Wednesday 12th December 2018

On Being Grateful. 366/265.

On Being Grateful. 366/265.

For the past year or so I have kept a gratitude journal on and off! On is when I remember and off is when I haven’t! So, in the past few months I’ve made the effort just about every day and I post the contents to a private Facebook group I am in. It helps keep me focussed on the haves rather than the have-nots, the positives instead of the much more forthcoming negatives and it makes me review and think!

I use an app on my iPhone so I can review the gratitude journal easily. It is a paid app called: Gratitude Journal – The Life-changing App. by PPL development company and it has reminders as well as daily quotes. You can add photos to each day should you choose. There are other apps around too but this is the one I find cool. Not sponsored!

In keeping with letting my readers know more about my topics, here are two articles about being grateful and expressing gratitude in ways which work for you.

Here’s one article about writing a gratitude journal. This is akin to what I do but not nearly as much time is expended nor numbers of things to note. That works for me.

And then there is this from a longer source: noted below.

The social benefits are especially significant here because, after all, gratitude is a social emotion. I see it as a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.

Indeed, this cuts to very heart of my definition of gratitude, which has two components. First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good thing in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

from here.

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Here’s some of my entries over the past months. I write 3 things each day. They are many and varied! Some days I just do not want to write but I make myself consider that I am grateful for and I come up with them every time!

I am grateful for:

  • a day spent by myself
  • confidence growing and strengthening my outlook
  • changing some of my thoughts to be able to make a successful trip to see my dad
  • a sunshiney day which beckoned me outside for a walk with my husband
  • supportive blogging friends encouraging me in my new blogging link up
  • using some distractions and thinking skills to keep my mood from changing to a negative one after IBS
  • peanut butter on crunchy toast
  • sense of humour returning
  • my husband’s building skills as he creates furniture for us

So, do you practise feeling grateful?

Do you write anything in a journal that relates to gratitude?

Tell me what you think of gratitude!

Denyse.

health

Linking on with Raychael at Agent Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday.

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Favourite Family Meal. #ltw2. 366/263.

Favourite Family Meal. #ltw2. 366/263.

Big thanks to everyone who made last week’s FIRST week of “Life This Week” such a great BEGINNING! Here’s this week’s based on prompt two:

My Favourite Family Meal.

I chose this prompt because I have such great memories of family meals. I can tell you that I have made many family meals over 45 years but I wanted to tap into a much deeper source where meals were made with love and helped me learn the value of family coming together to share food at the end of the day.

That of my late mother’s cooking and her meals.

Mind you, there are quite a few I could have chosen..mmmmm cutlets….however, in the end I went with…

Mum’s Baked Dinner.

Mum was a creative and generous cook yet she didn’t really enjoy eating that much! However, I do know that it gave her immense pleasure to see her family (and friends!) eating her cooked meals.

I call this meal a baked dinner but I also know others call it a roast dinner. Yes, it was always the evening meal except for ONE day. Christmas Day when the hot meal was at lunchtime. Then that was more than one meat and the veggies…there were at least 3 meats not even counting the ham.

Source: taste.com.au

Source: taste.com.au

The meal pictured is a little like Mum’s but as I have no photographic evidence (no iPhones back then!) you will need to imagine the following for Mum’s Baked Dinner:

  1. Meat. Generally it would be a leg of lamb. Mum would have slowly cooked it after firstly getting the outside nice and brown (and crispy where the skin was fatty). Sliced thinly for serving and my bro and I would fight for the lamb shank.
  2. Baked Vegetables. Always potatoes and pumpkin. Sometimes sweet potato too. Always brown and crispy too. Mum’s dad taught her that skill and his oven was one heated by wood!
  3. Cooked Vegetables. Here was where Mum was in her element and she loved her veggies. Peas & Beans (often she would have bought these and peeled/sliced them herself…I have a memory of Mum sitting near the open front door in Summer doing that of an afternoon). Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts would all get a gig at different times.
  4. Gravy. Never via the tin or packet. Always made with the meat/pan scrapings and added water and flour. Relish!
  5. Mint Sauce. Often made by Mum too. Do you know how easy it is to make mint sauce? Even I can do it!

A little story and it’s true! In March 1976 our little family was stranded by floodwaters in Weilmoringle NSW at our school and residence where we had arrived early in the year as the two teachers and one student/daughter. In the end it was 10 weeks before we could go anywhere other than walk over to school to teach! Mum and Dad drove from Sydney to Moree – which was a good 10 hours drive – HIRED a small Cessna plane with a pilot and brought fresh food and (you guessed it!) a leg of lamb in….and stayed for a few days and COOKED and cared for our little family. I will never forget seeing my Mum emerge from that tiny plane on the airstrip outside the school with her arms full of goodies..and just aching to cuddle her then 4 year old granddaughter. Oh, and the meals were amazing!!

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2 pics: L: airstrip at Weilmoringle NSW. R: close up of Cessna with Dad, Mum and DD aged 4.

Of course, I miss this kind of meal big time now as we are a household of 2. I have made one or two baked dinners since moving away from Sydney but it is so much trouble these days and very expensive  and my hub’s health means he eats meals like this very rarely. I will leave Mum’s baked dinner as a much cherished memory now and I am so appreciative of her skills and love of cooking meals for us.

"last" Mother's Day in 2006. Mum, my eldest GD, me, and my DD.

“last” Mother’s Day in 2006. Mum, my eldest GD, me, and my DD.

What is your favourite family meal?

Tell us your stories and memories of meals too!

Denyse.

P.S. Writing this post made me hungry!

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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 and 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!
Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.
Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt) if you like.

life this week icons 150 2


Joining with Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather and Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays.

 

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Beginnings. Life This Week. #ltw1. 366/256.

Beginnings. Life This Week 1. 366/256.

Welcome to the first week of the new Link-Up called “Life This Week.” I’ve been writing about the  topic I named “life this week” all year each Monday.

Today’s prompt, which I am following is:-

Beginnings. “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” sang Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. I began my life in Wollongong NSW as the first born to my parents.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

Life was pretty ordinary in a good way from 1949 until 1959 when we made another beginning…. I began living on Sydney’s northern beaches and went to primary school in Year 5 & 6 there, and onto Manly Girls High School until 1967 where I was in the beginning… of the Higher School Certificate cohort. Yep, the first ones to do 6 years at high school instead of 5.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I didn’t get to teachers’ college at the beginning of the intake. No, I was not ‘good enough’ to be given my teachers’ scholarship in February 1968.  Instead, my offer came at the beginning of the first week of the first prac in April so I was thrown in the deep end and swam because I was ready to begin learning to be a teacher! That beginning was awesome and I knew it was the career for me.

In 1970 I began my first year of teaching and left home to teach in country NSW. That was it! Talk about a “get real” beginning. From a spoiled kid with Mum doing pretty much everything for me, to going into a shared house with other teachers. I was soon sorted out by them and I began to learn more about being independent, how to prepare a simple meal, and, reluctantly, how to clean the house. Later that year my life began the path of ‘forever love’ and more as I met my now husband and we began this life of ours that has been 46 years in the making this October.

At our Wedding Reception

At our Wedding Reception

Beginning life as a new bride, teaching in a new (to me) position at a two teachers school (with a male chauvinist boss – not the hub!), setting up a house together, and being pregnant were HUGE beginnings. Mothering a daughter in 1971 and staying home were contributing factors to my beginnings of over-eating to compensate for unhappiness and lack of social contact. There “were” always diets to begin..and we know they didn’t work out of course.

I love(d) being a teacher, especially those kids aged from around 5 to 8. These kids are at the beginning of their learning and I so enjoy being part of that. My teaching career took me, following my husband’s career path because that WAS how the NSW Dept of Education did that then, to places where I had to begin again in new, rural, and isolated communities. This was a challenging time to a couple in the 20s but we did it. And those 8 years hold great memories.

Many years of hairstyles, ages and weight up & down! LIFE!!

Many years of hairstyles, ages and weight up & down! LIFE!!

Then to the beginning of living in a house we mortgaged and lived in for over 14 years in Sydney’s northwest. We had a second child, after thinking that would never happen and we settled into suburban life with 2 kids, 2 cars, mortgage and 2 of us in full-time teaching jobs. In 1980 my career took off as my unwell husband had to medically retire. It didn’t feel like a ‘choice’ but I did it anyway.

Thus began for the next two decades more beginnings…as I studied two degrees (bachelors and masters of education over 7.5 years via distance education) as I taught and lead in K-6 schools in Western Sydney. I began many different programs to help kids improve learning and was committed to staff development and did all I could for teachers to improve and learn new skills. I was promoted three times to executive positions, finally as principal, in 5 primary schools.

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Worked Hard For These….from 1970 to 2006.

Twenty years ago this year, I began a new role. That of grandmother. This was and remains one of my best ever gigs! Our 2 children have 4 children in each of their families and grandparenting 8 has been a wonderful time. We also began as regular carers to some of these lovely little people when I took some leave from teaching, and later, once I had partially retired. By the time I got to 60 it was time to retire. Again.

The first time was not one of choice but of ill-health. I had started my role of Principal in 1999 with great hopes and endeavoured to make the necessary changes within a school community but after almost 4 years it took its toll on me. I did have time out and whilst I was grateful, I really needed to be ‘back in schools’ so I made a beginning as a classroom teacher and ESL teacher in 2004. This was the school from which I was given a ‘retirement’ that I missed before. I began an education consulting role in pre-schools and also began a part-time, casual role as a University tutor and was an external observer for BOSTES. I chose to leave each of these paid roles with the last ones completed in  August 2015.

End 2009 last days as a teacher.

End 2009 last days as a teacher.

What about now? Before I finish, of course I made beginnings as a blogger in late 2010 and have been blogging in different platforms since then. Whilst I had hoped to make a niche for myself based on my education and schooling experiences, readers did not grow.  But I began to meet loads of lovely bloggers in both real life and virtually! Always fun. Mrs Whelan & Mrs Woog Early 2015, we made the beginning of the next part of our lives when we moved away from Sydney to start a life for two on the Central Coast and I “knew” then that blogging would be my daily go-to and it has proven so. I am so very pleased with how I have been accepted by the blogging community as I am way older than almost everyone! denyse whelan facebook profile picture Now, I am beginning my first link-up here, on the blog where I blog about many different topics. Today’s is Life This Week, and that is the name of the link-up! I hope that many bloggers decide to come on board and post here too!

What beginnings are you thinking about right now after reading some of mine? Thank you for reading….I realised that at my age there are loads of beginnings to note! Warm wishes to you all. Denyse. life 150

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 and 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!
  • Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.
  • Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt) if you like.

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I am linking up with Alicia from One Mother Hen for Open Slather and with Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays. Thank you both for your bloggy friendships!

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“Life This Week” Link-Up Starts Monday! 366/252.

“Life This Week” Link-Up Starts Monday! 366/252.

Life This Week is the new link-up from here, on Denyse Whelan Blogs.

Starts: Monday 12 September 2016.

Each Monday I’ve been using the topic “Life This Week” which for me has meant anything I came up with that seemed relevant for that week. It might have been something topical from the news, or something in my life and from time to time I joined in the link-up on Kirsty’s blog.

Now, it’s time to ramp up Mondays around here with a new LINK UP.

On Sunday I introduced the link-up and listed the prompts. I made these topical based on the date/time of the year. They are completely O P T I O N A L. However, if you want to use the prompt then take it however you want to run with it!!

Here’s the list again for those who missed it”

LIFE THIS WEEK

Mondays

Mon 12 Sept 2016 #ltw 1. Beginnings

Mon 19 Sept 2016 #ltw 2. Favourite Family Meal

Mon 26 Sept 2016 #ltw 3. What’s Your Footy Team?

Mon 3 October 2016 #ltw 4. Daylight Saving. Like/Loathe.

Mon 10 October 2016 #ltw 5. 10 Things You Like About YOU!

Mon 17 October 2016 #ltw 6. Which Anniversaries Are Special?

Mon 24 October 2016 #ltw 7. Two Months Till Christmas Eve!

Mon 31 October 2016 #ltw 8. Melbourne Cup Time!

 

Here are the rules for the link-up

  • “Life This Week”  is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until the weekend 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 and 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!
  • Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.

Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt)  if you like.

 

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So, are you planning to link-up on Monday 12 September 2016?

I hope so, and I look forward to seeing you there!!

Denyse.

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