Thursday 27th April 2017

Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

In the past few years my life has changed in many ways.

I could say it has happened from the time I turned 60 I guess and at 67 now, it’s been for longer than I imagined.

I am naming this part of my life a transition yet it is more than that.

Like all humans I am living my life and maybe unlike all humans I am trying to understand myself and my life journey better.

Blogging is going to be one of the ways in which I recount aspects of what I have been learning:

I am a life-long learner.

My story is what it is.

My story.

However, it may help me in writing more about it instead of alluding to part of it or directing readers to past posts.

It is quite hard to confess to finding aspects of life as I knew it have left me and I am needing to become used to what is now.

I will write from time to time and it may be about some strategies and resources I have found helpful.

It maybe necessary to tell  the truth of what it has been like for me. And how that has affected my relationships, with myself included for the past few years.

Like I said, I am telling My Story.

Today makes it the introduction. I do not know when the next one will be.

This work, Stop, from Jeff Foster, in his book: ‘The Way of Rest’ Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love is about mindfulness, stopping, staying present.

I would have to add this is one of my biggest challenges. I wrote about ‘uncertainty’ here last week.

 

Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment.

Bring your attention toward the here and now. Let the moment become fascinating. Gently begin to acknowledge what is actually happening where you are. Come out of your conclusions about life, your dreams about past and future, and being to notice the sensations, feelings, thoughts that are present, right here and right now.

Let your present experience – sights and sounds and smells – become the most curious dance in all the universe. You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time. This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous, and heartbreaking Garden of Eden and you are awake to it at last.

Stop trying to figure everything out. Give in. Give up. Give all to the moment’s embrace.

Fall into not knowing…

 

I hope that you will find My Story of interest and that it will be something that speaks to you to help you in some way. I do not think we have spoken enough nor even considered what it means to become older, to stop work, to find yourself adrift in some ways where you thought there was security. I write to help me as I look back and move forward into whatever is to come.

Thank you for reading!

Denyse.

Posting for the first time for I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

Then joining with Leanne and bloggers on Thursday here for Lovin’ Life link up.

 

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A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

I like A.N.Z.A.C. Day as a day of commemoration and reflection. It is not ever a day for celebration.

My knowledge of A.N.Z.A.C. Days goes back to when I was a Brownie and a Guide and we would be part of ceremony at Manly N.S.W. for the Morning Service. I wrote essays about A.N.Z.A.C. Day as part of my Modern History studies in the H.S.C. fifty years ago. It was said ‘this was when Australia became a nation in its own right.’

The day, 25th April, is the anniversary of the landings of Australian, New Zealand and Allied Forces at the bottom of the cliffs where the enemy was ready in the field. The many soldiers who lost their lives and gave themselves in battle there, and elsewhere, are never to be forgotten.

To know more about the first A.N.Z.A.C. Day and beyond, go here.

Now, we commemorate all of the wars where Australia has served. Far too many, of course.

2016 Poppy Project in Terrigal NSW.

How I remember A.N.Z.A.C. Day.

  • I often go to a local service if that is possible. I like to be part of the sense of community where I can. In 2015 and 2016 I did just that here on the Central Coast.
  • I think about my paternal grandfather who I never met. My Dad’s Dad. He was not quite 21 years old when he convinced his mother (he was an only son) to sign the papers so he could enlist. He fought in France. He survived and returned with a War Bride. My Grandmother who then lost her husband in an awful workplace accident some years later, leaving her with 4 children to rear alone. My Dad was #2 child.

One of these young men is my paternal grandfather. I do not know and even ough Dad is still around, the quality of the photo makes it difficult for identification. These are Aussies through and through!

Dad’s father: Andrew’s Certificate of Discharge in 1920. The war ended in late 1918 but of course, our troops had to be repatriated and as he became engaged to an English lass, she came to Australia in 1919-1920. Unsure of exact date. He was 24 on discharge.

  • I usually make A.N.Z.A.C. biscuits and may even tune into the March on TV in Sydney. I also might pop over to one of the local Services in the morning. I like to pay my respects and show appreciation.

I have a ‘thing’ about writing A.N.Z.A.C this way….because it is shortened for: Australia New Zealand Army Corps. The word is pronounced as ANZAC. The word is also carefully guarded by Australia and its use needs to be approved for any commercial use so as not to diminish the reverence with which the name is held. 

I decided that whilst I could have added more, I would refrain!

My Dad is someone who finds A.N.Z.A.C. Day difficult because he was restricted from serving as his family and friends did due to being in a ‘protected industry’. Instead, he volunteered in his local community as well as worked at the Steelworks as a trainee clerk.

My last word: It’s weird but if there had not been this War and the meeting of my paternal grandparents then…I would not have been born.

What does A.N.Z.A.C. Day mean for you?

Are there any special things you do on A.N.Z.A.C. Day?

Denyse.

Joining friends who also have Monday Link-Ups: Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice.

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”.

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Join In #LifeThisWeek Link Ups! 2017.58.

Join In #LifeThisWeek Link Ups! 2017.58.

New Prompts Below for 9 weeks: 8 May – 3 July. 

Thank you to bloggers who already join in the #lifethisweek Link Up on Mondays!

I hope this post here will encourage more bloggers to join in too. I comment on every post, and visit your blog too. It’s a friendly space to be in the blogosphere!

 

On Mondays from 5.00 a.m. till the Thursday of the same week at 5.00 p.m. you can link up your ONE blog post!

I offer prompts for those who like to play along and get their thinking  caps on to apply their perspective to my prompts.

But, all blog posts are accepted! Off prompt or on! New or previously published posts.

This coming Monday, 24 April the prompt is A.N.Z.A.C. Day, and the following Monday, 1 May is “Taking Stock.’

Every 9 weeks I set a new group of prompts and they are here below from 8 May until 3 July. I add this graphic to the home page too for a reminder!

Thank you to Sammie and blogging friends for the link up here each weekend too. Love finding new people follow and read thanks to link-ups.

Which link ups do you join in when you can?

Denyse.

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Uncertainty. 2017.57.

Uncertainty. 2017.57.

Did this headline make you a bit wary?

I do not like uncertainty.

However, I am learning that there is no such thing as certainty. Except for death. Apparently!

It makes me nervous and curious and I know how I must remember  that somehow I need to accept uncertainty.

Why?

I would have to say because I have grown very weary of trying to control what I cannot control…but thought I was! Is that familiar?

My journey (yep, I like the word and it stays!) has taken me on a number of learning paths as I seek help to understand life as I don’t know it!

One such person is Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, and her many books and teachings are in my library now.

I have this book beside my bed and read one chapter a night. Most nights anyway!

This excerpt is from chapter 14.

According to the Buddha, the lives of all beings are marked by three characteristics: impermanence, egolessness, and suffering or dissatisfaction. Recognising these qualities to be real and true in our own experience helps us to relax with things as they are.

The first mark is impermanence. That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and changing, is the first mark of existence. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact.

It means life isn’t always going to go our way. It means there’s loss as well as gain. And we don’t like that.

We know that all is impermanent; we know that everything wears out. Although we can buy this truth intellectually, emotionally we have a deep-rooted aversion to it.

We want permanence; we expect permanence. Our natural tendency is to seek security; we believe we can find it. We experience impermanence at the everyday level as frustration. We use our daily activity as a shield against the fundamental ambiguity of our situation. expending tremendous energy trying to ward off impermance and death.

We don’t like it that we age. We are afraid of wrinkles and sagging skin. We use health products as if we actually believe our skin, our hair, our eyes and teeth, might somehow miraculously escape the truth of impermance.

The Buddhist teachings aspire to set us free from this limited way of relating to impermanence. They encourage us to relax gradually and wholeheartedly into the ordinary and obvious truth of change.

Acknowledging this truth doesnt mean we are looking on the dark side. What is means is that begin to  understand that we’re not the only one who can’t keep it all together.

We no longer believed that there are people who have managed to avoid uncertainty.

Comfortable with Uncertainty. Pema Chodron. 2003. Shambhala Publications.

I am a life-long learner and I have been learning more lessons about life and me in the past few years than I ever felt possible. I have great respect for the words of Brene Brown and have signed up for this combo of courses on-line called Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. If you are interested in knowing more, here is the link.

Have you given much thought to what it is to be uncertain?

Do you struggle with the notion that we are not really in charge of many aspects of our lives as we might prefer to be?

I’d love to hear your comments.

Next week I am finally owning up to the vulnerability of telling my story. It won’t be confined to one post!

Denyse.

Joining with Leanne and friends  here who are part of the inclusive and lovely link up Lovin’ Life.

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Try A Little Kindness. 2017.56.

Try A Little Kindness. 2017.56.

I listened to a lot of Glen Campbell as a young adult and my husband and I continue to enjoy the oldies but goodies by this man. It is sad that he is very unwell with Alzheimers disease now.

In the spirit of my word of the year

..and letting the whole world know we need more KINDNESS in our lives…right now…here it is. The lyrics and the gentle Glen himself singing it way back.

I will not apologise for the earworm because I think we need to sing it. All together now….

Try A Little Kindness

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Songwriters: BOBBY AUSTIN, CURT SAPAUGH
© OBO APRA/AMCOS
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Glen Campbell sings here.

Credit: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Memories64&qft=+Filterui:userpage-memories64&FORM=VQCHNL

I do hope that you find a way to show a little kindness today and forever.

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell and friends who blog on Tuesdays here. Thanks for link up Kylie!

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Special Times To Remember. #LifeThisWeek 16/52. 2017.55.

Special Times To Remember. #LifeThisWeek 16/52. 2017.55.

When I planned this prompt I was thinking about the special time (on this date!) I remembered when I heard that I was pregnant for the second time..after a long gap between children (over 7 years) after being told I would not able to have a second child. Then I re-thought my response and decided to add more. Here they are photos and the special times I remember behind each of them! From left to right and clockwise.

Set One.

  1. Here I am in my principal’s role snapped on school photo day circa 2000. I was very proud to be chosen to be a school principal in my own right after years of being both relieving and acting principal in a number of schools.
  2. On Queenscliff Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. May school holidays spent at my parents’ house with my husband and baby daughter. This is in 1972. I don’t think my daughter was keen on the water! Great times spent each time we came back to Sydney from our rural/outback teaching roles from 1971-1977.
  3. The face of a relieved and retired person who is learning to make her way through life without roles and responsibilities that she has lived with for over 40 years. Special memories made via selfies on my beach walks in 2016.
  4. Young parents! We were 21 when our daughter was born and both teaching in small schools out the back of Boggabri NSW. I was back at work by now (phew, I disliked being at home and isolated on a country property) and this young one is in a swing made by her Dad! We were back at school/work and she was well-cared for next door to my school by my boss’ wife, her godmother.

Set Two.

  1. I am around 17 here. This is me, first of the NSW HSC cohort in my senior uniform. It was brown (yuck) and consisted of a skirt, shirt and jacket making it almost ‘suit-like.’ I was not a nerd but a social being at school but finally did remember to study in Year 12 and get into teacher’s college. I loved being part of the first group in NSW to do the HSC and it is 50 years ago this year!!
  2. The lovely man I married all those years ago – 46 to be exact – with me last Christmas in this house we are renting. We are making special memories right now as for the first time in our lives it is ‘just us’ and no responsibilities for family and work, except for some voluntary work by my husband.
  3. Eleven years ago I fulfilled a dream held since teenage years and stood on the North Shore of Oahu looking for the waves that I had sung about in the school bus in the 1960s…”Ride the Wild Surf”…and the surf was flat. Disappointed but a wonderful experience to visit Hawaii..on my first and only (to date) trip out of Australia.
  4. Turning 65 meant this…a big grin and relief that my working life was done and I would be eligible for a part-pension. That meant fewer expenses for us as I had no superannuation so it was a good thing. It was also a sad occasion as it was the last birthday I got to celebrate with my whole family in Sydney. I remember it with mixed emotions as in under 2 months we would be gone from Sydney to live on the Central Coast.

I found this article on memories very interesting and share it from here.

Do you find you remember certain experiences and times very well indeed?

I do, often remembering the weather, smells, sounds as well as sights.

Our brains are amazing!

Denyse. I link up each Monday here too: Open Slather with Alicia and Mummy Mondays with Kell.

Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “A.N.Z.A.C. Day”.

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Easter Season. 2017.54.

Easter Season. 2017.54.

I wrote about My Easter this week here. Memories of Easter and more.

This post is about the season in which Easter arrives in the Southern Hemisphere.

Unlike the themes of new life and Spring of the Northern Hemisphere, we in Australia have a sense of the coming of the season of Winter and shorter (much) days and longer (much) nights.

Easter usually arrives well into Autumn and this week we’ve had cold(er) nights and it’s been raining more.

On Thursday before Easter the day was bright and warm so I ventured out, armed with a better camera to capture what I could of favourite places before the days get too unpleasant!

Here are my Easter Season shots:

Nestled in this tree by the lake are at least 5 birds. Large ones too.

On the walkway to Lakes Beach, I always look south to the lighthouse at Norah Head in the distance.

Looking north now from the vantage point of the walkway onto the beach. These grasses help the beach stabilise.

Looking west from Lakes Beach itself. Magical!

The waves were rough one of the surfers told me. And out at sea are various tanker ships (not seen) waiting till they can dock in Newcastle further north.

Today’s beach writing!

We are staying put for Easter as always but we are now delighted that some of our family are driving up on Saturday and Sunday for a catch up, some lunch and a few little Easter Egg treats.

What are you doing for Easter?

Denyse.

There is but one photo link-up now I follow. Here it is.

I am joining with Sammie and friends here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole on the weekend. Thank you for having me!

 

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What Art Has Taught Me. 2017.53.

What Art Has Taught Me. 2017.53.

In 2013 I was searching for more in my life to help me through the bumps and trials.

A friend suggested an art-based group in U.S. where there was an annual challenge.

I’ve written about this a few times on the blog.

Today I am listing what Art has taught me from that mid-point in 2013 until the present.

And it’s not always about Art!!

  • I can be patient
  • I can see the world from different perspectives
  • I can select what I want to do with my art materials with confidence
  • I now know the process is more important to me than the product
  • I find that I prefer to share my art, imperfect as it is, with many and am happy to give it away when people express an interest in it
  • I find it interesting that others see different things in my artistic pursuits than I do at times
  • I enjoy the way in which I became at one with the now when I’m engaged in a creative process be it writing, photography, art or gardening

In general, Art has taught me to allow my mindfulness to be part of who I am. I am no longer striving as much nor wanting to do the next thing. It is teaching me to slow down. 

This is a good lesson to be learned!

Have you learned lessons from life?

Denyse.

Glad to be posting again today for I Blog On Tuesdays over with Kylie Purtell here.

This link up is an original in Australian blogging land!

Only newly published posts are eligible for link-up.

A few years back this was very popular and I suspect many of those bloggers have new priorities.

However, new and established bloggers who have an original post any Tuesday are so welcomed over at I.B.O.T.! Lots of commenters and lots of blogs to read.

Come on over and add it to your blogging calendar. The link-up stays open for all of Tuesday of that week.

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