Friday 27th May 2022

Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Last month I wrote here and joined in this new linky party.

Back again to this new linky hosted by friends Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.


I am glad to have the chance to write about my Word of The Year progress

….even though mine are two…and despite being little actually are BIG in terms of making changes.

For me, it’s often easier to link my progress and review with photos as they have the memories of the time embedded. It helps me anyway!

Being Me: Health-wise.

  • I admit I held quite a bit of stress and anxiety relating to not being well from late November onwards.
  • I know that ‘it’s me’ and how I am and can BE yet I would like to manage this with greater ease.

THIS got me through really tough times….and now, I have to soften…and go slower…

  • I went to my general practitioners’ rooms a couple of times because I still was not well and wanted reassurance more than anything.
  • That wasn’t quite forthcoming until I got the results of the tests I’d had. One related to ‘my bowels’ and whilst I knew it was most likely I.B.S. it was necessary for a pathology confirmation.
  • That turned out fine.

In fact my main G.P. when I finally saw him after his 3 weeks on holiday was pleased to hear of my better healthy days. Yet still.

I did need to ‘fess up about I.B.S. and my constancy of worry about it after its long absence.

And I surprised myself (and him) when I said

“I think I am going to see any I.B.S. as a barometer of my health. In fact, I now know, that last year, after the virus, I probably continued to try to do too much (again) and back it came”.

I might get some help but in the end I am the one who does what I can…to BE ME

So, from this conversation and into reality I now:












not blame.


But, I hear you and me say…”that is HARD and now you are not being hard on yourself but self-compassionate, HOW is it working for you”?

In January 2022 I signed up for a very helpful and much needed program right for me, now, called Self-Compassion App. I found it initially via the App store (iphone) and then when they offered a 20% off subscription after the 3 free days, I took that up.


The Self-Compassion App: app icon

The Self-Compassion App


I have written about it here but the various reflections, learnings and actions have all contributed to me being:

  • Kind(er) in my self-talk
  • Encouraging when I may be feeling a little anxious
  • Able to see these things (feelings, thoughts) do eventually pass

A human BEING with all the frailties and qualities that make me the ME I am more comfy with these days.

How I Help Myself.

The first time I realised I could choose to do less to be more I couldn’t quite believe it.

As a life-time doing person, helping person, sharing and teaching person, I was not sure that I could until I realised this:






because I was/am keen not to fall back into the behaviours of ‘older’ me but not yet quite as wise me!

After making adjustments for myself and then in discussion with Head and Neck Cancer Australia CEO, I know I can continue my role into my 4th year but in a less active one and with fewer needs to drive and attend meetings. This graphic is from my twitter header.

February is FREE for Me to Plan…or Not! 

So, this is/was new. Very new.

I can plan my own February…..

It took me a bit to give myself permission to enjoy a morning tea out with me. Half the muffin came home for B. I really loved being back ‘people watching’ too.

Change Takes Time:

I have always I guess since I was a kid, been ready to throw myself into whatever the first term of school, whether as student or teacher brought.

In retirement back in Sydney, it often meant, back to grandchild care some days a week, and perhaps school pick ups.

In volunteer land (we have both inhabited that for many years) it meant the gearing up of activities to plan, places to be and work of some kind to do, for others.

Meetings. Face to face or via zoom and writing and helping others.

It often meant, since 2017 appointments for my head and neck cancer checks, surgeries, treatments with the prosthodontist and more.

I gave myself permission to STOP.

I am learning so much about myself from freeing myself too.

I am learning that I am a valuable person to myself and my husband and family.

I am learning that I do not need to DO as much now, to continue my life moving forward and that the last almost 5 years have taken a toll of sorts.

I was always ready to go, to drive, to put up with a lot of time waiting, to recover, to do without eating for ages, to not plan too far ahead, and to keep trusting that my head and neck cancer professional team knew exactly what they were doing…but

I felt a great deal of emotional stress and some physical stress over those years.

I now realise I am was can feel emotionally worn out….but definitely NOT out!

So now I self- nurture.

And I wrote about the unexpected but actual GRIEF that overtook me recently here.


And so far, I am loving that I am giving back to me to be me…..Sunday solo excursions listening to an audible book or some fave music. I love these times

And I continue to be grateful and remembering how to BE ME in a different time in my life. I may be ageing (aren’t we all) and into my early 70s but I am also learning to BE which is a challenge I am prepared to take!

Thanks for your interest in my post for Word of The Year.

I look forward to catching up with yours and others soon too.


P.S. For regular readers and those who link up with me on Mondays, come on over this coming Monday, 28th February to catch up on some N E W S.




  1. Hi Denyse, thanks so much for joining us for the 2022 WOTY Link Party. One point in your post really resonated and that is ‘giving ourselves permission to…..’ whether it is stop, slow down, try something new, not be so hard on ourselves – it really is all about allowing ourselves to go with how we are feeling at any given time. At the moment stepping back and stopping for a while is obviously what your mind and body needs. Take life at your pace, Denyse and it’s great to see you living your WOTY to ‘just be me’. I hope to see you next month. x

    • Thank you Sue, it is my pleasure to link up again.

      I am delighted that you saw my ‘permission’ section. Brene Brown speaks of permission slips and whilst I did not get the idea from her, those of us who are “Type A” and eldest think we can do it all.

      But of course, we (I) need to change that script and it was for me quite enlightening to know I could now, go and have my coffee and a treat again. In covid times too we had become so used to all the restrictions it felt safe again.

      I am doing better at literally slowly down my walk. I was always like my Dad, strides ahead…now I am learning to be like my husband and stroll and get to notice more.

      See you soon on the link up circuit!!


  2. Hi, Denyse – This is such a wise post and a great model for others. You have done so much for everyone else, it is now time to take care of you.
    Your opening quote is very insightful and says it all. You owe it to yourself to focus on your health and contentment. You’ve worked hard and now deserve to be gentle to yourself!

    • Thanks so much Donna. It takes a while..ok, years, to learn that life can be about me, and my husband and taking it all more slowly.

      As someone in work, and in cancer recovery and caring for grandkids I was always moving pretty fast to the next section and next thing..and now, there is NO such place!

      Learning to slow myself down is an art and I am getting better and better at it.

      Take care


  3. I think I read somewhere that being yourself is the hardest thing in the world to be. I love how you’re coming at it – with self-compassion and giving yourself permission to stop and be. Thanks for linking up!

    • Thanks Jo. I think you are right. I sure know how to ‘be’ the roles I have as well as the titles etc but to “be me” is taking some doing. However, I admit I AM liking the process.

      Hope you guys are safe…this weather is not affecting us as it is for many but we know how it feels to be cut off by water. Yikes.


  4. Your solo Sunday excursions sound wonderful! I think you have worked plenty hard through the years and it’s past time to focus on you! How wonderful to gift yourself some self- compassion and the the okay to stop and just be.

    • Thank you Joanne. Giving myself permission to enjoy these days has been all I needed to do!
      And I will continue to self care…enjoying it all the more.


  5. Denyse I love your approach to your self care. You are certainly an inspiration. I’m really pleased to hear that you’re slowing down a bit. It’s understandable and sensible. Thanks for all you do for the blogger community.

  6. Hi Denyse, Being You is so perfect for you after everything you went through. Too many women give up pieces of themselves to help friends and family and later wonder what happened. Accepting who you are after surgery is a must, and although my story isn’t anything like yours, I’ve accepted my 62-year old body, albeit reluctantly, with its pain, shortcomings, and different ways of being. Boy, is that every freeing! Rhymes with being, LOL! I always enjoy your positive post and great to re-connect for WOTY!

    • Thank you kindly Terri! Yes, life throws us some lessons via serious illness doesn’t it?

      I tend not to compare so whatever has happened to you is yours (as is mine)..and I mean that kindly.

      Each of us deals with stuff resulting from illness and life and we each are served lessons from these too I reckon…I admit that ageing is not too bad right now…so will enjoy what I have while I can.

      So very true about “being THERE and available” for many was/is partly to do with my exhaustion and more for some time..OK, YEARS!!

      Lovely as always to see your name pop up here and take care,


  7. Denyse, this post breathes so much positivity to me in how much you are learning about yourself and about being kinder to yourself and to respect and be you. I’m also very glad to hear you’re better from the virus you had earlier and that your bowel exams were good – although I know that IiBS alone can be very bad too.
    Take care and have a good week.

    • Oh yes I am learning many lessons lately and I am coming out the other side feeling all the better for them.

      Thank you so much Susanne….for your kind words and understanding. I am “slowly” accepting IBS as an occasional challenge.

      Take care,


  8. Hi Denyse, just getting to this post after a busy weekend with family and music festival! I love your honesty and compassionate nature, and am pleased you are turning that compassion onto yourself now. This was a great WOTY catch up and I’m so pleased you joined us for the linkup. Take care xx

    • The last weekend in February will always be memorable for you and your family. Guess not getting to QLD for this birthday has been “ok” due to the awful rain…and I hope your little family there is OK. Loved seeing your pics from Tumbafest.
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      See you tomorrow,

  9. Denyse, you have been and continue on quite a journey. I love reading that you are focusing on that all important self-care and self-acceptance. I recently saw an interview with a man who had lost both legs below the knee and one arm. He said once he learned to accept that this was all of him, instead of seeing himself as a person missing parts, he was able to have a rich, full life. Most of us don’t have that kind of challenge, but still there is wisdom in accepting ourselves as whole, including our physical conditions, whatever those may be. You are such an inspiration, Denyse. Take care of yourself!

    • Thanks so much for your kind and caring words, Christie. I like that story about the man’s change of attitude and outlook. It helps me realise what IS most important. Being here, for one!! However, I admit that it was right for me just recently to mourn my loss and accepting that I needed to and now, I am at a much more settled place.

      Your words are balm to my soul.

      Take care,