Sunday 26th June 2022

Archives for January 2022

The Month That Was: January 2022. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 7/2022.

The Month That Was: January 2022. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 7/2022.

Welcome to my re-cap of January 2022.

I am no longer creating Telling My Story updates any more. The series can be found here.Telling My Story.

The post next week will be the F for F I N A L one. I decided this because it became onerous and time consuming.

Instead, I am going to plan an “end of month” post instead to help keep my memories too.

It’s called The Month That Was.

January 2022.

Before we said hello to January, we said good bye and many thanks for 2021 even though it sure had its challenges….

Could there have been a more welcomed year than 2022?

 

Yes, and not this one either it appears as we, and the rest of the world, continued along the pandemic path thanks to Covid and its newest kid on the block, Omicron which has proved its power affecting so many of us. Despite vaccinations too.

New Year’s Day.

I like to get out and about even for a drive and this time, I needed to go to the southern end of the Central Coast, to Spotlight for a click and collect, and after I did that, I ventured into Coles nearby and came out with prized treasures…..

A 5 Pack of Rapid Antigen Tests ($50) and 3 bananas.

I continued not to feel 100% as we say, so took things pretty easily and I do love my drives but I knew my limits.

I loved visiting a very quiet Woy Woy on 1 January and I got to have a little walk around to the water’s edge. Some changes have been made to the ferry terminal and I loved seeing these two flags flying at the CWA. Country Women’s Association.

Over the early days of January we watched some cricket ( OK, B did, I just got updates) and I blogged a bit, and created a bit and tried to get a rhythm into my new:

Self Compassion Focus.

It’s 28 day via an app and very helpful and professionally done. I continue to learn more about the value of compassion to self…first…but life long learnings take time to undo. I listen to a ‘lesson’ each nigth, complete gratitude lists, write in a journal, map my feelings too.

In conjunction with my two Daily Calm Practices and reading up via others’ websites, I am doing quite well. However, a virus, as my GP tells me will play tricks with mood and thoughts so I need to balance that knowledge when considering how I am actually feeling.

And getting out and about remains a goal each day even though it is no longer within a shopping centre for any kind of browsing time. I mostly go locally to nature to observe, take in the beauty and surrounds and breathe deeply to remember what IS important…life is!

 

And then there were these memories from January 2022.

Family Time Was Special.

It was hard to believe that it was one year on from last year’s Golden Wedding Anniversary and now we would be seeing our family back at our place again. Not everyone could come but we has a ‘full house’ of love, sharing and laughter with both of our adult kids, our daughter’s two (2 adult aged ones were not able to come) and our son’s four.

FOOD: well, I always like to share the home made and other food with a large and appreciative group. I made lasagne from a great recipe I found here. Hadn’t made lasagne for years and it was a ‘just right’ hit for all ages. Home made friend rice, some salad, bread, chicken from the supermarket and a few treats. Of course, I have treats…and take home bags as well. We see these young kids so infrequently now it’s fun to make memories as we did.

NOISE! Yes, it was, but the best kind. Kids having fun, sharing their stories and amusing their grandparents too. A Big Task at each visit is for Papa to measure the young ones to see how they have grown. One, Mr 21, goes way past his Papa now, and off the chart: literally! But he sure could amuse everyone with his keyboard skills and we had a ‘jam session’ that I captured between the laughter. He IS Firelite and a DJ and he is signed up to a label so he is doing well and just announced, he is booked to play in Croatia and has plans for travel!

Then this:

Grandsons at Play…& chat…& no soccer balls over the fence!

And an updated family shot with our son and daughter: grateful for their permission to share.

And some of the distractions I have been using to help time pass…as I wait for…time to pass! Because, sometimes that IS all we can do….

And never missing a session in the morning and in the evening of Calm. These are not double up days. Just one day with 2 meditations on each. Over 2 years in a row. No way could I miss it and in uncertain times like I am having now, even moreso!

Colouring My World is also a daily essential…in photos and art!

 

Whilst the 26th January can mean different things to the people of Australia, I chose to spend it this way.

 

27th January is a special anniversary for ME!

The day I began my teaching career here at Barraba Central School. About 7 hours from Sydney. Mum & Dad drove me up with all of my belongings and saw me settled into a share house with other teachers from the school. Dad tells me Mum cried all the way home. I said to him recently “until you are a mum, you have no idea”. True.

And as January came to a close, this happened.

I eventually got back to Dee Why to see my father, who turned 98 on 11 January. He has been quite well and just a little  lonely but also not wanting to do much at all as he is very restricted with mobility and vision. He misses reading but he can see some things like photos and people if they are near him. He was a very social person but prefers to be in his unit now and have just a few visitors.

I drive down, stopping at St Ives Showground for a loo break and then down Mona Vale Road, to the back roads down to Narrabeen (my bro lives there) through Collaroy and into Dee Why. I have morning tea for us with me, and a pack of frozen meals for him made by me. And conversation.

Wanted to show me he’d moved a fave piece of Mum’s here & reminded me, I painted the poppy and wrote out the poem “On Flanders Fields” as Dad’s father fought there.

We are both talkers and sharers of stories so we are well matched…and he is getting better at listening…

And on the last weekend of January….

And a little sharing here of what I have been up to in January creatively:

You know the line from Hamilton is “I’ve got to be in the room where it happens”….well, this is my room/space where the blog happens! And more.

And the finale….we get to stay on as tenants here until at least April 2023. The rent went up significantly BUT we hope if real estate prices ever settle, then it may not be as big a change after then….but I am supposed to be not thinking too far ahead, right?

Wishing all the kids going back to school, starting school and those off to High School my very best…this lovely one is off to H.S. to join her brother, and it’s where her older cousins attended too. We cared for her from 5 months 3 days a week…sigh!

Miss 5 explores the water at Long Reef before  she started school in 2015.

How was your January?

Denyse.

Life This Week. #276. 31.1.2022.

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

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

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

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

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On Being Me. #WOTY2022. 6/2022.

On Being Me. #WOTY2022. 6/2022.

Blogging friends, Debbie, Sue, Jo and Donna began a monthly link up relating to their words of the year.

From Debbie’s page: 

This year I’m joining co-hosts Donna, Jo and Sue to provide a link party for anyone who also wants to write a monthly update to help keep the focus on their WOTY. Hoping you can join in with us.

So for this month, I am here…because I NEED to share…and that’s what blogging is all about, right?

Thank you all.

Here goes.

My TWO but very small words of the year are:

Be Me.

So what? Well, as a long time….aka about most of my 72 years I have been far more of a ‘doing’ person than a ‘being’ person although I admit over the past few years I have learned how I like to be:

  • at one with myself during some art work
  • at one just with nature somewhere
  • and listening to an audio book of interest

And yet, my busy mind, along with my A type personality and leadership as a trait, I find it harder to admit that there are parts of being me I am yet to feel comfortable with.

By that I mean:

I have always lived my life until retirement using labels and titles as descriptors. Even in retirement, over the past 7 or so years, I have added titles because they are (for me) identifiers and that is very important for me.

But what is this to do with BEING me?

Quite a bit because in the past few months I have opted for the doing part of me many times over the being part of me and late in 2021 it became messy…in fact more than that, I became unwell with something that might have been a virus, or now, as it has happened to me twice this year so far, the OLD and familiar but not welcomed Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I am a feelings based being. I own that!

Last week I went back to Dr Claire Weekes’ work on Nervous Illness

I do talk a bit with B, and admit to myself that I struggle at times….

Is it time for Me to own up to Being Me Now?

YES.

But it is a bit hard. However, I am aware of the kindness of others and remember this day well..when Trent Dalton told me he thought I was kind!

I am listening to an audiobook right now that is the clearest message I have ever taken on board about ageing, and the years I am already in, and on making changes in my life that no longer serve me into my 70s.

I can say it’s helped me enormously as I identified with much I heard yesterday and have now bought the e-book so I can understand and re-visit the points so well made.

It’s not often that something helps with immediacy but this time it did.

I am going to share in a post in 2 weeks on a Monday what has changed for ME and my life going forward….

But for now,

I am still that very messy work-in-progress we all know we have inside. This time, though I am greeting myself withe messages based on self-compassion. I am almost at the end of a 28 day program which had me consider my own levels of compassion towards others versus towards myself.

Quite a difference, but very enlightening.

And I will be writing in particular about reality checks of ageing.  From MY perspective and what I am learning from others.

In fact, it’s made me consider moving past the familiar labels to BE

a later life blogger who writes about ageing and her reality of ageing.

Thank you for your first link up Deb, Sue, Jo and Donna.

I will see you again if my posts fit the bill.

I hope to see you on Monday if you want to link up for Life This Week.

Warm wishes,

Denyse.

 

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Living With Cancer & Uncertainty. 4/51. #LifeThisWeek. 5/2022.

Living With Cancer & Uncertainty. 4/51. #LifeThisWeek. 5/2022.

I go to BIG places to help get me out of my small place: in my head!

  • In the week leading up to World Cancer Day, I wanted to share facts from the website, and here it is….and to also add my update at the end of the post.
  • Each of us will be touched by cancer in some way: directly via a diagnosis, being a partner or in some way related to someone with cancer and maybe knowing of friends and acquaintances who have had cancer.
  • Sadly as we all know, not all of those people survive a cancer diagnosis and I want to say how sorry I am about that. I also know some people reading here have cancer and I want to wish them well.

World Cancer Day 2022.

 

Head and Neck Cancer.

Head and Neck Cancer colours are maroon & white

 
Today I want to share this:
 
1. I am now in my 5th year of recovery from Head and Neck Cancer (HNC as we call it)  and much is not the same for me now BUT I am alive and well
 
2. I do what I can, within my skills list and experiences, to share about HNC various symptoms which can be seen as often nothing to do with a cancer. My own diagnosis took over a year.
 
3. Every day people I know of or through others know about, are dying from head and neck cancer. This is the sad news. Always.
 
4. I can only share my condolences to their families and friends and can continue to do what I do, with a sombre heart.
 
5. There are friends here who are suffering….from the long-lasting and ill-effects of this brutal Head and Neck Cancer and yet, they live.
 
6. They, like me, “Live With HNC and its effects”. I for one am grateful for that and that they are here too.
 
7. I know of people too, who are not doing well at all now, and are unlikely to improve, and in fact, will succumb when the HNC or another type of cancer has destroyed the life within.
 
8. I reflect on this often and I am so, so sorry. And sad.
 
9. I am aware that there are friends who have had HNC who do not share their updates and who prefer, if they can, not to be identified “with” their head and neck cancer. I respect that so much.
 
10. I will continue, as I do today, to honour all who have had the personal challenge of head and neck cancer, and those whose loved ones have died because of it.
 
And please do not ignore what might be signs of cancer. Covid has impacted people getting seen by doctors and going to hospitals because there is a myth they won’t be seen or it is not safe. Sadly, that has been creating a cohort of cancer patients now being seen much later and effective treatment may be hampered.
About Uncertainty.
  • It’s everywhere we look and see today.
  • Not only about health and cancer but more so about what the Covid Pandemic is doing to us all.
  • We have been in various levels of uncertainty for almost 2 full years now.
  • I know I have started to feel somewhat more anxious playing the wait and see of maybe getting a covid diagnosis. 10 PCRs & 2 RATS in 2 years: No.
  • I thought I would be better equipped to manage my somewhat anxious self as I have needed to garner my strength and capacity to deal with around 3 years of pretty serious and life-changing times.
  • First a cancer diagnosis, then hearing about my surgeries and having them…and then SO much time for more surgeries and recoveries and check ups and treatments….and that finished in some ways because of Covid, so I only had 2 in-person cancer checks in 2021.
  • I have no signs of cancer. I am grateful
  • But then I have some of my way back anxious feelings creeping back…connected to health for other reasons, whether we get to keep renting this house (have you seen how much real estate has risen…in our street alone, over 45% in 12 months) if the rent is too high….and more…and I don’t like it!
What am I doing…and being?
  • I practise Calm meditation morning and night.
  • I get out into nature every day.
  • I have disengaged with twitter for now. I was getting very angry about how our leaders were/are behaving.
  • I talk with B about it
  • I tell myself “this too shall pass” and “I have been like this before and it ends” and I believe me
  • I am listening to helpful books I have downloaded and am enjoying learning some more about ageing….
  • I am seeing my GP again soon, to hear how my recent test results were and “what the heck” has been wrong with me since late Nov. (Dear readers, I think it was me overdoing the doing and then getting a bit sick and then more worn out and I did not recognise it till a few weeks back….)
  • I am reducing my exposure to crowded places like a supermarket and using the NSW Service Check In App
  • I know it will eventually be something I can live with more easily
  • I have found some of my better health & mindfulness  resources from years ago and giving them another listen and read.
  • And colouring my world of course..helps me heal and stay well.
It also helped HUGELY last week to have a treat day of almost all the family visit us. Some we had not seen up here for over a year. Filled our hearts.
  • May you all be as well as you can be in heart, spirt and mind today, and onward.
  • I send my best wishes to you and yours who have been, and are affected  by cancer.
Denyse.

Life This Week. #275. 24.1.2022.

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

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

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

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive  in nature.

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Colouring My World In 2022. 3/51 #LifeThisWeek. 4/2022.

Colouring My World In 2022. 3/51 #LifeThisWeek. 4/2022.

I’ve been missing something in my creative life using art, words and photos. I wasn’t sure what and I felt a tad frustrated about my art journalling prospects in 2022 as a result.

I use my blank art books of various sizes for art, pattern making, designs, painting,  journalling, adding photos. I tried others’ methods and some guidance from others too, however none sat quite well with me.

I let that simmer on the back burner in my mind, while I came up with the FINAL versions of my first two posts for 2022….and looked to my learning and understanding of where I was going, and how I might ignite that creative spark that was a bit dull.

I usually have a project or two ‘on the go’ for my mindful needs…i.e. when I need to focus on JUST.ONE.THING.

Even though I turn to making things using my hands, much of my personal growth over last 5 years  has come from my learning here:

I have had from my life experience, and learning from others including Brene Brown, Susan David, Kristin Neff, Chris Germer, Tara Brach et al… and my daily meditation practice Calm guided me.

Notice the details…in nature

  • Slow Down. Stroll. Rest More.
  • Take Time Out
  • Do Easy Things Not Always Hard Things

Reflect on the ways  places have helped me heal

  • Recover
  • Revive
  • Go Gently
  • Be Self-Compassionate
  • Seek Awe
  • And Wonder
  • Feeling the feelings
  • No feeling is forever
  • Feel to know and own and accept
  • Feelings are fleeting
  • Gratitude
  • Accepting what is out of my control
  • Allowing Time To Pass
  • Self – Forgiveness 
  • Less Black & White Thinking

When I can safely (covid safe) go out for coffee I often have time to reflect…and this is something I want to do more of in 2022.

And then it dawned on me…I LOVE colour.

I love its brightness, its patterns and its many variants. I decided to re-visit a song from my past as a teacher where I taught classes K-6 on my first venture back to school in 2004 with this theme: COLOUR MY WORLD. My art and journalling, and photography too, will reflect this!

I am colouring my world.

Does colour affect your mood?

Share what it does for you too.

And when I remember, I am going to add a few photos from my world: Colouring My World: Let’s start now as I mean to go on.

Denyse.

Just for a reminder…here’s the singer Petula Clark singing….and only click to play if you like the song and want it in your head too…as it is in mine.

 

Life This Week. #274. 17.1.2022.

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

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

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

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive  in nature.

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Click here to enter


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