2. May 2014

Day 9 Thursday 1st May

Well, today I am grateful for a few things…
Firstly, doctors who do their job properly and promptly, hopefully Sam hasn’t done any serious damage to his foot, we’ll find out on Saturday.
Secondly, free parking in Burnie, it does exist and, finally, for the opportunity to hang out with some great people at the opening of David’s exhibition tonight. Lots of laughs, hugs and chatter, a decent spread and great wine, beautiful photography and hilarious yarns. What more could you want.

Day 10 Friday 2nd May

Today I am grateful for firewood, a secure roof over my head and food in my belly. I am grateful for the company of my children and pets, for technology that allows me to connect with those who are not with me, lights my home and runs my car. Too many times I hear myself complaining about having to bring in wood while it is raining, about how much I wish I had my little cabin in the mountains, about not having the sort of food I’d like to eat. I wish for fewer arguments, less fur all over the house, about the bills I incur for my use of technology. I’m human, far from perfect and too often forget to be grateful for what I already have. I am extraordinarily lucky to be in the place I’m in. Things could have been very, very different. If you’re fortunate enough to be sitting there listening to the rain pouring down, be grateful, it could be so much worse. Love you guy’s xxoo

Yes, things could have been very, very different. It’s hard for me to believe some days that it’s been thirty years now since I found myself living on the streets; at times it still feels like it could have been yesterday and at other times it feels like a different lifetime altogether. On the days when those memories feel too close for comfort, I become acutely aware of the consequences of running away from your problems. I am not only very grateful for the opportunities that have arisen over the years that have helped me to get to where I am today, I am grateful that I am alive to enjoy them.

Day 11 Saturday 3rd May

Wow. I have had a lovely evening. So grateful for the company of two great friends Vicki and Karen, it’s been lovely hanging out with you both.

I am also happy that Sam’s X-ray results were clear and no damage has been done. He’s gone to a 21st tonight so I figure his recovered enough to help me move the wood.

Belated Day 12 Sunday 4th May

Oops, too busy cooking for school, the holidays went way too fast. Yesterday was a lovely, cruisy day and I was very grateful for that. Even though I had heaps to do, the day went smoothly and I went to bed stress free which was a welcome change xx

Day 13 Monday 5th May

So first I am grateful I remembered to post. I knew there would be days when I’d struggle to write but I hadn’t accounted for just being so damn busy that I’d forget.
I am grateful that seven people put their hand up for the trip to Cradle Mountain this weekend. Hopefully they will be able to commit and we’ll get a few extra by Friday or I might be out of a job by the end of semester.
I am extremely grateful for the lovely photo thank you card that I received from Carla today, the photo of baby Tully is just gorgeous.
Thank you Vicki for the papers you gave me on art appreciation. Exactly what I needed for this assessment and once again I am extremely grateful for a peaceful day. Sweet dreams everyone.

Day 14 Tuesday 6th May

Today I am very grateful that I managed to get my assessment in way ahead of the deadline for the first time in two years.
I am grateful for a kind-hearted boss; you rock Robert. I am also grateful that I had the opportunity to work in student engagement again this semester. I have met many wonderful people and hope to meet many more this weekend on our inter-campus trip to Cradle Mountain.
As each day of this challenge goes by, I realise time and again how many wonderful people have entered my life in recent years and while I will be eternally grateful for the long-term friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin (you know who you are) it is lovely having new friends in my life to share this stage of my journey. I hope I continue to be worthy of that friendship as time goes by. Love you all to bits xxoo

Day 15 Wednesday 7th May

Nicholas

Today has been great with lots of laughs and productivity and I’m very grateful for that but I’d like to focus on someone specific today.
Nicholas, my youngest son, is 14 years old so I’m dedicating day 14 to him. [Note: at this point some of you may realise that my days are already out of whack. Somewhere in the past week I repeated a day and when I finally realised and went back to correct it, it put some of my posts a day behind. Like this one and day 19 and, well a few more.] I believe everything happens for a reason, even if we can’t fathom what that reason is at the time. After four children and two miscarriages, I have had enough. I was exhausted, mentally and physically, so I decided there would be no more children for this family. I was very happy with my brood and as time went by the kids started school and I looked at going back to school too. I was 30 years old and ready to regain a little me time, hmm, life had other plans. While on the waiting list to have my tubes tied, I fell pregnant. I’m not ashamed to admit that I went through several weeks of doubt about this baby. Could I cope? What about school, finances, housing, cars and the list went on? In the end I did what I knew I could live with. I had my fifth child and when the nurse asked me if I wanted contraceptives I said, “He’s not coming anywhere near me until either he’s fixed or I am!”

Right from the start Nicholas was difficult. He wouldn’t settle, we didn’t bond well and as he grew I kept getting this feeling that something wasn’t right. At first I blamed myself. All those doubts and negative thoughts are behind this, it’s my fault we haven’t connected, I’m a bad mother and no matter how hard I tried, nothing seemed to make it better. I loved him with all my heart and soul; so why did I feel this huge gulf between us? For seven years I beat myself up over these questions, seven years of reading everything I could find on parenthood, seven years of counselling and crying, seven years before somebody mentioned the word Autism. I’d love to say that it was a hallelujah moment; it wasn’t, but it was a start. Over the last seven years we have learnt and grown together. I have learnt that autistic children rarely bond in the way that most babies do, I have learnt that bonding is a two way process and it didn’t matter how much love and affection I showered on him, he didn’t need it like I do so he didn’t respond to it. I have learnt that it wasn’t my fault. I have also learnt that autistic children (in Nicholas’s case it’s mild), commonly called Asperger’s Syndrome, can sometimes learn to be affectionate and he did. Somehow, over the years he has learnt that I need hugs and that I need to hear him say, “I love you”; that I need to interact with him on many levels and in many ways. He doesn’t always get it, he is often the first to pull away but he does it because he likes to be socially accepted, even if it is always on his terms, and he has learnt that to be accepted there are things you need to do. Like talk to people, listen to them, touch, share, and feel. I would have loved him regardless, but every day I am blown away by how much he learns, by how intuitive he is about the way people feel, how he has learnt to read body language, even while not understanding it and by how quickly he is adapting into a world that looks at him and “says, “You’re different”. Does it make me angry that he has had to adapt? You betcha! I wish every human could be accepted for who they are and allowed to just be. But in the same breath, I wonder how much we would have missed if we hadn’t managed to pull him out of his cocoon? At 14 he is finally learning to make friends, he voluntarily asked to join Enormity, a local fund-raising group and for the first time he is really enjoying interactions with his peers. He has also learnt that he does like hugs and more often than not now he is the one to make the first approach.
I have learnt so much from Nicholas. I have learnt patience, tolerance and gentleness. I have learnt that I was far too judgemental and I have changed. I have learnt that I am stronger than I could have imagined and I have learnt that despite my misgivings over the years, I am a good mum. I have no regrets.

I have recently found out that children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, previously believed to lack empathy, are actually quite empathetic, however, they lack the ability to filter emotion and often suffer from sensory overload and withdraw to cope. When I wrote this post in 2014, I was still under the impression that Nicholas was learning to be empathetic and to care about how others feel. After reading a journal article that spoke about children with an ASD being empathetic and talking to my doctor, the penny finally dropped. Over the past year, watching the way Nicholas interacts with people, I have come to understand him far better than I could have realised. I have learnt that he does care deeply, is very in tune with how people close to him are feeling and he does want physical and emotional contact. What he was learning to do was how to cope with the intensity of other people’s emotions. Unlike people without autistic tendencies, Nicholas deals with a constant onslaught of emotion, all day, every day and this is completely overwhelming, so to deal with it, he withdraws. I also learnt why I understand him so much better now, guess who else is on the spectrum?

Day 16 Thursday 8th May

OMG had the best two-hour massage today. My body will be eternally grateful, thank you Wendy.
Good news from the hospital too. Looks like I’ll get in for surgery within the next month or two which I wasn’t expecting so that was a nice surprise. Not that I’m overly excited about surgery but if you have to go, you have to go.
Thank you also to Heather, Sue and Andrea for boosting my ego today.
Have a great night everyone, mwah

Day 17 Friday 9th May

Where do I start???
I’m grateful for so many things today.
I’m grateful that Sam dragged his bum out of bed early and brought a heap of wood around to the garage before he left to go away for the night.
I managed to smash my tutorial this morning and submit it four days before it was due. That’s never happened. I also realised while doing it how much I enjoy studying literature; I always thought, a bit like with my music studies in high school, that analysing a piece would take all the fun out of it. I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite to be true. I gained a deeper understanding of the piece; thank you Jess for helping me break it down.
I am also grateful that I was witness to the retelling of a selfless act of kindness. A dear friends’ husband, who doesn’t believe in our hocus pocus mumbo jumbo, stepped out of his comfort zone and bought her a dreamcatcher to hang above their bed as she has been having nightmares.
Throughout the day I had many lovely conversations and hugs with friends and because I managed to get my tute done early was able to travel out-of-town to catch up with Heather. It’s been a lovely day and I’m now going to hang out with my kids for a bit before getting an early night. Off to Cradle Mountain tomorrow with a truckload of Uni students, should be a great day. Love and Light xxoo

Day 18 Saturday 10th May

Wow! I love my job.
Had the best day today at Cradle Mountain. The student engagement team took about 40 local and international students from Launceston and Burnie UTAS campuses out for the day. We stopped at the Makers Workshop, walked around Dove Lake, (a few brave souls climbed one of the mountains) and finished off with a BBQ. I met some lovely people from all over the world with very diverse interests and careers. Gratitude oozing everywhere today.

Day 19 Part 1 Sunday 11th May

On this special day I am very grateful for all the things my mum taught me…
• Never stop dreaming
• Never give up hope
• When unsure of what to do, ask yourself, “What would Love do?”
• Family is so important, fight for those relationships, stay in touch and talk often.
• Never be ashamed to say, “I’m sorry”
• Never be too proud to admit you were wrong
• Tell your kids you love them, hug them, praise them and do it publicly as well as in private. Even if they get embarrassed they will secretly love it and be thankful for it
• Be grateful you look like me, it could have been worse.
• Drag your kids along to bbq’s, family visits, the beach, whatever; especially when they don’t want to. A family that plays together stays together
• Wake your kids up in the middle of the night to watch an electrical storm.
• Lie on the grass with them and make cloud pictures.
• Teach them how to be independent.
• Make your presents and cards by hand every now and then, they will be remembered much longer than a box of chocolates.
• NEVER stop loving your kids and never give up hope. When they push you away, that’s when they need your love more than ever.
• And lastly, though I know she didn’t know she was teaching me this… Be patient with your parents as they age. Inside that frail body is a young person who is just as frustrated as you are.
I miss you more and more each day mum. Love you to the moon and back xxoo

11 May

Day 19 Part 2 Sunday 11th May

Abby

I gave day 14 to Nicholas, now it’s Abby’s turn.
My baby girl, I can’t believe you’re already 18! Do you remember asking me if I was still your baby after Nick was born? I said, you will always be my baby. You are my baby girl, Nick is my baby boy.

You were so determined to be here and that determination has never left you. I’ve watched you over the years; as you fought for me, for your friends, for the underdogs and for yourself. You have such a deep courage and passion for life and justice and those qualities have shone through more times then you may have realised. But I have seen it, time and again and I’m very proud of the way you stand your ground in life.

Even when you have been so scared of what might happen, you choose the path that is just and fair. You’re not perfect, none of us are, but you are one of those rare individuals, who from an early age, had an enormous amount of self-awareness and I have watched you develop that skill over the years and put that knowledge into practice.

I don’t know if you realise how much I have learnt from you and am still learning. I am your biggest fan, your most ardent admirer and I have always and will always, be eternally grateful you chose me as your mum. Love you baby girl xxoo

From Jesse to Abby

Since the moment I first held you (and I was the first) I knew how much I wanted to be a mum.
You were so perfect and tiny and so full of spunk. I haven’t had my own- so thank you for allowing me such a big part in your life.
I got the privilege of naming you, and even though my ten-year old mind named you after a cartoon character, I chose it because that character was a fighter, that Abigail had such a fight in her that not everyone understood it and so did you and to this day your name is something I’m truly proud of because it fits you so well.
The character in that film took a journey to rescue her friend… And you my giggle gert are the biggest champion of friends and family that I have ever met.
Thankyou for allowing me a special job in your life, I’m so glad I got to help you grow. Thank you also for putting me in my place and reminding me that you’re no longer my baby sister but a woman and an ally and a supreme force in my life.
I have never loved someone so much as I love you. I have never been prouder of anyone more than I am of you. And I have never felt so blessed as the day I first met you.
I love you my giggle gert. And even though we sometimes fight I am so glad you’re my sister and my friend.

Day 20 Monday 12th May

Beth

Somebody once told me about old souls, people who have been here many times. I never really understood this term when I was younger; until I met you.

From the day you were born you had a presence about you that was so gentle and loving. Early on we all realised what an extraordinary gift you have with animals; they flocked to you and you took them all under your wing. There were times when I wondered if the stories of Dr Dolittle were based on people like you. I truly wondered whether you could ‘talk to the animals’ because of the way they respond to you.

You have such an amazing gift and I’m so glad you are studying in these fields as I believe that gift will take you on an amazing life journey.

You have grown into a beautiful woman and I’m very proud of you in more ways than you could imagine. Stay strong, fly high, but never forget where home is. You are loved and missed so much. Forever grateful xxoo

Day 21 Tuesday 13th May

Today I am grateful for my pen, my paper, my typewriter and computer. You have been with me for over 40 years and I love you very much. I hope you enjoy this piece I wrote a few years ago.

Silent Voices

Dear God what have I done?
Her life teeters on a knife’s edge and it is entirely my fault! When I brought her here, she was so nervous; not that you would know it to look at her. She held her head high and strode confidently into the room, but little things gave it away; a quick look if she lost sight of me, wanting me to walk beside her, a nervous smile. I grinned and gave her a hug, reassuring, confident.

She trusted me!

Why would I, the woman who nursed her through so many tears, fail her now? I led her forward like a lamb to the slaughter…and she followed; blind, oblivious to the dangers lurking around the corner, the unknown horror and the inconceivable nightmares that waited to pounce on my fragile child.
What was I thinking! I who professed love as the answer to everything; I who struggle with guilt when I fail to live up to this expectation, how could I do this to her?

My heart was screaming at me to STOP!
I ignored it.

My head told me I had no choice.

After twelve years, it had come to this. There was nothing left to do. No more avenues to turn down.
This evil must be ripped out of my child! There will be no more sleepless nights, I will not allow these monsters to destroy my child anymore.
Yet; to rid her of this horror I must send her into oblivion, an unknown future where death is the only sure thing.
I cannot do this.
I feel myself stumble as I turn the corner.
They come to take her away and suddenly; she knows! Her eyes lock onto mine and she knows what I have done. She sees my fear, my guilt and my helplessness.
She smiles.
She smiles to reassure me that all is well, to confirm that she knows I love her and to convince me that she will come back from that unknown place. She is scared too but somewhere deep inside; she knows that love will get us through this.

She smiles.
And they take her away.
A piece of me dies.
I stand there lost.

Breathe. Stay calm. Breathe.

I wander in a fog. I talk. I laugh. It is all unreal. I cannot see my way forward and I am scared. I hear a noise and it startles me.
I feel like screaming! Where is she? Why doesn’t someone come? How long will I wander like this, not knowing, slowly evaporating?
They call me. Something is wrong! I walk as fast as I can. This place will not let me run. It suffocates me!
I see her struggling to come back to me. She is crying and shivering uncontrollably. I reach out and do the only thing I know how. My hand upon her brow, I send her love.
She calms and the nurse reassures me, “This is normal after anaesthetic.”
My heart subsides a little and I look at her with wonder.
My precious angel will wake to see another day. I still feel the guilt as I watch her struggle; but I know all is well. And as the Dr places the jar with her tonsils on the bedside table, I know that together we will survive.

Copyright ©2008 Annie Whitehead

Day 22 Wednesday 14th May

Sam

This is a hard one Sam. Not because I don’t know what to say but because what I want to say is extremely personal.
When you were born I fell head over heels in love and as you grew you were such a delightful, happy baby that everyone loved you to bits. But there came a time when it became very apparent to me that you were no longer a baby. You were a boy, then a young man and I was scared.

I was scared because I was acutely aware of my responsibility to raise you to be a good man. A man who could be trusted, who wasn’t afraid to show his feelings, a man who wouldn’t abuse a woman the way I had been abused on so many occasions. It was an enormous responsibility and I was terrified about what would happen if I failed. If I’ve been too hard on you over the years it has been this fear that has driven me and I am sorry for the times I have hurt you. I was young and inexperienced and I just wanted you to be the best you could be.

The thing is I didn’t need to worry so much. You have grown into an amazing man. You are gentle and kind, you are not afraid to show your pain when you need to, you have learnt to stand your ground without using your fists and you are a man that anyone could love and feel safe in that love. You have a beautiful soul Sam and I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.

Day 23 Thursday 15th May

Today is one of those days when it would be so much easier to be bitter. I woke with a thumping headache, Nick has picked up head lice and every time I check his head I find more eggs and I have way too much reading to do for Uni. I’m tired and crabby so having said all that I feel I need to make a special effort today to be grateful.

I am grateful for so many things in my life. I truly believed I wouldn’t live to see my 30th birthday, yet here I am at 45, still going strong and getting better every year lol. I have 5 beautiful birth children Jessica, Sam, Beth, Abby and Nicholas. I have 3 beautiful adopted children Carla, Matthew and Luke. I have a loving family who have stuck by me even when I didn’t deserve it, thank you mum and dad, Garry, Sarah, Teresa and Greg. I have wonderful cousins who always make me laugh. I have many wonderful friends, old and new who bring so much joy into my life, I’m not going to tag you all lol, you know who you are. I have had many extraordinary teachers in my life who have taught me so much about myself, thank you!!!! All of you have touched my life and helped me grow in more ways than you will ever know.

And finally I have to say thank you to the thousands of authors who have touched my life from a very early age. Your wisdom, humour and insight has helped me to grow into the person I am today, you have expanded my mind, helped me to find clarity, challenged me to be more and led me to a place where I can finally see my own worth. Life is good, embrace it, love it.

Namaste

I honour the place in you that
Is the same in me.
I honour the place in you where
The whole universe resides.
I honour the place in you
Of love, of light, of peace and of truth
I honour the place in you
That is the same in me.
There is but one

Namaste

Day 24 Friday 16th May

Today I am grateful for the wisdom of others…

“For TOO LONG you have allowed the past to affect you!
For TOO LONG you have taken personally what others say about you!
For TOO LONG you have stood on the sidelines watching others thrive!
For TOO MANY NIGHTS you have gone to bed worrying about what may be.
For TOO LONG you have held a fear in your heart.
For TOO LONG you have settled for second best!!

NOW is the time to awaken!
NOW is the time to shine!
NOW is the time to ACCEPT that you are DIVINE!!

This is my message for you – allow it to touch the deepest parts of your being – to help you awaken to the truth – that you do deserve to live a GREAT life – and whatever that means for you!”

~ Lee-Anne Peters ~
Temple of Balance

I personally don’t believe in coincidence, I really do think that everything happens for a reason, even if we can’t always understand what that reason is; it’s my truth and I know not everyone agrees, however, this message couldn’t have come at a better time. I was falling into a deep depression and this message touched me so deeply that it enabled me to see an alternative to the thoughts I was experiencing at that time.

Day 25 Saturday 17th May

Today I am grateful for a lovely shared breakfast courtesy of Working It Out for IDAHO day. It was lovely to catch up with friends and I met some lovely new people as well.
I am also grateful for those people who have told me how much they are enjoying my posts. While my primary focus for doing this is personal growth, I am grateful if these words make a difference for someone else too.
Over the years it has been the shared experiences of others that has helped me to feel that I’m not alone; that I can not only survive, I can thrive. We always hear people say, ‘it’s not that bad, there’s always someone else who is doing it tougher than you’ and that is true, it helps us maintain perspective on a given situation, however, I think in saying that there is a danger of losing sight of the fact that even if there is someone else doing it tougher; right here, right now this is my pain and it’s hard, and that’s ok. It doesn’t help to compare our pain to someone else’s because that is their pain and this is mine and it will always be different. We all have our own ‘hard’ to deal with in life and while the sharing of stories is healthy and supportive and helps us to grow; know that it is also healthy to acknowledge your own pain. Accept it, grow from it, love it, because ultimately it is a vital part of the journey; it is an important part of who you are. Have a beautiful day. Love to you all x

Day 26 Sunday 18th May

Memories

Today I am grateful for memories.
Those times we shared, we laughed, we cried. The quiet conversations, the gentle touch, the moments of inspiration, the way we were.
Today I am grateful that you shared my life, even if it was only for a moment. You touched my life and brought me joy and I miss those days so much.
Today I am grateful for memories.

Day 27 Monday 19th May

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow”
Paula Fox
I don’t know how many times I have read this quote over the years but it still has the same impact it did when I first found it. People often tell me what a strong person I am and I suppose in some ways I am. But there are days when I feel like saying, “if only you knew”. I am sure many people feel this way; iron on the outside, fine crystal on the inside and wish just for a moment they could let go of the façade. It is tiring trying to be strong all the time so today I am letting go for a little while. I am not strong today, I am broken and I am extremely grateful for the friends who allow me to be a sparrow instead of an eagle. I am ok, I will be strong again, just not today. Love to all xxoo

Day 28 Tuesday 20th May

Jessica

My Song

My song is full of beauty
As small as it may be,
And it’s words are touched with kindness
And a frail gentility.
The tune is sweet and simple
And the verses they are few
But my song is slowly growing
Old verses change to new.
Some day my song will end
And the notes will fade away
But people will remember it
My song will always play.
For my song is in their heart
My song they’ve grown to love
My little girl is my sweet song
My tiny, gentle dove.

© Annie Whitehead 28th July 1988
Jess, you saved my life. If not for you I wouldn’t be here today. I have loved you from the moment I knew I was pregnant; loved you with a passion I didn’t know I was I capable of feeling. It’s been a long hard journey, but we survived and I want you to know I am extraordinarily proud of all you have achieved. My gratitude knows no boundaries. You were my first true love and will always have a special place in my heart. I love you.

Day 29 Wednesday 21st May

Carla

I have so much to be grateful for in my life and I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that you are a big part of that. You have been Jesse’s friend for so long now I can’t remember when you met and over the years I have come to look upon you as another daughter and I hope you know I am always here for you, Jeremy and Tully if you ever need me. I know that mum also loved you very much and I am sure she is looking over your shoulder right now and is so proud of the beautiful soul you have in your care. She would have loved to hold Tully and I’m sure she is holding her soul very gently.
We may not have spent a lot of time together but the times we’ve had have been memorable to say the least.  I love our Christmas Eve visits and hope we can continue that in some way, I’d love to be able to spoil Tully rotten lol.
You have a beautiful soul and I am richer for knowing you. Love you girl

Day 30 Thursday 22nd May

Luke

Sometimes people come into our life that touch a special place in our heart and even when they leave you hold that place for them. You came into my life when you very young and you left a mark on my heart that has never been erased. I loved you as my own and I still do. I have told you many times that my door will always be open and I know that one day, when the time is right, you will walk through that door. The few times we have caught up have been very special and I am very proud of the man you have become. I love you Luke, always have and always will. From your other mum xxoo

Day 31 Friday 23rd May

Matthew

Today my gratitude is for you Matt.
I believe that everyone comes into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and each person we meet is an integral part of that journey. When we meet a new person we never know what part they will play in our life and sometimes it takes many years to work that out. I am so grateful for the part you are playing in Beth’s life right now. She has blossomed under your love and care and those who know her understand what that means to me. You have a beautiful gentleness about you and seeing the two of you together brings me so much joy. Neither of you can know where this journey will lead but I want you to know that even if it doesn’t last a lifetime you will always remain a treasured part of my life. I am very grateful that you came into Beth’s life, thank you xxoo

Day 32 Saturday 24th May

Today I’d like to say thank you to Josephina Green again for prompting me to do these posts. I wasn’t sure if I’d remember to post each day but it is now a part of my daily routine and even though it’s not always been easy I am enjoying the process immensely.
Thanks Jo xx
I am also grateful for the lovely evening I had last night with the kids. Thanks Abby for suggesting it. With everyone being so busy we don’t make enough time for each other and I do appreciate it.
Many of you know that I have battled with depression for most of my life. Over the years there have been many times when I just wanted to give up, too many times. I have been exceptionally lucky to have amazing family and friends who have constantly reminded me why I choose not to give up and it is their love and support that has helped me to arrive at a place where I no longer battle with depression. It’s still with me, I don’t know if it will ever leave; but I have learnt to accept it as part of who I am, so I now find I have the ability to face it and deal with it rather than letting it control my life. For all of you who have supported me on my journey over the years, thank you, I love you dearly, I love my life and I love me.
I choose life xxoo

Day 33 Sunday 25th May

Grateful for lazy Sunday mornings, flannelette pj’s, hot coffee and kids who sleep in.

Day 34 Monday 26th May

Today I am grateful for my co-worker, Monica. You have been excellent to work with this semester and I’ve enjoyed our time together immensely. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s last coffee club for semester one, I think it will be a blast. Thank you for putting up with my dodgy memory and disorganisation lol. Good luck with prac next semester and hopefully you will be able to stay involved, it won’t be the same without you

Day 35 Tuesday 27th May

Today I am grateful for humour. Thank you Nicholas for waking me up and making me laugh with your riddles.
Riddles courtesy of Nicholas Whitehead

I am always in front of you but most never see me.
I know what will happen but I can always change.
What am I?

I am an angel, colder than the sun. I am neither alive nor dead.
What am I?

Day 36 Wednesday 28th May

Wow! I love fb lol. Yesterday morning in the wee hours while I couldn’t sleep I decided to make some groups on messenger. One of these was a family group. I thought it would be nice to be able to just say a collective high to my siblings/kids/cousins etc. What I didn’t expect was a full day conversation between everyone! Family from all over Australia started chatting and by last night had decided that they really want to have a family reunion. So plans are now in place to organise something in the next 12-18 months, some will be flying families from WA, Qld, Tassie etc and we’ll probably meet in Sydney. I miss my extended family so much; when we were kids we used to have huge Christmas gatherings every year. I caught up with some of these people a couple of years ago thanks to my cousin John, but many I haven’t seen since high school and a lot I’ve never met. I’m so grateful for the technology that has allowed us to reconnect and especially grateful for my brother and sister who got the conversation started yesterday. Love you all. Can’t wait to see you all again.
P.S to all my friends in Sydney, Qld, etc. You know what this means! I’ll make sure I’m up for at least a week or two so….. PARTY Narelle, Maria, Karen, Sam, Tania, etc. etc. lol.

Day 37 Thursday 29th May

Struggling with a headache today so short and sweet sorry. Thank you. I am eternally grateful for your presence in my life xx

29 May

Day 38 Friday 30th May 

Growing up in Sydney we never really knew a true winter. Sure it was colder than summer, but rarely did we experience the kind of weather that we get here in Tasmania. Life pretty much continued on all year and for me it was only the summer heat waves that forced me to stop. When I moved to Tassie I found the changing seasons quite unnerving, to the point where I often found myself afflicted by SAD and as a long time sufferer of depression this was not a good thing.
I’ve been here for 26 years now and over this time I have discovered something about a true winter that I had only read about in books, hibernation. What I have come to discover, about myself at least, is that as winter approaches my body starts telling me to slow down. To stay warm, to look within, to hibernate so to speak. The cold weather forces me to pay more attention to self-care and I have grown to love my Tassie winters. It has become a time in the year when I naturally become more aware and in tune with myself and my surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, I’d never get anything done if we didn’t get some warmth, but I love winter more. Some days it’s hard to force myself to get out and do the things that need to be done but this only makes me appreciate even more, the coming home, the warm fire, the quiet stillness. As winter approaches, I urge you to enjoy this natural period of rest. Curl up in front of the fire with a good book, listen to the way nature has become quiet and still, look within to the place where this stillness resides and enjoy.

Day 39 Saturday 31st May

They say that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Sometimes the people I’ve thought were life timers have turned out to be seasons and sometimes the ones I thought were seasons became lifetimes. For whatever reason you are in my life I am grateful, I am honoured and I hope we can embrace this part of our journey to the best of our ability for however long that may be. I love you xxoo

31 May

Saturday 31st May extra

In a Relationship with Karen Christie

31 May 2

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