Tag Archives: memories

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!

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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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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.

Television trauma

All my life I’ve felt different to other people.  It’s not because I have distinctive skin colour, ethnicity or appearance, it is more about my thoughts and attitudes. As a child I remember wanting to be like other children but never feeling completely at ease with who I was. I was happy but felt I was looking in from outside the circle.

I think children’s television shows in the 60s and 70s should take some responsibility for my confusion. My child self didn’t fully comprehend that these shows were make-believe and subconsciously my life didn’t measure up to the exciting lives of my television idols.

Everyday after school I’d watch television and imagine how great it would be to live in America and belong to one of my tv families.

The Brady Bunch, the antics of a blended family with three perfect boys and three perfect girls entertained me every day. When I first started watching I desired Cindy’s cuteness but by the end of the series I craved Marsha’s popularity. And if only I could have close brothers and sisters like the Bradys (*sigh*).

The Flying nun; The nuns in the convent San Tanco had fantastic adventures and made me wish I was religious so I could join their sisterhood. But  more than anything else I wanted to fly like Sister Bertrill and to this day I often still dream I am flying like her.

I Dream of Jeanie and Bewitched were favourites shows that had me secretly practicing twitching my nose or making genie arms to create magic and travel through time. Sadly I never managed to make anything happen, not for the want of trying.

Everyone had a dog or a cat but I dreamed of having a talking horse in my backyard like Mr Ed or a pet dolphin like Flipper. I couldn’t understand why this wasn’t possible even though I lived in the suburbs.

As a teen I dreamed of hanging out with Richie Cunningham and the Fonz at Arnolds after school and going to the high school proms I saw on Happy Days.

But my all-time favourite show was Little House on the Prairie about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s. My dream was living the simple country life of Laura Ingalls.

Now I’m older I know tv families and characters are make-believe, animals can’t talk and people can’t fly or change situations with magic. The funny thing is that all these years later I still wish I could live in that little log cabin in Walnut Grove just like the Ingalls family. (*sigh*)

Quiet Time

During the past few months I have learned how to still my mind and meditate. Sometimes I focus on a theme but other times I enjoy the peace of having no thoughts at all.

When I dare to look back in my life I realise  how much I’ve evolved just by growing older and encountering the highs and lows along the journey of my life so far.

Today is a milestone day for me; June 25 is the day my first child was born twenty-eight years ago.

When I clear my mind of everyday clutter and slow my breathing I can see myself as a 24-year-old cradling my newborn baby. In my mind I hold hands with the frightened young woman and say…

Hey sweet lonely girl
Hold your head high
Know that you are beautiful
And be inspired by the miracle of motherhood.
Smile more
Share more
Care less about what others think
And never lose sight of your inner light.
Don’t be afraid
Love yourself
Dare to dream
And the rest will take care of itself.

As I meditate I hug my younger self until I feel her heart beating against my older heart and I whisper in her ear “you have  beautiful times ahead.”

Mayday

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It doesn’t get any easier as the years go by.

As the 4th of May approached for the seventh time since I lost my mum Joani I felt a familiar emptiness that bubbles to the surface every year on her birthday reminding me how much I lost when my mum passed away.

I knew my mum was ready to leave this earth but selfishly I wanted her to stay around for me.

Joani accepted her fate when she died, she told me many times she didn’t want to be dependent on others like her own mother had relied on her. She said she wouldn’t place that burden on me.

Even though my mum was okay about it, I’m not okay with it.

I feel cheated by time.

Leaving home to marry at a young age meant I didn’t see my mum often and life in my 20s and 30s disappeared in a whirlwind of raising a family and establishing a career. My mum was always a part of my busy life but I didn’t appreciate that our time was limited.

All too soon I hit my 40s and ironically decided to cut back on my working hours the year my mum died.

I wish I could have some of that time back to sit and talk to my mum who was always there for me.

I wish I could hold her hand and feel her loving arms around me.

I wish we had more time together.

This is the word

The explosion of information on the Internet removes the necessity to create original writings. At our fingertips we have access to words written by others on any topic imaginable.

The words of others often seem more polished than our own and it’s tempting to copy a chunk of text rather than spending time considering and constructing our own sentences.

While I am eager to read and learn from words written by others, I continually strive to create original written pieces as they reflect time spent thinking and sorting through the corridors of my mind.

Writing empowers me to express myself about things I am passionate about. I spend many hours writing, re-writing and reading my words until I am satisfied with the final piece.

These written pieces are my friends. When I read my words I hear my voice and recall my thoughts from different eras of my life. They are my lifelong collection of words with the power to evoke memories.

Most of the things I write about are an indulgence in self-expression. They are extensions of thoughts residing in my brain that become clearer when written down. I write simply and from the heart.

However, there are always exceptions and if I come across words written by someone else that succinctly express emotions that I relate to then I have no hesitation to use their words. This is one such exception…….

If you want to awaken all of humanity then awaken yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was a philosopher of ancient China, considered the founder of philosophical Taoism. According to traditions he lived in the 6th century. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.