Tuesday 28th June 2022

Endings & Beginnings. #LifesStories. Final #LinkUp. 40/2022.

Endings & Beginnings. #LifesStories. Final #LinkUp. 40/2022.

BEFORE you read any further:

Denyse Whelan plans to blog after the Monday link up concludes.

Denyse is not (yet) ready to let her blogging habits end.

Do follow her via the Bloglovin’ link on right hand side of site, at the top, to get updates, and I look forward to responding to YOUR comments.

Of course, I will continue looking for your blog posts and updates too. Thank you! Denyse.

Endings. Life’s Stories. Last One!

On Monday 6 June, I announced here that  this would be the final post for the link up #LifesStories and invited readers to add their blogs to link up for the last time. Share a post, old or new, I used to say, so I hope people do that today:

Monday 20 June. Ending #LifesStories this week.

Thanks to Tanya who could ‘whip’ up one of these images below whenever I asked. In January 2016 it was Tanya, a friend I met at an Embroidery place in Sydney in 2013, who I turned to help make the blog’s appearance as I wanted: colours for each category, and more. Red was always for Mondays and a prompt I wrote under called Life This Week, and that’s where the name of the link up came from.

It’s hard isn’t it to finish something because it’s the end…

Maybe it’s not really the end but it is more of a gentle wind down for me, as an Australian blogger with one of the last blog link ups to her name, to ease my way out of so-called routine that was no longer working for me, and into a freer way to blog.

Of course, I am not going to sugar coat it, the lower numbers into 2022 were at times, disheartening. Yet I knew it was fine. It is what it is! 

When I first ran the link up, and probably for the next 3 years, there were many (often numbering in the 20s) bloggers from Australia and elsewhere who not only blogged, but also appreciated the value of connecting with others via the link up.

Back then I was linking up with people who no longer blog…and with some who still keep their blogs going for occasional use.

And despite making some changes here for the Monday link up, the result of having fewer people link up made me decide that it’s time for the end (of the link up)…….and

I hope to continue the connections made as I will blog here from time to time, and link up with others for their specific link ups as they arise.

I figuratively hang up the ‘keys’ to my link up… I have cancelled my paid account (I always had one) with Fresh Inlinkz and Maria from there wished me well. I always paid for the link up as I disliked the ads.

Thank YOU… 

bloggers who read & comment

AND have linked up for your support & care, always!

About the Beginning. 

Making the Decisions To Have a Link Up.

I am so glad I started the link up when Kirsty had stopped hers on a Monday in early September 2016.

The choice was helped by Kirsty’s encouragement and with so many of you, the blogging community. following me here it was very exciting.

My memory would possibly fail me if I attempted to show appreciation individually so I will not, because I would hate to miss a name!

This blog, and its Monday visitors since September 2016 have sustained me through:

  • being emotionally anxious for some time due to life’s transitions
  • having some personal/family  issues I could hint at but not specify
  • learning that others shared some challenges in family and other relationships
  • being unwell…in my gums….and gut (I.B.S.)
  • finally finding courage to have my top teeth extracted in April 2017 and then of course…
  • cancer diagnosis and all that has entailed, particularly in 2017 and 2017 with surgeries and more

And you, dear readers and commenters, have been exceedingly kind in your words about:

  • my photography
  • art and more as I played with mandalas and designs
  • eating and weight matters over the years
  • my education life
  • my memoir called Telling My Story
  • my oral cancer announcement and then updates which remain as a special page for future reference
  • and many of you became Women of Courage on the blog in the series after receiving an invitation from me in 2019-2021
  • and I just saw that I provided prompts: optional for anyone who wanted to use them. I know I did at times.
  • I also made new categories to help me share more of my story and encourage others and these included:

Share Your Snaps

Taking Stock

Self Care

A list of some prompts from 2020

11/51 My Neighbourhood 16.3.2020

12/51 Out & About 23.3.2020

13/51 Chocolate 30.3.2020

14/51 Self-Care Stories #2. 6.4.2020

15/51 Share Your Snaps #3 13.4.2020

16/51 I Heard 20.4.2020

17/51 Life 27.4.2020

18/51 Taking Stock #2 4.5.2020

19/51 Special Anniversaries 11.5.2020

20/51 Share Your Snaps #4. 18.5.2020

And I have recently done the clean up and clear out of my blog planning..old school style! This was done like this because of my old school organisational history! Love me a diary, a coloured grid and good old handwriting…messy though.

The First Link Up Post. September 2016.

Beginnings. Life This Week 1. 366/256.

This was when I was doing a POST a day…in 2015, 365 posts & this one, the 256th of 2016. I found recently that I stopped doing a daily post in November 2016.

Welcome to the first week of the new Link-Up called “Life This Week.” I’ve been writing about the  topic I named “life this week” all year each Monday.

Today’s prompt,  which I am following is:-

Beginnings. “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” sang Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. I began my life in Wollongong NSW as the first born to my parents.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

Life was pretty ordinary in a good way from 1949 until 1959 when we made another beginning…. I began living on Sydney’s northern beaches and went to primary school in Year 5 & 6 there, and onto Manly Girls High School until 1967 where I was in the beginning… of the Higher School Certificate cohort. Yep, the first ones to do 6 years at high school instead of 5.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

And for the rest of this  post...here is the link….

 

denyse whelan facebook profile picture

The first LOGO!

Mrs Whelan & Mrs Woog

Appreciation for those from the blogging world for their friendships…from 2011 on…this is me with Kayte Murphy who ‘was/is Mrs Woog from Woogsworld’ in 2012.

Many thanks to those I have been fortunate to meet with over the years from ‘the internet’…and even without meeting have extended the warmth of friendship and care across the virtual connections. A few memories from being a blogger. I wish I had more to share!

But wait, there is one more paragraph to add…based on my previous post, here. 

We plan to return to an area of Sydney where we used to live, and to rent. It’s likely to be done once our lease is up here in the first third of 2023. But no plans are concrete….leaving now to add more to a future post about ‘what, why. how’ and the like ready, as I can be, for Friday’s link up for Word of The Year Month Checkup.

This is the final link up here and my heart is grateful to you all for being here, adding a post of yours and connecting.

Thank you.

Take care, I am….

Denyse.

P.S. And, it’s another Monday where I am off to visit Dad in Sydney’s Dee Why with my usual package of treats, meals and conversations…so bear with me if I am not around till later today!

 

The number of weeks: 288 including today, I have hosted a link up here!

 

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community…

Thank you for linking up in the past and today. 

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

Denyse Whelan.

 

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Word of Year Revisited. 49/51. #LifeThisWeek. 129/2021.

Word of Year Revisited. 49/51. #LifeThisWeek. 129/2021.

Before going on, it was my husband’s words, on a birthday card envelope that reminded me to smile.

I then considered he was right …(I should tell him as he thinks I rarely admit he is right)….I also know that my upper prosthesis makes my smile the nicest one I have ever had. For those who may be new here, I had all of my upper mouth and part of my top lip removed in July 2017 when cancer was found. The whole story is here.

From my post in January 2021 about the word of the year.

Why “SMILE”?

  • A smile is a valuable form of communication and connection.
  • I know for some people smiles can be hard to manage depending on the time and circumstances and not everyone is a ‘smiler’. That is what makes the world go round, we are all different.
  • I too do not like being told “smile!!”. Umm. No, unless I have the emotions that warrant a smile, I may be able to slightly fake it but truly I prefer the genuine smile.
  • I know there are many more muscles used in the face to frown and far fewer to smile and that can be a suggestion as a mood lifter.
  • In fact, the old adage of ‘fake it till you make it’ can work as a psychological tool at times. Try it.

How Did Smile ‘as a word of the year’ Help Me?

  • I know it made me ‘smile’ when I thought about the word, and knowing I needed to act it. And as it says above, it works!
  • Nevertheless, there were non-smiling times in 2021 because things turned tough, and lockdown was not something I enjoyed 100% every day!
  • However, not smiling did not help at all, so it was within my best interests not only to FIND reasons to smile but for my health’s sake…and that of the man I live with…it was better to smile, than frown…most of the time!
  • It made me find small things to be grateful for and to reminisce about happier and fun times with grandkids to bring that smile back
  • I know getting out into nature, and doing a selfie or 4 reminded me to smile and be grateful to be vaccinated for Covid19 and well.

My Mouth Looks Better with a Smile.

  • It really does.
  • At rest, my mouth shows the rigours and remains of the loss of so much of my top lip and that the area has receded.
  • However, it can hurt a bit to smile because it is stretching the mouth that was reconstructed over the years 2017 into 2018.

 

Did I Always Smile? 

Mostly, but there are, for reasons of me not liking how I looked then, fewer photos. What a shame, because now I realise I was trying to hide what I felt ashamed of…my size and my smile. My teeth, before the bridge was added were uneven. Now, I say to myself that “I” need to let go of those old stories. I did what I could as I lived a very challenging and full life of work, career, study, care and commitment.

How Did My Smile Come Back?

Surgeries x 4, T I M E in between, careful work by my prosthodontist (right) over many, many long hours for me ‘in the chair’ at Westmead Oral Sciences…and an upper prosthesis of teeth that IS my smile now, some 14 months post first big surgery aged 67.

And My Smile Is From Mum! 

It’s the saying in our family that Mum could turn on a smile. And she did. However, she was not always happy but looked like it when the cameras where out. Seriously though, Mum had all her teeth (as does Dad still)…I got the rotten teeth gene there. And she smiled. Here’s a compilation from the photo collage I made for Dad that he has in his Unit.

Mum’s smile for me….72 years ago.

Some Familiar Smiles

…and yes, some are more like my Mum’s but ALL are smiles from those I love….

Happy Birthday Mum…born 6 December 1924. You’d have joined Dad as a 97 year old today…the day I post this but you are not, and to be honest, you’d have found very old age…hard yards. Love this photo- from a family dinner celebration. 

Noreen’s Smile

 

 

Did you have a word of the year too?

I am not sure about next year.

As per usual I will wait….

Thanks for reading and commenting today.

Denyse.

Link Up #269.

Life This Week. #269.

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Reflections On Mother’s Day 2021. 56.1/2021.

Reflections On Mother’s Day 2021. 56.1/2021.

 

Content Warning: Should any post about Mother’s Day be a concern for you, please don’t read…I am sorry for your situation whatever it is.

 

After a long period of reflection (years) I chose to write about Mother’s Day to be published on Mother’s Day, 2021.

My mother told me Mother’s Day flowers were chrysanthemums and were always white. She recalls her mother being given a white flower at church on Mother’s Day. I remember these things. But cannot find any pics of chrysanthemums.

Here it IS Mother’s Day 2021.

I cannot help but do a trip down memory lane to try to understand my mother and my mothering…OK. Not all of it, because much cannot be put into words.

Reflections.

  • I grew up in a 1950s-60s  household where Mother’s Day was remembered….by my father whose domineering and controlling manner meant I have had his words about this occasion rattling around my head since I could remember. Maybe 6 till my recent old(er) age.
  • It was a day where of course we gave Mum a card, probably some flowers and may be a gift. But I never thought of the occasion without ‘obligation’. This is who I am. Long memory.
  • Mum was a kind, sharing and shy woman whose care of her husband and us two kids was exemplary. She loved that she could care for us that way. In fact, it carried on to the ways in which our kids and my brother’s would remember “Noreen” for, and her three great-grandchildren who knew her before her death in 2007.
  • Dad….where will I start? Here at the point of the conversation I had with him only 3 weeks ago when I spoke of the courage his mother had coming to Australia to marry her fiance. His comments? “She was alway cranky and complaining and wanted to know, when we arrived to visit, when we were returning” OK. I understand but as I said, Gran having been widowed with 4 kids probably had a lot of grief.
  • So why did I begin to resent the forced nature of Mother’s Day? Probably for that reason. It did not come from my heart and then, as I had kids (strange but true) I believe I began to feel the old family history repeating itself.
  • Sigh.
  • I became entangled in the “event” that should be happening as I am a mother. Oh how embarrassed I am now about that. I did not demand anything (not my Dad) but I felt sad and disappointed if I was forgotten on Mother’s Day.
  • Cringe.

What Has Changed?

  • My mature thinking, a big dose of cancer and an obligation-free mindset
  • I honour MY adult kids as they make me so proud to be their Mum.
  • I actually asked my kids, a few years back,  to allow for my imperfections (there are many) as their Mum as I was, at the time, doing the best I knew.
  • I expect nothing back. At long last. Not anything. Thanks Dad…by the way, I have told him this but his memory is…dim.
  • I know that I am loved but I do not need to see evidence or whatever based on the ‘have to’ mindset we see far too often.

Two Posts: 1971 and 1979.

These two posts are about my mothering years, in particular giving birth to our daughter, and then after a long gap where we thought that we could not have any more children, we had our son.

My Mother’s Day 2021.

  • It’s a Sunday.
  • We will be cleaning the house on our fortnightly roster.
  • I will go out for my Sunday coffee.
  • I will reflect on my gratitude for a change of mind and heart and send my love to our kids and their kids…and Dad.
  • Forgiveness is powerful as is My Loving Kindness practice.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Denyse.

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