4. July 2014

Day 70 Tuesday 1st July

Today I am extremely grateful that I have found a woman who lets me be my wild and free-spirited self, who is strong within herself and does not fear my strength. Karen you are amazing and I love you.

1 July

Day 71 Wednesday 2nd July

Learning to let go has been one of the most gratifying challenges of my journey. I still have a way to go but I’m happy with my progress thus far. Right now the challenge I am facing is addiction. I’m not proud of the fact that I’m a drug addict but I know that being ashamed does not help me to grow. I make mistakes, sometimes I take a step back, (yes, I caved and smoked yesterday) sometimes I fall down, but always I get up again and keep moving forward. Today I am grateful for that strength.

2 July

Day 72 Thursday 3rd July

God I love my family!!! We may not have it all together but together we definitely do have it all. In particular, today I want to express my gratitude for my children. You are amazing!!! Your love and acceptance blows me away all the time. Even when times are tough, when we are thrown out of our comfort zones, when life turns everything upside down and we don’t know which way to turn, I have always known that our love for each other is strong and true and will get us through whatever we face. Jess, Sam, Beth, Abby and Nicholas, I firmly believe that as pure souls we choose our families before birth and I will be forever grateful that you chose me to be your mum, I love you more than words can express. Carla, Matthew and Luke, you accepted me into your life as a substitute mum and even though I didn’t give birth to you I love you dearly. You are all my children and time, life, change or fate will never take you from my heart.

Day 73 Friday 4th July

This list is wonderful and today I want to express my gratitude for all the people and events who have led me to a place where I can honestly say that on most days I put these things into practice. On the days that I don’t, I have learnt to be gentle and forgiving with myself and know that I’m not a failure xx

Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their amazing list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for more inspirational advice and tips for life.

#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

#12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

#16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

#19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Credits:

marcandangel.com

lifebuzz.com

whydontyoutrythis.com

Day 74 Saturday 5th July

So grateful I followed my intuition instead of my fear xxoo

5 July

Day 75 Sunday 6th July (not posted till Monday)

Oops missed a day. I’m excusing myself as I was spending the day with family and loving every minute of it. Grateful that my life is so full of love that I forget to get onto Facebook

Day 76 Monday 7th July

Feeling grateful for the friends who choose to stay in my life. You mean the world to me xxoo

Day 77 Tuesday 8th July

One of the forums I’m on posed a question to some of its members this morning. They asked, ‘When did you first know you were a butch?’

I know some people want and need to identify themselves with labels but personally I hate it. I am who I am. I’ve always swung comfortably between feminine and masculine both in my appearance and behaviour. I love being a woman, dressing up, being pregnant and being feminine. I also love that I have many masculine qualities too. I believe that we all have both sides within us and some people are more comfortable on one side or the other. But a lot of people are like me. We sit within the genders, we are more fluid within how we think, feel, look and behave. I’m not just referring to those who identify as LGBTI either, I’m talking about all people. I personally feel labels can be damaging as they can keep a person locked within a stereotype. As Dr Seuss would say, “Be who you are and say what you will, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

Today I am grateful for fluidity, for individuality, for uniqueness. I am who I am.

8 July

Moz I love this!!!! From the very first time I saw you in primary school I always thought you were the most stunningly beautiful female, I also knew you were one of the toughest, “i can look after myself just fine thanks” kinda chics I really loved that about you. Felt the same about Jane and Maguire – but don’t tell her, I’ll never hear the end if it.

Amanda Fantastic Annie! Love it and your gorgeous photo’s!!

Jodi Annie… you kind of remind me of Jane Rizzoli from the tv show Rizzoli and Isles. Jane is beautiful, tough, loyal, strong in heart mind and soul… but I have this total girl-crush on Rizzoli, so I may be a little biased.

Vanessa Love it Annie I don’t care what you are all I care about is your my cuz and I love you x

Sam Evolution!!!

Maria Always beautiful xxx

Jo Well said woman! Who cares what hat you wear as long as it’s comfortable for you! We all love you cos you’re you xxx

Gisele You are as you are…!!

Karen I love all of you babe, and agree with all your words of wisdom, labels just pigeonhole us. We are different people for different situations, tough and masculine one moment, soft and feminine the next and of course we can be equally strong and feminine or soft and masculine as needed

Georgia beautifully put, one day it won’t even be an issue

Maureen To quote someone”to your own self be true” Annie and to hell with the labellers.

Danielle Beautiful, just perfect!xx

Teresa Poetic and profound. X

Day 78 Wednesday 9th July

Grateful today for a wonderful lunch with Elspeth. It was so good to catch up. Thank you beautiful lady.

9 July

Day 79 Thursday 10th July

This is something I’ve often done and it’s taken many years for me to realise that while sometimes I may need to apologise for the behaviours I display in reaction to an emotion, I should never have to apologise for feeling the emotion itself. It is perfectly fine to be sad, angry, furious even, it’s just what we do with the emotion that makes the difference. So grateful today for the lessons that have taught me to be ok with being real.

 10 july

Day 80 Friday 11th July

Been putting this off way too long. Grateful for friends who talk me into doing stupid things like Pilates and xPunch and the Burnie 10.

11 July

Day 81 Saturday 12th July

Full moon rising, I bathe in your light. Surrounded by those who came before, I give thanks. For what was, for what is, for what is yet to come. I am not alone, the love of my ancestors brought me to this place and will sustain me until I too join those who will support my children.

Namaste

12 July

Day 82 Sunday 13th July

Grateful that I am surrounded by dancing and singing, stories and silence

 13 July

Day 83 Monday 14th July

Having just completed my first weeks reading for the Philosophy unit, Mind and Metaphysics, I am extremely grateful that technically there are no wrong answers. Otherwise I’d be screwed lol

Caleb: I love these statuses Annie! Always a smile to be found reading them!

Day 84 Tuesday 15th July

Wow!!! What a day.

I’m sooo tired. My units this semester have a massive reading load and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed today. I may have to drop one before census if it’s too much but will see how I go. I’m extraordinarily grateful for the support I am getting from Karen at the moment. Thanks babe for believing in me even when I’m not sure I can do it and for listening to my concerns and excited waffling.

Going back to Uni has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. There have been times I’ve considered (briefly) giving up and I’m so glad I haven’t done that (yet) because the rewards far out way the trials.

My attitude towards and awareness of, life, myself, family, friends, work and rest, and balancing all the above, has changed so much over the last few years. I have grown in confidence and this has helped me so much when it comes to organising my priorities and maintaining that balance.

I certainly haven’t perfected it, but I am quietly confident, for the first time in my life, that I can do something for myself AND still be a good mother, partner, friend and worker.

Day 85 Wednesday 16th July

Today I am grateful for productivity and a massive amount of work achieved, for technology that allows me to chat to my loved ones, for cuddles from my boys Nick and Angus and for my extraordinarily comfortable bed. I’m exhausted. Good night lovelies.

Day 86 Thursday 17th July

Have just spent a lovely evening with Jessica going through her photos from Samoa. Lovely gifts from her Samoan family and wonderful stories. Wish Australian families were as close as Samoan families. Even though we love each other I think it would be lovely to live within a culture where families stay together forever xxoo

Day 87 Friday 18th July

I had my first history tute today and I must say I am very grateful I signed up for this unit. Our lecturer, Michael is a scream and I’m looking forward to some very lively debates over the next 12 weeks.

Day 88 Saturday 19th and Day 89 Sunday 20th July

This is a joint post as I have just experienced the craziest, happiest, best weekend in ages and I’m feeling extraordinarily grateful for this gift.

Every year we have a Christmas in July fundraiser at my friend’s’ farm in Mole Creek. This year we are supporting the QTas choir and we had some of the members here for the weekend. They performed yesterday after lunch and continued to sing and engage the rest of our guests until the wee hours of the morning. They even managed to convince our friend to let us have a campfire on the lawn/house paddock (huge ask for a farmer)

Imagine this: a cold winters night, a sky filled with stars, on a hill facing the Western Tiers covered in snow. Beautiful souls singing everything from Christmas carols to Rocky Horror songs, laughter, friendship and love flowing around the fire.

An amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again.

Day 90 Monday 21st July

So incredibly happy and grateful and that’s all I’m going to say on here lol. Love you babe xxoo

Day 91 Tuesday 22nd July

It isn’t hard to do xx

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Day 92 Wednesday 23rd July

Feeling very grateful for all the love in my life. In particular the love from my children, my family and my beautiful partner. Love you all so much xx

23 July

Day 93 Thursday 24th July

Looking forward to my first workshop tomorrow in Launceston. Environmental management; more readings than history and philosophy combined but loving every minute.

 24 July

Day 94 Friday 25th July

Have just had our first workshop for environmental management unit today and had a great day. Looking forward to working with Marg and Jessica over the next 11 weeks. However, I am extremely grateful that the day is finally over and I’m at home chilling with my girl. Absolutely exhausted lol

Day 95 Saturday 26th July

Over the last week I have noticed that the daffodils are starting to flower again and I was reminded that Imbolc is nearly upon us once more. Of all the major Sabbats, this is the one I feel most in tune with.

As a young Catholic I took Saint Brigid as my patron saint, never knowing that many years later I would discover her true origins. As a Goddess associated with the Spring festivals, healing, smith work, creativity and the keeper of the hearth I have turned to Brighid many times over the years for support, wisdom and understanding. As the Wheel turns once more I am even more aware than ever of the silent pull that draws me to connect with the Earth, Her energy and the energy of all the life She holds close to Her heart. Over the next few days, in preparation for Imbolc, my posts will focus on these thoughts. If it is not for you, please feel free to come back later. If, as I believe, you too feel the pull of what you love, then stay. Your thoughts and blessings at this time will be accepted with gratitude and love.

Blessed Be

26 July

P.S Coming back to this post I have realised that my decision to focus on Imbolc over the next few days never actually happened. I wonder if I actually did anything???????

Day 96 Sunday 27th July

Have just had an awesome catch up with my sister for Sunday roast. It was great to finally be able to introduce you to my beautiful girl. Love you so much xxoo

Day 97 Monday 28th July

Feeling incredibly sad and disillusioned with our current government. I am however grateful for all the Earth angels who fight for what is right, who acknowledge our connection with and dependence on this beautiful planet and who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe.

Day 98 Tuesday 29th July

Heartfelt gratitude goes out to all our emergency services workers. Stay safe everyone xxoo

Day 99 Wednesday 30th July

I am who I am, quirks and all. Grateful for those people who don’t just tolerate my differences but celebrate and love them because they make me who I am xxoo

 30 July

Day 100 Thursday 31st July

Wow! I’m a little in shock that I’ve already reached 100 days of gratitude. The last few months have flown by; there have been some really sad moments and there has been moments filled with so much joy I thought I’d die from sheer happiness.

To all of you who have supported, followed, liked, commented and shared my daily posts, thank you. Your love, support and encouragement means more to me than you may realise and today I just want to express my gratitude to all of you. Love you to bits xxoo

31 July