Thursday 20th January 2022

Announcement. 2/51. #LifeThisWeek. 4/2021.

Announcement. 2/51. #LifeThisWeek. 4/2021.

Life This Week post for me is a series of announcements. 

  • Today is Monday 11 January and my father, here with me on my 71st Birthday, is 97. He has no idea why he is still around. But he is reasonably well, independent and now been a widower for almost 14 years. Interestingly he is a child of the Great Depression…around 6 when it started and he has known very tough times but his longevity is amazing. Mind you, given some of his limitations I have told him I hope I do not follow trend this myself! I am now visiting him today, under the COVID19 restrictions for Greater Sydney.

The two of us.

And about 69 years earlier…look “no smile”.

I Looked Back at My Previous Years’ Word of The Year And Thought…..

  • I really knew what I wanted to do and say for each of the years and set out with great intent but really, until I got to 2018 I felt like I just could not apply what it was I meant to do and be. In saying that, I did OK really but was not great in terms of my emotional health. I mentioned that in this post last week.

2015:  Acceptance

2016:  FEARless

2017:  Kindness

2018:  B.O.L.D. Be Brave Optimistic Loving Learning Determined Denyse

2019: Integrate: Head & Neck Cancer & Me

2020: Gratitude. For Life

2021: Smile

The Posts Where I Announced These.

2015 & 2016 posts are  now gone. I remember thinking those words would be ‘easy’. Nah. Not a chance.

Here is 2017. Kindness.

Then after that was, in my first full year as a person with head and neck cancer,

2018: B.O.L.D. Be Brave Optimistic Loving Learning Determined Denyse

My “message to me” bracelet.

2019. Integrate. This word emerged as I made efforts to see myself as whole person, not “just a patient with head and neck cancer”.

However I was not quite sure of what I wanted and as usual I wrote about this and here’s what emerged  this post. 

Last year’s word needed on many days, LOVE in between, and this year’s word. All where I could see them and be reminded. It really helps me.

What Did Having These Words ‘on my arm’ Do For Me?

  • I knew I liked something to distract me a bit when I was waiting for something to happen, say in an appointment or that I could touch and ‘play with’ in times of boredom, stress or a combination of the two.
  • Those little words on bracelets did so much more for me in 2018 and 2019.
  • They were talismen I carried on me at all times. OK, not into surgeries of course, but 24/7 when I could.
  • When I felt less than confident, less than brave and perhaps in need of a reminder in tougher times that I COULD put up with this, do this and so on, these tiny and relatively inconspicuous bracelets with their words did that.
  • I had to spend a lot of time…up to 4 hours in a dentist chair at the prosthodonist in 2018, less in 2019 and along with my ear buds in use with a story or music, I could when feeling more ‘over it’ reach down to my right wrist and touch the metal. It was (and still can be) soothing and a reminder that I CAN do hard things!!
  • 2018 memories…before my upper prosthesis was finally fitted, I had many, painstaking (but not painful) appointments here to get my mouth right!

And then in 2020 I chose Gratitude and I am announcing it’s coming into 2021 with me! 

Revisit the gratitude word from last year’s first post and know that I lead into the year with a whole month of gratitude leading up to my 70th Birthday at the end of November 2019. My bracelet about gratitude has on the back “for life” and that resonates. So, I am now wearing it on my left hand. I still need and will always, I believe, to remind myself of gratitude daily.

This post about my smile: very important for my self-esteem and progress with oral cancer recovery.

These are pretty average shots of my bracelet…it’s too awkward for my husband to undo and I sure cannot. Ooops.

I wear it above my Apple Watch which is on the right hand. I am a leftie so that suits me best. The other side marks ’50’ years of marriage in 2021 using “L” and then there is the Tree of Life representing us and our family.


As for my word in 2021, SMILE, I have this to say:

  • I like to smile but I won’t smile without feeling it….(small exception if it helps me through something that needs a smile more than a frown)
  • I won’t be told by anyone to “smile” unless it’s in good humour!
  • No-one can force us to smile, I think.
  • Smiles are universal
  • A gentle smile can start a kind conversation
  • A broad smile might get back another broad smile, especially in close and friendly/familiar situations
  • There is often something to smile about if we look with care
  • Smiling is from the heart

What about you?

What makes you smile?

So happy with my new avatar


Another Announcement! The Last One.

For the last few months I have wondered about continuing to post more than once a week.

Yes, I know many are reducing their blogging days.

Here’s a small statistic from my history of blogging: 2015 and into 2016:

1 Nov 2016 I stopped Blogging every day

At 671 posts from beginning of 2015

Those who have followed for a long time will remember we had a link up on Mondays, Tuesdays, sometimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays and one for the Weekend on Fridays. Many people have stopped blogging we know that, and some who ran link ups let them go over time.

I remain committed to mine each Monday for all of 2021.

But….one thing I am considering is adding a topic for posts for me.

  • You see, I believe I am one of the older bloggers in terms of age and years of blogging.
  • I have begun to feel alone within the various facebook groups and pages I follow.
  • Why? I am, from what I see, the one who is at least 5-10 years older than the groups’ cohorts.

So, I am thinking it’s time “I” contributed posts which may be of interest to others here about the realities, good news and not so about  the inevitability of  ageing.

Do you think there might be any interest?

I am going to do this anyway, because it’s time I had a voice that is heard in this area: Stories About Ageing. 

I will post something this coming week and link up and see how it is received.

And a footnote, I blogged last weekend and joined in the #sundaystills community. It was fun and I loved it. Looks like I am blogging more!!



Link Up 222.

Life This Week. Link Up #222

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.

* 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: 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.

* THANK you for linking up today! Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 3/51 Back To. 18 Jan.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter






  1. Happy birthday to your dad. He and I share a birthday! I love the idea of wearing your word on your arm. It is a pretty reminder of what you hoped to concentrate on at the beginning of the year. I like your idea of adding stories about aging. It is something we are all going through, no matter how old we are. I look forward to reading your stories.

    • Thank you so much and Happy Birthday! When I was at Dad’s earlier today, I showed him your image and message. Love the 11th January connections.

      The little bracelet and word idea has helped me in many ways and I will be always wearing one or two!

      In terms of ageing, I just started feeling that at ‘my end of the older blogger’ spectrum there was more to say. I have a post ready and it will be published this Wednesday.

      Looking forward to more conversations too about that very thing…we are all ageing!

      Hope your birthday is wonderful too.


  2. We’re definitely in the ‘older’ group of bloggers Denyse.
    It will be good to hear another person’s thoughts on that time of life – from someone living the life and not some ‘young chicks’ ideas about how it should be.
    Good to hear #lifethisweek will continue during 2021
    Take care

    • Forgot to say….most of the bloggers here are female, maybe your dad could give a few tips/ideas/thoughts on ageing from a male’s point of view

    • Cathy, you said what I couldn’t…about those who purport to tell ‘us’ what ageing is.

      Anyway, I won’t let the discussion be railroaded into “US v THEM”….

      I took your idea with me to Dad’s today and got him to share a few words of wisdom.

      Will consider where I used them in a future post.

      Thanks for your support and encouragement.


  3. Denyse when I read how you’ve been feeling about being older than most bloggers, I know exactly how you feel. My bloggy friends are amazing, but Ive also been feeling that aloneness. Like you, I’ve been around a long time, both in years and in blogging longevity. I would love to see a series on ageing. I think it’s a fabulous idea as it’s not often talked about. Happy Birthday wishes to your Dad. What a great long life he’s had.

    • How I liked reading this from you Jennifer.

      I guess by me taking the plunge and mentioning is more frankly it’s out there.

      I have a pretty full-on blog post about it coming up this Wednesday so I would welcome your support and comments there too if you get a chance.

      Dad is having a great birthday. Tired out but in great spirits and I was pleased to drive down to see him especially.

      Hope your arm is not causing you too much bother.


  4. Happy birthday to your dad Denyse! I loved reading your post about being BOLD and have noted your words in my book :). I have a bracelet with the quote ‘Underestimate me…that’ll be fun’ which I love wearing so your word bracelets are a brilliant way of having your word with you. I love your smile and your words about smiling, it makes me smile!

    Have a lovely week Denyse. I am so pleased you’ve joined in with Sunday Stills and I look forward to seeing what new ideas you come up with for your blogging. You have so much to share!

    • Thanks so much Debbie.

      Your encouragement and support is priceless.

      I am glad some of what I write about and do is making a connection for you too.

      Your bracelet is spot on!!!

      It was interesting to make the choice about Sunday Stills. You see, because I am not on WordPress I had no idea till late last year that I could be making it easier on myself (rather than being frustrated) by commenting under the wordpress account even though my blog is not with them.

      I am now subscribed to yours and quite a few more and want to make wider connections.

      I chose the self-hosted wordpress based blog way back in 2010-2012 and no way would I change it now. I do pay hosting fees but like my independence.


  5. What a great list of announcements, Denyse. Happy birthday to your Dad. Smile is a wonderful WOTY. As you may guess, my announcement this week is the weekly Weekend Coffee Share blog party that I host. Have a wonderful week! #lifethisweek

    • Dad has had (and still does) a great day for his birthday. I saw him this morning, my brother and family yesterday and friends will gather this evening at the place where he is retired.

      I must admit Natalie I did not have any in mind when I made up the prompts….but yes, my brain works in mysterious ways to give me lots of ideas and different ways to connect.

      Congratulations on your link up. It was fun to join in.


  6. Wow, what a milestone for your dad! Happy birthday to him, I’m sorry that you can’t visit him today, but hopefully he enjoys his day anyway. I’d love to read your thoughts on ageing, even though I’m on the younger side of things, but heading towards middle age, I do like to learn from other people’s experiences.

    • Well guess who DID end up going to Dee Why to see her Dad?

      It’s the covid restrictions and craziness of rules now, then rule changes that had me thinking ‘nah’ and then I said ‘yes’ to it because as Dad himself said (very practical) ‘I might not be here for the next one’!

      I think there are far too many ‘voices’ about ageing that are glossy, fitness oriented and looks-centred and that is not for me…nor others. I do not want to be a ‘negative’ ageing person but at times I know I would have wanted a ‘reality check’ a decade or so ago…

      That said, I will determine how I might do this of course but I have written a post about it going live this Wednesday.

      Take care you not even middle aged woman!


      • Ugh, don’t mind me, I read that as “I am not visiting him today”….

        I’m glad that you got to see him! And I understand his point of view. Every time I’d visit my nanna in Malta she’d say “this is the last time I’ll ever see you”. I think I got 8 “last time” visits in before she passed away.

        I’ll have to check out your post on Wednesday! Hahaha, if I’m not middle aged I’m very rapidly approaching it 🙂

        • You are on my mind and in my heart… dear Kat.
          PS Dad has always thought ‘he’ was in control of when he would pop off this planet. Ah,apparently not !!

  7. 97 is amazing! I hope you enjoy celebrating your dad’s birthday with him. I love the idea of having your words on jewellery to ensure you remember them. Someone else on Instagram said they do that when I posted about my word for the year. I think that’s awesome and I feel like I’d like to do something like that but also, most of my jewellery is very delicate stuff so I’m not sure how I’d go with a word on it. Also, I didn’t realise you were left-handed! Hope you have a lovely week, Denyse!

    • Thanks Sanch, I did get to see Dad and he was overwhelmed but delighted with his family and some friends sending him greetings on the day and some visiting too.

      The bracelets I buy are ones (on special) with a plate or circle or heart for engraving and they need to be light enough not to feel them all the time but also sturdy enough to stay on full time. Getting them off and back on is a pain so that only happens for surgeries!

      Left-handed for most things, right for a few and ambidextrous as well. Such a different woman in my own way!!


  8. Happy Birthday to your Dad, Denyse and it is so lovely you get to spend another birthday with him.A photo of my grandsons camping made me smile this week. It is their second camping trip and they loved it! I think your idea around posting on ageing is great – join the club! Have a lovely week and look forward to reading your posts in 2021 and linking up to #lifethisweek

    • Sue that is lovely to remind me that it IS good to celebrate another birthday with Dad.

      I have had a very mixed relationship of emotions with my father for decades. We are very alike but he is also a man and pretty dogmatic. Nevertheless it was he who made sure I was educated to a high level and supported my career in education and further study 100%.

      As he has aged, he has (as they say about good wine) mellowed, and we can have adult to adult conversations and share memories.

      It came to me recently that he is the only person in my family who knows my whole life. I appreciate that even more.

      My ageing posts idea stemmed from me not really feeling I had a voice nor a place I guess in what it means to be getting older. So rather than whinge about it, I said to myself ‘do something’.

      My first post is live this week and it’s pretty direct….I do hope it is not seen negatively by anyone.
      We “are” all in this life together, right!


  9. YOU make me smile Denyse! Your kind and giving nature and your bravery in the face of adversity. And you have a lovely smile! It’s a great word for you for 2021. Good that you’ll be keeping gratitude in mind too. I need to incorporate gratitude into my 2021. I meant to do that for 2020 but got sidetracked (is it any wonder). Putting some focus on gratitude helps me to keep things in perspective and be a happier more content person. As for your Dad – HAPPY 97th BIRTHDAY to him! How amazing is he, and how very lucky you are to still have your Dad in your life. I hope you have a wonderful day with him today. xoxo

    • Thank you so much Min for your kind words, great to see you here on a Monday again.

      I knew the difference gratitude had made for me when I could dig deep and find it in negative and not so nice situations, so it stays. As I said on the back of the engraving…”for life”.

      Today I visited Dad at Dee Why for morning tea and to wish him a Happy Birthday. He is mentally sharp but his body is getting more frail. We all hope that he stays reasonably well and independent as a nursing home setting would be not suitable. But who know?

      Thanks for your kindness and care, always!

  10. I think you definitely have something to say about ageing and positive ageing. Happy birthday to your dad too! I’m yet to decide if I’ll blog less or more at this point…

    • Thanks Jo for those kind words of support.

      Your year is already different isn’t it?

      Home changes and family too….hope things go well.

      Blogging fits where blogging fits..we all have a rhythm with it that works when it’s needed. It’s helped me a lot!


  11. Hi Denyse – frequency of blogging is certainly an interesting concept – I started out with 3 posts a week + the 26 each April for the AtoZ Challenge. Then I went down to two posts and part way through last year I dropped down to one a week. This year I think I’ll flucutate between one or two a week – my thoughts about frequency revolve around what feels right – if I have more to write, I’ll write more, if I have less, then I back off rather than stress over finding something to put up.

    I think if you have a genuine interest in sharing the “gifts of ageing” on your blog then you should definitely go for it. I’m sure your loyal readers would support any choices you make – as long as you’re enjoying the process. The good thing with blogging is that there’s room for everyone regardless of age or any other defining characteristic. xx

    • I found your thoughts on blogging of great interest Leanne, thank you for that.

      I like the flexibility of being a blogger (definitely beats turning up to work each day) and that works well. But there are times I need some structure and Monday gives me that.

      When you and Sue decided to stop doing a Wednesday linky I wasn’t ready to stop another post a week and now, because Leanne is still doing a Thursday link up I have that space.

      Not being a wordpress blogger nor having any significant numbers of bloggers from outside Australia my blog is a lesser known one but for the fact I have a link up and that is something I remain grateful for.

      I will not be regularly blogging about ageing as I see it right now. I shall decide over time. Reactions to the post coming this Wednesday will help me gauge interest or not from others.


  12. Hi Denyse, I think blogging about aging is an excellent idea. People don’t often talk about how aging is affecting them, especially in their senior years. They were the stoic generation who don’t like to complain. Many people are lonely as well due to their friends and loved ones passing away, and not being as connected via technology as younger generations. I’m sure it will be well received, and help people who can relate to what you have to say. Best of luck, regards Christina

    • Thanks for your perspective on the idea of ageing and blogging about it Christina.

      Your experience in the health system is valuable.

      I wished that older generation had talked and shared more..but knowing that ‘just was not done’ as in my mother’s time, I am not keen for that to continue.

      I know, for example Mum had some sort of surgery for prolapse in her maybe 60s-70s but Dad does not remember much at all. Seeing I had to have it, it would have been good if Mum might have shared more with me. But, no, not likely!


  13. I love the idea of having a bracelet with your word on it. Or even just having something motivational on there to look at when you really need it!

  14. It’s amazing the significance a word of the year can have, often deeper than we initially think. Smile is a great one!

    • Thanks Bella, initially I thought it might be a bit ‘superficial’ but now I realise after my blogging about it, it’s very special indeed.


  15. Everyone is so nice and supportive in the blogging community and that’s definitely one of the things that makes you come back even when you are done. And you are one of the nicest and most supportive. Blogging more and about aging sounds fabulous. You have so much insight.

    97 is amazing! I hope my parents are around that long.

    • Oh that is so true about our blogging community and why I am glad you are back. It doesn’t have to be every week or even every month but just staying in touch sounds good.

      You too have been incredibly supportive and kind Ness. And what about the fact that we probably walked past each other many times at good old Westpoint way back!

      I hope to try to make my way into the field of ageing because all I see on many sites all over the place is ‘beauty, glamour and costs to make it so’. I like to think I see changes as coming naturally but with information. We shall see!

      Looking at Dad today, with his challenges of getting to his feet and staying balanced I don’t think I will aim for 97 but his mind is 100% and that is a great comfort.


  16. I love the idea of you word of the year bracelets. I need something like this to help me focus on what is good at the moment. I’m looking forward to reading your posts on ageing. I feel you will have some very helpful input on self care in aging. I’ve recently been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and still in shock mode.
    I’m so glad that Life This Week will be continuing in 2021.

    • Oh gosh, Veronica, that does sound pretty nasty. Osteoporosis is not good. Severe sounds worse of course. That said we do need to stay well, upright and safe. I hope, over time, with medical and other support your quality of life will improve. Recency of a diagnosis of any condition is always a shock and from my experience needs to have some time as knowledge within to then work on what’s next.

      I hope to be able to share some insights and also to ask readers and bloggers about their thoughts too.


  17. I did think about the words that popped into my head but I don’t really think they’re the ones I need… maybe just a guiding step to other things right now.

    • Right now, I think with what is happening in your world, you are wise not to settle on anything.

      Today has been, from what I see on SM, a very challenging one all-round.

      Sending wishes for a better time soon.

      You so do need it.


  18. I would love to read more about aging and what to expect! My own grandmothers were very closed lipped about anything having to do with their bodies and just gave me the not so helpful advice “don’t get older”.. To which I always responded “I don’t think I’m in control of that.”

    • You have nailed it Joanne.

      My mum (died at 82, some 14 years ago) was not someone who would open up about her own health as all. She was brought up in that kind of household.

      Now, I am ‘over 70’ I am sharing what I know and can. Too late to help me for a particular condition when it would have been better for me but I did last year. This is why I am sharing here.

      I also get a wee bit sick of the magic panaceas to ageing which often including spending a LOAD of money to stave off…the inevitable? I am too practical these days to believe that hype.

      So, yes Joanne, I hope my blog post on Wednesday will have an impact (positively) and open up more of the previously left unsaid convos!


  19. Scrolling down through your many comments, I realize we have a number of mutual friends. So glad you followed my link on Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share post to stop by and say hi. The very first thing I noticed about you, when seeing your profile pic, was your radiant smile. You mentioned in your kind comment on my post that you are a survivor of oral cancer. My goodness you are the picture of health and happiness. What a lovely smile!! And how coincidental that you have chosen that word as your word of the year. Most appropriate, I would say.
    Looking forward to getting to know you better this shiny new year.
    Your father is quite dapper. Wish I could set him up on a date with my 93 year-old mom. How does he feel about younger women? She is a former chemist, a good Bridge player and still quite the bright light. I think they would have a great time together.

    • Thank you so much for visiting, commenting and linking up!! That in my book is a win, win, win, Leslie.

      Yes we in the blogging world do have mutual friends we may never meet but now call them friends. Sue and Leanne as well as Natalie come to mind.

      My story is quite long, and I wrote a lot about recovering from the many surgeries and treatments post my oral cancer diagnosis and the posts are all in a collection here on the blog. I leave them there so anyone newly diagnosed or with a family member or friend who has a head and neck cancer (oral is under that umbrella) can see how things went for me.

      I am also now a volunteer Ambassador for an Australian-based head and neck cancer organisation, using my experience and my educator skills to share the news and help others.

      Oh I will tell my Dad about your Mum. It’s interesting though that when he went into this new village 10 years ago, he had a couple of ‘advances’ and had to tell those women, sorry, I am not interested. However he enjoys talking to women and bright ones at that. I do think they could chatter the time away well.

      Thanks again for visiting and I hope you do again.