Tag Archives: blogging

Hello again

Just like sleeping soundly in a comfy bed I crave self-expression, but at times it eludes me. Writing plays a persistent calming role in my life but doesn’t always flow freely. Sometimes my thoughts swirl in a tangled mess of perplexity and it’s during these times that my words dry up both verbally and in written form. This is where I’ve been for quite some time, hence my absence from blogging.

Like everyone life regularly challenges my limits and teaches me to adapt to new circumstances. Some periods are tougher than others but maturity of years has taught me that eventually these periods pass. I’m heading out the other side of another intense chapter and now look forward to a new travelling adventure in Europe which I’m hoping will reignite my relationship with writing.

You’ve got mail

Dear fellow bloggersdownload

I’m sorry it has been a while since I’ve been in touch. I’ve no excuse for my absence and vow to stay connected from now on.

At the beginning of 2016 I stated my intentions and thus far feel happy that I have honoured my promises.

I’ve grown as a person by standing up to certain people and not allowing them to make me feel inferior. I’m sticking my head out from my protective tortoise shell and I’m not as afraid of being crushed anymore.

Another area of my life that needed my attention was reconnecting with people I’d lost touch with over the years. I’ve reached out to some old friends and family and it’s wonderful to feel a sense of belonging to a community again after years of imposed isolation.

We have been working on creating a family business with our son Chris who wants to open a trendy men’s barbershop. Fingers crossed we find out today if we secured the lease of a shop. If so we will be working hard over the next six weeks fitting it out and getting ready to open. We see this as an opportunity for Chris to follow his dream and for our whole family to work together and share their collective skills to make this dream a reality.

Other exciting news is that our daughter Laura has produced a CD of her original folky songs and will launch it in the coming months. I’d love to share her music with you when the CD is available.

Although I haven’t been on my blog site for a while I think of you all often and hope you are all happy and well. I’ve promised myself to spend time each morning to catch up with your news and reconnect with my treasured blogger friends.

Your friend

Jenna Dee

Thanks for being you

Thank you to my blogger friends for sharing your lives, thoughts, adventures and experiences during 2015.  I value your company and friendship more than you will ever know.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.    ~Leo Buscaglia
Christmas message 2015
Christmas message from Jenna Dee

Saying it out loud

It’s been bothering me that I’ve barely posted on my blog this year. I’m afraid I’m withdrawing and slipping away from the blogging community, which is not what I want. Each day I enjoy reading posts by bloggers I follow. I laugh, feel sad, agree, disagree and learn from the words and photos people post. I comment on posts and interact with bloggers who unreservedly accept me in their online community space.

When I created Jenna Dee blog three years ago I discovered that writing about repressed feelings is cathartic. After tentatively unlocking the courage I progressively gained confidence to acknowledge my feelings and move on from the past. For two years my life was optimistic and I felt more in sync with other people. I enthusiastically shared positive messages, words and stories and truly felt like a useful cog in society.

misty blue dayLately my old feelings of alienation have been rearing their ugly head. After a few recent confidence kickers I’ve retreated back a few steps. Even though I am content filling my days I feel a necessity to embellish my life so it appears more interesting to others. I question the quality of my posts and struggle to think of things to write about. I compare myself to others who consistently share original thought-provoking posts every day of the week.

I have always had no hesitation sharing the joyous times of my life but today I promised myself I would be honest and admit to the insecure feelings that are lurking around me. Life has its ups and downs and I accept this.

 

 

 

 

Confusing times

Followers of JennaDee blog might have noticed a lack of posts in recent weeks and I feel I owe you an explanation.

This dry spell isn’t due to diminished enthusiasm or effort, in fact sometimes I try too hard making matters even worse. I’ve lost touch with my word flow and temporarily lost my zest for writing. Several reasons for this situation spring to mind.

  1. I finally made peace with my past and (almost) always live in the moment
  2. I am content with what I have and (almost) always accept the way things are
  3. I learned how to stop worrying about things outside of my control
  4. I began a creative writing course

Sharing my thoughts and fears with others was therapeutic when I first started blogging. My online space created an outlet to write about things I’d never spoken about. It felt exhilarating and dangerous to tell my secrets.  Writing posts about mistakes, regrets and heartache flowed freely allowing me to face up to and deal with unresolved issues.

After a year of soul-searching combined with the support of fellow bloggers I learned how to make peace with my past and stop it negatively affecting my life. This shift in attitude  greatly improved my outlook on life.

The problem is now I don’t know what to write about. My life is wonderful, I am healthy, comfortable and want for nothing. I feel guilty that so many people are dealing with adversity in their lives.

Maybe that’s why so many songs and poems reflect stories about heartbreak? Maybe people more readily relate to sadness and difficult situations?

This leads to my last point about my blog drought that arose when I decided to try my hand at creative writing.  While I enjoy the intricacies of developing characters and plot I feel like it is corrupting my natural style of writing. I tend to overuse adjectives and when I re-read my drafts the writing is over-exaggerated and clunky. I seem to have lost my natural voice.

If anyone has any suggestions about how I can retrieve my blog writing vitality  I will be most grateful.

Yours in anticipation
Jenna Dee

Getting to know you

A year ago I found it difficult to disclose things about myself. Perhaps I was fearful of judgement or maybe I doubted my qualities and uniqueness.

After a series of monumental life situations I experienced a physical and emotional reaction and knew I needed to re-evaluate my existence. My body was screaming at me to find a better way of coping with stress.

My search within led to blogging as an outlet to explore emotions and interact with others about the ups and downs of everyday life.  Initially I was guarded about exposing my vulnerabilities but gradually started sharing personal stories, which began the regeneration of my self-confidence.

As my first year of discovery draws to a close I’m stepping further outside my comfort zone and revealing more about myself that I haven’t blogged about this year.

I’ve written some questions and answers that may connect more of my personality puzzle pieces together. I would love readers to answer the same questions as a post on their own blog or in the comment section to my post. Feel free to answer one or all of the questions, or add new questions, as you wish.

What is your real name and where do you live?
My name is Jennifer Donovan but I prefer Jenna Dee.
I live in Melbourne, Australia

What makes you sad?
I was a lonely child and yearned for a sister close to my own age. As a mother I had a son followed  by two daughters close together in age who grew up as great friends. As adults my daughters are not as connected as they once were and this makes me a little sad.

Seeing the loss in my Dad’s eyes because he misses the love of his life, my mum, who died seven years ago.

What are your major mistakes?
Although I’ve learned to let go of regrets I believe their acknowledgement as a part of our lives is important.

Getting married at 18 remains my biggest mistake. Although legally an adult, I was an unworldly child with no idea of the enormity of my decision. The marriage lasted 7 years and finally failed after we decided to have a child.

When I was pregnant with my first child my husband started ignoring me and staying out all night. I was upset he didn’t want to share the joy of having a baby. I am ashamed to say I began a relationship with a married man I worked with. To me it was nice having someone pay attention to me but to him it was more. He talked about leaving his family to be with me, which freaked me out. I ended the relationship abruptly and broke his heart, which I am not proud of.

When was the last time you cried?
Recently I cried tears of being overwhelmed when I attempted public speaking (described in my post Closer to the Edge) . Sometimes sad movies cause a few tears to fall.

When my mother died seven years ago my tears flowed freely There are only three times in my life I remember sobbing uncontrollably; when my first marriage finally ended, when I lost a baby early in a pregnancy (the first baby for my second husband and I) and when my mother died.

What makes you angry?

  • Arrogant people who feel they are superior to others.
  • Every type of injustice.
  • I feel upset that my daughter who is a lesbian is not entitled to the same privileges as heterosexuals.

What is your most recent happiest memory?
Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year in Shanghai, China. We travelled to Tongli in rural China to the ancient houses and gardens that hold mystical power over me. As we entered one of the courtyards light fluffy snow started to fall making it a magical memory.

When were you most scared?
Being in Fiji during Cyclone Oscar in 1983. This was the only time in my life that I thought I was going to die and at the moment of realisation a bizarre feeling of peace and calm filled my body.

When my relationship with my son disintegrated and he left home. I was terrified for his safety and well-being.

The night my mother fell and the emergency hospital staff told us that her injuries were the worst kind.

When were you most brave?

  • Making the decision to return to university as a mature age student when I was 37.
  • Knowing I needed to reclaim my individual identity and revert to using my family name Donovan, even though I knew it upset my husband.

What haven’t you done that you wished you had done?

  • Lived independently as a single adult.
  • Participated in a study abroad program.
  • Taught English in Japan.

What makes you different from most people?

  • I don’t like being around a lot of people. Situations such as airports, trains, crowed pubs and shopping malls make me uncomfortable. I like my own company and love being with my family but I don’t have a large circle of friends.
  • Unlike most people I prefer silence rather than listening to music or the radio.
  • I’m not easily led towards fads, fashion and trends preferring to enjoy my own treasures.

Who has influenced your life?
I met my husband Peter when I was 16 and he was 18 and formed a close friendship. We married 12 years later after my first marriage ended and have now been married for 25 years.

We are different in personality and ideals but it seems to work for us. Peter is my steadying influence and is tolerant and kind. As the person I am closest to, Peter often bears the brunt of my frustrations.

We are a team and I am proud of the parents we are to our children. He is my soul mate and I would be lost without him in my life.

My mother also influenced my life. She was quirky and had an uncanny ability to see through the falseness of some people. My mum saw the best in me and gave me confidence to believe in myself.  After she died I struggled to maintain my self-confidence without her input. My mum was the kindest, most understanding and wise person I have met in my life.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
This year has been by far the most influential year of my life creating possibilities for many changes within.

The greatest lesson I have learned is that to change your life all you have to do is change your attitude. It is that simple.

Zen moments

Today  is the first year anniversary of writing my blog, Jenna Dee. I’m proud to say this is my 62nd post.

After a series of monumental events in 2012 something erupted within and propelled me toward a year of soul-searching that I tentatively started sharing on my blog.

Writing takes me to a place of clarity where I can translate my thoughts into words. Traveling this path challenges me to accept rather than suppress my emotions, which is both exhausting and exhilarating.

Blogging forces me to talk about things out loud. Knowing that someone somewhere may be reading my words makes me feel accountable. My life began to change when I let hundreds of strangers in to my once very private world.

My online friends encourage, advise and share experiences. We laugh and we cry together. There is always someone there giving me strength to challenge myself to keep moving forward.

This year I woke from years of hibernation; I started to see, feel and listen more.

I learned to be kinder to myself.
I learned to embrace my individuality.
I learned that it’s okay to change my mind and old ways.
I learned to be still.
I learned to stop trying to figure it all out.
I learned to let go.
I learned to be me.

Every day I discovered something new and I’ve collected stories, images and words that made a difference to me at the time I saw them.

My fascination with Asian culture led me to Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. I learned that life is a beautiful mystery that cannot be explained nor understood and that to be Tao is to be unlimited, undefined or unformed.

Writing Peace be with me was difficult.  I bared my soul and shared my pain about  the death of my mother seven years ago. The resulting wave of support that came from bloggers made me understand that my emotions were unfounded. Finally I was able to resolve these feelings. Now I remember the wonderful times we shared rather than thinking about the day she died.

My most popular blog post  Listen to your heart expresses my anguish about painful memories of  nine lost years in my relationship with my son. I once thought he had fallen so far down a deep dark hole that he could never be freed.  This year I saw his head appearing out of that hole and he has emerged back into my life. Words can’t express how grateful I am for this second chance.

I appreciate every comment bloggers make on my posts but this comment on Listen to your heart I treasure dearly.

This reminds me of how much beauty there is this world however painfully wrapped, thank you for writing so deeply from the heart. Sophie

When writing Love is all you need based on an email exchange with my dad I realised my relationship with him has deepened and flourished to one of love and friendship. I have learned from his wisdom and I treasure this extra time we’ve had together.

It has been a year of creating possibilities, of confronting demons and making peace with regrets. I have fallen and regressed many times but each time I got up stronger and more eager to keep trying.

This is not the end of my journey; it is only the first few baby steps.  I have at least thirty more years of my life to fully emerge. I hope I will still be writing my blog then so I can look back and relive the journey of the person I will grow to be.

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tzu

Letter to my friends

Dear Julie (aka Cookie), hibernationnow, risinghawk, Eric Tonningsen, Theresa, Ruth Rainwater, Pocket Perspectives,  shreejacob, sufilight, grevilleacorner, Crowing Crone Joss, starrystez, Owls and Orchids newbloggycat, quarteracrelifestyle , Robbie, lauriesnotes, and suzjones

The love, advice and support that you share with me in your responses to my blog posits is so greatly appreciated.  Every one of you is helping me more than you will ever know.

My last post Peace be with me was a heartfelt letter admitting my fears and regrets arising from my mothers passing seven years ago.

I wrote about the negative feelings I’ve been holding within for way too long. Admitting these thoughts ‘out loud’ and sharing them with people I knew would read them, was a big step forward for me.

What I received back was caring, thoughtful responses given with abundant love. The message was loud and clear – Jenna, you need to let it all go and remember your mum with love.

Relief washed over me with every comment I received. Suddenly I felt vindicated. I had shared my deepest fears and people were saying it was okay, they understood. They didn’t think any less of me.

Yesterday I listened to a CD,  Change your Thoughts, Change Your Life with the lessons of Lao-tzu. The Tao Te Ching (The Great Way)  provides spiritual guidance to live in harmony with the universe.

Re-reading the comments from fellow bloggers combined with the lessons learned from Lao-tzu was exactly what I needed to satisfy my wish to find peace within.

Again, I express my deepest thanks.

Your friend
Jenna

The way to do is to be

Blogging has opened a part of my mind that I’d managed to squash down for some time. It  challenges me to think about some things I’d rather not think about.

For me writing blog posts is therapeutic and helps me greatly at the time of writing by encouraging exploration and expression of my feelings. It is like cleansing my soul.

I’ve discovered that it is quite easy to write or say words but the really difficult part is making meaningful changes in my mind, feelings or attitudes. The actions are a lot harder than the words.

Fairly regularly I re-read my past blog posts and ask myself if have I brought about the changes I promised to modify since writing the post.

The truth is that the answer is usually no, not really, I’m still trying.

But today I gave myself a break by gaining inspiration from ancient philosopher Lao Tzu through his words that tell me to trust myself and just be me.

Always we hope

Always we hope
someone else has the answer
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
at the center of your being

You have the answer,
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
        — Lao Tzu

Blogger’s block

Is anyone else struggling with the commitment of writing a regular blog post?

When I started blogging  I found it exhilarating and liberating to share my experiences and  thoughts with imaginary people.

Blogging gave me new-found confidence, it gave me a voice in the wilderness and when people started responding to my posts I felt validated and accepted.

The discipline of writing regular blog posts keeps me accountable to continue facing truths and gives me courage to be open and honest.

But somehow along the way I got caught up in the thrill of the ride and started to lose sight of why I started blogging.

The last little while I’ve struggled with writing posts and this has bothered me. Writing shouldn’t be a chore, but thanks to my insecurities I started to make it one.

The problem was I started anticipating what people might be interested in reading rather than writing about things I wanted to say. I started seeking articles about successful blogging and attracting readers. I tried to write blogs about topics that I didn’t relate to only to scrap them in frustration.

The truth is I temporarily lost my focus on why I write a blog, which is to accept myself for the person I am not to accumulate likes or be popular.

So at the risk of being self-indulgent I will continue to write from the heart about things that matter to me, which I apologise in advance may or may not be interesting to anyone else.

I will return to treating my blog as an online journal that I share with my blogging friends.

Blogging gives me courage to face the challenge of accepting what is, to let go of what was, and to have confidence in what will be.

For me that is enough.

What makes you tick?

One of my favourite pastimes is reading the “About me” pages of bloggers. The posts I enjoy reading reflect individuality and set the writer apart from being just another face in the crowd.

Most people state their name, age, hometown, education and marital status .  Others seem boastful and over emphasize their many accomplishments.

I skip reading  “About me” pages with lists of achievements that read like a job application.  I’m  interested in the ordinary or quirky stuff that bloggers share that show a glimpse of who they are and what makes them tick.

My personality is unassuming. I am committed to sharing the truth about who I am so here is a little about me…..

I am spiritual but hold no religious beliefs. The beauty, power and unpredictability of nature exhilarate my senses. I live by the sea and I’m renewed every time I walk along the beach breathing in the salty air feeling the sea spray on my face.

After 23 years of marriage I ceased using my name by marriage and reverted to my name at birth. I love my husband dearly but felt so deeply about regaining my individuality that I made the change for my peace of mind. It may sound crazy but I feel I have renewed my spirit by reconnecting with my original identity.

I am fascinated in Asian countries, especially Japan where I have visited multiple times because it keeps drawing me back and feels like home.

The precision and beauty of Japanese gardens inspire a feeling of peace and harmony in my soul.

The novels I enjoy reading are set in Asian countries in the early 1900’s. These stories accentuate the hardship that people endured and inspire my admiration for the courage  people find to survive through adversity.

My biggest regret is that I was not by mother’s side when she died because I listened to others who told me she would rather be alone. I doubt I will ever forgive myself for this decision.

One of my best spur of the moment decisions was adopting my dog Gracie  from an animal shelter. She gives me so much joy and never fails to brighten every day.

I love objects that sparkle; crystals, mirrors on mosaics, candles and bud lights in trees. I watch in awe as the sun shines through my window on to a hanging crystal causing coloured reflections to dance around my walls.

I hope I’ve  shared something about myself that sparks your interest and leads you to get to know me better by reading my other blog posts. And if not, that’s okay, it was nice to meet you.