Counting My Blessings

This year has been filled with ups and downs for me, though I guess that is just life isn’t it?

It has been filled with change, challenges, lessons, growth, tears, laughter and more. To sum it all up, I would be best to describe this  year as one huge emotional and mental roller coaster.

Despite the anxiety attacks, the down times, the moments of feeling utterly overwhelmed, I am so thankful for my beautiful friends  and family whom have lifted me up when I was not strong enough to walk.

My husband for his words of support, for simply sitting and listening to me, for ringing countless times during the day from work to see how I was doing, for the constant words of “are you ok”. For holding me tight when my anxiety attacks reached their peak, for seeing me under all that doom and gloom.

For my kids, two little beings giving me a reason to crawl out of bed, even when I didn’t want to. For the little hugs and kisses and simple words of “I love you”, when those three words were exactly what I needed to hear. For continuing to dance and sing and rejoice at life for me when I felt it was a pain to even smile.

I am thankful for my niece,  who forgave the moods that I had, who understood that having a teenager in the house was new to me, and accepted that I was just as inadequate in my new role as she was.

For my beautiful friends, who have shown me what treasures I have found by having them in my life. Little gifts, phone calls, texts, emails, letters, just simple words of “I am here if you need me”. No matter how much of a hermit I made myself, no matter how far my smile disappeared, they stood by me, and knowing I had a cheer squad standing on the side lines when I needed it the most was a huge booster. I feel that I will never be able to repay the kindness and compassion that these wonderful people have shown me, but I am so very, very thankful to have them in my life, you know who you are beautiful people.

For the Doctor, who saw me weekly, and never once told me that my feelings were ridiculous, for him pushing me out of my comfort zone of thinking, for pushing me to become a better, stronger person.

For my dogs, whom I neglected for a bit, forgot to say hello to  and interact with, but loved me regardless. I found a slice of peace again by chilling out in the hammock out side, with them laying beside me. I remembered how beautiful it is to just sit and pat an animal, to have a touch that will help them doze off into a blissful slumber.

I am thankful for those people who have connected via my blog, I have “met” some really inspiring people online, from all corners of the globe, from countless backgrounds and experiences, but you have all renewed my faith in humanity and the kind hearts you have. I have really been touched by the sharing of your personal stories with me, the knowledge that none of us are alone, and together we can get over any hurdle.

And then there are the “things” I am grateful for: coffee, good food, sunny days, cool breezes, the beach, smiles from strangers, an outfit that makes you feel great, tears that heal my soul,  hope, faith and courage.

There really is so much to be grateful for,

So much to look forward to.

And so many people I feel blessed to have been touched by, to each and every one of you:

I thank you

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What The Sunbird Taught me

Back in the midst of my Gratitude project, I chose #190 to reflect on being inspired by nature, the words included:

“….It always amazes me how clever birds are, they essentially make their houses using their mouths, imagine doing that? No machinery, plans or engineering.

The nest got caught in a huge gust of wind…. I held my breath, was is strong enough to hold on? It did! All of a sudden the bird popped its head out of the nest, as if to say “hello!”, and my soul skipped a beat of delight. 

Here I was, feeling down in the dumps and full of doom and gloom, while this little bird sits in it’s nest, which is a little miracle in its own right. This tiny little creature is open to the elements, sitting not far away from two hungry dogs, and in a spot that catches every gust of wind and drop of rain.

Despite this all, this little bird has absolute faith in itself that it has chosen the best spot, and created the best little “home” to bring its baby into the world.

The situation is not ideal, but the bird is making the most of what it has, and where it is. 

This little bird inspired me today.”

Fast forward a year, that lovely bird left its nest with its babies not long after I wrote that post, the beautiful nest remained hanging there, in a windy area, hanging on tight, defying nature with an amazing amount of strength to hold on in even the most windy of days.

I found myself in the backyard  today, walking around doing a quick tidy up of rubbish lying around.

Soon I became lost in my thoughts, they became deep.

I thought about how I sometimes think other people do not see me for who I am, but other times the real person who finds it hard to see the person I am is simply me.

After a series of multiple symptoms, I found myself yet again in the Doctors office this week, only to find I have a stomach ulcer, hormone issues and blood tests ordered to have further investigations.

A phone call from the surgeries nurse this afternoon informed me that I also have a calcium deficiency.

The over thinker in me goes right to the point of wondering what I have done wrong. Perhaps I am not taking good enough care of my body?

With all my recent health issues, I realized that I was on the brink of a break down and was forced to step back and simplify life somewhat, as well as make time for me, something that was long overdue.

I wondered in my walk around the backyard if I was failing a bit…… then something caught my eye.

Under the frangipani tree lay the remains of that sunbird nest, having clung on for so long, it had finally succumbed to the strength of nature and broke.

I picked it up, examined it’s beauty and felt sad for a moment at it’s ending, but then I stopped to think about it a bit more.

This piece of art, and architecture that one little bird constructed using only it’s mouth.

The nest was a series of  various materials, feathers, grass clippings, spiders webs, leaves and more all woven together.

The bird would have only needed to make it to be able to last long enough to incubate it’s eggs and hatch it’s babies, yet it was strong enough to last even for another year after the nest was vacated.

I wonder if the bird had faith in it’s ability? I know this nest was at least the second attempt after the first one broke mid building.

Despite all of the signs pointing towards the bird failing at it’s mission, it accomplished what it set out to achieve and more.

Maybe I do not have the right amount of faith in my own personal abilities, maybe others don’t either, but there is only one thing to do……. prove us all wrong.

With a  bit of determination this little sunbird was able to do what seemed impossible,  and when I think of it, we all have a bit of magic inside that can make what seems impossible turn into the possible.

We all have something in us to overcome any obstacle, big or small.

Sometimes we just need to believe.

Dear Teenage Girl

For 7 months, I have had my teenage niece living with us. It has been a time of learning and growing for all of us.

Not only have I had constant contact with my niece, but I have met a number of her friends.

Teenage girls confuse me, although I am sure they confused me even when I was one myself.  On one hand they seem like young adults, ready to face the world alone and full of confidence, but on the other, there is still that young child inside, unsure of where they stand in the world, and what they need to do to be more liked, or to find out who they really are.

It has led me to a bit of thinking, and here I have made a list of points from me to Teenage Girls out there. Funny thing is there probably won’t be any that will read it, but just getting it out there will make me feel better. I stopped at 10 points, but think I could have gone for days! Here they are:

1. You don’t need makeup:  You are so very beautiful just as you are, you have unlined skin that women older than you look at and envy. It seems like you all want to hide under some mask you set for yourselves. I have to hold myself back from washing some of your faces for you. At such a young age, you do not want to put value on how you look in public, or the need to wear makeup whenever you are around others, it is simply not healthy.

2: He really isn’t worth it: You know that boy who makes you feel like you are the only girl in the world, before then playing with your heart and ripping it to pieces, only to say he will change, but does the same thing yet again? Yeah, that boy, he really isn’t worth it. He wants to play games with you, to make you feel that you cannot do better than him, I have news for, you can do better than him, and he really is not worth all those tears you cry, but you will need to cry them to work that out yourself.

3: Duck face self portraits look stupid: You may think you look sexy when you do that pouty duck face pose, but you don’t, you look silly, and the funny thing is that once you put that on the internet, they are there for ever. To think our generation were so scared of the pictures our parents would bring out at our 21st’s, when your generation is making your own set of embarrassing pictures for everyone to see.

4:  There is more to life then Facebook:  Lets be honest, it seems every teenager today has a Facebook account, and that is totally fine, but when you start spending a majority of your day on it, that is not fine. There is real life, tangible experiences to have that the internet cannot do for you.  There are things to smell, taste, touch and feel out there, and you need to go out and explore them yourself, rather then liking the status and photos of others doing it themselves.

5: Those 6oo “Facebook Friends” you have are not all real Friends: Yep, it is pretty impressive all the friends you have on Facebook, it is just a pity that a majority of them would not even say hello to you if you passed them at the shops. While you know what each other got up to on the weekend, or what you had for dinner, they do not really know “you”. Your real friends are the ones who will check in on you when you need them, pick you up when you fall, and celebrate life with you, preferably in person.

6: Fear is ok, it is what you do with it that defines you : That job you are too afraid to apply for, or that assignment you are afraid of passing are all things that can make you scared. The cold hard reality is that there is always things in life to be afraid of, and simply ignoring them will unfortunately not go away. The big thing is that hard work and persistence really does pay off in the end, and you really will not know how far you can go, or what you are capable of until  you try.

7: Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger: I hate to be the one to break this one to you, but it seems especially  with women, some just do not grow out of that catty, gossipy stage, it hurts to find this out, especially when you are finally an adult and think that teenage bitchiness was a thing of your past. Adult hood also brings the added stress of bills, housework, and a bunch of everyday pressures. One day you will look back and wished you enjoyed being a teenager more. As I said, you will always find some hurdle or step in your life, it is how you handle it that shows how strong you really are.

8: Please cover your butt: No matter how slim you are, no one wants to see your bum cheeks hanging out of those little shorts that have less material in them then a pair of my undies.

9: Looks fade, but inner beauty doesn’t: It probably feels great to have a bunch of guys tell you how hot you are, or friends to say they wish they were as pretty as you. You are lucky to be so pretty, but the main thing in life it to match that beauty on the inside. You want to strive to be kind, compassionate, caring, truthful and honest, they are all marks of beauty that no age can taint.

10: Just be yourself: Hopefully you find that you have different ideas and tastes to some of your peers, that is totally ok. In a world that is constantly trying to change you, one of the hardest and most important things to do is to be  yourself.

Dear Teenage Girl, I know that this list has made me seem terribly old, and I know that you will probably not listen to a word I have to say, many of life’s mistakes you need to make on your own to learn from.

I wish you all the best teenage girl, and of all the things I have to point out to you, I think #10 will be the most important for you forever, when all else fails, just simply Be Yourself.

Love and Hugs Teenage Girl, xoox

Love From Thirties Woman xoxox

The Gentle Side

My 3-year-old son has been a bit full on lately.

I have scratch marks all over one of my arms from him, as well as having been punched, screamed at and dealt with numerous tantrums over the last few weeks.

He has always been a bit of a gentle soul, and I know that the gentle part of him is still there, but I do have to say the tantrums and upsets have taken its toll on me lately.

I do hope it is just a phase, and my husband and I have bonded together to be as proactive as possible to work through this stage……….. doesn’t mean that some days I don’t feel like screaming though!

Today we got a last-minute invite to meet my mother in law for a coffee.

We do not do much together, and the kids hardly see her, so I thought it was best to take up the offer.

Sitting in the quiet cafe I started getting a bit nervous as Noah started to climb under the table, attempt to jump on the chairs, and make VERY loud noises.

He then told me he loved me, nowhere out of the blue, and asked if he could give me a kiss.

“I would love one!” I replied!

He continued to turn around in his chair and make kissing noises after we had shared our own one. I turned to follow his gaze, and there was a lady in her 80s, sitting having coffee with a younger lady.

“I really want to kiss that lady” he whispered to me.

She saw us looking, I repeated what he had said, and this lady started to giggle like a school girl, with a huge smile on her face.

Noah continued to play peek a boo with the lady and her companion, and settled with blowing her several kisses that made her smile even more, though I had not thought this was possible.

As the ladies got up and prepared to leave the cafe, the older lady slowly walked towards Noah.

She leant over him, held his face tenderly in her hands, stroked both cheeks, looked into his eyes and purely smiled.

They gazed into each others eyes for a moment, and then the lady simply left.

“I think you just made her day” I told Noah.