Wednesday 12th December 2018

What I Will Never See Again. 23/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.47.

What I Will Never See Again. 23/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.47.

I am not sure what I thought this prompt would be about when it came to writing. Then, upon reflection, I decided the photos and some words could tell the story…of just a few things…of what I will never see again.

Some things of course are still there: Warragamba Dam, Manly Beach and Los Angeles…however, it is more likely than not that I will never see them again.

I note career items from my years as a young Mum and teacher, onto my senior years as Uni tutor and as an Education Specialist. Whilst I do not mention my grandchildren specifically any more (privacy reasons) it is noteworthy to add a drive to Sydney at dawn as a new grandchild was born and the eldest grandchild in an individual drama performance in the NSW Public Schools Spectacular in a place that no longer exists! With reference to our aging as I said to my husband when doing this post, there is hair neither of us will see again, along with our teeth! Gotta have a laugh.

There are things we will never see again because of where they occurred – the pool and the flowers – but who knows over time if we may not have at least one of those experiences again! More likely the flowers than the pool.

Enjoy!

 

Thank you for reading, commenting and I hope LINKING up a post, old or new, on or off prompt this week!
Denyse.
Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.
Life This Week. 23/52. 

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’s Optional Prompt: 24/52. The M-Z of Me. 11/6/18. 


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My Biggest Fear. 21/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.43.

My Biggest Fear. 21/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.43.

It took me a while to decided WHAT it was that was my biggest fear.

I ran through a list in my head.

I talked to my husband about it too.

I decided that it was not having enough money:

then I remembered I wrote a post called: What is Enough? I recalled that ‘what is enough money’ is different things to different people and that in actual fact we most likely DID have enough …as long as I reined in my clothes’ shopping. OK.

Of course, health came next…and I talked about the fear of becoming very ill. Say, with cancer. Oh yes, I have cancer. I am going OK with that too. So not that. Mmmmm.

I decided that I could not fear homelessness, nor being abandoned by my husband and I could, at this stage, not fear getting too old I cannot do things for myself.

What, then do I fear most?

Not being in control.

Simple, right?

Not really.

We humans like to think we are IN control. But are we?

So, what I know now, as I always have but was not prepared to admit it.

I can only control me.

  • My actions.
  • My responses.
  • My decisions.

Of course, as I need to get  along with others, I must remember that not everyone has this insight.

I found this link and quote from the source. What an applicable read it was!

Courage requires practising this golden mean between being too afraid and not afraid enough.

For it is only through such practice that you can acquire a habit of moderating your fear, which is exactly what being courage is.  There is no algorithm for calculating this golden mean but there is rational judgment grounded in evidence.
So to overcome you fear of losing control, you can,

  • push yourself to act on the evidence, without demanding certainty, or in spite of your fear of the uncertainty;
  • make a habit of this-not always and perfectly, but for the most part;
  • resign yourself to live by probabilities, not by guarantees.
  • accept yourself as an imperfect being who is inherently subject to making mistakes about the future; and
  • stop worrying and ruminating now, not later.

These things really are in your control!

Look how the journey led me to here as I blogged!

I am doing a mindfulness practice with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield each day now, as well as my Headspace meditation with Andy Puddicombe each night.

Add in my art time, some time outside in nature and I am s l o w l y learning about acceptance and taking things ONE at a time.

So, what is your biggest fear?

Oh. Of course DEATH is one. Enough said. Seriously I am trying to be light-hearted in this post …

But if you or another person is feeling sad, depressed and could possibly be suicidal, please give them the Lifeline Number here or ring it as you need to. 13 11 14.  

Thank you for sharing.

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

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’s Optional Prompt: 22/52. How Did Your Blog Start? 28/5/18. 


 

 

 

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What Is Friendship? #LifeThisWeek 16/52. 2018.33.

What Is Friendship? #LifeThisWeek 16/52. 2018.33.

When I selected this topic I already knew it may be a challenge to write about.

The challenge though was from my inner meaning of friendship.

I admit that having and keeping friends in the world of teaching has been hard. Why?

It’s because we move around from role to role and school to school. I know as I left work in schools to retire fully, I had hoped to keep connecting with some of the people but over time, the friendship drifted into nothingness. It was also one-sided I found.

Instead of berating myself about this, I looked at my life and why. It WAS about the moving on and about. It WAS also about interests changing too. We had a lot of couple friends as young teachers and enjoyed the company and camraderie, even keeping in touch once we were all back in Sydney. However, family changes and priorities, along with our health and moving away Sydney saw a decline in friendships.

But that was OK. That is life.

Luckily for me, I am social in my outlook and can arrange to meet with people who are on Facebook and that is fun. The friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have made many a lonely time better and I have met so many of these people via blogging I am very grateful.

And, despite the somewhat dated graphic above, when I put out the call on Facebook asking ‘what is friendship?’ I received some lovely and most helpful quotes! Thank you so much, Friends-in-the-Computer!

 

Friendship is surrounding yourself with people who celebrate you, not people who tolerate you. (E.)

Friendship is seeing each other after 18 months and everything is exactly as it was the last time you hung out. (L)

Friendship is comfort and ease, no judgement, just open hearts. (J

 Friendship is never having to be anyone other than yourself. (E)

(And never expecting your friend to be anyone other than themselves!) (E)

Friendship is always having each other’s backs, being each other’s greatest champion and greatest support. (A)

Friendship is everything that’s already been said and also being there through the good and bad, not just a “fair weather friend” if that makes sense. (V.)

Friendship is having the same sense of humour, good discussions (the flippant, the intense, the nonsensical and the hard), reciprocal gestures of support/acceptance of help (if these are imbalanced, the friendship is too), and being the rock of support in there with you without being the rescuer (and again, vice versa!) – give as generously as you receive! (K.)

Friendship is your friend arriving for dinner, and needing a little weep, and that just being part of a great evening together. Ease, love, acceptance, and solidarity. (A)

Friendship is a safe haven for kindred spirits. (V)

I liked these two quotes as well.

What I did love, and miss quite a bit, about friendships back in my working life and semi-retired life was getting together for a lunch, or a coffee date and having a good old catch up. This was fun.

However, I regard myself as fortunate to have married a man I love and who IS my best friend. He and I have seen each other through 47 years of love, triumphs, tragedies, child-rearing, illnesses, house buying and selling, and arguing! Yes, we are opposites in many ways but we are always there for each other!

Having a photo taken is NOT his favourite thing..so this pic is very much about being my best friend AND he has learned so much about photography being my ‘insta husband’ each morning! Thank you, B.

So what are your views on friendships?

Love to hear from you!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here – if she is having her link up 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!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 17/52. School Holidays Memories. 23/4/18


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I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

There I have said it.

I have been back to Sydney, crossing our wonderful Harbour Bridge many more times than I might have guessed when I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017. I have also been out to the west of Sydney to the Oral Health Services at Westmead and certainly noticed how much more building work is proceeding. The traffic. Grrr. I know, Sydney is an awesome capital city. I love(d) her too.

I was fortunate to live in Sydney – Balgowlah Heights near Manly- from 1959 to 1970 then I went to the country to teach, get married and have one child. From 1978 until 2015 we lived in north-western Sydney. So, yes I think I might have an opinion!

Last week we drove to Sydney to stay the night before my surgery last Wednesday so that there would be a stress-free start to my Day Surgery and that was a top decision. It worked. However, I decided to use my ‘free time’ on Tuesday afternoon to have my little excursion around my old home town I guess. I am sharing photos and the letter I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald. It did not get published but then again news of a certain Deputy PM and the stock market tumble were why.

My letter:

We left Sydney for The Central Coast the same week “powers that be” determined ripping up George St, adding more gateway links, extending Motorways… etc, etc, etc.
Yesterday before my 3rd surgery at a new needed & valued hospital called Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, I took a bus trip (opal card still worked!) & was astounded at the city’s disruption, noise from buildings & the fact that it’s a much slower development than ever.
When I lived in Sydney’s outer areas I enjoyed coming into the city. Not anymore!
The one thing that has not changed is the harbour & that I could ride a ferry to Zoo & return to re-connect my soul to Sydney there was my highlight.
Thank you kind bus drivers & ferry masters & attendants who helped this Senior find her way round again.

Snapshots of Sydney by me after my first real visit back in over 3 years.

However, I cannot say it was all disappointing because some things NEVER change (thank goodness!) and here they are:

Looking UP. Of course, and capturing Sydney’s varying architecture and Sydney Tower

Seagulls at Circular Quay and This Water….has not changed appearance since I first saw them in 1955.

 

It was great to see so many people enjoying the magical spot. A cruise ship was in too. I remember farewelling a friend off to England in 1965 from The Terminal.

 

Now Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and I have always enjoyed the various installations there. I loved the fact that the Aboriginal Flag was flying.

 

And this was the icing on the cake. As always. Sydney Harbour on a Ferry. Using my opal card I did a round trip to the Zoo. Ah!

So, there it is. My recent visit to Sydney.

I wonder what you think of the changes if you are a Sydney-sider.

If you are not, have you been to Sydney?

I think of this place more as my hometown now ….the northern beaches too…rather than the place of my birth, Wollongong.

What’s your hometown?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays.

 

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On Healing and Trust. 2017.118.

On Healing and Trust. 2017.118.

I preface today’s post with the news that I have not been physically well since late last week (I wrote about it here) and when I am like this my inner world becomes unsure, scared and less  confident than I like to appear and feel. This has been exacerbated about 1000times since I found I had cancer. Even the recent trip back to see the specialist has not left me feeling wonderful because I am scared again knowing I face many more visits and more invasions in my mouth. YET. I cannot stand the way it is now, as I literally cannot eat much at all and I am getting more and more frustrated by my predicament.

YOU might think, as I do in my punitive self-talk that I should be grateful the cancer has gone and be appreciative. Well, right now, I am not.

The psychologal effects of this cancer thing are overpowering when I ‘let them’ so in an effort to feel a bit less aggro and more present-moment centred I am changing some of the thought patterns.

I talked to my husband about and I think it is a grieving process but it is very uncomfortable and makes me sound unappreciative and spoiled.

But hey, I am human.

Enough from me or this will be a 100% whingefest…..and I even deplore those too.

Good news update: Since feeling wretched with a bad virus or flu from last Wednesday on I was a little bit relieved to feel a bit better yesterday physically and today the result from the doctor for flu is ‘normal’. Yay. But as I found out yesterday, Wednesday 25 Oct, this is still a ‘flu’ and the various bugs and nasties which fly around the body will leave me exhausted and unwell for about another 4-6 days. Today, Thursday 26 Oct I have woken with no temperature, continued lethargy and but an increased interested in eating again. Even though eating IS restrictive, it’s better to be hungry than not.

This is a piece from the writer Jeff Foster in his book: The Way of Rest.

Healing: Trust The Process.

Sometimes you have to commit to feeling worse in order to feel better. Sometimes you have to lose the hope of every getting better, then you start to get better. Sometimes healing involves staying very present as powerful waves of energy move in the body. Sometimes the body shakes, convulses, aches, sweats, burns as it rids itself of toxins, releases of bound-up tension.

The mind says, “I’m getting worse”. The heart knows you’re OK.

True healing is not the removal of surface symptoms, but courage and trust of the body and connection with the breath, and knowing that the symptoms may intensify before they disappear. And they may never disappear. Yet you may fall in love with yourself as you are, despite the future, and you may drop to your knees in gratitude, for you have been given another day on this precious earth.

Maybe getting worse was the best thing that ever happened to you. Because you’ve never sensed the presence of love so clearly, and your path has never been more obvious, and you have never felt so alive.

All I can say is I am hoping to shake off some of these feelings but also to accept them as being part of what is…as I have done this year, when told I had cancer.

 

It felt helpful for me to try to explain what was going on in some kind of written form here!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie for I Blog On Tuesdays and with Leanne for Lovin’ Life Linky on Thursdays.

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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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Cancer and Me Four Months On. 2017.108.

Cancer and Me Four Months On. 2017.108.

Really? It’s been four months since I found out that cancer was in my mouth….and by this Thursday coming, 11 weeks since it was removed. Oh. Then that has  gone both fast and slow!

I did say I wasn’t going to have cancer at the centre of my blogging but I cannot deny that it’s there/here/everywhere around us. My community nurse who visits each week to change and check on my leg wounds’ dressings has cancer. Hers is breast cancer. I know of on-line friends recently diagnosed too and one, very sadly, who has passed away. And the country was saddened to see the recent death to cancer of Connie Johnson from LoveYourSister.

CANCER.

I don’t use the ‘f’ word in front of it though. Many do with the #f…cancer. It’s just not me.

Today though  I am actually wanting to share the lessons having cancer has taught me. I am not going too ‘woo woo’ or having had a new experience from beyond. But it’s true.

Having cancer has taught me these 10 lessons:

  • I am not alone in getting a rare cancer and a most unusual one like mine …even if I did  know that someone else has had it might make a difference. The point I am making is I am not special”.
  • The surgeons know more about how to fix me than I do so I am better leaving things in their capable hands rather than trying to control where my cancer is taking me.
  • About kindness. Of strangers. Of friends. Of people I may only see a few times. So. Many. Kind. Words & Deeds. I am forever grateful.
  • When I need to be, I can be patient and wait. This is a huge life lesson for the previously still  impatient moi!
  • I have more inner strength and resilience than I have previously given myself credit for. It has made a psychological shift in me that has been noticed by those closest to me and the professionals I see more frequently such as my GP and psychologist. I am going well in so many ways, I can see & feel that now. 
  • To appreciate the little things in life. Sunshine on a day where I can go outside and soak up some vitamin D. A warm bed after an early shower (my husband still needs to help by sealing my right leg in a plastic bag. Time to talk. To my husband and to friends who call.
  • My creativity and independence give me great strength each day as I endeavour to feed myself for healing, wellness and enjoyment. It IS a challenge but now I am on my own two feet and fit to cook, I enjoy making meals for someone (moi!)  who has 8 teeth on the bottom jaw and a strong tongue. The rest…is attitude and being aware of how I can eat safely.
  • I can be calm about what is ahead because I am fortunate enough to be able to know (within a small likelihood) that my cancer is unlikely to metastasise.
  • What I face in the next 6-12 months is to get my mouth ‘fixed’ from the inside. I do trust my surgical and dental team 100% that their goal is for me to be cancer free (check!) and back to eating as I might have in the past (on the way) and to have my full smile back (it is half at the moment).
  • Every day is a gift and I need to be more in the present than I have ever been in my whole life. I am a work-in-progress in this as I often spent times in the past (regrets, sadness) and projecting into the future. I know that the only moment we have is NOW. 

What About You?

None of us have to have cancer to consider making life changes. Some of the last 2 years I had been on my way using daily meditation, creative arts and reading & doing on-line courses to better understand the various life transitions that were mine. Retirement. Ageing. Leaving Family. Selling Our House.

What do you do to help yourself?

Thank you to my readers here who have continued to be wonderful supporters and friends of mine as I continue to journey. I am buoyed by your care and words on-line whenever we connect!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell (who is cruising along right now!) for I Blog on Tuesdays here and with Leanne here for Lovin’ Life Linky on Thursdays.

 

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Selfie Time.#LifeThisWeek 32/52. 2017.99.

Selfie Time.#LifeThisWeek 32/52. 2017.99.

When I was younger I resisted being in most photographs and I used the excuse “I am the photographer”.

And I realised that by doing this I was avoiding my appearance flaws (in my head and in reality) of my size.

I read something which made me change my mind…not matter what I looked like and that was….

how will your family remember you as their mum, mother-in-law, grandmother if you are not in any of the photos?

It then clicked with me that I needed to be willing to be part of the picture!

I am glad I did because there are records of me playing, having fun and being with the kids.

But what is it about ‘selfies?’

Since the advent of the mobile phone and reversing camera inside, it is easy to take a photo of yourself and I admit I have become more interested in taking selfies as a way to measure new experiences, where we live now and…most recently, my cancer diagnosis and surgery.

So: here are but a few of my selfies.

I sometimes can talk my husband and my dad into being in a selfie and my grandson (down further) is selfie- savvy and is very tall!

Most of the  following selfies were all taken once I knew I had cancer in my gums and the ones in the latter stages are following surgery.

Do you take selfies?

Do your record your life in photographs?

Happy Monday.

Denyse.

 

Added: On Sunday 20 August I drove myself to the Beach as I wanted to see the effects of the high tides and the windy conditions..it was an independent activity I handled really well. In fact I came home and said to B “that was the most normal I have felt” since before surgery. To let you see the effects of the wind..I present 2 selfies!!

 

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

Link up here for Life This Week!

Here are the rules:

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: Mindfulness.


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