Saturday 21st May 2022

Confidence & Why I Need It. 29/2022.

Confidence & Why I Need It. 29/2022.

Quite some time ago, in late 2017 and into 2018,  I was recovering from a very invasive and nasty cancer which resulted in all of my upper mouth being removed (to make sure the cancer in both the jaw, gums and under top lip was gone…and it is!) and I needed to make myself a routine of sorts once I was back into more independent living.

From May 2017 until around late October that year I was fully present …in learning how to eat, drink and speak following my oral cancer diagnosis and treatments of surgeries, AND to be able to ensure I was OK to be well and truly independent outside the house.

I was so ready for this but in October, after seeing some posts relating to Outfit of the Day and Dressing With Purpose, I decided to adopt those plans and incorporate them into my day:

  • Get Up, Make Bed & Have Breakfast
  • Take some time to enjoy social media and blog and chat with my husband
  • Plan to go out somewhere for a coffee each day
  • Use this to Dress With Purpose
  • And show my self to the world via Instagram…..

I admit, it was so helpful for my mental health, and as the skinniest* I had been since early 20s, I did enjoy finally being confident enough to buy good fitting underwear and clothes for this new-to-me body.

The very first outfit shot. Off to hairdresser’s.

I use this term* with slight reluctance as I hate being defined by weight..life history is part of this. My need to show my body to the world had two motivations back then…1. I was going OK and 2. I could dress with some confidence again and took pride to be able to do so.

Now, as I write in May 2022, I see I looked ok but also getting well was a hard lot of work that I needed to let my body do.

What Happened Next.

Into 2019 I decided to stop the regular posts.

I think it was about not flooding the instagram account with same old same old…but now I think about it, I also was having some negative thoughts coming back into my inner life. 

Ones like:

  • Oh you can tell you have put on some weight
  • Are you sure you look OK…
  • I wouldn’t be sharing these as much as you will be noticed for negative reasons….

The Why and The What of 2020 into 2021.

Covid happened.

I got to have some surgeries…not cancer related and they had some challenges for me personally as recovery from the major abdominal one was complicated. I had some negative feelings about my appearance. That I was getting too fat and I became hooked on this negative thought.

Sigh.

I found my view was skewed. I had certainly added kilograms to my face and frame from those very early post cancer surgery days. Not eating much because you can’t will do that…. But I also knew that with some covid times, I ate more for comfort.

What did I do? I actually cut back some of the amounts of food without sacrificing nutrition or treats because I do not do deprivation! And over a few months a few extra covid kilos were shed and I was back to my days of 2018-19 weight wise. So, go me. And I am not scale dependent any more on how I feel about myself.

It was hard though to have reasons to dress with purpose during lockdown and then afterwards but just recently, with more confidence mustered I wrote this on facebook and instagram and received kind and positive responses.

My Facebook & Instagram Post. 1 May 2022.

Amazing what some confidence returning will do for a person.

I’ve been less than confident about my ‘appearance’ most of my life. But when my oral cancer diagnosis happened, and then surgeries x 4, I made myself #dresswithpurpose #takedailyphoto and get out into the ‘world’ for a walk, a catch up, a coffee and it didn’t matter that I had no upper teeth till August 2018.

I lost some confidence to continue this practice consistently thinking it had served its purpose for me: – letting people know I was doing OK – getting out and about – enjoying wearing ‘new for me’ clothes and styles.

Then came 2020 and into 2021 and now, we are one third of way into 2022. I needed to remember how confident it helped me feel in my “less than wonderful” days following surgeries and treatments, to dress well…and have a photo and go out.

Now, I have re-started it. Coming up to 5 years since my diagnosis on 17 May 2022 and I am using this month to celebrate my life, my changes and my health.

I am very grateful. Always.

Now I am putting me, the 72 year old version, out there again. And quite enjoying it. Even for a morning doing mundane things, it helps for me anyway, to look OK. Thanks for your support too friends and family. Always appreciated. The photographer is B who is not on FB. When I smile, it’s at him! That is LOVE!!

Why I Need Confidence Now.

I won’t be believing those intrusive and untrue thoughts any more

As an older woman I will continue to champion myself as I age.

I will, from time to time, add posts of my daily outfits on social media.

My budget may be tiny but I have a sense of colour and style so I will do well at making some good combinations.

I will remember this time in my life and appreciate that I can make changes for good.

Now, do you have confidence about your appearance?

Do you like to dress with purpose?

I am very interested in your comments!

Denyse.

Joining in with Natalie for Weekend Coffee Share later this week.

Thank you Natalie.

https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

 

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The Month That Was : March 2022. #LifesStories #LinkUp. 21/2022.

And look what’s back! A Link Up HERE.

New(ish) Name: Life’s Stories.

Publishing Every Second Monday, from today with Link Up.

 

The Month That Was : March 2022. 21/2022.

As I am now doing an end of month catch up for my word of the year, posts for end of month will focus on  images and some experiences that have been part of this month.

 

Let’s go: March 2022.

Early March is the anniversary of Mum’s death. I paid tribute here to her life, fifteen years since her passing. Gosh.

Mum would have loved this camellia. Grown by dear B. Autumn time is ace.

You started out with a lot of rain and that was NOT fun in many, many places. Severe flooding and more. It did not directly affect us. We also stayed off the roads around here which can be severely affected by water and run off from paddocks and streets. Yes we still have paddocks!

I managed to visit places to check the Wyong River and it was both amazing and terrifying. When I saw its speed and force coming down from the hills, to the lake and then eventually into the ocean, I saw its power. No-one could survive in that water…and I saw debris and even a whole tree!

I went back to Soldiers Beach where I always find some grounding and this was no exception. Whilst it is a shame to see the beach erosion and rocks exposed, it “is” what nature does over time. And an east coast low is one that caused much havoc and heartache further north and west of us and I cannot fathom the awfulness of having the levels of water which inundated homes, schools, public buildings, churches and shops. And it is still threatening more. AND people are no longer in their homes…it’s tragic.

My Dad went to hospital after a cut on his leg turned nasty and an infection developed. At 98 he DID not find hospital comfortable event though his treatment was excellent and he was home after 2 days. I visited him 10 days later and whilst he was recovered from the infection, the experience left him shaken. He shared lots with me. And I did not take any photos.

Dad has decided against that, and he hates seeing himself (limited anyway these days with macular degeneration) as he looks so old. He does. It was too dangerous on the roads for me to come immediately he was home. My ‘pit’ stop here at St. Ives.

I also had another trip back down home town Manly memory lane, enjoying some beach shots after the awful rains and heavy seas. I ventured to North Head for a scenic lookout but it was closed! I managed a couple of shots from the side of the road. I slowly wended my way back down steep hills where I did my driver’s licence test in 1967, to land at Little Manly Cove. A lovely spot that is still special and in my memory from the 1960s.

 

Schools are doing it tough with Covid being the main reason.

In our family, adults and kids have been affected with doses of Covid (despite being fully vaccinated) and the virus has affected all in different ways. The places for gathering of crowds are doing a “great job” of spreading covid it seems, and the public officials and governments are doing little in year 3 to care or cater for changes. 

Yes there is a Federal election coming and we shall see ‘the promises’ of the parties unfurled. In N.S.W. we have another year to wait thanks to fixed terms.

Meanwhile, we as over 65s will be getting a 4th vaccine, along with our flu immunisations. Neither of us want/needs to be sick as we have underlying health conditions. Fingers crossed we stay OK.

This shot, from harmony day at school, delighted Grandma to see her 2nd youngest & youngest granddaughters.

Our youngest granddaughter celebrates her 7th birthday and I think with great fondness and excitement of the pre-dawn drive from the Central Coast to her parents’ then home, where her siblings awaited with their Aunt, on the homecoming of their father to catch us all up.

A very early morning…driving back to be Grandma on a baby’s BIRTH day

And I have had some health procedures…as they say, not related to my head and neck cancer, but to parts of me where there is skin…I cannot say anymore. However, what I did find out OUCHIE is how much local anaesthetics hurt. I thought the one in my cheek was awful but that paled into comparison by the one(s) in a place I cannot say. And the gynaecologist told me “I have never had to put so much local in….” sorry, I didn’t say because “OUCHIE x 10”. Biopsies for face/arm seem OK as have no news (as in the good news part). Second procedure I will hear more about soon to confirm what I have. I may decide to share privately because I had never known of it. Sigh. Being a woman..of older year, not fun…NO photos!

And we had a bit of a cull of books, texts and more. Some people are coming to pick up quite a few and it is pleasing to share these as we no longer work nor volunteer in the places.

 

Some fun with messages to and from my fave Aussie author: Trent Dalton. I bought my tickets to the Newcastle Writers Festival on line and had to share the news with him. We met there 3 years ago after Boy Swallows Universe’s publication. This time, he is there to talk about Love Stories (which I AM trying to finish by next Saturday) and in the book he mentions the Dalai Lama…hence our chat!

 

I have spent some time reflecting as March ends and I am reminded of what I like to do most:

  • stay connected with others, including via social media and blogging
  • have a cup of coffee somewhere most days
  • chat with my husband, especially at our night time catch up around 9 p.m.
  • enjoy being in nature which is pretty easy to do where we live right now
  • make something art/design wise that is just for me and the process
  • reduce my attention (hyper vigilance) on health matters…a tough assignment but I know I need to do this, as my G.P. and I talked about it recently.

And during the weekend before this post goes live, we attended a one year old’s birthday morning tea. His family lives next door and it was cool to catch up with them. During the one year of his life, as the family was in lockdown as we were, this family got some of the packs of little cakes that our grandkids couldn’t enjoy. It was special to be able to connect and share the joy of a little’s one birthday!

And some more from nature. Love the chance to get out into nature that is relatively close by…and before it rained some more!

The two of us never have a reason to dress up much at all these days in retirement with a social and work-type life non-existent (it’s fine!) so we did for the birthday party and I just had to capture these…

And even thought it is not quite over, March, you can march on.

Bring on April where I will be sharing more about my goal to be more self compassionate.

So pleased to have found “the middle ground” for my link up and hosting.

Yay for changes of mind, kind blogging friends and a patient Tanya who helps make my blog images. Thank you!

Denyse.

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community

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

* Please add just ONE post… 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!

*You are welcome to add my link up’s image to your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Month

*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.

*This link up opens at 5.00 a.m Australian eastern time on the Mondays of dates on Home Page, and closes at 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday of that week.

*I commit to visiting your blog and to  comment on your post.

Denyse Whelan.

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“Being Me” Was Hard in March! #WOTY Review. 20/2022.

“Being Me” Was Hard in March! #WOTY Review. 20/2022.

So, as regular readers know I chose “be me” as my guiding words in 2022.

From end of February celebrating B’s Birthday and using money from NSW Govt…for dining in at a favourite morning tea place.

I guess that IS the ultimate challenge for me, to “be myself” especially in my life where I knew how to be:

  • a daughter
  • a wife
  • a mother
  • a teacher
  • a grandmother
  • a carer
  • a volunteer
  • a patient
  • a blogger
  • a friend

But, left to be on my own I realised late last year when I became unwell, that perhaps I needed to be “me” just “me” ….being, rather than doing…..

Doing was what I knew well.

Being is actually much harder.

Having an inner conversation with me is like this:

so, what’s happening today? I don’t know, I find it hard to just ‘be’ when I want to ‘do’.

And the answer often lies somewhere in the middle of both doing and being…of course…but I still have to tame my old (very) tendencies to:

  • rescue others
  • take care of something for someone
  • go out and find items at the shops
  • do something useful ….with a product such as a meal/cake/gift for someone

As they say, and I have too, I remain a “work-in-progress”.

So far I know I am getting closer to “being me” when I feel less stressed about having to be somewhere I chose not to be anymore.

In fact, even though my people pleasing is still pretty prominent at least I recognise it and can actual say to myself “no, I don’t do that anymore”

I’ve really had to be far more truthful in how some of my past overdoing behaviours have affected me.

It might sound trite but I am now doing far less of any potential organising for anyone or anything.

I know I could. I always did. But now, I am leaving it up to others. If asked, then I may indeed be part of what is happening or:

drum roll, please:

I

CAN

SAY

NO,

thank you,

without any further explanation.

I did some of my self-care things but we were also in a very rain affected part of N.S.W. so staying home was safe. I ventured out a couple of times:

But wait there is more. 

Over the past month my resilience has faltered.

I have been over-tired (but over-wired) and not sleeping well on some nights

I sensed a familiar feeling inside and I remembered it from LONG ago and it felt like:

Burn out…work overload…as it affected me twenty years ago. Chapter here from Telling My Story.

I have been teary.

Impatient.

Unsure about things I am normally confident about.

Quick to respond angrily.

I went to the Psychologist I have seen before and off-loaded but she didn’t mention burn out (that came later from me speaking with B) but she did mention overwhelm and uncertainty and …tah dah….the last 2 years….Wrote about them too. Here and here..

  • But, the ONE aspect I could admit to during my visit was the scare I got (viscerally) when my brother let me know 98 yo Dad had been taken to hospital. It was “only” a two night stay in the end but to a man like my Dad, it gave him quite a scare, as it did us…and his homecoming, via my brother, was on the most awful day of the rains flooding streets in the Northern Beaches right where they had to drive to get Dad back to Dee Why and my brother back to Narrabeen up the road. It was OK. In the end. But, it gave me added anxiety about the “next steps” with Dad and how I might manage emotionally. I am fortunate too, to have skills these days and to have my counsellor-trained husband.

 

  • After that experience and talking it through I could see I really needed to keep up my self-care and my time out in nature (once she settled down) and try to retain some of my more balanced life choices.

 

  • That kind of worked but I was still feeling the short fuse, and it happened after a couple of health visits where I knew I was over thinking and trying to over control what was happening at these visits …..and I couldn’t overcome how I was.

So, I let time pass. That hard thing to do.

But I did, and then over time, because that’s how it works for me, I could distance myself from how I had behaved and see that what I was trying to do was come to terms with more health issues and how HARD it is to do that after the past 5+ years of dealing with cancer.

Sometimes I forget my health past….

It is hard being me at times….

So, I backed off my inner pressure person (the teacher, the one in charge, the perfectionist if you will) and let myself grieve.

I grieved for what had happened to me in so many different health procedures and more…and how I had to hold myself strong to manage to get through it all….and I cried.

I could see that I was now tired.

And I am also in my early 70s. Ageing brings its own and different challenges.

I am using self-compassion to BE me more than ever.

In fact, I wrote about it here, and am keeping myself honest and planning to share an aspect of my self compassion over 30 days of April. More here.

I made a little set of reminder boards here and they sit right within my eye-line at the computer.

Word Of the Year Link Up Party.

Joining in with these kind bloggers:

hosted by friends Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

You too can join in, clicking on one the above links:

Look for this image, and add your post.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I certainly send my good wishes to you all.

Denyse.

 

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What’s Your Dominant Hand? 1/10 #LifeThisMonth. 17/2022.

What’s Your Dominant Hand? 1/10 #LifeThisMonth. 17/2022.

Welcome to the first link up for #LifeThisMonth!

It’s the 2nd Monday of the month, 14 March 2022 and here are the guidelines for linking and commenting.

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community

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

* Please add just ONE post… 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!

*You are welcome to add my link up’s image to your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Month

*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.

*This link up opens at 5.00 a.m Australian eastern time on the second Monday of the month, and closes at 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday of that week.

*I commit to visiting your blog and to  comment on your post.

Denyse Whelan.

Recently I shared elements of this post on a facebook group’s page.

Chat 10 Looks Retired.

The group is one that’s come about from being a member of the Chat10Looks3 Facebook group founded by fans (and with the approval of) Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales. I admit to having been a fan of their podcast since they started it, and I took myself (bravely, because of some of my fears about travel) to see them in what turned out to be the final Chat 10 Looks 3 Live event for the Covid period we know that went on…and on….and on…..

Here’s my memory from that evening B.C. You know, “before Covid.”

Sunday Sharing….to the C10LooksRetired Group…

and now, dear bloggers, to you! 

Are you are a right hander ?

Are you a left hander?

This is me..being both.

Once I started school in the mid 1950s and into 1st Class, my parents asked my teacher if I should be “changed” to being a right hander. That well-informed and caring public school teacher said “no” & for that I am grateful.

I know, as my career was in teaching, that some hardships have been imposed on some children, changing their “dominant” hand in writing. I never did but I did ask parents who may have been unsure before the child started school, to check which hand is used to open a door, which eye is closed to look through a telescope and if they may always favour one hand.

If you, as I know some are, curious to know about being a left hander, let’s just say, we often do it tough.

  • Books for example, to write in,
  • always have us covering our work,
  • and if say at Uni we might have one of those chairs with a desk added, it will be highly likely they will all be for right handers
  • in the olden days of using a cheque book, your left handed writing could cover up what you were wanting to write and add in the cheque butt
  • scissors for those who use the left hand to cut, are often hard to find, and in some classrooms, unfortunately cannot be found. These are made now and a wise school will have some on hand (oops) for those who are lefties

Fun fact…or old hat fact! To graduate from teachers college in 1969, each of us “lefties” had to learn to write on a chalkboard with our right hands because “as a left hander” we would be covering up the work as we went.

I passed, and from then on, approaching a chalkboard, I wrote with my right hand. It proved to be fine. In fact, even though I wasn’t fast when I had my left hand operated on in my 50s I could still do some writing. This example from my first class.

This style of printing in NSW schools was known as “ball & stick”. It took till 1980s for the current NSW Foundation Style to be introduced.

 

Lefties make up only about 10 percent of the population, but studies find that individuals who are left-handed score higher when it comes to creativity, imagination, daydreaming and intuition. They’re also better at rhythm and visualization.

So, here are some amazing facts about left-handers that you may not have previously known:

  • More Often are Male. …
  • Faster Recovery from Strokes. …
  • Advantageous Hand at Sports. …
  • Drawn Figures Usually Face Right. …
  • An Advantage in Typing. …
  • More Intelligent Than Right. …
  • More Artistic. …
  • Better at Writing with Non-Dominant Hand.

I do know that I really enjoying hand writing in print or lettering form but am more likely now to make up my own style as in here:

And something I found personally interesting too: seeing my photos using my left hand looked strange to me because…I too, like the world of 90% of us, sees the world around us portrayed with right handedness and examples of this.

 

Here’s a link to see what your left-handedness level might be.

https://leftyfretz.com/left-handed-test/

I am 75% left handed.

Are you a left hander or a right hander?

Do check out the quiz if you wish. I found it very interesting.

Let me know if you choose in the comments!

Denyse.

 

 

Life This Month.  14.3.2022

Instructions for link up and bloggers here:

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community

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

* Please add just ONE post… 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!

*You are welcome to add my link up’s image to your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Month

*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.

*This link up opens at 5.00 a.m Australian eastern time on the second Monday of the month, and closes at 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday of that week.

*I commit to visiting your blog and to  comment on your post.

Denyse Whelan.

 

The next link up for Life This Month is: Monday 11 April.

10 Link Ups for 2022.

You are welcome to use this logo for the link up.

14 March 1/10

11 April 2/10

9 May 3/10

13 June 4/10

11 July 5/10

8 August 6/10

12 September 7/10

10 October 8/10

14 November 9/10

12 December 10/10

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