Feeling good

Here is some positive music to start off a great long weekend here down-under

“Feeling Good”
Michael Buble

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For meAnd I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good
Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For meFor me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
It’s a new life
For me

And I’m feeling good

I’m feeling good
I feel so good
I feel so good

My attitudes # 1 – It begins with hope

My attitudes #  1 – Hope

‘Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom’ Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King quoting Edith Hamilton’s translation of a poem by Aeschylus from Agamemnon.

I have always been an optimistic person. I have always looked on the bright side of life. I am inherently a ‘glass half full’ person. I have always made the best of it when it rained, shrugged off grizzles from strangers and acquaintances, picked myself up from minor falls and carried on. My optimism has been coupled with a belief in solving my own problems, researching for the best solutions, and having the courage to take required actions. I have applied this way of thinking to health and other issues for myself; my children; my business; and in my community involvements. Optimism is making the best outcome from any situation, by propelling myself into positive action.

On the other hand, I have always held a degree of cynicism towards people who put their trust in hope. To me ‘hope’ always meant ‘blind faith’, a belief or vision without any real evidence that things will work ……. simply sitting back and waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to resolve, waiting for someone or something to come along and rescue you. Waiting for ‘it’ to happen, and sometimes not even knowing what ‘it’ will be. Sitting glumly waiting for things to improve – ‘hoping’ things will change. People who ‘hope’ sit waiting for someone to fill up the glass.

Not for me……the glass is half full. I may not have a full glass as I wanted, but there is still half a glass. I may as well quench my thirst and enjoy it while I can; ……. or water my plants and watch them grow.


What happens if there is no ‘half-full’ – only empty?
What happens if the glass breaks?
What happens if the glass not only breaks but shatters into a trillion fragmented pieces?
What happens if the glass cannot be repaired, if the drink is lost, if you cannot refill?
What if all that you had is totally irreparable?
What if all that you were striving for, all your dreams and aspirations are gone forever?

What then?

For someone who has always looked on the bright side – and there is now seemingly no bright side; for someone who has always picked themselves up – and yet here I am seemingly still on the ground; for someone who always made the best of a bad situation, who has always turned situations around – yet here I am seemingly still stuck in a groove……

for that someone – and that someone is me – I see that there are now two choices for me




I have decided to chose hope.

For I know now that hope is a precursor to optimism. Whereas optimism requires evidence – hope is a vision. Hope is that first little spark, that inner belief that things will turn out OK. Hope is imagining a good outcome from a seemingly hopeless situation. Hope is the initial desire to get better, to have an improved situation. Hope is the realisation that all is not lost. Hope is knowing there is still much to be grateful for. Hope is finding kindness amongst all the distrust.

Hope is that vision, that belief, that ‘blind faith’ before you take action.

Hope is good. Hope is great. Hope is fantastic.

Looking back at my own life, looking back at my overcoming previous adversities, I realise now that I have always begun with hope. I have always begun with a vision. I have always begun with a belief in myself. I have always begun with that spark within me that propelled me into optimistic action.

“Hope is what happens when the pain eases a bit; and deep down inside, you find your true grit.” Catherine DeVrye from ‘Hope happens’



My beliefs unfolded

“In times of crisis, whether wild fires or smoldering stress, the first thing to do is go back to basics….. am I eating right, am I getting enough sleep, am I getting some physical and mental exercise everyday”. Edward Albert

Over Christmas and New Year, I had an absolutely brilliant holiday with my two youngest children. We all made New Year’s resolutions of what we wanted to achieve this year and affirmed our life’s goals. Coming home, it was great the first few days sitting soaking up the summer sun, watching the sunrise, hearing the birds, appreciating our long summer days.

Then THUMP! I was brought back to reality. The need to keep working is still there; the need to finalise our matrimonial settlement papers has not gone away; the house is cluttering up again; it is still a long four hour drive to see my son, daughter-in-law and grandchild; there are still bills to pay; there are still messes to sort; my family still live interstate. THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! And to top it all off ….. where did that little black cloud above my head come from?

Before I went away I had been working through my values and beliefs on my journey towards becoming myself.  Some on my beliefs to some people may seem idealistic with an altruistic flavour, but I treasure my beliefs and have in the past been quite vocal, pro-actively fighting for these in our society, and following them in my workplace and in my home. Of course, when I was struggling to cope on a daily basis, they were the furthest thing from my mind. As I began to heal, I started thinking of them again. I wrote them down. I know that it is great to have come so far that I was able to think through these values and beliefs and reaffirm them in my head, to assure myself that deep inside I was and am a valuable person, a good person; and that none of that has been taken away from me.

I think I may have gone a little ahead of myself, as at this point in time on my healing journey I need to return again to basics for a while – to focus on my health, my daily routine. For the moment, I accept that I need to leave these beliefs for someone else to stand up for….. to look after.

However, as I had come as far as thinking about them, I thought that I would at least list them for now – as an affirmation of who I am and what I believe in. In time, when I am stronger, I will come back to them to write about them in more detail.  So here are some of my beliefs…….

MY BELIEFS # 4,5,6

# 4 I believe in a Fair and Democratic Society

  • Democracy – a form of government in which all citizens have equal rights in the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Justice – fairness to all by a concept of moral rightness and applied to social justice, personal justice, legal justice
  • Abiding by the law
  • Peaceful protest against laws that are unjust
  • Independent judiciary
  • Autonomy – allowing rational individuals to make free and informed choices
  • Personal liberty
  • Social Responsibility
  • Free avenues for artistic creativity and imagination for personal development and fulfillment

# 5 I believe in Humanitarianism

  • Human Rights
  • Harmony / inclusiveness
  • Non-maleficence (do no harm)
  • Beneficence (help others)
  • Utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest numbers)
  • Fidelity
  • Honesty
  • Privacy

# 6 I believe in Ethical Science

  • The pursuit of science for the production of knowledge through peer review and the scientific method.
  • The use of science ethically by its use creatively,  not destructively, for the greater good of mankind.
  • Protection of the Environment by sustainable living practices and industries


And now ….back to basics for me for a while ……

The Last Child.

My daughter had been travelling Europe for six months. My youngest son and I decided to join her for Christmas and spent some time with her in London and Britain.

Over the course of the two weeks together we spoke of many things and inevitably did get on to speaking about “it” (ie: the break-up). In the beginning after the separation, my children had been tremendous emotional support to me and we had leaned on each other through the pain and shock of the abandonment. Then, as I began to heal, I attempted to shield my two younger children from further negative discussion. As much as I could, I tried to put it all behind me and to be the strong one for them, to behave as I would have behaved had the trauma never occurred. To a certain extent we were living a facade as I was far from complete recovery; and they were still very much in grief.

The separation had been hard on them and it is has been difficult for them to find someone that they can talk to. Who best to talk to, but their mother? So on this holiday, knowing that pain and bewilderment is best addressed, when a few comments came out I encouraged my daughter to talk about what was concerning her. I explained that if not worked through, it could eat at her for years. One has to come to a point of accepting what has happened and then let it go. I spoke of how I understood she could view that the abandonment of me by her father was also abandonment of her. I tried to explain that he had not abandoned her. He was still there for her, but he would just now be showing it in a different way.

‘Mum it is not Dad abandoning me that concerns me, it is me abandoning you that concerns me. I am the last child. I am leaving home, leaving the state and now you will be on your own. I feel as if I am abandoning you’.  

I could not change that I was alone, unpartnered, by myself. No matter how strong I behaved I could not change the fact that if my husband had not left me he would have been there with me, we would be together, we would be the rock of support for our children – not the other way round. My daughter would not feel this guilt she felt of abandoning me and the role that she felt someone should take on – that of looking after me.

Of course, I do not feel I need looking after and I told her so. Yet no words of mine could comfort her.   All I can do is to keep aiming for strength and courage, to become a strong independent woman for her, for all my children, to show them by example that I am OK; and to allow them to spread their wings as they would have done, and to be here for them, if they ever need me.

My Beliefs # 3 Family

In the steps I have been taking on the journey towards myself, I have been affirming what my beliefs and values are. More and more I realise, however, that what has driven my beliefs and values has been my family. In fact, “family” is one of my most passionate beliefs and I have come to realise that without my family, I would not be who I am today.

As a child, ‘family’ to me meant not only my nuclear family of my parents and siblings, but also my large extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was here where I learned kindness, empathy, dependability, compassion, integrity and above all, acceptance. It was that sense of belonging, that feeling of the family as the base, the knowing that the family would always accept me; that brought me meaning, peace and comfort. There was always a sense of belonging forged by the coming together of the family at meals, holidays, and special occasions. Rituals, schedules and clear communications provided a further sense of stability.

As I grew older family for me provided strong bonds from which I was able to grow in peace and safety. It prepared me for life experiences; and gave me a belief in myself as being a good person with talents and skills that I could apply in the adult world. It was my refuge; but it was also the place I learned trust, honesty, respect, sharing, tolerance, responsibility, and …… hard work.


Clear family values empowered me to make decisions that I could live by.

As a teenager and young adult I extended my wings and tried to become independent from my family, I tried to exert my own identity. However, try as I might, I was inextricably entwined and the bonds could not be broken. My extended family remained forever in the background of my life.

As a mother, I appreciated the values instilled in me and I sought to become the same source of strength to my own children as my parents were to me. I tried to lead by example of living by high principles and values. Although we lived apart from the rest of my extended family, we forged ahead as a strong nuclear family with an undeniable unconditional and unyielding bond, that was so ingrained and so deep that it just was. It was the source of much love, respect and trust; as well as being our support system of protection and comfort.

As a mature now separated woman, I turn again to the solace of my extended family for support and realise once more that they are there for me. The whole big picture of ‘family’ has now changed for me, and yet remains the same. Family is where I can be who I am without question, without condemnation. This is where I will always be accepted, where I can always be ‘me’; even as I am trying to fathom out who that person is. My family remains my most crucial source of love, support, protection and comfort.

Yet, the family unit after divorce changes enormously, especially for my children who will now have two parents to flit between. Whilst I can return to my large extended family as a rock as support, as my base; the image for them is now one of a broken base, the nuclear family broken in two.
More than ever, I still believe in family, but it is inevitable the focus must change. I feel the focus for me now, the key to mending the family unit is to focus on what is important in the current situation and not to dwell on the past. I need to take the time in doing what needs to be done for myself to become more contended and at peace; and to continue through life with the same values that we still treasure as a family. I feel that is the best gift that I can give my family. Although adults, my children still need to feel loved and feel free to love; to be given the same space and freedom as young adults to explore their own activities, to take their own chances in life, with the same feeling of security that family will be their for them.
And I will always be here for them – always.
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family”. Anthony Brandt

Live Life List!

I have been away for four weeks, offline for five. I was invited to a wedding that took place in Ireland early January and after some procrastination, deciding whether I should give up four weeks of an Australian summer to go to the northern hemisphere in the middle of winter, I accepted the invitation and went. My third son came with me, and we met up with my daughter in London a week before Christmas.

I had a fantastic time and added some things to my ‘Live Life List’.

What is this list? My children claimed a ‘bucket list’ was too gloomy and ‘life’s goals’ too philosophical for me while on a holiday. So as we did things I just kept saying that I was ‘living my life’ and so after a while this all became my ‘Live Life List’. The list means to me ‘I enjoyed that’, ‘I had a great time there’, ‘I experienced that’, ‘I saw that’. The list had no planning involved. I made it all up as I went along and altered it however I wanted to.

Here are some of the things added to my list:

  • I saw world’s tallest building – in Dubai
  • I went on a desert safari – well not really, but I did have a 4WD trip into the desert
  • I lived in London for a week – it felt like the centre of the world
  • Saw a West-end musical – The Lion King. My daughter’s choice for a London experience.
  • Joined in Christmas Carols at the Royal Albert Hall. My choice
  • Watched an EPL football match. My son’s choice.
  • Shared with my two youngest children a fantastic Christmas in Hertfordshire. New memories.
  • Found the house where my maternal grandfather was raised in Norwich. Tracing my roots
  • Went to a street party in Edinburgh to see in New Year 2013. Re-living the spirit of  my youth
  • Joined in the cheering on of an Irish band in an Irish pub. Just living for the moment. 
  • Lived the life of gentry for two days in Southern Ireland (for the wedding). Wow!
  • Stayed at small villages in both Wales and the Cotswald. The heart of Britain. 
  • Learned how to download photos from camera to iPad to WordPress. Not all that easy!

I really enjoyed myself and had a great break from all the pressures that have been thrust upon me.

I returned yesterday to much warmer weather and longer days back home in Tasmania, Australia.

Best wishes to all my readers for 2013!

Tower Bridge, London

Royal Albert Hall

English Premier League

Random Castle

Lakes District

Village in Scotland

Wedding venue

Village in Wales


Kew Gardens, London