Tuesday 26th October 2021

January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back!

Here’s to a great 2018 for us all.

This year, as I counted backwards on my fingers, is the 8th year I have been blogging. I started towards the end of 2010.

I blogged a lot in 2011  as newbie but who was completely engaged by blogging once I went to the first Aussie Bloggers’ Conference in March 2011.

And I was  even more engaged in blogging in 2012.

I slowed down as 2013 drew to an end and blogged most infrequently in 2014.

In 2015 I re-calibrated both myself and the blog to help me in the transition to retirement by blogging every day for 365 days. I did.

In 2016 I added some categories to blog within and by September 2016 began my Monday linky called Life This Week. Sometime later that year, I cut back my full-time blogging to only blogging on some days.

Into 2017 I was still blogging up to 3 days a week, then over time it reduced to 2 days. Mondays and Tuesdays.

This year I shall see how things go. I may add another day as some bloggers are coming up with another linky on Wednesdays.

What does that have to do with January?

Not a lot because, as much as I would like to share what I wrote back in those earlier years, I let those posts go when my blogs were filling up my account with my hosting service and I had to decided to delete two of the three blogs from 2010-2014. I did keep some of my education and schooling posts and have them in draft form if I ever want to refresh them.

In January  I often wrote about Back to School here and for many others. I am no longer doing those as I have fully retired from paid and upaid education roles. It is also time for others to take those tasks on and they will be more up to date.

So, to kick my post off for the first I Blog on Tuesdays & the second Lovin’ Life link up, I am going to add some photos from around this time of January for the past few years. January can be quite a busy time for many of us even if we are still on holidays or retired!

This week I will be meeting my daughter and her youngest who will be starting school this year and we will be buying her school shoes. That is a January tradition in our family.

I will travel to Sydney to see Dad for his 94th Birthday on Thursday taking him some goodies for a birthday morning tea which we will share with a couple who have been very kind to Dad during his time at Oceangrove.

As I write, it is the end of the most awful Sunday of HOT weather everywhere in most of NSW. We copped a temperature of over 40deg C and then…the worst thing happened. The power went off for around 70 minutes. It was close to hell on earth for us. Fortunately it kicked back on – there were district outages – and my hub could watch the Ashes and I could relax a little. Later on I drove over to the beach and the temperature was actually less than it shows in the photo.

Every day, for the past 5 weeks I have been enjoying getting dressed for a purpose. In other words, taking greater care of myself and having fun in the meantime. I also take myself out for coffee most days too. Sometimes I can even find something to eat that my poor mouth can manage. I often do a little art and journalling when I am out. It is a great experience and it sure is continuing in 2018! It’s the ultimate self-care.

I am committing via Instagram to post, on most days, a maximum of 3 photos:

1. Outfit of the Day. 2. Art/Creative 3. Noticing Nature.

So, how about you?

How has January been for you so far?

I would love to hear from you in the comments.


Joining my friend Kylie’s link up here called I Blog On Tuesdays.

And on my Dad’s 94th Birthday, I am linking with Leanne and friends here for Lovin’ Life.




  1. Getting dressed for a purpose is a great idea. I used to do that everyday, but that went by the wayside (like so many things) last year. I too am going to start getting dressed for a purpose! Even when it doesn’t feel like it need to.

    • It has really made a difference for me over the past months which is why I will continue. I don’t stay dressed like that ALL day because once I am home or it’s later in the day I am ready for comfort!! D x

  2. Have you blogged your portable art kit? I’d love to see what you take out with you 🙂

    • No I don’t think I have. Thank YOU! Blog post for next Tuesday coming up. I have shown it via IG and FB but not really written about the elements I include. Yay for a good idea! D x

  3. I think I was around when you first started your blog. I’d call it the good old days, but there’s plenty good about these days too. Haha. Congratulations on being here all these years later and the community surrounding your blog, it’s an inspiration.

    • I think you were too! Yes the good old days have changed indeed but it makes me happy to know people like you, Trish and others are still around…and loving the connections. Gosh, we did have a few conferences in those 2011-2012 years too. I even spoke at the Melbs Digital Parents One. Thanks for your kind words and support. Denyse x

  4. I have started getting dressed this year which is an improvement on staying in my PJs most of the day! I have a very limited wardrobe so my outfit a day would be more like groundhog day! That power outage must have been hideous, we escaped to the movies! The cinema is always the coolest place! January has been grand so far, a bit of work and a bit of play. I’m loving the newness of the year!

    • I admit my wardrobe would have been groundhog day till I let the purse strings a bit loose and actually bought some on special clothes which fit me better. I have the best fun doing this ‘getting dressed for a purpose thing’ and I may not be dressed till mid morning but it does happen. There have been a few days when I thought ‘why bother’ and then I realised those ARE the days to bother!

      The other day in the heat (for those very long 70 mins) we just wanted to be cool and at home. I think at our age the idea of getting out to be cool was too much effort. Mind you we were about to go for a drive in the air con car when the power came back.

      Good on you for finding balance already in January! Win. Denyse x

  5. January has been pretty good so far, although it’s about to get busy as I start a new contract job tomorrow. My nice quiet January has gone out the window but I don’t mind, because it will bring some much-needed income allowing us to get some things done around the house that have been badly needed, and also allow me to get a new computer (also badly needed!). Thank you so much for always being such a dedicated blogging community & teamIBOT member xx

    • I think you are the sort of person who actually thrives in the right work place where you get to use your skills and creativity. Really pleased this work came up for you. Just right for the time. And there will be other ‘down’ times for things with the kids but getting paid work in this month sound awesome. I hope it proves to be fun and productive.

      Thank you for your kind words! Always happy being part of the team at #ibot.
      Denyse x

  6. I’ve been watching those temperatures & don’t miss those extremes Sydney can do. So many people wondered how we’d deal with the heat up here & while it’s a longer & more constant summer & we don’t get southerlies, we also don’t get those 40 degree days…thankfully!

    • That is good to know. I also guess with your house and most places you visit having air-con then it’s bearable.Yes, living in western Sydney was a challenge on some of those awful days for sure!

  7. When I was backpacking I used to love writing in my journal at a coffee shop. Sounds lovely to me!

    • I started doing it via a challenge from an art group and I felt a bit self-conscious the first time but now, it’s just something I do most times. Love your story too. I bet that seems ages ago for you now though.

  8. So far my January has been good Denyse as I’m excited to be working on my Over 50 & Thriving Series. After 2017 which was a wonderful year of celebration, I’ve been easing into 2018 and enjoying my life. Happy New Year and I wonder what is in store for us?

    • I hear you on wondering what is in store but at least this year I do not have the anxiety and ill-health that plagued me until I was diagnosed with cancer last May. Sometime mid year, unfortunately, we have to find a new place to rent as someone who has really settled here in this house it will be hard. However, I am going to treat it as a challenge to overcome as that has worked for me with the other areas in the past.
      Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your series. I remember how it felt when I tentatively went out there with my #lifethisweek linky and am glad to have made many on-line friends, including you, by doing this!

  9. You’re so lucky to still have your Dad at 94 Denyse. My Dad just made it to 87 and I’m grateful for every year we had with him but gee I miss him. January is very hot this year isn’t it?! I’m enjoying swimming in the pool and am very grateful for my aircon. Today my family are coming over to celebrate my nephew’s 10th birthday. We’re having a ‘pool party’. #TeamLovinLife

    • Thanks Min. I know that you have gone through a lot (and will continue to) as you miss your Dad.

      I have mixed feelings about my Dad at times as he has been a great critic of mine and others simply because of his own upbringing and so on. He grew up fatherless from 11 and ‘had to be the man’ in his family from then. He has, in the past couple of years (probably since his 90th Bday which my brother and I organised for him along with our kids, softened more and I can have a non-judgemental conversation with him.

      Today I have visited him for his 94th Birthday and he appreciated it very much. Because we live a 2 hour drive away, he knows it is a hard one to take but I do when I can. Today he enjoyed some of his favourite home-baked treats made by me. He also was doing well physically now because over the weeks pre-Christmas the poor man got shingles.

      I miss our old house’s pool but with the beach not too far away, I am lucky I can go there for my walks. I just want no more power outages!!

  10. I really enjoy your outfit a day posts Denyse. I wish I could get myself dressed up a bit more each day. I tend to spend the day in my exercise clothes! January had been full on for me so far as we are going away at the end of the month and there is a little organisation required before we go. Plus I’ve been back at work part-time, still catching up with friends visiting the Gold Coast and tending to my Mum who was recently in hospital with Cellulitis. Happy New Year. #TeamLovinLife

    • Thank you. I am glad I am continuing doing the outfits as it is helping me distract myself from the LONG recovery from surgeries…and I face more soon. Still, if it means cancer is gone I will be glad.

      I hear you on every day clothes and I was like that for the past few years. Mine was beach pants or shorts and I felt such a sense of same old, same old, that I changed it. The unexpected (but welcomed) weight loss was another motivator.

      Good luck with all you have ahead. It sounds very busy!

  11. Wow 3 posts a day on IG, good on you – I’m flat out managing 3 a week usually! Doing more at the moment, but that’s the joy of being on holidays. Back to work on Monday though!

    • Janet, I was sometimes doing more! I also do not want to ‘spam’ people with my particular pics and interests so I chose 3 different areas.

      Doing a nature one, makes me go outside and see what is around me, doing a creative one ensures I am making or doing something …and as for the outfit posts, they are the best fun. I have become a very savvy shopper and love doing these now.

      The unintended weight loss from surgery to my mouth and my continued inability to eat much (even though I would love to!) means that I focus on some other things instead of what I CANT eat and I can enjoy the clothes that are now part of my life.

  12. Oh January has been quite busy so far. A camping trip, some holiday house cleaning, holiday activities with the kids. Hopefully it will slow down a little bit next week before things get hectic again with the preparing for the beginning of the school term. I have much to organise for the first term of gymnastics, I am doing my best to stay calm about it and not let my head spin!

    • Excellent. It sounds like you have a good balance keeping yourself well and the kiddies occupied.

      As someone who was ‘in back to school mode’ from mid January I know it can be hard to rein in the lists and ideas and jobs that I ‘knew’ I had to do.

      Mind you, it was always helped by doing them and getting them out of the way! First term will be here before you know it!

  13. There seems to be a definite theme of self-care coming through from Midlife bloggers over January Denyse. I think we’re all waking up to the fact that we are important and deserve to look after ourselves instead of always coming last. I feel like 2018 is going to be the year of the Midlife blogger (and yes…that includes you!) xx

    • Thank you so much Leanne, glad I am in the group!! LOL. Being closer to 70 is getting a bit freaky…to be honest! It’s been very freeing caring for me first but it remains a work-in-progress as we women seem wired to look after others first!

  14. Happy Birthday to your dad. I liked how you looked back at your blogging past. I have been blogging for three years and it’s been fast, slow and fast again (especially now I have two blogs). I like getting dressed for a purpose as well. I think it’s important. I work from home but still get up and get dressed like I’m going to work. It makes me feel more purposeful.

    • Thanks Emma, I spoke to my Dad on Saturday and his birthday celebrations were well-spread out and he was going out for dinner that evening as well. Dressing for purpose is ‘easy’ with a role to play and hard when you no longer have one. I think my decision to do this is good for my mental health and I now go out somewhere for a solo coffee each day which is great. Have a great 2018.

  15. I’m thrilled to read that you are still getting a lot out of the outfit of the day on instagram. I’ve found it really beneficial, and a motivator to get dressed each day when I don’t have to be anywhere. The wardrobe apps smart closet or look book are a great tool to keep track of what you have worn and also to help you build different wardrobe combinations when you have a a smaller number of items to work with. January has been an exciting time for us, this week, we have been in our inner city apartment for a month and are enjoying connecting with our old neighbourhood and being so close to the city, but still able to enjoy the greenery that being on the fringe provides. Enjoy your trip into the city to celebrate your fathers birthday and also the first time school shoe shopping with your grandchild.

    • It has been a good week just gone.

      Met my daughter and her little one along with big sister who is 21 at the local BIG shopping centre and we found the perfect shoes at David Jones (another tradition even though they were 25% off it’s expensive but shoes are so important to be comfy when they are in them 6 hours x 5 days a week). Dad had a lovely birthday as we spread out who saw him when. Good to know you are feeling settled too.

      I am continuing the outfit of the day as for the first time in many years thanks to weight loss and my confidence returning I am enjoying finding new bargains to wear. Shopping is FUN again for me! I “do” have to keep an eye on the budget and remember that soon it will be cooler and I will need items for winter.

      I am taking photos each day and making a collection of each 7 days in a photo collage and these I put near where I get dressed. I have over 70 photos and there might be a repeat of a top or a bottom but the combos are different. It’s good for my organisational brain.

  16. I’ve been enjoying your OOTD posts. You reminded me to dress for a purpose each day and get back to taking pride in my clothes each day instead of wearing the same thing for 4 days in a row. You also just reminded me I need to buy my son new school shoes soon before the shops run out of his size (which has happened to us in previous years). #teamlovinlife

    • Oh school shoes…and running out of the style and size, I hear you. Yesterday I met an Aussie friend who lives in Singapore now and she was looking for the girls’ shoes for school this year and their sizes weren’t available. She has another option tomorrow in Newcastle before she leaves but if she can’t get them in person she will buy on-line.

      This dressing for purpose is doing a lot for my confidence so it will continue. I am loving going out each day too.

      Glad you have considered the dressing for purpose too. Take care, you ARE the major player in your whole family. xx

  17. I’ve been struggling a little of late but suspect it’s just a post-Christms / New Year thing and I’ll be fine once I settle into some routines.

    I’ve not really had the ‘headspace’ to think much about bloggy stuff I’m afraid, or even engage with other blogs which is unusual for me.

    It sounds like you’ll have a good January (despite the heat) and I hope the year is a wonderful one for you. xxx

    • I often felt restless in the post Christmas into New Year when we lived in Sydney. In fact, it got to me a couple of times and I did a road trip to a friend’s in western NSW and stayed in a few places along the way. It helped me.

      You of course have had the excitement build up of your BIG birthday and whilst it did seem to go very well from this end, it takes a toll on us I reckon when we are the centre of attention.

      The heat and humidity are very mind-zapping and motivation to move is zero. Must be hard to re-group for back to work.

      As for the bloggy thing…it ebbs and flows so no worries. It will happen again I am sure. xx

  18. I love the idea of getting dressed for a purpose too Denyse. I work from home, but always like to be dressed, hair and make up done. I never work in my PJ’s …. although the idea sounds great!

    January is back to school for the last time for my eldest, who is doing her HSC this year. We’ve already done the shoes and stationery, so we’re ready to roll 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • You do it right every day! I must admit I stay in my nightie till well after breakfast as I read the paper then too.

      But it IS good to take the personal care of myself now as it is a motivator when cancer is still not far from my mind.

      You have a BIG year..last one doing the HSC is a big one. That “would” have been the case for my daughter too…except for her unplanned 40th birthday surprise who is STARTING school this year! 13 more years for her…. and I won’t tell you how old she will be by then!

      D xx