Saturday 21st October 2017

Learning MY Lessons. 366/306.

Learning MY Lessons. 366/306.

The statement below is an excerpt from my blog’s page in the header. The commitment to blog daily until the end of 2016 remained true until recent weeks.

In 2015 blogging daily was my focus on some days as it was the ‘only familiar’ routine in a much-changed world for me. Retirement from my work life in education and schooling means finding other ways in which to connect with people. I am still learning! A work-in-progress!
The connections I have made and re-established via blogging have re-energised me and helped me focus on the on-line community I value. I look forward to making more connections in 2016.

So, whilst nothing significant happened, I started to realise I have been learning more about what else I can be doing and experiencing as part of my life’s major transitions. Yes, art and mandalas have figured high in that list. So too has been interest in learning more on-line about ‘self compassion’ and about ‘writing to heal.’ In addition to those I have been reading widely and learning much!


Remember, I am a life-long learner!

I remain, like all humans a ‘work-in-progress’.

It has taken me a while to let myself actually stop blogging every day! I know! Sometimes the thoughts in our minds are not the best ones nor what we should listen to. Therefore, I am not committing to blog every day any more from today! I am not even thinking about blogging every day anymore.

I have to admit there have been some days where my motivation to ‘do a post’ has been AWOL but it was the commitment and the self-belief I am a finisher that made me keep going.

So, last week, just like that, I said to myself “why would I make myself continue to the end of the year for reasons that I made up?”

Silence. Then, “of course, I do not have to do that”…but I do have to add with some pride and accomplishment that today’s post makes it:

671 posts written and published since January 1 2015. 

Here are MY lessons….at least some of them, in messages from others wiser than I am ….and I am in debt to them.

Thank you, wise people.

img_5708-e1394949636359 lessons-quotes-2


My plan for blogging is less rigid and more flexible. I will continue to blog on Mondays for my link-up and keep to my prompts for Life This Week until they do not work any more. I will blog a new post for Tuesdays for I Blog On Tuesdays. I will blog and link up photography and other posts to link-ups I have followed for some time. I may blog using a variety of topics listed here and no longer on specific days. There will not be a post every day any more.

I am fine with this!

I am blessed and grateful to have many supportive readers and commenters and not everyone is a blogger which is also special for me. It has been such a great time getting to know people here and your encouragement has helped me more than you will ever know! I hope it will continue through this new stage and into 2017!

Thank You All!

Have you learned lessons from yourself and others?

What blogging practices have you changed about?

I welcome your responses and look forward to continuing to connect…because:

I Blog To Connect.


education 150

Joining Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays, where an original post is part of the link-up requirement.





My 5 Reasons Not To Do a Sea Change. 366/244.

My 5 Reasons Not To Do a Sea Change. 366/244.

In recent times I have read of others who are not only considering doing a ‘sea change’ but are making firm plans for just that experience.

Yes, we did this too.

We made a sea change from city living in Sydney to coastal living on the New South Wales Central Coast.

From the decision to do this just over two years ago, and living it, as I am now, here are my 5 reasons NOT to do a sea change:

  1. You will not change from moving from one place to another unless you have already begun making changes to your life, behaviours and attitudes wherever you are. The place does not change anything.
  2. There will be a serious period of adjustment from one style of living to another and, ouch, you “may” not like it nearly as much as you thought so do plan for a LONG adjustment because it may be for you too.
  3. The visitors to your new place on the coast will come often and you will see more of your family now that you are living there. It started like that for a few months but ‘life’ takes over for everyone and their commitments so prepare for greater isolation if that is an expectation.
  4. There will be a lighter style of life with the beach beckoning and the natural surroundings for all the walks, adventures and so on. Yes, that IS true, but like life in the city, the daily life chores and tasks remain as does the need to work (be it paid or voluntary) so time becomes a factor here too. You “may” not even see the beach you longed to be close to for weeks.
  5. Money will be saved as you move to an area where there is less cost in housing and so there is but there is not always the choice of what comforts/lifestyle you may be seeking and the choices are far fewer than in the metropolitan areas.

These five reasons are mine. I share them because it has been quite a cultural and societal change for me to make the sea change we have. My husband is finding all of it fine. He is far more adjustable to different living places and spaces as his personality is more ‘cruisy’.


So, what about this list of mine? What’s the outcome for me? In terms of my mental health THIS has been quite  shock to my internal world if you like. However, we were in a no win situation by staying where we were. The mortgage was unaffordable as I was 65 and no longer wanted to work. We took a practical step and I hadn’t quite counted on the effect on me. Nevertheless, the resilience in me is building now I have accepted the changes I need to continue making within myself to ‘go with the sea change’. One day, when we are finally able to buy somewhere coastal (but not on the water as that is out of reach!) I know that the hard yards of settling, discovering what is around have been done during THIS transition time and so I am grateful for that!

Update: an interesting and timely article about making a ‘sea’ or ‘tree’ change.

Have you considered a sea change?

Tell me more!



Joining with Raychael over at Agent Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday.


About Grief. 366/223.

About Grief. 366/223.

I know a little about grief from personal experience and at my age that would be pretty normal.

However, I do not think that many of us realise that grief is not always about death.

Grief takes many forms relating to loss of some kind.

Yes, death, illness and those we love take from us via distance or being unwell or in faraway places not wanting to be contacted.

Grief is also part of life’s transitions I have found personally but I was not always able to recognise what was happening was in fact;



This was from a US natural disaster recently. It tells such a story of both grief and comfort. Source: News

When we leave our much loved family…and move away there are some times when we grieve for what was but can no longer be.

When anyone finishes up at the workplace and or/career, there might be a retirement looming but it is a type of grief to ‘stop having the life you have been used to’

Then of course, when anyone relocates or moves away from the familiar to the different. Grief in the form of homesickness can occur.

My grief, when our daughter left home aged 21 more than 24 years ago, wasn’t apparent at the time for me. I took it as a part of what we do as independent adults. In fact, I left home around a similar age to live in the country to teach.

One day, months after our daughter left I was suddenly engulfed in tears (driving in the car by myself) and I wondered ‘what the…’ and then it dawned. I was grieving the loss of the life(style) that was no more which had our two kids with us at home. It is a rite of passage to leave home and ‘normal’ but can affect us, the parents. My mum apparently cried most of the way home to Sydney from Barraba after leaving me in a new and strange place. Dad told me that only a few years ago.

It made me think.

So, don’t be surprised if you get emotional, cranky or tearful when life’s events pass. Remember that this is a part of is grief and there is no plan, no beginning, no normal and no real end….except that over time it softens. I know that I need to speak more kindly to myself and perhaps share with a trusted friend or family member or counsellor how I am going.

Recently I have  subscribed to a great blog and site and this post is related to grief in all its forms.  I also have this link from BuzzFeed that was part of the article. It was so helpful!

I am also comforted by words at times like this and this part of a work by John O’Donohue resonated for me:


For Grief. To Bless This Space Between Us. John O’Donohue.

How are you going today?


If you are having difficulties and managing grief is part of this, please know that there is always someone who can take your call at Lifeline: 13 11 14.


Joining with Raychael at Agent Mystery Case for her link called Worth Casing Wednesday.



Settling In. 355/365.

Settling In. 355/365.

Three hundred and fifty three posts ago…..I wrote this.

Then about 50 days into the journey of US

….from Sydney and working life and family life…to the Central Coast, with no more work (by choice) and leaving those we love….I wrote this post

Regular readers, who do not all comment (I know, that’s cool too) will recall that I have found the moving and more very stressful on some days and it’s affected my general well-being for days at a time. It’s not been helped by some IBS at times which has complicated my goals to be independent and drive to Sydney and other places more….

Yes, I wrote about this from time to time too…here.

But today, 355 days into this year of blogging every day, and just about 3 weeks away from the anniversary of the physical move to the coast, I am starting to feel I am settling in.

How do I know?

It’s a feeling of greater physical connection to what we always thought we would like about the coast…the waterways, the temperate climate (not always) and the slower pace of life.

I am also becoming more at ease with the no-working, no easy family connection thing too. I have had to ‘adjust’ to what is my new (very!) normal.

So, I am settling in.

Have you made major life changes?

What were they?

How did you go?

Take care, everyone!

Denyse xx



How To Be Vulnerable. 239/365.

How To Be Vulnerable. 239/365.

I read that social worker, academic and all things ‘vulnerability’ Dr Brene Brown is all about ‘letting ourselves be vulnerable’ because by doing that we become courageous and more able to feel the joy in life. Read more, much more, here.

I remain unconvinced.

I am in a HUGE and ON-GOING transition-in-life stage and disliking it very much.

Right now, I feel a LOT of vulnerability.



Not the ‘me’ I think I am or thought I was.

I am definitely a w-i-p as my husband says, we are all ‘works-in-progress.’

What’s your view on this?

Denyse xx

Here’s Brene saying it here, as she has been viewed over 20 million times, on TED.

Grace kindly hosts Flog Your Blog Friday here: go visit!

With Some Grace

Joining with Anne@domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays.








One Perfect Moment. 180/365.

One Perfect Moment. 180/365.

I’ve been having some issues with anxiety and it’s to do with my transitioning in life…sigh. That happens to most people in a major life change – and I’ve had 3! Moving house, leaving family and retirement.

However, this past week has been a little more ‘edgy’ and despite all the self-care I write about and practise at time I need to ‘go with the flow’ of what it is.

This has been helpful and learned (as I continue to do) via Headspace and where I meditate with guidance every day.

Now into my week of coming up to 100 days of meditation without a break I am going to allow myself a ‘pat on the back’ for continuing despite the challenges as I KNOW it’s making difference.

This week I am hosting an educators’ twitter feed as @EduTweetOz and it would not be ‘true’ for me if I did not admit to needing some guidance to self-care.

So, THIS is my ‘one perfect moment’…..realisation that despite the challenges, I can still care for me in the best way I know how. Joining Kylie Purtell for this meme on a Monday.

Here’s one way I found in the past few days where I became absorbed in an activity and my anxiety diminished! ART…always rocks for me! I’ve also discovered the benefits of colouring-in for adults and now make my own patterns!

Here’s to art..or whatever you do to help you!

Take care everyone, and do tell us what you do for self-care!



Beautiful Sydney Day..on my way to TEDxSydney in May


Original Pattern designed by me and coloured in using good quality pencils.


Ideas for buying ‘cheaper’ colouring-in books!


If you are struggling with issues that could be affecting your health, please ensure you visit your GP for a chat. There are also people at the end of telephone to talk with you at Lifeline on 131114 and Beyond Blue 1300 224636.