The Wonderful Year of 2016

2016

This blog was inspired by a post I saw on Facebook by a fellow called Matt Strange. I have attached it to the bottom of this page for you to read through if you are interested. The language is a little ‘in your face’ but if you can deal with that, his message is so strong and true (In My Opinion).

Apparently 2016 was a terrible year. It was full of death and illness and war and destruction and so on. Well, I am not buying that. I think 2016 was a great year and I plan to focus on the great things that happened instead of dwelling on the bad. Why is it that we have to look at the bad things and focus on them so much? Why can’t we look at the amazing things that happened and focus on them too? Make the good things the conversation we start with instead of the bad?  I am not saying that the bad things that happened should be brushed under the carpet but, why should these things ‘ruin’ a whole year? Yes, we need to learn new ways of doing things, change ideas and prevent situations and hopefully one day, LEARN to do things better in this amazing world of ours but, there are good things to look at too.

We aren’t on this planet for long and I feel that each and every day, good and bad, should be treasured and not brushed away or wished it over. So many people, and yes, I have been guilty of this too, wish for Monday to be Friday, October to be January, the year to just be over…… Why? Why can’t we all embrace the moment we are in? Why are we all wishing our lives away waiting for what is coming next? Why are we wanting Summer when it is Winter? Why can’t we enjoy Monday like we do Friday? Why can’t mid week before pay day baked beans on toast be just as delicious as pay day steak and vegetables? Is the middle of the year really worth wishing away as we try to hurry Christmas holidays along?

Well, I am grateful for 2016 and for everything that it has given me.

Here is my ‘short’ gratitude list……..

  • I had cancer. Why would I be grateful for this? Because I don’t have it now and because I have been shown that health and happiness, friends and family, good times and bad are all so important. I can now show empathy and understanding to people who are not doing so well health wise whereas before, I thought I understood but I had no idea at all. I can also now provide support, information and compassion to those fighting cancer or those who have someone they know dealing with it.
  • My mental health took a tumble. Yep, I am indeed grateful for this because it has made me realise that I can fall apart when times aren’t so good. It doesn’t mean that times will always be bad because I have been shown from counselling, friends and family, work colleagues, my doctor and medication that there is help and a way up and out of despair. My breakdown showed me that sometimes I do need to slow down, listen to my thoughts but not take them all too seriously, enjoy the simple things in life.
  • I have a job but more than that, I have a job that I love. In this day and age, work can be hard to come by for many people and I am incredibly fortunate to have a job that pays well, is interesting, has a good management group and one that I enjoy coming to each and every day. Having had so much time off this year (and last) to fight the cancer demon and to heal the broken ankle, it increased my love for my job. I have always enjoyed my job but not being able to do it for many months on end, not having a sense of purpose each day, missing the fortnightly income, it made coming back to work so much more important for me.
  • Friends and Family and Dogs and Chickens. This all speaks for itself but I will point out, I love that I have been able to see people a little differently this year. It has become clearer to me to see people who genuinely want to be a part of my life and those that don’t. The ease of removing some people from my circle, from my friendship, has been a very simple task and one that has been quite fulfilling and at the end of the day, easy. How lovely it is to have honest, loving, caring and friendly people in my life and not battle with the unease of having to stay ‘friends’ with a person/people who really have no interest or kindness in their heart for you at all.
  • Our Volunteer and Accident & Emergency Services. Australia has had many floods, fires, storms and accidents over the year of 2016 and each time, we have a bundle of amazing, generous people who head out to fix things up. These people miss important events in their own lives to make our lives that little bit easier. Weather they’re cleaning up storm damage, assisting someone involved in a car accident, fighting the dreadful fires, they’re not doing it for themselves. They’re doing it for all of us. When you see a police car driving down the road, instead of frowning at the possibility of getting a speeding ticket or a fine for an unregistered vehicle, remember, they’re often the first people on the scene in a fatal car accident. These police men and women have one of the toughest jobs I can imagine. Not knowing what each day will bring. They are not only there to give you a ticket but they’re also there to save your life. They will be there for us. The traffic jam you are stuck in making you late for a dinner date could well be because of a paramedic trying to save someone’s life who has been hit by a car. When you have no power to your home, there is a group of people working on that right at that very moment and on top of that, have you thought about how many people live without electricity each and every day of their lives? You have to detour on your way to work because the road is closed….. There are a group of people, out in that storm chopping up and removing a fallen tree from the road. These people, each and every one of them are amazing.
  • Our Beautiful Home. Having lived in so very many different houses, units and locations in my life, having a place to call our own has been sensational. I know how incredibly lucky we are to still have this home in our lives after the reduced income and financial setbacks faced over the last 18 months. More than that, our home is a place that has been filled with friends and family celebrating various moments and to hear the laughter filling the space is something I treasure and hope to have for many years to come.
  • Kindness. I have seen so many acts of kindness this year and often, it takes my breath away to see what people will do for others knowing they won’t be rewarded by being featured in an article in the newspaper, a headline on the news, a cheque or medal…… they are doing kind and thoughtful things simply because they can. I am lucky enough to work in the city of Adelaide and whilst I see many people screw their noses up at the homeless asking for money or cigarettes, I also see people giving them a sandwich, a $10.00 note, a kind word or even a smile. I have seen companies provide the less fortunate items in need, people raising money for families/people/animals in need. Not everyone has a lot to give but it is so nice to see people giving something, even if it is just a simple smile. Having been on the receiving end of such kindness over the years, I know how helpful and appreciated these acts are.
  • My Mum. Of course, all of my family and friends are important to me but something that really stood out this year is that I have my mum in my life. Each day we email each other to say good morning and discuss the traffic into work, what was on television the night before, our plans for the weekend and where we should go for dinner on our fortnightly dinner dates. Not everyone has this amazing opportunity that I have.
  • Sam. You all know why.
  • To live in Australia. A land of extreme temperatures, kind people, amazing landscapes and wildlife. A country of opportunity, freedom, fun and beauty. Yes, we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding and acceptance in some areas but as a whole, what a wonderful country to be living in.

Well, that was my year in a brief summary on my soap box. Obviously, there were so many other incredible things to be grateful for but I would be here for days and months and by the time I finished, it may be the end of 2017 and I for one am not going to miss a single moment of each wonderful day I am still alive on this earth.

Here is the inspiration for my blog. I have left it as is without removing the language which some of you may find offensive and I am also not going to fix up those spelling errors. (I shall avert my eyes to them J

I wish everyone an amazing end to an amazing year. No, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing but for me, I have loved my 2016. I do hope you can find some good in your 2016 and I hope everyone has a wonderful, enchanting, fun, loved up 2017.

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Matt Strange

Right, Fuck it, I’m done with ‘OMG 2016 was terrible’, here’s some fucking awesome things that happened, you’re welcome, Merry fucking Christmas

There’s an Ebola Vaccine now
Child Mortality – Down across the globe
+9% survival rate in pacreatic cancer sufferers
Gene responsible for ALS found
Volunteers in India planted 50 Million trees in 24 hours
Suicide rates down globally
The Ozone layer is repairing itself
The Rabbinical assembly issued a resolution affirming the rights of trans and non conforming individuals
MIND CONTROLLED ROBOT ARMS
Leo got dat oscar
Wild tigers numbers up FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 100 YEARS
Giant Pandas – No longer endangered
A solar powered plane did a fucking world trip
Global Malaria down by 60%
Measels ERADICATED from the Americas
93% of the world’s children learned to read and write – the highest percentage IN HUMAN HISTORY
China plans to be completely renewable by 2020 and has a global plan for by 2050
Huge global push in renewable energy
Norway committed 0 deforestation, 0
Every major grocer and fast food chain in the U.S pledged to use cage free eggs only by 2025
Manatees – No longer endangered
Wild Wolves – Back in Europe
Wild Salmon spawning in the Connecticut river for the first time since the American revolution
Columbian white tailed deer – no longer endangered
Green Sea Turtles – NO LONGER FUCKING ENDANGERED
Sea World no longer breeding captive killer whales
Humpback Whales – NO LONGER ENDANGERED
Global aid – up by 7%
Americas most generous year EVER in charity and aid
China’s most generous year EVER in charity and aid at $15 goddamn Billion

Yes, some famous fucking people you liked died, and you know what – more of them are gonna go too

but take some time to look at the fucking good and beauty in this world, good shit is happening, learn it, support it, be part of it.

Merry fucking Christmas

 

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Thinking of the year that was….

I started 2015 with a smile on my face. I was so happy and fortunate and loved.

Thankfully, I am ending this year with a smile on my face because I am happy, fortunate and loved.

Ok, there was a bump on the way.

We got over the bump.

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I have been made aware of so many things this year. The first thing being that Sam is there for me, through sickness and in health. He was there for me each and every day to ensure I was loved, fed, clean, medicated and positive. Sam made me laugh, took in all of the medical information, made learning about breast cancer his project and even sang silly songs to me. He drove me to each and every chemotherapy appointment, surgeon appointment, many of the radiation appointments and the endless trips to the chemist.

I have made new friends, been reunited with old friends, lost a couple of friends, felt the love of so many wonderful people. I have seen amazing and selfless sides of many people as well.

Naturally, I can’t name each and every person who has touched my heart this year but please know, you probably are one of them.

I started the year with two boobs, a head of long hair, a little lighter but I am ending this year with more knowledge, empathy, understanding and patience than I had at the beginning. I now know the amazing lengths people go to too help someone facing a very frightening illness. I have been incredibly fortunate to have an amazing group of people surrounding me.

I didn’t get cancer this year. I was diagnosed this year. According to my surgeon, the cancer had been in my body for a couple of years. I will not see 2015 as ‘the year I got cancer’ but it will be the year that Sam and I fought the disease in my body as far as I am concerned, we won.

The biggest standout of the year is pretty obvious to me. It was being told I had breast cancer. Everything that followed those words happened so fast and there was always something going on weather it was surgery, drains, those bloody dreadful and shitty hemorrhoids, nausea, fatigue, chemotherapy, baldness, radiation therapy, burns, blisters, but it was my ultra sound and mammogram appointment that I’ll never forget.

Do you make New Year Resolutions? I am a bit wishy washy when it comes to them but this year I have a long list of health related changes for my new year. Be warned, I am giving up alcohol. Blogs may actually start to make sense hehe.

There will be less processed foods, goodbye to sugar, hello to daily activity (I have the neighbours exersize bike in my lounge room ready and waiting), and I am going to smile a lot! I will continue with my positive attitude, growing salads and vegetables, drinking a lot of water and helping anyone who needs it.

This New Years Eve will be spent with our lovely neighbours at what I am hoping, will be the 1st of many street/neighbourhood parties.

My thoughts this year will be with health of my amazing family and friends, feeling proud of the amazing daughter I have, loving that amazing man of mine, drinking my last drink for a while and enjoying the fact I am here to celebrate another New Year.

Thank you to everyone for being with me this year either in person or in writing and your thoughts.

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Much love………

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My Energiser Bunny Mia xx

Have you ever met someone who gave you a tingle? Or a little more energy? Perhaps they gave you a boost or a positive nature that you decided to follow.

Thankfully, I have many positive people in my life but today, an amazing and positive person came to visit me and her name is Mia.

Mia is amazing. She is a woman that many of us would love to be. She is absolutely passionate about her cause being her gorgeous special needs daughter Juno. She is passionate about her amazing and handsome son Rourke (allergy related illness). She is passionate about her ‘boob obsessed’ baby Olive.

Nothing is too much for Mia to delve into and explore, find explanations/reason, fight the government, schooling, expectations and find out how, why, when and hows of everything.

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When Mia speaks, you listen. She is passionate about diet, energy, gratitude, children’s needs, government, understanding, shutting up v’s speaking out and looking amazing.

I know Mia doesn’t do much to herself but she is one of those amazing women that just looks incredible to me and not just because she has two boobs and hair.

It is simply because of her energy.

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Mia is such an amazing woman who radiates energy and gratitude. How lovely are these flowers in a glass jar from the pantry??!

Like me, Mia is not keen on the ‘oh poor me’ syndrome that seems to be rampant through South Australia, or even, the world. We are more focused on the positiveness and gratitude of life. I LOVE THIS!

My amazing cousin Tamara and I follow this gratitude thing as often as possible where we email each other and in this email, we include three things we are thankful or grateful for each day. Sounds easy hey? Try it.

I’ll give you todays’ three things I am grateful for..

  1. An amazing and energized visit from Mia
  2. My gorgeous dogs who give me love each and every day
  3. Wonderful neighbours who I can chat too any time

I challenge each person who reads this today to write or email three things they are thankful or grateful for each day for a few years. The days you struggle to find three things are the days when you realise that this is an important thing to do each and every day.

Back to my visit from Mia.

She really is a pocket rocket. This woman can speak and you just hold onto every word she says.

I explained to Mia that I was giving up alcohol in the new year because, unfortunately, it has become a bit of a crutch for me. Alcohol has made things better when things were not so great.

Mia is against sugar and I could see that she understood but also, she knew why the weight had built onto my body. Sugar.

Without much or a conversation about it, I was ready to give it up simply because Mia is an Energizer Bunny, I want to be like her!! She has energy and plans and ideas and excitement about life, diet and lifestyle.

Give that to me!!!

With Mias visit, I had a laugh or three, many ideas and thoughts, jealousy and pride and energy! I am going to be a ‘Mia’.

Why is Mia so important? Well, to you she may not be. But to me she is amazing.

Mia is a young and gorgeous and amazing and healthy woman.

Mia has three children under 5 (maybe 6) and one is a special needs child and one has serious allergies and one, Olive, is a Mama’s baby.

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Mia has fought the government disability schemes, has fought with local government members, has helped many many families with children of special needs, has encouraged fund raising for hospitals and … little old me… and gives back to society.

Mia should be wearing a tiara to bed each night but instead, she wears a weary and tired body, the stresses of having children who need to be within ten kilometers of a local hospital, an alarm that goes off to give another child her medication, fights for awareness and acceptance to be often shut down, sometimes from people too close to her, fights back tears and words when tears and words are needed….. she wakes every day to start again.

Here is gorgeous Mia and Juno

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This woman came to see me today and brightened my entire day with her smile and her flowers.

If you ever wish to complain about your life, first, look at your ‘gratitude’ and think again.

  • Do you have a roof over your head?
  • Do you have people who love you?
  • Is there money in your account? Maybe not today but tomorrow?
  • Is there a little one loving you right now?
  • Can you feed yourself? Or others that are in your house?

These are things you should be grateful for.

Mia, you are amazing and I love you. I can’t wait to visit  you or for you to visit me again.

My new year decision of giving up alcohol, sugar and reverting to a healthier lifestyle was perked up by your visit. I was even excited by this from the energy you bought to my home.

I know I can do this.

Without you, I am sure I could have done it but with your visit, I am EXCITED to do it.

Keep smiling that amazing smile Mia and thank you again for your inspiring visit to me.

Feel free to visit and follow that gorgeous Juno’s journey through facebook. Mia is an absolute gem when it comes to writing. She does use these new world ’emoticoms thingies’ but they work (and are very funny sometimes). I am feeling so much more in-tune with these little pictures hehe

Thank you Mia for popping up to my place and can’t wait to be energised by you again. xx

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You Rock…. xxx

 

Splurge Money

Do you remember a while back when I told you about some people who had raised money for me to use just for me? No bills or medical appointment costs etc?

They were the team who included my gorgeous daughter Accalia, my lovely friends Mia and Nicole which linked with Black Canvas Photography, Bendigo Bank and others…

Well, they raised money for me to splurge on myself and so far I had bought some lovely bottles of sparkling wine, Baileys Irish Cream, gorgeous matching bedside lamps, a lovely tree painting on canvas and today….

Lobster Tails and Scallops.

I dont have much of an appetite and is a constant argument with Dr Hands and I. He is constantly questioning me on what I have eaten and had to drink blah blah blah.

So, on the way home from the extra long Radiotherapy appointment, Dr Hands asked me what I wanted for dinner and straight away I said, lets go to Cappo Seafood!

It is on the way home from the city and a place we used to go to often but since we now live in the country, we rarely even mention it. So, we went to Cappo to see what whet my appettite.

Lobster Tails! 3 x $20.00. Yes Please! Give me Give Me Give me!! I picked up a couple of scallops on skewers and a hand full of cooked prawns. Yup, thank you ‘splurge money’.

So, tonight, Dr Hands made garlic butter lobster tail and the two skewers of scallops (5 x each skewer) and yummo. I ate the six prawns while I waited for him to cook the dinner but was totally worth it.

Normally, neither Dr Hands nor I would ever consider me having such an extravagant meal but due to our current situation, it wouldn’t be in our budget. My ‘splurge money’ has been all about me thanks to everyone involved, I was able to indulge.

Let me say………grrrrrrrrr, mmmmmmmm, yummmmmmmm **insert Homer drawl**

This was a total splurge and so well appreciated.

Thank you Mia, Accalia, Black Canvas Photography, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Sue Sayles and all the others I do not know of.

I am frightened of the upcoming bills of radiotherapy and such but to be able to enjoy such a meal (including some lovely bubbles) was such a lovely moment that could not have happened without you all.

So, I am being very careful with my ‘splurge money’ that has been collected, please know that it has been so very much appreciated.

xx