Monday 14th June 2021

Self-Care Stories #7 48/51. #LifeThisWeek. 96/2020.

Self-Care Stories #7 48/51. #LifeThisWeek. 96/2020.

The seventh optional prompt for #lifethisweek: Self Care Stories. Sometimes with a hyphen and sometimes not. New image though!

Every 7th Week

Today I am 71.

And yet it seems like just a few months since I was getting myself prepared for 70. In fact, I had a lovely series of gatherings for my 70th and this one brings back smiles…and gratitude for friends made via social media and blogging!

Today, as you may be reading this, I am driving to Sydney with my husband to visit my Dad. Dad is getting more physically frail but very much mentally ‘on the ball’ and I thought it might be a way to brighten his day, share some of my home made cakes and for him to chat with my husband in person as I tend to visit solo. After that we are popping into Uberkate at Willoughby to collect my chain with an added mini-ubercircle which I won’t wear until it’s our Golden Wedding Anniversary in January.

The original 3 Ubercircles I have worn since 2013.

What I Have Done To Continue Better and More Effective Self Care Practices Recently.

  • limiting time spent at my computer in a physical way as I had advice that my sore right shoulder was the effect of too much use of the trackpad and sitting for too long. I have a sign above my screen which says “Ready…Set 15 mins…Go” and oops, I best do that now on my watch. It is a break time which reminds me to move away, and change my posture.
  • using social media feeds of instagram, twitter and facebook ‘just to scroll.’ I now tend to use any one of them for a purpose. For example, twitter is ‘news based’ for my education and health needs, instagram to see if my two posts are actually live and sharing my likes for others, and facebook – personal and the page – to check in on groups where I am a member.
  • I now do not stay for long. If I feel my emotions change i.e. getting cranky with politicians and the like, I am more prone to leaving or retweeting than to respond. Not always but I am getting better!

Self-Talk is SO Much Better.

I do not give myself too hard a time about anything any more and this is a huge shift. Of course, I will say something like ‘oh that was silly’ but I get over it. I no longer dwell, berate or use much negative talk at all. How come? Well, more than anything becoming AWARE. This is my way…I notice much much more what I do/say and I pull myself up on it and move on. I have done so much of this thanks to my previous years’ learning, wanting to know more and via my Calm meditation and reading over 2 years.

Kindness Is King. 

I used to say the words “be kind” and “kindness makes the world a better place” but I did not really believe it nor practise consistently it until this past year. I think, adding to my learning about the benefits of gratitude and needing to cope with all the COVID threw at us earlier in the year, I have had to deliberately step back when managing my emotions and with another person where I may be challenged…and think “kindness.”

  • I took our real estate property manager and team a card of appreciation for their five years of caring for us along with some treats to eat.
  • I also thanked the lovely cafe owner who has cared for me for all of my time getting over cancer surgeries and treatments.
  • I had my 6 months check with my dentist – the one who helped me find the cancer – and he kindly charges me no gap fees at check ups
  • The huge donut story. I sometimes feel deprived of some foods and this local place has been hammering social media so I visited and bought a creme brulee donut home. Ahhh. No good for me. It was delightfully crunchy toffee on top and with MY mouth and teeth no way would I risk it. Boo. So, I had some of the custard with some of the dough and then threw it away. I learned that I cannot have treats like these and wondered, now my appetite has changed how anyone actually eats one or more!
  • My Sunday coffee is always perfect and here is where I catch up on my Kindness book and its snippets of wisdom.

 

Realisation that Choosing  Gratitude as My Word of the Year Helped Me. 

I just reviewed my January post about my selection  of the word gratitude and why. I set myself a goal of posting an image each day (366!) of 2020. Little did any of us know what lay ahead. Days and weeks (months even) of uncertainty thanks to COVID. In fact, I remember a few times thinking to myself ‘sure picked a good word for 2020…not’. And then I turned it around. Often.

  • I became grateful for small things.
  • Learned that I could cope with restrictions better than I may have imagined
  • Found gratitude in a daily coffee AT home rather than going out.

So much to be grateful for.

I had health challenges and a recovery that went a bit pear-shaped but I was grateful for the technology to aid healing, our private health insurance and my body for being a good healer.

So, yes it IS possible to be grateful. 100%.

And to Keep Me More Mindful These Help:

Each morning after my Daily Calm Meditation practice, an image pops up connected to that day. Some I like, others not so much. Here is a range of one whioch not only resonate but are beginning to be embedded in me! I like that.

How Self Care Helps Me Gain Confidence and Strength.

It may surprise some readers but for quite some time my confidence was low. It was, in some ways, to do with my focus on physical and emotional health before cancer was diagnosed. More about that when I do more chapters in Telling My Story next year.

One very special day recently I drove to our son’s house in Sydney after asking if I could spend some time with his youngest before she starts school. He was fine with that and last week, I loved being with her, chatting, drawing and sharing. Being with her, helped my self-care as I watched her totally absorbed in this little Christmas counting book I gave her.

And that is my self-care catch up for now.

How are you self caring these days?

Denyse.

Link Up 217

Life This Week. Link Up #217

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: 49/51 Lucky 7.12.2020 & I will share the first optional prompts for 2021. 

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Comments

  1. Happy birthday! I think spending it with your dad is a really lovely way to celebrate – and a really lovely way for him to celebrate it too. He’d have a lot of memories wrapped up in your life too! Have a really great day!

    • Thank you Lydia. It’s more for him we are doing this. So, yes, he will get quite a kick out of it and he is able to do less and less so it will brighten today for sure. He hasn’t chatted with my husband in person for a while so that will be good.

      Lovely memories from last year too.

      Denyse.

  2. I am going to come back and read this post a second time. Wise advice.
    I am having a difficult time as an Executor for my Mum’s Will. I have two lousy siblings and my self-talk has been affected. Thank you for your advice here.

    • Oh my goodness, that is a tough call. My Dad has appointed me and my brother jointly – and he is an accountant so I know we are in safe hands.

      Why oh why does this kind of behaviour rise up after a loved one’s death?

      Jody, I am so sorry, but YOU my friend are very capable and look what you have faced and overcome. Onward…and be kind to you.

      Denyse.

  3. Happy Birthday Denyse! I hope you have a wonderful day visiting your Dad and collecting your new UberKate circle. How exciting! I love the morning tea photo from your 70th and recognise all those lovely faces. Wonderful to read all the self care practices you have in place. It’s so important. Have a wonderful birthday! xo

    • Thanks so much Min.

      Yes, it was a lovely day, thank you and I am now wearing my new Uberkate circles. They all look so good together and came up good as new.

      Dad enjoyed our company for morning tea which made it a bit more special too as he hadn’t spoken to my husband face to face for a while.

      Tired now! In a good way.

      Denyse.

  4. Happy birthday, Denyse! I think you’ve been taking very good care of yourself. Thank you for sharing your practice of kindness and gratitude. Have a wonderful visit with your Dad and fun birthday celebration!

    • Thank you so much Natalie. I am appreciative of your words re my care of self. I have had a lot of learning come my way to be able to integrate it now as I can.

      My visit to my Dad’s with my husband was great and Dad enjoyed seeing my husband for a chat as well. Normally my visits are solo.

      Denyse.

  5. Happy Birthday Denyse. I hope you have a lovely day. I love reading about the thoughts swirling around inside your head. How lovely for you to spend a day with your granddaughter. I’d definitely classify that as self care. For self care I’m just trying to stay calm and not worry too much about the world and those things in my life that I have no control over. Hoping to see my grandsons before Christmas.

    • Oh gosh, Jennifer I so hope you get to see your grandsons before Christmas. I know it’s been challenging this year so all fingers crossed for you.

      It does me good to write out a post like this so I can measure that I am probably doing much better than I sometimes give myself credit for.

      I certainly miss times with the younger aged grandkids but we had our two adult ones here last Friday and they did our pre-Wedding Anniversary photo shoot with lots of laughter and fun.

      Take care, waiting and trying to stay calm is hard.

      Denyse.

  6. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, I can’t believe it was a year ago since we had our lovely catch up. Enjoy your special day with your dad and I hope you get to have your bit of cake and eat it. For me self care has been about gratitude and being so thankful for what we have and for living here in Australia. I’ve also been dealing with my fair share of coronanxiety so have been taking one day at a time and finding joy in the ordinary – it’s a most pleasing coping strategy! I think you’re really nailing this self care jig!

    • Thanks Sammie, we are starting to think life is just passing by far too quickly. Yes, a year since our catch up and the world has changed so much since.

      Here’s to another one soon with some bloggy mates.

      I had a little cake I made today and left Dad with plenty of goodies.

      It is hard on you being here (Aus) when you would like the choice to be there (UK) but no-one can..sadly and I hope that you can, as they say, make the best of it for now.

      Joy in the ordinary. So good!!

      Denyse.

  7. First, your granddaughter is precious! How wonderful that you got to share some time with her. Time with grandchildren is the best kind of self-care. Happy birthday and soon to be Happy Anniversary too! 50 years is quite an accomplishment. Hope your visit with your dad is good. Thanks for sharing your gratitude and positive outlook with us!

    • Aww she is indeed Laurie. I missed so much of her early years in seeing her consistently. Of course her siblings were very comfy with us at our irregular catch ups but she is little and a bit shy so they, the noisy ones, would take over. Some time with her was very precious indeed.

      I had a lovely birthday today with my husband driving us to see my Dad. It’s a 2 hour drive and my husband is not keen on much of this so mostly I see dad alone. I like the drive too. So it was an added extra for have my husband and dad chat too…in fact on a golf game back in 1975 where my father & husband were playing socially at Dad’s club and he got a hole in one.

      Making my self-care a priority and remembering the practices is daily in terms of changing the messages inside my brain but it’s far better than it was.

      Denyse.

  8. Wishing you a very happy and special birthday Denyse. I’ve so enjoyed seeing you triumph and grow with daily photos and OOTD. Your post is jam packed full of great advice and thoughts which as you know I also subscribe to in living my life. Spending time with grandchildren is just the best and so very special. Enjoy your special day and thanks for #lifethisweek

    • Thanks so much Sue and it’s great to see you back here too.

      I have had a lovely day and it was good to see my Dad enjoy chatting with my husband too as they hadn’t met face to face for a while. My husband finds the trips too much for his body.

      I have learned so much about how I can help myself more and better…and even before others. You know too, I am pretty sure, that being a people pleaser wears us out and we end up resenting others!!

      Thanks too for your on-going and caring support.

      Denyse.

  9. Happy birthday Denyse! I hope you have a great day and a fabulous year ahead! How special that you get to visit your dad today too.

    • Thanks so much Bella. I did and it was great to get down to see Dad on my birthday and share morning tea with him and my husband.

      Denyse.

  10. Happy birthday Denyse! I hope you’re having a lovely day.
    My self care has been to do with both my mental and physical health. I’ve been seeing a psychologist to help me deal with the huge change in my life this year from my prolonged recovery, and I’ve been journalling daily. Both have helped immensely. My physical health is improving because I have started an exercise regime with an exercise physiologist to build up my upper body strength. I’m still walking 3km per day and doing yoga and I’m getting a lot of benefit from it. Self care is so important so I’m glad this is your topic this week. Take care, Christina

    • Thanks so much Christina, as I write I am weary from a big day – on the road for close to 4 hours there and back. It was worth it though. I know Dad enjoyed seeing both me and my husband.

      I hear you on managing your mental healthy by speaking with a professional. I did this in 2016 into 2017 and by the time my cancer was diagnosed, I only returned once because all of the strategies had become embedded and I was able to self-help.

      Mind you, I had many many ways of managing and they included talking with my husband, using my social media connections, blogging, getting out of the house every day and more.

      I hope you continue to get towards the physical and emotional health goals you have to be able to return to the employment which is part of who you are.

      Denyse.

  11. Gratitude is a great word. It reminds us of everything we have without expecting that what we have is perfect.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful day and it’s great you’re spending it with your father. xx

    • Thanks Deb. I have reminded myself over and over that gratitude is WAS/IS a good word and I will keep it in my arsenal for 2021 and onwards.

      I did have a good day, spent in the company of my husband as he came today too, and with Dad who really appreciated seeing both of us.

      Denyse.

  12. I think you’ve handled the year with gratitude and grace Denyse. Happy birthday to you, here’s hoping the year ahead is full of good things which you so definitely deserve. I loved your update on self care and think you have things well in hand now.
    So pleased to see you had a lovely day with your husband while visiting your dad.

    • Thank you so much Deb.

      I must say I have enjoyed a more relaxed pace to my life recently and it’s to do with fewer medical and surgical visits.

      I am taking care of my inner world…and that is improving with daily practice for sure.

      Your kind words are the best. “grace and gratitude” love that!

      Denyse.

  13. Happy birthday, Denyse! Thank you for hosting each week. I look forward to hearing more of your story next year too!

    • Thanks so much Jed.

      Now I have far fewer demands on my time for medical and surgical reasons, I have more to put into my memoir writing and the blog!

      Denyse.

  14. Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your dad.

  15. I really need to practice Calm. I have the app but haven’t actually made a habit of it. When I think about my recent anxiety, it would’ve been helpful! I hope you had a fab birthday yesterday! And hope the year ahead is wonderful.

    • Ah Sanch, the app needed using…and it really, really has helped me more this year.

      It’s like an oasis for me. A little time out..only 10 minutes morning and night – I like doing it this way. I use daily calm in a.m. and select by my need at the time for night one.

      Take care, thinking of you and I am getting ready to post Lori’s book this morning!

      Denyse.

  16. Happy Blessed Birthday to you. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    • Thanks so much Patrick. Glad to keep my hosting going into 2021 and always good to see you and other bloggers joining in.

      Denyse.

  17. Hi Denyse – I’m a bit late with my comment – the internet where I am is very hit and miss – we’re sitting at a little cafe (on Rottnest Island) so that I can check my FB and email and catch up on a little bit of commenting – thanks for the link up – there’s lots of great posts here to read and I love that you’ve kept the party going for so long.

    • Thanks so much Leanne. Enjoy your break and ‘enforced-almost’ social media break.

      I appreciate you popped in this week.

      Have a lovely holiday.

      My blog’s connection to others is why I keep hosting my link up…2021 here we come (not soon enough!)

      Denyse.