Monday 18th December 2017

Best Birthday Ever. #LifeThisWeek 46/52. 2017.127.

Best Birthday Ever. #LifeThisWeek 46/52. 2017.127.

I chose this prompt in one of the ways I select prompts…via the calendar.

This coming Thursday, 30 November is my 68th birthday. I look at those numbers….and remember how ‘concerned’ I was about turning:

40

50

60

and look what’s ahead…all things staying well. This:

70

So I shall re-group. Ahem. I am very grateful to have been born and that I continue to have birthdays, memorable or not. Because that is the way of life these days. Some great memories of birthdays is how I am interpreting this prompt. But there was ONE birthday which stands out: When I turned ONE. My dad tells me that the best and worst year of his life was 1950. I was born in late 1949. He was sent by his company (alone) to do work and training in Melbourne while Mum and I (young baby) stayed in our Wollongong home. Mum had great next door neighbours for love and support but it was not the same as having Dad home. He made a vow to be home for my first birthday and to never travel away like that again. And he kept his word. In fact he left that company and joined a new one…and he did travel again but never for as long a time as that first year of my life. I wrote about this here last year. I wish I had more photos to share of birthdays but it turns out, like many of us, I was the photographer at family events…and as contrary as it may seem, I may not have wanted my birthday to be a great celebration with me at the centre…but if I was forgotten then I was upset. But I do recall a few of the more memorable birthdays and here they are:

  • turning 4. A family and friends from the neighbourhood party.
  • my 16th. Mum and Dad organised some of my friends to surprise me at home and that was fun. My present from them was the LP Album of The Sound of Music.
  • my 21st. I have written about THAT extravaganza that went for days here.
  • my 30th was a bit of fun as we had a young child not yet 1 and a daughter who was 8 and teacher friends with a similar age gap between their kids so we had a celebration at Maccas. I know, cool! It was 1979!!
  • my 50th was interesting! I was in my first year as principal at RPS and unbelievably one of my executive team shared exactly the same birthDATE. She and I had a double celebration with a cake each from the staff.
  • in 2015 I went back to see the family for my birthday and caught up with my Dad and brother here.
  • last year I was determined not to focus on how sad I was away from our family (our second year of living on the coast) so I made myself ‘dress well’ and my husband and I celebrated afternoon tea (with cupcakes I made!) when he got home from Lifeline work.

My 66th Birthday.

My 67th Birthday.

My mouth is still very sore from recent surgery (eating is a challenge anyway since the first surgery) that my birthday treat this coming Thursday will be a coffee and cupcake shared with my husband for morning tea.

Do you find birthdays (your own) somewhat less than wonderful yet you celebrate those of others?

No? Just me then.

Yes? Do share!

Denyse. Joining with blogging friends who also have Monday Link Ups: Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays. 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!

Next Week: My View From Here…. it’s a busy time of year, so make this a visual prompt with few words! Practising for next year’s Share Your Snaps!

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My Last Year of High School. #LifeThisWeek.44/52. 2017.123.

My Last Year of High School. #LifeThisWeek.44/52. 2017.123.

Regular readers know I decided to become a K-6 school teacher way back in Year 5!

But what no-one really knows till this post is how that may not have even happened!

Oh!

I graduated from primary school and went to the recently opened Manly Girls High School in 1962. I was part of the cohort who would do the first School Certificate (end of Year 10) and Higher School Certificate (end of Year 12). This meant those who started in 1962 as I did would be at High School for 4 years minimum (for those who wanted to leave to train or do a course or had a job waiting) and 6 years if tertiary study at University or Teachers’ College was the plan.

Who actually knows in Year 7 what they want to do or be? Well, for me, I had a plan to teach in the back of my mind but I thought of a few other jobs but, let’s just set the scene for how much of a student I was.

Year 11. In the new senior uniform.

I started really well. I was put in the top Year 7 class and that continued for Year 8. I was studying: English (compulsory) Maths (compulsory) Science (compulsory) Modern History, French and German (all my electives) and we also had Music, Cooking and Sewing, Physical Education.

My life as a scholar is that I really am quite lazy  unmotivated more likely and much preferred the times at school and out of it to be talking to my friends about: boys, music, surfing, boys, dancing classes with boys, reading (a lot) and caring for little kids as a neighbourhood baby sitter.

I went down a grade for Years 9 and 10 and did not get maths or science much at all. Nothing has changed. Still. 50+years later. Sigh.

But I got through the School Certificate and then it was onto: the last 2 years of school! Where I was…down another grade to the classes which ended with C. But hey, I was having a good social life. Writing for the school magazine, being in school musicals with the local boys’ school and socialising at fellowship on Sunday nights (the place where you pretended to be part of the church but actually went to socialise afterwards). Legit I say. My second boyfriend came from fellowship whereas my first boyfriend was from dancing classes after school.

Typical report #1 for me.

Typical report for me #2

Into senior school. OK.

They did give us a new uniform and it was a bit different but like us, the teachers were winging it all a bit too. For my last two years of school I was able to drop science. Thank goodness. My subjects for Years 11 and 12 were English, Maths, Modern History, French and German. I did well in Modern History because the teacher was very engaging and I survived the Maths and English classes. French was OK and German was boring. But then again, it could have been the young teacher who was, now I think about it, only 3 years older than us. She actually sent me out of class for talking in Year 12. Imagine. Ha!

Musical in Year 11.

Around the early Year 12 time I realised, with great shock and surprise, that my life to now, pretending to study ( I was nagged but I got away with not studying by having a room on a different level to my parents), and getting a new boyfriend who was in his first year at Uni. was NOT going to get me into teachers college if I still wanted to be a teacher.

I DID.

The motivation of having a study competition between me and the bf helped as did the realisation that I actually had to do more than write notes to my friends and pretend I was studying at home. I also liked the social side of school and kept up some of my fun by helping organise the Year 12 formal and edit the school magazine. My friendship group of 3 were not interested in tertiary study and I had to move away from them at times just to ensure I was beginning to learn how to catch up and pass the Higher School Certificate.

The girlfriends. We went to each others’ weddings but lost contact after we went to the country teaching.

Once it was over, I got pretty good marks – even though they were not marks then they were levels like 1, 2 and 3. I got 2 Level 2s and 3 Level 3s. By January the next year I had matriculated and earned a Commonwealth scholarship to the new Macquarie University to do a BA Dip Ed. but I did not want to do that. Sadly when the first round of offers came for teachers’ college scholarships my name was not there. But, later I did score what I wanted. My scholarship to Balmain Teachers College to train as a K-2 Teacher (later K-6). I was one very relieved new teacher-t0-be!

Mrs Whelan. K-6 Principal.

I will let you into a secret. I know what kids get up to in class…and whilst I was not ‘bad’ bad…I could be over-talkative and bit naughty. It is said that those who are like this make good teachers…and look where I ended up. School Principal!

So, how was your last year(s) at High School?

When did you leave?

Did you have any idea what you wanted to do after school?

Tell me more in the comments.

Denyse.

Linking every Monday with Alicia here and Kell here.

Thank you for linking up today.

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! Next Week: Final Taking Stock in 2017.


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Meditation. Yay or Nay. #LifeThisWeek.43/52. 2017.121.

Meditation. Yay or Nay. #LifeThisWeek.43/52. 2017.121.

Yay for Meditation from me.

But, over time meditation has changed (me) for the better and I will outline why.

Before we go there, I want to clear up some misconceptions about meditation.

It is not:

  • where you turn off all your thoughts (impossible)
  • a session where you ‘chant’ or repeat a mantra (unless you choose to)
  • something you need a special time and place for (although you might find that helps you)
  • a magical panacea to life’s stressors ( if only!)
  • something to be done occasionally if you want to gain from it (i.e. missing days/weeks/months) 
  • is not always a cost to you (there are some programs I have used at the end of the post)

My brief history as a meditator.

I began formal (i.e. making myself sit in one place, with my eyes closed for 10 minutes) meditations shortly after enjoying and noting the benefits from a half-day course here at the local Buddhist Centre. I wrote about it here too on the blog back in 2015. I think I confused the two words: mindfulness and meditation as being one. They can be joined for sure but mindfulness can be practised in all kinds of settings whereas meditation tends to be in a quieter space often alone. Some meditations occur in  group setting such as the course I went to and on-line but for me, I have only ever meditated alone. More about what I got up to in the early days here.

I started with headspace via their app and did the first 10 sessions for free. I was IN. I then paid for the next stages and that has gone on now for a continuous time. I pay around $75 USD for annual membership.

This gives me the access to so many different topics all based on coming back to the breath and letting your brain note and let get has been worth it. I often repeat a group of sessions. Some are 30 sessions, others 10. I pick my time I want to meditate from 10mins, 15 mins to 20 mins. Right now, I am doing a work-based session called Productivity and it is 10 sessions for my choice of 10 minutes.

“But Denyse, you don’t work anymore says you”….true but I sure know I am liable to be distracted and wander off to do tasks and then get somewhat overwhelmed if I do not have them more organised. So, it is helping me with gentle guidance in a life skill.

So far here are the stats of my meditations history. I am not sure it is entirely accurate as I did have an account double and my date may not have transferred…but what the heck, it gives me a bit of a boost to see how I am going.

Total time meditated
191 hours

Sessions completed
924 sessions

Current run streak
35 days

Last time meditated
17 hours ago

This is reminding me that I have yet to meditate today (Saturday afternoon as I write, so I will be back!) I am back.

Where I meditate and why.

My default behaviour is rule-keeper. That means for me, starting as a meditator I made a special place within my bedroom where I had some items like a candle I would light, a high backed chair with cushion making sure my feet could touch the ground and of course, no interruptions. I also had a special time for it and reminder via my phone. I relaxed that somewhat this year and just have it as a general reminder. My iphone as the app for Headspace and each day it would be ready with the next session I had chosen.

As time went on, and we moved house, I did not have a set place or space devoted to meditation anymore other than not to be disturbed. I now meditate (often) outside in a comfy chair with my back supported and feet up on a seat. I sometimes meditate lying on a bed in my art room. I have meditated in bed at night if I have not done so in the day and I have meditated in my car (parked!) on some occasions.

It has made no difference to me how or where I meditate even though I did think in 2015 I had to do it ‘right’ to get the benefitsWhat I now know is the only doing it right is to actually do it! I have missed a day here and there (and I did not meditate in hospital because of the constant interruptions) and I feel the difference not doing it. I thought it would cure me of my anxiety and IBS and it hasn’t. But what it has done is made me more aware of not getting too carried away with my thoughts and to bring myself back to the breath. Not only via meditation but anywhere. My husband does a walking meditation too.

My breath is my anchor.

But what about mindfulness? 

For me, mindfulness is something I need to attend to more each day. And generally I do. I am more mindful because I notice things and look around me often. I feel the touch of where I am sitting and when driving the car. I smell the smells and inhale the good and pleasant ones as great memories. Of course I eat mindfully MORE now as I literally have to take great care eating and do not want to choke! I also listen more attentively to nature. The bird song here is just wonderful.

So, mindfulness + meditation is about attending to the session I guess. However, in my case, the founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe really just asks that we pay attention to the breath, and to let passing thoughts come and go..noting them but not getting caught up in them.

I have tried and still check out three other meditation apps/sites. Here is Smiling Mind which is Australian-based and used in schools now too. This one is called Calm. This is one on my phone too and is free. It’s Insight Timer.  Sometimes I do a meditation from my favourites Pema Chodron, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield on their CDs. I have one more to add. Comedian and writer, Ruby Wax has had many episodes of depression and it was only through meditation and mindfulness practices with some of the best Dr Mark Williams at Oxford that her health improved. She has now done a Masters there and produced a great book called Frazzled. I have listened to the audio version and she does a great job helping guide people as first time meditators.

I hope that you have found some of this helpful. Please ask me any questions in the comments. I am always happy to share and help.

How about you, are you for Meditation or not?

Denyse.

I link up here for Open Slather with Alicia and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Thank you for linking up today.
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!


 

 

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Travel Tales. #LifeThisWeek 42/52. 2017.119.

Travel Tales. #LifeThisWeek 42/52. 2017.119.

I have enjoyed travel a lot.

In fact, I am considering some travel next year but my surgical team and my ability  to eat properly will determine that. However, I can still plan. High on my list in 2018 is a visit to Canberra around Autumn to capture the leaves and to maybe visit with some blogging friends who live there! Yes, I am thinking of you Leanne and you too Claire and Lauren of course.

My favourite form of travel is SOLO.

Yes, organised by me (with help from a travel agent as necessary) and enjoyed by me!! Look, honestly, I spent all those years on holidays with the family and then with the spouse and half the time is spent negotiating who wants to do what and where and when and by my 50s I was O V E R that. And I am not afraid to travel solo and I actually enjoy experiences of meeting other people when and if I choose. Seriously. Have you tried it?

Where is this travel tale set?

It took me a bit of tossing up and it was between my OS (only one!) trip to the U.S. West Coast, Las Vegas and Hawaii OR this area: Far North Queensland. I know this is not its name now but it is how I refer to it!! Three Travel Tales To The Magical Tropics of Far North Queensland. 2002, 2003 and 2010.

Regular readers know that I left my role as a school principal due to ill-health. That was in September 2002 but in October 2002 I had already planned to attend a conference in Palm Cove and was being supported by my employer to attend. Work cover was fine about that so I went. It could not have happened at a better time as I needed both distraction and enjoyment back in my life. Here is what I found I loved about this first trip:

  • the warm air and water – it was not quite stinger time so I ventured in once I think to the actual sea, but the rest of time was the resort pool.
  • the ambience and the beauty of the surroundings.
  • the colours.
  • the part of the reef I ventured to was Green Island.
  • the hinterland.
  • so much to take in and enjoy it was hard to come home!

Mid-year 2003 when I was indeed now fully retired from the role of principal and my husband was about to finally stop his part-time teaching role, we wanted to mark the occasion with a special place to celebrate. I chose Port Douglas this time and B was happy to agree. Until the plane trip up. I am fine travelling economy (well, fine enough) but my poor  guy with spinal pain and well over 6’2″ was NOT. At all. He could barely express how hard it was to travel well over 3 hours like that: add in the airport trip from home, even though we did use a hire car, the waiting at the airport, the disembarking and the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas: So that put a LARGE dampener on the trip at the start, and if I tell the truth, most of the stay. I had selected a one bedroom apartment with air con and all comforts but did not know there was no lift and it meant up around 4 flights to our room. There were days, B did not leave the room.

He actually said “I cannot go home like that” and I agreed. We then changed our tickets home to business class at a cost of (back then) $1500 to enable him to have some comfort. When we did go to fly home we were delayed at Cairns due to the late incoming Qantas flight which was bringing up a tiger for a local zoo. By the time we embarked on the same plane we were ready to enjoy every part of the $1500 worth and yes, it was awesome travelling that way. At the Sydney end on the June evening, our then son-in-law was picking us up and the huge storm that we encountered out of Sydney and on landing did slow down our going home as the luggage handlers could not go out on the tarmac in the storms. We eventually got our ride home…and that, dear readers, is the last time I have travelled on a plane with my husband!

The Next Time I Retired. September 2010. My dear spouse had not been well for the past year or so and even though we found out some two years later due to HIS investigations and proactive work and seeing a new GP that he did NOT have Parkinsons Disease, it was timely for me to have a little break. Where else did I choose? Far North Queensland. From the drop off to the airport to arrival in Cairns and picking up my rental car for the trip to Palm Cove I was fine. In fact, it was a bit sad to be away from B because we thought he was unwell. Yes he was but not from what the Drs said. Grrrr. Story for another time maybe.

I had picked a one bedroom studio overlooking the water. And the resort had one of those magical beach type pools. It was great. Except, again, for the long walk UP 3 flights of stairs to my room. Why, resorts, why do you not put in lifts?? I made the most of the spa on the verandah and swam in the pool. Ordered some room service but mostly walked along the wonderful Williams Esplanade to a cafe for breakfast. I did some day trips in the car to my much loved Mossman Gorge and went on a day bus trip to the Tablelands. I LOVED up there too. I could get on a plane right now and be back there. I feel an affinity spiritually and physically to the area. I am adding some poor image quality photos to this post as a memory of what it was for me then.

Do you have a special place that forms part of your travel tales? Denyse. Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Thank you for linking up here everyone  for Life This 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! 

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With $1000 I would…#LifeThisWeek 41/52. 2017.117.

With $1000 I would…#LifeThisWeek 41/52. 2017.117.

Donate the amount to finding a cure for Influenza.

I last had influenza in 1998 and determined to never be that unwell again.

My husband and I have had annual fluvax since then.

Yet this is what I might have and I won’t know until today or tomorrow if it is the flu or a bad virus. Whatever the outcome the treatment is the same: do nothing, rest, eat lightly and drink much.

Updated: NOT the flu. I did start to feel a bit better through the day yesterday and Dr’s office has confirmed throat sample: normal. 

Since the day of the photo I am adding I have felt: aches and pains beyond normal,  had temperatures go as high as 39.5, taken panadol, got the shivers and shakes and for the me, unfortunately the ‘runs’ and severe nausea. I have mild cough, am without energy, and just plain miserable. I am resting because I have no choice.

It’s not fair! I know that is something else I have been doing and kind of stopping. Whingeing. Getting over cancer has been a challenge but this puts me in a place of misery that I had left a while back.

So, away from that. Last Wednesday I did one of my beloved ‘challenges’ and arranged to meet my daughter and her two eldest at the end of the M1 at Hornsby for brunch. I wanted to see them of course, but more than that I wanted to celebrate my daughter’s amazing achievement reached by FINALLY (and she would say the same!) completing her planned 2 Year Part-Time Masters of Education in Teacher Education in her 4th year. Being a single mama, a part-time teacher/librarian in her school because of her family of 3 older kids and one pre-school one, added to her needing surgery x2 in the time, and both of these girls being hospitalised for serious and chronic illnesses in the past 12-16 months…she wondered how on earth she would ever do it. Of course, like any story there is more, but it is not for publication.

She took some LSL and with grim determination got it done. The ‘kids’ were all behind her and they will attend her graduation (of course, she WILL pass those two subjects, just don’t know yet) in Wagga in December. She is back to school this week and it was a pleasure (even though I was probably coming down with this awful thing then) to have met them  and chatted. I don’t usually specifically write  or put pics of the family here but these ladies are over 18 and have already given me permission to share on IG.

That’s it from me. I may or may not comment for a day or so. I will see how I feel.

Have you had this rotten flu/virus?

Do you regularly have the injections?

I hope you are well!

Denyse.

If you like please link up here with Alicia for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays. I will see how I feel.

Thanks for joining in Life This 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!


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Letter to 20 year old Me. #LifeThisWeek. 40/52. 2017.115.

Letter to 20 year old Me. #LifeThisWeek. 40/52. 2017.115.

Prefacing my letter with this photograph. My eldest granddaughter is the age I am writing about. In fact she will be 21 before year’s end as I was too around this time of year. Thanks J for the inspiration and the LOVE you share with me and many. In fact, by co-incidence, J has posted her Sunday night vid on You Tube about her at 20! Neither of us knew what the other was up to. Love this.

 

Dear Denyse,

I remember you being 20 so well. It was the last year of teachers’ college. You were acing the pracs at the schools you were sent to and in fact those schools were great but you had something else on your mind. You were ready to flee Sydney weren’t you as your boyfriend of almost 3 years was going to a regional area for his first job after graduating Uni?  No longer a Northern Beaches girl like your friends from school, you were about to go BUSH…in fact to Barraba NSW that January 1970 but wait. There is a little more to remember before you became loaded with class teaching responsibilities and being ‘dropped’ by the long-term boyfriend….and not being sure of what was ahead after that.

Graduation as a teacher aged 20. End of 1969.

Social life aged 20. Uni balls were the best!

Teacher’s College mates and yes, pigtails on me.

So, in 1970 you had some highs and lows. However, you also had one of the best times socially as in the country back then teachers tended to group together and have dinners and parties and it was good. On October 17 1970 something VERY important to you then and now happened. You met the man who would become your life’s partner. He was a young 21 year old in his 3rd year of teaching in a small school beyond the mountains where you were teaching. But once the love grew and GREW, you no longer wanted to be apart. In fact, after becoming engaged just before your 21st birthday something else grew. A wee baby was on her way – we did not know that yet – and even though that was a surprise, we both knew…we are together for life!!

Wedding Day 1971. Dad, Mum, Bro, Gran, B & Me, Poppy, Papa

It was not an ideal beginning to our marriage but you know what, Miss 20, you chose well as did your B. Despite some criticism from your parents, in particular your mother, you shone. Marriage is a hard road and you learned that early. B was and is always a great life partner and you know what? In all the ups and downs, health scares, financial matters, relationship changes with our kids, welcoming grandkids into our lives, having to retire early, and more, we have shown that OUR decision to be together for the rest of our lives was the BEST. Coming up to 47 years since we met this very week!!

So, a little bit of what was ahead for you in some snapshots. Gosh look at you. You have always been self-conscious of your weight. Do you remember in teachers’ college PE class you rated yourself fat? I know, a bit of something wrong there. I think though, that you also thought you were NOT a fashion plate like your Mum and that you actually enjoyed learning and education whereas your mum was the true home-maker mum who never worked once she had kids. Your dad supported you there but both parents often made you feel a little less than OK by veiled and actual comments about your weight. Yep. Always there and even now, as you have been diagnosed with cancer and lost a lot of weight I can tell that you ‘worry’ about putting it back on. Many women, in case you did not know, have similar battles in their hearts and minds, so take comfort and be kind. As your B would say “treat yourself like a friend”. I didn’t know how to do that properly until I was 67 so sorry, Miss 20 and beyond, you have had a rather torrid time with self-talk.

Let’s go with the show!

I would love to add some photos of our children, Miss 20,  but for privacy reasons I cannot.  We had two children in the end. Ironically after falling pregnant with our daughter it took another 7.5 years for our son to come along. I had a lot of medical and then surgical intervention for that to occur. I would add too, that as a young mother about to turn 30 you had another significant challenge in life occur when the severe and chronic illness of your B meant he was medically retired from teaching. The next 4 years, until he steered himself towards better health and recovery, were exhausting and busy to say the least. In fact, your parents stepped in to help out in  ways which supported  you so you are grateful for those times even though it is still hard to let the ‘judgy’ times heal and let go. But this time saw you embark upon more self-education and career path moves and you completed two degrees, B.Ed and M.Ed, along with raising two kids (by now B was at home helping majorly both in a physical sense as he managed the house and started a tutoring business) and going for a 3 work promotions where you eventually became a school principal.

Then came retirement for you. I know. In this day and age retirement is nothing like you saw for your dad. In fact, you retired a few times. Once in 2003 after having a health breakdown at work and not being allowed by your doctor to return, second when you had gone to a teaching role in 2004 and then by age 60 in 2010 had decided enough was enough…and thirdly in 2015 when you surrendered your part-time roles at University teaching pre-service students, closed your business as an education consultant and ceased working for NSW  BOSTES.

I know that at 20 I would have had no idea of what a blog might be or of course social media. But what I did know, into my late 50s is that I am an early adopter. I like technologies that work for me and do not need too much technical prowess from me. I also know that at 20 I loved photography but not nearly as much as I do now.

So, this next and current life stage Miss 20, is getting a little bit easier but also a little bit scarier as I approach 70. OK, not for 2 more years but hey, it happens. Life. And of course, death. You’ve experienced the deaths of 4 of the people who loved you from the photo at your wedding. Dad remains well and in fact praises you now. Yes. He has written you some healing letters and often shows his appreciation for you as his daughter and is proud of you. He tells you that! So, remember it. And in terms of new life…Miss 20 GD above might have been first, but since then you have become Grandma (Miss 20, I love that name!) to 8 children. 6 girls and 2 boys.

Of course, no-one ever wants to get sick, Miss 20 do they? You have always been fearful of that. The past few years saw your anxiety levels skyrocket as you made 3 major life transitions and your well-known IBS decided to return. It all helped you lose weight but that was not the point. Then, knowing your teeth were always trouble some you had gum problems. These were found to be cancer and you had major surgery. I am delighted to say it is highly likely the cancer has gone. But you will continue to need check ups just as you need more surgeries soon.

It is hard to decide where to end this letter so for now, it will be open-ended. I am hopeful that my recollections can soothe my 67 year old self as I recount some of the stand-outs told to my 20 year old self…and that you remember you are LOVED by many so it’s time to add you to that list too.

All my love,

Denyse xx

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Thank you for joining this week’s link up here:

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!


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NEWS: Share Your Snaps! Part of 2018 Link-Up. #LifeThisWeek 2018. 2017.114.

NEWS: Share Your Snaps! Part of 2018 Link-Up. #LifeThisWeek 2018. 2017.114.

In the past few years I have really enjoyed linking up to Photo link ups.

This year, however, saw most of those I linked up with regularly no longer continue for various reasons. Blogging is like that as we all know. I too have changed the frequency of my blog posts in 2017 from almost every day to twice a week. For the chance to see more blogs and to visit them too, I link up to a number of people’s regular link-ups.

Mondays: mine! Alicia’s here on One Mother Hen called Open Slather and here with Kell on her blog All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays.

Tuesdays: Kylie’s at Kylie Purtell here called I Blog on Tuesdays

Thursdays: Leanne’s at Deep Fried Fruit here for Lovin’ Life.

That is it! I no longer link to US-based or predominantly US blogs as there is not a lot of connection back to the this blog.

But, here’s the thing. I miss my chance to link up photos. I know some link-ups are called Wordless for the fact that they are all photo-based and that’s cool. However, I could rarely add mine without some sort of explanation.

So….I am not introducing a new link-up as that is both a cost to me in terms of money and time so I am doing this:

Each 5th Week on my Monday Life This Week Link-Up will be titled Share Your Snaps.

Snaps of course being an old-fashioned word for photos!

If you have some photographs to share, then that’s your chance OR continue posting that week what ever you planned . As you know Life This Week is prompt-optional!

I chose each week ending in a 5 or a 0 so I could remember….

So, I hope that if you are a blogger who also likes to share your snaps, then the place to do that in link-up form will be every 5th week in the Life This Week Link Up held here in 2018.

The first week for Share Your Snaps will be Monday 29 January 2018.

I would love to know what you all think of this idea. Happy to hear your suggestions too!

Denyse.

On Tuesdays I link here with Kylie for I Blog on Tuesdays.

On Thursdays I link here with Leanne for Lovin’ Life.

 

 

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Any Regrets? #LifeThisWeek 39/52. 2017.113.

Any Regrets? #LifeThisWeek 39/52. 2017.113.

I first thought of this prompt as a list where I would write my regrets.

Oh.

So then I had a review of why I thought they were regrets and that opened a conversation between me and my husband about the futility of the list. However, before I sign off on no regrets, these were on that list*:

  1. Leaving the state super scheme aged 22 because I could and my husband was already a member.
  2. Selling our Kellyville house and putting much more of our borrowed dollars into a new build of our own at Bella Vista only to have to sell it to keep ourselves from bankruptcy only 4 years later.
  3. Deciding to resign from my role as principal rather than continue in the way in which Work Cover wanted me to in steps and stages starting with working from the local district office.
  4. Generously giving our adult kids hefty (for then and now!) deposits as early inheritances so they had security for their future and that of our grandchildren or future grandchildren.
  5. Saddling ourselves with a much larger mortgage than we could sustain once I had reached 60 and found working most days a physical and mental challenge.

*I note that each of these is money-based and yes, I am that person who likes financial security (we have it) but I am still someone who would like to have had more. That’s who I am. Not proud of it. It’s me. 

This has been hard in some ways to re-visit these landmarks in my mind….but that IS the whole point. They are in the past. I cannot change a thing about any of them. I need to leave them where they are but also to recall, from time to time, the learning they have afforded me.

That is: I cannot control the ways in which others may respond to my or another’s gifts, choices, decision and the like. The only way I can move on is to say to myself “I forgive myself for some of those decisions and will use my memories of them to guide me for the future me and centre the present me on where I am in this moment”.

Some findings on-line about regrets here:

http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/no-regrets.jpg

http://inspirationboost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/88-Never-Regret-Good-is-Wonderful-Bad-is-Experience.png

I did have some songs come to mind too with lyrics about regrets but rather than give you ear worm (which you just might regret!!) I offer the titles only.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien – Edith Piaf

My Way – Frank Sinatra

I am interested to know how you view regrets and if you have been successful at letting any regrets ‘go’…..

Thanks for reading!

May I ask you to come over and read TOMORROW’S post here or on I Blog on Tuesdays link with Kylie or

on Thursday’s link with Leanne because I have an ANNOUNCEMENT about 2018 Life This Week!!

Denyse.

On Mondays I link with Alicia here for Open Slather and with Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

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!

Next Week: Letter to My 20 year old self.


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