Category Archives: Gratitude

To Give Thanks

Those of you who know me, know that last year following my big adventure, I ended up at ABI – Acquired Brain Injury.  Following a short stay in the Regional Hospital, I transferred to ABI.  How lucky I was that there was a bed available to me.  And I have written at length about the wonderful service, care and attention I received there.

And then as I thought about this, my Attitude of Gratitude really clicked in.  So many things for which to be grateful and so I updated my page headed My Gratitude List.

Many of the things for which I am thankful, seem to be quite small until I consider those people who don’t have a caring family, group of friends, warm house, money in the bank or whatever.  So I shall continue to say thanks for all of them.

And then a couple of days ago, one of my sisters of choice (I have 3), Chris at Bridges Burning wrote Today is Mine.  I do agree that we can make of this new day what we will.

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.”

Those are the opening lines of Dare to Be by
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 And for me, today the sun shines.

Westin Denarau

Photo courtesy Westin Denarau

I’m looking forward to a few days in Fiji where the sun always shines (or so it seems) and then later in August, a trip down to the South Island of New Zealand to see more of the sights of this beautiful country on a Tranz Alpine Rail Trip. Take a look at the video.

TranzAlpine-Aerial-Down-by-the-River-JT2

So as I sit preparing for my Writing Course this evening, I am very happy with my life and hope that you are too.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Moving Forward

503887f1bc1635607556e4fd57c13d24

Today, I changed the header to my blog. Not because my heart became ready for the Architect to leave but because this is a New Year and time for new adventures (hopefully happier ones than last year).  I shall never forget the Architect.  Along with my Dashing Young Scotsman, he’ll always be part of the rest of my life. but as Mary Oliver says “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

So being a firm believer in the fact that no experience is ever wasted, I ask myself what did I learn from the major accident in 2016.  I learned that

  • One quickly finds out who are your true friends
  • And the real meaning of friendship
  • It’s alright to ask for help
  • How to ask for help and accept it graciously and gratefully
  • People/friends and family are only too willing to do anything they can to help
  • I don’t always have to be in charge
  • Others often have a better way of achieving something
  • It’s a real bonus to have so much time to read

And then a short 7 weeks after  I was proclaimed all healed by the fact that my driving licence was no longer suspended I managed to fracture my shoulder.  I used those things i learned over the next 6 weeks while the shoulder healed.

So now going into this New Year, knowing just how fragile life really is, and armed with a desire to do and achieve more I’m going to be more aware

  • of what I do,
  • of how I can help others
  • of time spent with family and friends

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
Mary Oliver September 1935 –

Thoughts on Thursday

“It is a serious thing
just to be alive on this fresh morning
in this broken world. Mary Oliver

Just wasting time on Facebook this morning.  The sun is shining and I should go for my walk before I Skype with Chris at Bridges Burning  But I found a post on FB from Suzicate wherein she quoted a favourite poem  of mine from Dawna Markova.

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

 

I used this quote in a post when I was still new to blogging – I Will Not Die.  Re-reading that post and the poem, I realise that the poem applies even more to me today than it did in December 2011.

Following my adventure in April, I have had to:

  • overcome the fear of falling again
  • choose to inhabit my days
  • allow my living to open me
  • learn to ask for and accept help
  • learn to take each day as it comes
  • know that I’m loved and supported by many and
  • to be grateful for the help and support offered.

So now this day is starting.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and my walk is calling.

“Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
‘Ride,’ Pleasure said;
‘Walk,’ Joy replied.”
― W.H. Davies poet 1871-1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Hiking Into My Old Age

I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then
to pack my load and take off slowly
but steadily along the trail.
~ Marlyn Doan

I used this quote as the title to my post way back in June 2011 when I was  a very new blogger. I loved the quote but at the time I knew little of Marlyn Doan and have found very little about her since.  However, I found that she was the author of 3 books and was a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association up until the time of her death.  In recognition of her work HECA founded a scholarship in her name.

I’m glad to have found out something about her, although the reason for the search was my walk through the bush this morning in the company of my Occupational Therapist.

img_0760

 What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.  I have written about this bush in the past – A walk in the bush.

It has rained quite lot over the past few days and so it was wet and muddy underfoot, but that didn’t deter us.

The bush walk

The native birds were singing, the sun decided to shine for a short time, the water was gushing in the stream and I was told that I could retire my walking stick as I was doing so well.  I have now acquired some Nordic Hiking poles which I have yet to try, so maybe when the physiotherapist comes to visit next week we can try them.

How lucky am I that I have both an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist looking out for me. Two completely different women with different training,  but both so caring and encouraging of my efforts.

 

img_0765-1

And now as it’s Tuesday, I shall have lunch and get ready to meet with my friend.  We shall probably hve a short walk and then go to her house for our usual game of Upwords and a cup of tea.

toward the sushine

Today is Tuesday

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”
Leslie Bricusse, The Leslie Bricusse Songbook 

As I was so pleased with myself following yesterday’s walk, I decided to walk again today.

IMG_0739 (1)

This time I found some other steps leading from our road down towards the village. And this time there were not 132 steps to navigate but 154.

So I walked down and found myself in yet another road I had never seen before, then on to the village and a hot chocolate and a scone for lunch, although I was so hot I should really have had a cold drink.

Then back home, this time retracing yesterday’s walk to the village, past the primary school, along two roads and up those 132 steps. I must say this gets easier each day.

A shorter distance today – 2.90 kms and 6.9K steps. I wonder where I’ll go tomorrow.

I’m always thrilled at what one sees when walking that one completely misses when driving.  And if I hadn’t beenUpwords walking to the village instead of driving I wouldn’t have found these roads and would I ever have ventured down these steps.

Later I was picked up by a friend to spend the afternoon at her place, talking but mainly playing a game new to me called Upwords.

It has now become a regular weekly afternoon and I am certainly enjoying this new way of making this elderly brain work.

 

Meandering on Monday

Pluviophile

Pluviophile  – I learned this word from a blogging buddy, VivinFrance, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.  Still miss her.

I’m English so I like the rain and walking in it – that is of course, if I’m properly dressed. And today it’s pouring down.  So I’ll get properly attired and face the rain. I’m so thankful that I am able to walk again on my own.  Until recently I had to have somebody with me when I walked but two weeks ago I was given the all clear.  So another thing to add to my gratitude list.

Then shortly before 1pm the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Just to be expected in a NZ summer.  So I decided that rain gear wasn’t necessary and I would go for a walk.  But once I started I didn’t know when to stop.

I started up our long drive and put on the MapMyWalk Ap. Up the drive to the road and then down these 132 steps, then along to the village for coffee. I decided to come the other way home forgetting that it was all uphill.  There were some steps on the way but far fewer (36).   So 3.4kms in 57minutes. Very pleased with myself

Quetta Street Steps.jpg

Once I got home I realised how out of practice I was, so have to do more of this walking to get back into shape.  So a cup of tea, Stacey Kent on Pandora and my book and all was very well with my world.

Books tea

And today I have been given the date for my driving test.  When one suffers brain injury following an accident, one’s licence is immediately suspended for six months.  My friendly ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) Case Manager set this up for me.  So on October 6 I go for an off road test and then when I pass that, I will have another test driving my own car around the streets.  Hooray – the final hurdle in this latest “adventure”.

Oh and those of you have hung in since 2011 will know that this will be my fourth driving test.  I wonder if it will be as easy as the others.

And if you missed those posts and would like to read them, here they are:

The Driving Test 
Driving Test No 2
Driving Test No 3

 

 

 

 

A Few Days or The Rest of My Life

Early in the year for a few days following my accident I didn’t know who anyone was or indeed who or where I was.  Quite frightening but fortunately for me it lasted a very short time.  But what of those suffering from say Alzheimer’s?  I’ve written several posts on this subject and for that very short time I could totally bond with my fictional character Jane:

My Name is Jane, I think.

They’re calling me Jane
Is that who I am
I am perfectly sane
but I don’t know their plan.

I look in the mirror and what do I see
Someone who vaguely resembles me
But why am I here and why all the tears
They are beginning to scare me, what is there to fear?

 It seems like only yesterday I knew who I was and
Proud, strong and upright my life in my hands.
But now you tell me that isn’t so
Well if I am not me then where did I go?

 I remember a time when my children were small
But yesterday and last week I know not at all
Where did those days go and why am I here
I wish you could tell me why did they disappear?

This young woman calls me Mother but I don’t know her at all
She looks kind of familiar, lovely smile, soft hands and all
And the young boys with her they are calling me Gran
But again I don’t know them why are they taking my hand?

Perhaps I knew her when I too was young
When life was before me and everything was fun
And losing one’s self wasn’t even thought of then
So how could I have landed here – is this the end?

 I think I know you – are you a nurse
And where are you taking me, I know the way
Well I did before this curse
Came upon me and befuddled my mind
And now I feel that I have left me behind.

But I am still me though I can’t make you hear
I’m still your mother and hold you all dear
What’s that you say my name is Jane
And I really feel that I’m perfectly sane.

But they’re calling me Jane
Are they talking to me
Is that my name and
Who I used to be?

 If you are interested, those related posts are :

My Name is Jane
My Name is Jane – 2
Tea Drinkers Unite

Adventure

Welcome Spring

it-is-spring-again-ranier-maria-rilke-quotes-sayings-pictures

Today I noticed daffodils in bloom in my very small garden so spring is here.

images

Yes really today is September 1 recognised as the first day of Spring here in New Zealand.  Well, we have had a really good winter this year and so are hoping it will run over into spring.

And Spring brings a new start for everyone.  Here the daffodils are bursting through cheering everyone with their bobbing yellow heads. Wordsworth had the words that I don’t

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
and

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”

And for me this is the beginning of the next 12 months of my life.  The past 12 were not great; The Architect died and then I had my accident.  But that is all behind me and I’m looking forward again.

I have so much for which to be grateful

  • A loving and helpful family
  • Kindly, caring friends including my blogosphere friends
  • A good and comfortable home
  • My good health
  • Able to afford to do most of what I want
  • And of course, I’M ALIVE to share in all that this wonderful and enjoy all that is on offer.

And just so I know how far I have come in the past 12 months, here’s the post from September 2 2015 –  Missing you.

 

So if you’re in our side of the world enjoy Spring and if not enjoy autumn/fall because we know that each Season brings us much to be thankful for.

 

 

 

Six Word Saturday Again!

Wow it’s Saturday again.  Time for Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday button

You know what to do if you want to get involved.  Click on the above or on the link.  Now you’re all set to join in.

IS LIFE BETTER WITH A G&T?

 

Amongst the things they tell you to avoid following brain injury, is alcohol.

It’s an accepted fact that I’m not a great drinker – my late husband used to say I was the cheapest drunk in Wellington – 2 drinks and I was ready to leave the party.  But just occasionally, on a lovely Saturday afternoon like today’s I would really love a cold G&T.  That would make my day complete I’m sure.

 

L1170268

 

Sitting with laptop on lap (where else) and another cup of tea beside me, I know what is missing is the G&T.

Nobody gives any indication on when alcohol may once again be consumed and so I am   not going there, as they say (who says?).  So until “they” say I can have the odd drink  – is Gin & Tonic odd? – I’ll sip my tea and give thanks that I am able to do so.  After such an accident I could well have been left unable to enjoy tea in the sun.

And of course, as I have said before I’m English So I Drink Tea

cropped-adventure.png

 

You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity.
I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it. ”
Mary Oliver

What a Difference a Day Makes

Sunrise

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way.
Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers,
“Do you like it? I did it just for you.”
Max Lucado, author and writer and preacher
at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. 1955-

Well having got over the blues from yesterday I awoke to anther sunny day.  Hasn’t anyone remembered that August is the middle of winter here in Aotearoa/ New Zealand?

And doesn’t the sunshine make everything so much better?  The family all left early as is their wont – work, school and university beckoned and I was alone in the house.  I remember during the busy years thinking how great it would be to have a day to myself and to decide exactly how I would spend it.  Well now I have many such days.  And with nothing much to do this started me thinking about some of the posts I have published in the past.  One such sprang immediately to mind – My Lot is Cast.  I wrote this in February 2012 and now rereading it reminds me of how lucky I am.

My sister in Los Angeles, a prolific reader had introduced me to Josephine Tey and the book To Love and Be Wise and quoted a poem from that book :

“My lot is cast in inland places,
Far from sounding beach
and crying gull,
And I
who knew the sea’s voice from my babyhood
Must listen to a river purling
Through green fields
And small birds gossiping
Among the leaves”.

At the time,  I was playing, trying my hand at writing poetry and came up with my own poem about my Lot.

My lot is cast
In different places
Not beside the river or the ocean
But in the city with its life and vitality.
Not in the distant years of my youth
Nor the busy years of family life
But the peaceful years of time for me
To enjoy friends and family.
Time to investigate new things
New activities and new friends
Time to be me.

And this is still my Lot.  Even after the awful things that have happened in 12 months, I’m happy with my Lot and have plenty for which to be grateful.

And then after reading and a little writing and lunch I spent several hours with a friend.  A short walk, cup of coffee at a new (for me) coffee shop and back to her house for a few rounds of UpWord.

All in all a day well spent.  So another day comes to an end.

“Sunsets are the prelude to another beautiful day. And whatever happens the sun will rise tomorrow.”
Judith Baxter, blogger, friend, mother, grandmother 1938 –