Sunday, August 29, 2010


I have just got back from seeing 'Wicked' the musical, and I have to say it was brilliant! For those who don't know, it is a parallel story to the Wizard of Oz and it tells how the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't really wicked - she was just misunderstood! If you ever get a chance to go see it, I would highly recommend it!

Going to see a show alone, rather than missing out because no one else wanted to go, was on my bucket list so my ticket was booked a few weeks ago and obviously I had no idea that Cityrail was going to be doing track work, so instead of a nice 60 minute journey became a short 20 minute train ride followed by a long 120 minute bus trip. Sighhhhhhh. Which of course meant I had to leave much earlier.

Having said that, it was nice to get away for the day by myself and I actually enjoyed the bus trip. I got to see parts of Sydney I hadn't been to before, but the best part is a bus is much more intimate than the train. You can hear other people's conversations so much better. Whether you want to or not!

So I got to hear about someone's date last night - only one part of the conversation though because she was on the phone. Can I just add here that some people have no concept of what a private conversation is and there are just some things that shouldn't be for public consumption ... and I didn't even know that that was possible ():-).

Then I heard about someone else's child, which I have to say was fascinating and made me think that perhaps my child is not becoming a juevenile delinquent after all. In fact, by comparison, he is an angel. I always hate generalisations and type-casting, but in this case, knowing where these women got on the bus, sadly I was not surprised! The really scary thing for me is, we almost bought a house there when we first moved to Australia. Not that my kids would have ever got away with the things they were talking about. I am thinking grounded - for life if necessary.

Moving onto the next conversation and I have to say it made me green! No, I wasn't feeling sick, it was sheer unadulterated jealousy! One of the girls had such a terrible decision to make - whether to go work in London or New York! oh dear - poor wee thing! Between them they had been to Orlando and most of Florida and southern USA, Scandinavia, New York, London, Paris, all around Spain, and Italy and were thinking of  going to the Carribean next. I was dying to look around but being much too polite, I waited until the bus stopped and then my jaw must have dropped! They couldn't have been any older than 23 or 4. They must have rich parents, and yes, I know it's a generalisation! I have been fortunate and have travelled quite a bit but I was so jealous of these two, I so much want to take off and see much more of the world and I hate that life is passing so quickly and I will probably not get to do even 1/4 of what I want!

After a while their conversation changed - just as well really as there were murmurings in the ranks from the other passengers. From some of the snippets I heard, I have a feeling there may have been just a little jealousy there as well. lol Anyway, they were talking about a 'friend' who apparently hadn't been such a good friend lately and I was impressed by their wisdom. Snippets such as 'if she was a true friend, she would accept him as he was' and 'there is nothing that cannot be changed given time and hard work' and finally 'we should stop looking at other people's lives and thinking they are better',  and 'if we don't like it ... change it!'

Wise girls these two, but I am still jealous!

I love people and I especially love listening to other people talk. You can get such good ideas for a story from one small piece of a conversation. Last time I went on a train, I wrote a whole short story just from watching two people chatting. I have learnt to always carry a notebook and paper - just in case.

And finally, although I didn't hear this today, this is a classic I have heard many times sitting near older people when they are discussing their health as they are wont to do .... someone invariably says sadly, usually shaking their head at the same time, 'yes, he has been to the doctor and he has blood pressure'. I have on every such occassion had to restrain myself from turning around and saying 'I hope so, otherwise he would be dead!' It's a nurse thing I know, but it amuses me :)

Feeling of the Day: Exhilarated (I want to go see more shows!)

Song of the Day: I Believe I Can Fly - Il Divo

Please note - I am very tired - editing will be completed tomorrow morning- - meanwhile just pretend it is perfect :) xx


Friday, August 27, 2010

A Fairytale Life

We all want a fairytale life ... right?

It , the fairytale life, is often held up as the ultimate - the  life we would choose if we could. This image is upheld and even reinforced by the media and the so-called celebrities, both of whom tend to make our very normal lives look just a little, if not a lot, mundane. This feeling of being too 'ordinary' is often made worse by television. What young girl wouldn't want to live the life of Hanna Montana, and who wouldn't want friends like 'Friends', like Joey, Phoebe and the others. There are so many shows that show the 'perfect life' and while we might know in our head that it is not real life, in our heart we hope and think ... maybe .. just maybe...

So, assuming you have decided you do want the fairytale life, which fairytale would you want to live?

Maybe Cinderella - how are your floor scrubbing skills? Beauty and the Beast? No claustrophobia or allergies to beasts I hope. Alice in Wonderland perhaps? - but there are so many issues there and maybe it is not a good idea to admit to hearing animals talk to you! If you don't mind large gentlemen with a tendency to lock you in cages there is Jack and the Beanstalk or maybe Goldilocks - as long as you don't mind porridge for breakfast. Then there is Hansel and Gretel ...ummm ... pass! Little Red Riding Hood ... sigh. Maybe not!

I know there are some 'good' fairy tales and how often does the girl end up with her prince? - either literally or figuratively! 

In the 'real' world we often look at other people and wish we had their lives, but what do we really know except what they choose to show us. We assume everyone else has the perfect life and we are the only ones struggling. Okay, maybe not the only ones, but I am sure you get what I mean.

I have a couple of friends whose lives look to all outward appearances, if not wildy exciting at least calm and uneventful, where as in reality in one case both my friend and her husband are very sick and realistically living on borrowed time and the other couple are struggling with their teenagers.

In my own life a few years ago we went through an extremely tough time. Both my parents-in-law were very ill, both on dialysis and both passed away within 5 months of each other, my mother was in intensive care in New Zealand, we had a baby and both my older boys were very sick and couldn't go to school, one of them was hospital every second week, but on the outside I looked like I was coping and while I guess I was to a degree, it was not well. Eventually I had to admit I wasn't, and the few people I did tell were shocked.

We are conditioned at an early age to show a perfect, or at least nearly perfect life but maybe its time we realised that not everything is perfect and that it doesn't need to be. Honestly when you look at some of thse celebrities just how happy are they really? Can they be happy jumping from marriage to marriage, always being on show, being held up as an example for every little mistake that in 'normal' people would be pretty much ignored? Like everyone, they had assumed that other people's lives were going well.

Maybe it's time to accept the person that is us, and yes, of course we should strive to change our lives in the way we want, but we also need to remember that what we have now is important and we shouldn't spend our whole life trying to become someone else whilst forgetting to actually live in the here and now. On the other hand, no one said dreams are not important.

Let's look at our lives realistically and dream not of perfection, but of our 'new reality, and let's work towards it at a pace that keeps each of us is reasonably comfortable. As long as the way is generally forward, despite a few backward steps, then it is all good! And meanwhile we will be living our own version of a fairytale life, hopefully with a prince to slay the dragons as they come along!

Feeling of the Day: Thoughtful

Song of the Day: I know I have used it before but it seems appropriate ... Fairytale - Alexander Rybak

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


(part of my drive home from work)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is There Cake in Heaven?

If there is, I am sure John is sitting with a big slice of chocolate cake in front of him smiling. 

Smiling because while there might be cake, there will be no diabetes, so there will be no-one (read me) nagging him about his blood sugars, and he will almost certainly go back for a second slice. 

In case you hadn't guessed, today would have been John's birthday. 

This is the first year that I haven't had a little cry .. of course there are no guarantees that it won't happen before I finish writing this, but right now I am smiling, thinking about how lucky I was to have spent almost 27 years with him and to have 3 delightful boys, (well ... most of the time lol) that every day remind me of him in some way.
Lachie remembered yesterday. He is 12 remember and you can't expect a 12 year old to look at anything except from his point of view. So his next comment was .. 'can we go out to dinner for Dad's birthday?' ... ummm no! He thought about it for a minute and then suggested pizza! He is a trier that child. Sadly for him the answer was still no!

Today has finally become just another day. Of course I will always remember it was John's birthday, but it is no longer a day to spend in tears or regrets. I know the other boys have remembered but they will mark it in their own way. We will mention it briefly (or as briefly as Lachie allows it to be) at dinner, but that will be it. How can you regret something that you look back on with fond memories. The only regret is that he left us so young and there is, sadly nothing that we can do about that.

So John, as I am sure you are looking down on us, know that we will always love you and we miss you ... and have another piece of cake. After all it is your birthday, and that is reason enough!

Feeling of the Day: Peaceful (and no - not tears!)

Song of the Day: (John's absolute favourite) Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Sunday, August 22, 2010



Imagine how boring our lives would be without passion ... never feeling strongly enough about something to have those moments ... of love, of hatred and yes, even of grief. Imagine how sterile our world would be if we were never excited about things, if everything was perfect, that there were no highs and lows in our lives. How would we know something was wonderful if we had not experienced the not-so-wonderful?  As much as we might complain against the way our life is going or about something that had happened, we cannot enjoy the highs without the occasional low.

If you were never passionate about something you would be simply existing. I know people who lock themselves away from the world (figuratively speaking), so they don't get hurt, and while that may work sometimes, they are missing out on so much. 

So what am I passionate about? The most obvious is my Family, my boys. They are the centre of my world and give me more highs than anything or any one ... of course there are a few lows as well, but that comes with the territory!! Passion for them is a given. Like most parents, I would do anything, including give up my life for one of my boys. To me having that love and passion is what being a parent is all about!

Friendship. What would we do without friends? They are the family we choose. The ones who are there when we are having a fabulous time but they are also the ones that are there when things are not going so well. They are the ones holding your hand when you need it and laughing at your jokes that no one else thinks is funny. If they are not, they are merely aquaintances and while they are important in your life, they do not generate the same passion as a true friend. The other thing I have discovered in the last few years, is a friend does not have to be someone that lives near. Although I have had friends I have moved away from and have remained very close to, I always assumed that you had to be physically close, at least at some time, to become a real friend. I have since learnt this is not true, in fact, my best friend lives on the other side of the world and we have met just once. Try telling either of us that we are not 'real friends' and you will see how passionate we are about friendship!

Writing. I love to write! I have written as long as I can remember. I didn't consider it 'writing' back then. I thought everyone wrote down their thoughts and had little mini worlds in their imagination. It was just something I did. Then I discovered a whole group of people who liked to write on a fan web site and suddenly I realised I was 'a writer', someone who likes to put what they are thinking on paper. It really doesn't matter if no-one reads it. It is the actual writing that is important. Having said that - of course I love getting feed-back. I wouldn't be human if I didn't! My passion now, is be published and particularly 'One Woman's Journey'.

Scrap-booking: I enjoy creating pages and records of memories. I especially like recording the small things that happened - you know, the things we think we will never forget, and then of course do! I was lucky for a while that I was able to share that passion and teach it but time moves on and circumstances change, and now I am heading in a different direction with my craft and I am definetely passionate about that!

Music: This is a fairly new passion. Growing up we never had music on much in our house, although like most teenagers I listened to some music, it wasn't until I was older that I became passionate about it. It started one day when I was working in the house and had the TV on in the background and heard a voice. I was immediately drawn to see who it was, and that was the day I discovered Il Divo. The voice was Sebastien and I still love his voice today. They helped me learn to appreciate music for music's sake ... and of course it didn't hurt that they are pretty to look at lol. I started to listen to different music, helped along by my friend who often sent me something new and other FB friends who have helped me discover music from all around the world. 

When John was sick, it was music that helped me get through those time. I had my iPod in one ear almost 24 hours a day and almost always it was Il Divo. Their music kept me calm and helped me move from one crisis to another. Even now it is ID I listen to as I drive for the same reason.

Driving: This is a new passion. I have had my driver's license 3 1/2 years now and I love to drive. I often wish I had learned earlier but the time was not right and I don't think I would appreciate it as much if I hadn't waited.

Chocolate: Okay - maybe not passionate, but I like it ... far too much!

So far I have mentioned only things that make me happy but I am also passionate about things that are not so positive - bad manners, arrogance, bad drivers, cruelty, racism, dishonesty, being late .... so many things which in effect, boil down to treating people with the respect they deserve.

Of course this list is imcomplete. Have you ever noticed how you 'know' something, but as soon as you want to explain it it immediately leaves your head!! These are some of the main things I am passionate about but there are so many others I could never write them all down and if I did this blog would go forever!

I guess if I had to sum up my main passion at the moment, excluding family and friends it would be to become the person I know I can be. The person I was meant to be. Losing John was a very difficult time, a time I honestly wondered if I would ever get through, but in an odd way it has been .. I want to say good, but that's not what I mean. What I mean is, I don't know if I would have changed and learnt so much about me if my circumstances hadn't been what they are. I was content with my life as it was, so would I have wanted to change it? Probably not. But now I am excited about the new me, or rather not so much the new me, but the me I am becoming ... the re-discovered me, with changes. I am still the same person, just a person who is growing and taking steps where she would not have dreamt of going before! 

To paraphrase Neil Armstrong... one small step for mankind giant leap for me!

Feeling of the Day: Passionate :)
Song of the Day: our theme song - love the words!    Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

One of my friends wrote her blog today about some of the special things she has and loves. Check it out here if you want to read more.

Anyway - having worked all night and having read her blog, I went to bed with it on my mind. I lay in bed thinking about what  photos I would take when my camera batteries had recharged. A few things came to mind immediately but as I lay there and thought more about it, I realised they were all, almost without exception linked in some way to my friends or family. This of course led me to thinking about what is important in my life (have I ever mentioned I tend to think a lot!)

And that's when the penny  dropped, it's not so much the 'things' that are important, although I like and covert 'things' as much as the next person. What is important are those simple things, the things we remember long after the event, those special moments, times that make our life what it is, and makes the hustle and bustle and the sometimes every-day-ness of life just a little bit more tolerable. 

It's those 'ahhhhhh' moments when you can enjoy a few minutes peace, or when you look at a wonderful view and remember just how amazing our world is. 

It's the hug you get from your son for no apparent reason, or the thoughtfulness of another because they know you are tired. It's the remembering the funny and sad and special moments of people who are no longer here. It's when you see your husband in an expression, or a mannerism of one of your sons and you smile and remember.

It is listening to music you love, music that takes you to another place, that gives you a sense of peace and calmness no matter what is happening in the world!

It's being able to sit on the beach and watch the waves roll in and out and think about what ever you want, or not think at all. 

It's the smell of toast cooking in the middle of a night at work, or the smell of fresh laundry 

and the feel of slipping in between freshly washed sheets at night. 

It's the first days of Spring when the world feels new again and it smells fresh and clean after the cold of winter.

It's the warmth of the sun on your face, the smell of newly cut grass, the sound of rain on the roof.

It's sitting down with your family for a meal and istening to them talk about their day. It's the silly family bickering and teasing that is just fun and not in any way malicious, but is something that shows their love and connection to each other. It's hearing your child's laughter. 

It is friends, who know you have had a bad day without you having said a word and who are there through good times, but even more so in the not so good times.

It is so many things ... and each and every day will bring something else that will make us stop and appreciate being alive. The trick is to take the time and really appreciate them. Our world is so busy and our lives so full of 'stuff' .. stuff to do, stuff to buy, stuff that takes our focus away from what it really is that makes our lives worth living.

My new goal is to take at least 10 minutes every day and stop and just be. To think about the simple things and be grateful before once again, I get caught up in the rush that is my life. I am going to take the time to appreciate my family, and to tell them, and I am going to focus  on the good and, not be so caught up in the 'bad' or the negative things, that I forget just what a wonderful life I really do have!

EDIT: 3 minutes after posting this blog: I just went to check out my friend Gill's next blog and now I have another thing I need to add - it is having a friend so in tune with you that without realising it and with out discussion we posted almost exactly the same blog using the same idea!! 

Feeling of the Day: Thankful

Song of the Day: Simple Things - Usher