’s meant to be it’s up to me.’
I’m nervous as I wait to go in’¦ This whole 10 days has been all about this moment. The crews are in place, the producer has worked tirelessly to ensure every detail is taken care of. Now it is up to me – I’m on my own.