Tag Archives: family

Take care of yourself

Sometimes you have to step away from your routine to see yourself from another perspective.

I recently took a short trip and quickly realised how desperately I had needed to get away. Over the past six months my life started drifting in a different direction. For personal reasons I chose to accept these changes in circumstances to support others and fuel their wants and dreams but in doing so forgot about my own needs. It wasn’t until I was away that I was able to acknowledge how much this has affected me. 6b3fe97d5531e72826726979a1d99ac4-300x300

 

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

Special moments

gratful-thankfulSome days pass by unnoticed and others are extraordinary. Last Saturday was extra special making me thankful and happy.

At various stages throughout the day all three of our adult children spent unplanned time with us sharing stories of what’s happening in their lives. At the end of the day my husband and I talked about how happy it made us feel to have a close relationship with each of our children. This is the true definition of happiness for us.

Laura our youngest daughter celebrates her 24th birthday tomorrow. She is an amazing young woman who inspires, loves, creates and spreads joy. I saw this quote by Walt Disney and immediately thought of Laura. I’ve always thought of her as my magical Peter Pan.
Happy birthday Lawna.

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gratitude and happiness

Moving on

When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. ~ D. H. Lawrence

During my lifetime I’ve seen continuous changes in society from the variety of food choices to our access to ever evolving technology. Other noticeable changes observed  are personal values and family structures, the move towards equality of the sexes,  housing styles and career opportunities. But one thing that remains consistent over time is the human desire to travel and see other lands.

Many friends traveled overseas when I was in my 20s but my adventurous spirit was lacking which led me to marry and start a family in place of travel. Perhaps I subconsciously viewed traveling as a negative thing.

My father traveled to Europe when I was a child leaving my mother to keep our family and home running smoothly. He was away for months every year building business opportunities. I didn’t fully understand the loneliness and frustrations my mother felt when dad was away but I sensed it was difficult for her, which worried me. Dad sent postcards depicting snow topped Swiss Alps, chalets, people in German costume, cows with cowbells and grand castles. I had no idea nor did I wonder where in the world the scenery in the bright postcards existed, I associated them with my mum being apprehensive.

Later in life my parents enjoyed many trips to Europe together creating wonderful memories they treasured forever. My siblings traveled overseas independently as young adults visiting many of the same places Dad had been to. I am the only family member who has not yet been to Europe.

It wasn’t until my 40’s when something stirred within urging me to explore my fascination for Asian counties which created a turning point in my life. Traveling to Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore and Thailand awakened my senses, challenged my sense of self, and changed my perspective about life. However during these years my desire to visit European countries laid dormant.

Nobody comes back from a journey the way they started it. ~ Unknown

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My husband Peter traveled around Europe as a young man but now in his 50s wants to visit there again with me. So with the tiniest hint of trepidation I agreed to take a six-week trip together to Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Austria and Italy in September this year.

I vow to travel with my mind and eyes open and hopefully will share my experiences and thoughts about my journey on my blog as I go along.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Bon voyage!

Enjoy the little things

Not yet old but way past young I’m staring another birthday in the face still wondering where I fit in to this crazy world. Life is a mystery I’m unraveling as I go. In my heart I’m still a little girl looking for acceptance.

Memories of defining moments dotted throughout my life randomly flash through my mind at the oddest times.  I never want to forget these memories because they make me who I am, for better or worse.

In this snowballing culture of greed and excess I strive to live my life simply and with compassion. Sometimes I satisfy my own expectations but other times I let myself down.  That’s okay, I’ll keep trying. Every day brings another chance to try again.

I live a comfortable life and want for nothing. Possessions are nice to have but they are just things. The love of my husband, my three children and my little dog mean more to me than anything else in the world. These people give me purpose and make my life worthwhile. They make me laugh, love, hurt and swell with pride.  They make me feel.

My wish is for people to take time to enjoy the little things that make them smile. A smile brightens everyone’s day.  I’ve chosen some picture quotes reflecting  messages I’d like to share with you on my birthday 26 June 2014.

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Eternal love

The creaking sound of her rickety rattan chair comforts Nina as she sinks down into the seat. Every afternoon she enjoys sitting and admiring her garden.

Familiar sounds echo as she breathes in the earthy pleasures of rich soil and damp leaves. A cool breeze blows gently on her skin. Sitting and watching she feels alive, in harmony with nature.

Nina’s garden is her haven, a place of renewal where she nourishes her soul. Silently she thanks each plant and ornament for bringing her joy,  they are valued members of her extended family.

Nina lives alone in a modest old timber house. A wooden nameplate bearing the name Akiko,meaning Iris; light and bright, hangs at the cottage entrance.

Her life is quiet and sometimes lonely. Most days she gardens and preens her tiny house. She does this for her own satisfaction and because she is grateful for everything she has.

As she sits looking at the garden her gaze is drawn to her flourishing Suma bush. She involuntarily gasps at its radiance. An affectionate loving smile spreads across her face. This plant tells her story.

As a young woman Nina spent her lunch breaks in the tranquil Jenku Gardens. This peaceful daily experience inspired her to create her own garden. She knew little about gardening but was eager to learn.

Nina planted a Suma bush near her front entrance so she could admire its soft beauty and smell its subtle fragrance each time she came in and out of her house.

Despite meticulous care and constant love her Suma failed to thrive. The foliage thinned and the vibrant green leaves faded to an insipid yellow.

Nina felt a deep sense of failure and loss. It broke her heart to see her Suma in such a bad state. Reluctantly she moved the plant to the back garden.

Weeks later she noticed new green shoots sprouting on the Suma’s spindly stem. Nina’s heart filled with thanks knowing her plant was showing signs of regeneration.

It dawned on her that this species survives better in the shade. She realised her Suma could not flourish where she’d wanted it to grow no matter how much care she lavished on the plant.

This lesson taught her to respect the inherent needs of each species. Over years her garden grew and matured into a place of natural beauty with thriving plant and bird life coexisting within her garden sanctuary.

Drawing her attention back to today a Pipi bird swoops under the Suma plant searching for food in the rich soil. Nina smiles and thanks every element of nature for keeping her company her whole life.

She feels tired and closes her eyes letting her head nod forward. She feels like she is floating.

“Nina?”

Nina hears her mother’s voice. She must be dreaming. Such a lovely sweet sound.

“Mum?”

Their arms instinctively embrace in a warm hug. Neither wanting to let go.

Nina’s tears flow freely as she recalls all the times she’d felt lonely and longed to talk things over with her mother.

“Take my hand Nina, it’s your time to rest with me.”

Months after her death Nina’s family sold Akiko cottage for a high price to a land developer. It took less than a day to bulldoze the house and garden leaving an empty block prime for multi story town houses.

Nina’s granddaughter Mai stands motionless looking at the barren land where her grandmother’s cottage and garden once were. She feels like she has been punched hard in the stomach sucking her breath away.

Mai closes her eyes and imagines all the times she sat chatting with her grandmother while looking at her precious garden.

Mai releases a primal scream and falls to her knees.

“They can destroy everything you created Grandmother but they can never destroy how loved and valued you made me feel.”

 

Hold your smile

There were times during my mother’s life when things were not going well. Like most of us she had her fair share of dramas in her life but she always seemed happy and had a smile for everyone.  I could never understand why Smile was her favourite song.

Now I understand

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile

Nat King Cole – Smile Lyric

Michelle’s pet challenge

Gracie Dee, long haired chihuahua

It’s amazing how such a tiny animal brings so much joy to so many people. This is my dog Gracie Dee and I’d like to share the joy of having a pet with fellow bloggers.

My blog post My eyes adore you tells the story of how Gracie Dee came into my life. Other posts include  My tiny friend and Little things make me smile.

For more photos of Gracie take a look at  http://instagram.com/gracieandjennadee#

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petchallenge

Thanks to Michelle at http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com

Live life with innocence

Today I’m sharing some simple and wonderful life lessons that I aspire to follow this year, thanks to PIXAR

Love can be as simple as holding hands
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Take a minute to reminisce about childhood friendships
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Add a few spices to your life. Literally and figuratively
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Be open to unlikely friendships
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Never discount the small guys
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Take a chance on the adventure (and friendship) of a lifetime
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Hold on to your family
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Embrace your own strengths
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Laughter > Fear
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Take a break and drive in the slow lane sometimes
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True love never gets old
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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

Joan’s place

white-picket-fenceLike a grand old lady growing old and infirm
Our once quaint beach house lacks vitality

She is broken and old
Lifeless and dull
Heartbroken

Broken old furniture
Cracked and peeling paint
Cobwebs draping
Floors stained and lifting

Photographs of her glory days reflect a simpler life and happy family times
Treasured memories live in my heart forever

Mum was right to go when she did
She didn’t want to rot away before our eyes
Like her house

Should we let the old house rest in peace and follow new adventures somewhere else
or give her new life?

Maybe the time has come to let her slip away gracefully and with dignity like my mum.