The neighbourhood – the mysterious house!

So I don’t know about you but there always seems to be a mysterious house either in your street or nearby….

Well we have one of those!

Mystery house.jpg

The mysterious house in our neighborhood is not far from our front door. It’s a house I now avoid, unless I’m in a curious mood when walking the dogs.

If I happen to walk past it I try not to look like I am snooping, this is where the dogs help. “Oh” I say, “you would like to smell the letter box”…okay… all while I peer, and feel this the nervous tension creeping into my bones as I peer into this mysterious house.

The garage door is always propped open with a brick, this brick never moves and I mean never moves. The bins are overflowing as though they are never emptied, the same one window open on the side of the house and in the past year, I have not seen anyone there.

It’s the house with the overgrown lawns, the one that when you look at it you immediately imagine the horror movies you love to watch where a crazy person is inside secretly peering out, watching you while you watch the house.

Something drops near by, and this could just be a leaf or twig from a near by tree and I am off like a rocket, the dogs oblivious to the nervous tension that I now have.

My walk a little faster and the mind racing. I will have another look maybe later in the week.

One time my husband and I were walking past the house, again with the dogs and the stench that came from it was overpowering. The lawns again almost a metre high. I turned to him and said, “what if someone is in trouble?”. A dark barks from inside and it sounds angry or desperate, crying out for help.

I never knew a dog lived there.

The mind racing and the worst scenario in our minds we had a look and called out but no one replied. All we heard was the barking of a dog from inside and the stench coming from that one same window which is always open.

We pondered this mysterious house for the rest of the evening. Finally coming to the conclusion that we should report it to police link. If someone had fallen or the dog was trapped inside then they could help. Their response was interesting. This is what they said:

“Go back and take another look”

“Ask the neighbours”

“Have you seen anyone going in and out”

I thought to myself, I am not going back to the creep house and knocking on the door! What if I was abducted, attacked by the dog or there was a crazy person with a knife on the other end. Yes you may think my mind is running a little crazy but the place is mysterious enough to warrant this response.

So we hang up and think it’s all we could do. We may take another walk past there but not tomorrow.

The weirdest thing happened the next day when I drove past, not walked, the lawns were mowed, the bin taken out and the dirty toilet paper which had been strewn all over the front yard was gone…

Don’t know about you but that was creepy? Maybe it was a safe house, maybe the police knew about it?? Who knows, it’s still the mysterious house on the street and always will be!

Do you have one of these?

Awe – one of the top ten.

Awe, one of the top ten emotions I learnt about in my positive psychology course.

It’s actually a great word.

Before I talk about it let’s define it:

Awe is: “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder” ( It’s synonyms include: wonder, amazement and astonishment.

I hadn’t realised how many times I had experienced this emotion until I took the time to think back and reflect on all I have done, everything I have seen and where I have been!

Here are some of my ‘awe’ moments, where I have felt amazement, wonder and complete overwhelming appreciation for beauty. Being in that moment, in that place at that time to capture what I have.

1. Sitting in a cave which acted as a safe haven for the women and children. Housed in the mountains of Kenya, one of the guards puts down his machete and picks up a camera to take some photos.

2. The skull of a deer lying next to a watering hole where lions and elephants frequent. The circle of life in real time!

3. An African sunset. I just couldn’t believe where I was and how lucky I was to experience this alongside people just as motivated as me and who take the time to develop our young people. Taking them across the globe to volunteer and dedicate their blood sweat and tears to help others. A truly awe inspiring thing to do!

4. This picture says it all. Sitting in a hotel sipping on a cider looking over a watering hole and this is what we get to see. Animals in their natural habitat. A truly unique experience, and amazing to be a part of.

5. A young monk sitting in the temples in Cambodia. Days spent dedicating his time to helping others give thanks. Only having one meal a day, he is still so thankful and always willing to do what he can to help others appreciate their surroundings and to be thankful for what they have.

7. Cambodia 2017 – working as a volunteer alongside some students in our sister school. Two boys who have nothing, sitting next to one another watching what was going on. A special moment for them both that I captured. I was in awe of how resilient these young people are despite the hardship they face each day!

8. A small puppy in Myanmar, one of many, that just sits alone in the city, the temples or any place where tourists may be. Some are used by the locals to get money or donations as they ‘cannot feed themselves’. A helpless puppy.

9. A tree that has shown us building a temple will not prevent it from being all it can be. One of the most beautiful temples in Cambodia.

Taking back its space!

10. A cupcake parlor called ‘Blooms’ in Cambodia. Run by an English lady who educates the local women and gives them a skill. This amazing cafe is situated on a street full of dust and pollution; however, behind the glass walls resides this magical place and the most delicious cupcakes!

11. Three of the children from our sister school in Cambodia. They may have walked 5km to school that morning, had no breakfast and the only clean water they can access is when they are at school! Despite this, they are still so truly happy and grateful!

An amazing culture!

12. A picture tells a thousand words. The killing fields in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A confronting experience no matter how many times you go. A bracelet made and hung as a sign of respect and acknowledgement to every body, set of bones or child killed in what was a very hard time in Cambodia.

13. In the skies of Myanmar, a bird takes flight!

14. Like life sometimes we refer to the light at the end of the tunnel. This just made that statement seem so real! It resonated with me as on another level as the tunnel may seem dark, but there are always patches of light along the way!

15. Early in the morning, camped on the side of the Clarence River in NSW, we wake up and find a spider has spent hours crafting the most beautiful and intricate web. The dew made it even more amazing to look at. The time, the effort and detail was amazing!

16. Working with some horses in Gatton, QLD, and this little spider (mind you a very poisonous one), is out getting some sun!

17. Snow on the Gold Coast.

18. I thought this was normal, I mean come on, everyone has a snake help them when they are marking. She was so comfortable!

19. Taking the pet snake for a walk – is this normal. The looks we got that day!

These are only a snippet of the many times I have experienced the emotion, ‘awe’.

Be sure to take the time to look up,put the screen down and take a moment to appreciate your surroundings!

It is truly amazing!

The Ten Emotions

So again I am going to return to the course I am doing in Positive Psychology. If you have no idea what I am talking about go back to the post I wrote called the ‘Three Blessings’ and this will help you relate to what I am saying.

In the second module I explored the ten top emotions we all have, these were:

1. Joy

2. Inspiration

3. Hope

4. Gratitude

5. Love

6. Awe

7. Serenity

8. Pride

9. Amusement

10. Interest

I was amazed as when I listened and wrote these down I realised how I experience, and you probably do too, each of these from time to time. Maybe more often than that.

However, it was how they explained each of these that really blew me away.

Throughout my blogs I will touch on each of these, some more than most. Each of these are parts of our lives we may not even know we are taking part in, let alone experiencing!

The coffee run.

You may be wondering what on earth is she talking about… well let me tell you. The ‘coffee run’ is the one day of the week where I jump with joy, sigh with satisfaction and am truly thankful for the people I work with!

This may sound stupid but we arrive on Monday mornings and generally our first question, which we yell from our desks to each other is, “who is on coffee this week?”

It must have started about a year ago, when one of us went to get a Zaraffas coffee from down the road and we offered to get coffees for everyone on our floor, this was initially a maximum of about 6 coffees. Oh and we call the office area where I sit alongside the other Heads Of Year, the oval office. Its literally 5 offices all in one corner. It only houses four of the six Heads of Year as two moved down the hall, but the saying still applies.

So one of us would head out when we had a spare and get a round of coffees, deliver them to the teachers who had gone to class or to their desk if they were on a spare.

The delight it caused and the pure enjoyment was contagious. The benefits of this arrangement soon turned it into a fixed arrangement. We even have a roster! We acknowledged in our meetings how good it was to receive, randomly, a coffee, or to come to your desk and see this small cup of gold hot liquid on your desk. Some days it is literally what keeps us going!

This arrangement soon became known by others and now we have twelve coffees in our coffee run.

Have you ever tried to balance 12 coffees, three trays, and cross the lights to get across to school. Let alone open the door.

For the ‘coffee run’ we manage! Sometimes we now have to go in pairs as there are so many. It is a running joke and a time of the week we all take a moment to appreciate who we work with.

This small gesture is what counts! It’s a tradition I am glad we started and if we get any bigger we may have to look into Uber eats…. we have actually contemplated this, but coffees on the back of a bike…. I just cant see it!

If you have a coffee place near you, try it! The responses you get from everyone is awesome and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. You also then have them feeling the need to pay it forward.

Something so simple can bring about amazing rewards!

Physical, mental and emotional tiredness or exhaustion – which is worse?

I must admit personally this question raises its head often! It’s a constant debate and sometimes a source of heated discussions!

Which is worse:

1. Being physically exhausted

2. Being emotionally exhausted

3. Being mentally exhausted

I think there is an answer however this may differ for all of us.

It’s understanding this that’s they key. Accepting these differences is also vital!

As we always do I turned to google to define these terms, this is what it said.

Physical exhaustion:

1. The act or an instance of exhausting.

2. The state of being exhausted; extreme fatigue


Emotional exhaustion:

“Emotional exhaustion is a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion from excessive job and/or personal demands, as well as continuous levels of stress. It describes a feeling of being emotionally overextended”

(Medical, Wikipedia)

Mental exhaustion:

“Exhaustion that affects mental keenness”


As you can see the three can be felt individually but more commonly occur as a result of one or both the others.

It can result in what we call ‘burnout’. Burnout is a “state of chronic stress” ( It’s where we find ourselves unable to do the simple things we used to be able to manage.

These simple things can be something as doing the washing, making dinner or meeting a deadline. Everyday things we always do and have to do.

I myself have experienced all three in excess over the past two years. Prior to March 2016 I had no real idea what these three types of exhaustion really meant. I only thought I did. Some of my examples would have been;

Being physically exhausted from climbing mountains on my Outdoor education programs.

Being mentally drained from a full day of meetings and planning the curriculum which is being implemented to better educate our children. Making big decisions which have big ramifications if done incorrectly.

Being emotionally exhausted after meeting with parents and kids who are experiencing a divorce, a death, suicidal thoughts and much more.

It’s hard to imagine and for those who have experienced something similar to what I am about to share, I feel for you. For those that haven’t I hope you never do.

After marrying young and being a young mum, I went through an amicable divorce followed by about 6 years of what I would call a good co-parenting relationship.

However, two years ago this all changed.

March 2016 came around and I found myself being sucked up into the family court system. Something I never would have imagined I would have to do, let alone be forced to do. All to ensure my then 10year old would have stability and the emotional and mental well being to achieve the amazing things she is destined to.

Let’s just say this was an emotional time. I experienced raw anger, sadness, frustration but most of all helplessness. I had felt helpless before but I have never experienced true helplessness, not like this.

It’s not everyday you put your child, your one and only, and the decisions about her life, yes decisions that would affect her whole life in the hands of one person, a judge!

A judge who reads, well you hope so but this is not always the case, all the paperwork you have spent hours, days and months tossing and turning over. The paperwork that you have read and re-read and then read again, ensuring you relive the disaster of what your life has become to make sure all the dates and times are right because the law is not something one can play with. It’s not just the law but rather it’s someone’s life, a small person who turns to me to make the decisions.

I felt like screaming to everyone, the lawyers, the judge and the people in the room listening, someone has to listen, someone has to care!

“It’s a person not a thing. It’s my person, a human being…..”

The first day in the family court brings out the stress, the increased heart rate, the unwillingness to eat, even if you were starving you feel sick to your stomach knowing that someone else has been given such immense power and ultimately the final decision.

It’s an experience let me tell you, arriving at 8am for an 8:30 start. You look at the list on the wall and see the judge who is hearing your matter has about 36 other matters. Nervous and now disheartened you find a space in among hundreds and I mean hundreds of people, all waiting for the clerk, the ones in the black cloaks, to come out the court and yell your name.

Literally yell your name!

You are not anonymous, your issues not your own. Everyone knows your name now. It’s on the board and now it has been yelled out to all around you. You can no longer hide!

You hear your name. You don’t have time to think, even though you may have already been waiting 6 hours, it feels like you didn’t have enough time, you want one more minute but no, it’s your turn. You scurry to collect the paperwork, to double check you have everything in order, you fumble, you panic but you cannot escape, your names been called.

You walk into the room, you take your seat and sit in silence waiting for the cue, the knock on the door which signals the judge is entering and the court will be in session.

You try not to be sick as the butterflies you have and the nerves, the stress and the anxiousness which have all been building come to a head.

The matter begins, 10 minutes later it’s adjourned and you are asked to come back again on another date…. this is how the courts work.

I thought the whole thing would be over in a day. I spent hours, days, months putting together what I thought was so clear, what spelled out the issues and the suggested solutions. The paperwork, the depth of what I put in, the responses to other affidavits and evidence, gone – dismissed, everything, just put aside as though no one read it, as though no one cared.

“No, we need to come back again.” The lawyer says. Don’t worry they will read it. This is what always happens this is normal.

‘I did not not what to say, I was literally speechless, dumbfounded. I felt flat, I felt empty, I felt non- human, disconnected’

Day one, 8 hours in the system, no food, many coffees and you walk out with nothing but knowing it’s all going to happen again, only worse.

Someone once said to me: “the only people who win in these situations are the lawyers, no one wins, certainly not you.”

I never truly believed this or internalized this, as I always knew from the beginning and still do to this day that we were doing the right thing.

I cried all the way home, is this what it’s going to be like, I haven’t slept well in weeks, I dream all situations, I lie awake worrying about what could happen or what the next ‘attack on my character and parenting would be’. What will I have to defend next. This is what the family court results in, the constant attack of ones character, ones parenting, your every action and I mean EVERY action.

Being mostly a single mum, I did my best, I always did. I loved unconditionally, supported the tears, worked a second job to help pay for everything she needed, I held her when she cried, I celebrated her wins. I disciplined her when necessary and we learnt together that we can rely on one another always. To have this thrown back at you, morphed and misconstrued is hurtful. It tests your control, your understanding and also your ability to forgive.

It’s true though that the saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ in my mind is no longer applicable. I would happily have had sticks and stones thrown at me to prevent the words that were both said and written. These can never be taken back, never be ‘unsaid’ and for me they seem to take a lot longer to heal.

The scars that remain are but memories of everything we have endured.

My brain is running circles around me and when that alarm goes off at 6:05am the following morning I have to get up and pretend I am okay, dismiss what’s on my mind, put on my mask and go do what I am best at. Being a teacher, however I now have bags under my eyes and the skip in my step has slowly disappeared.

It’s a day at work that regenerates me, it’s the kids, knowing I can help, I am valuable and that I am strong, I have accomplished to much and being among the students and listening to their laughs, helping them is what reassures me it will all be okay. That there has to be a light at the end of what seems like a very dark tunnel!

The trip home and this rejuvenation slowly disappears, the dread returns, the heart rate increases and you know you have more material to prepare. The next date is fast approaching and you have to make sure everything is right. Again.

The emotional and mental strain of the whole ordeal reminds me that we as people are amazing creatures. We rely on support, we have to, we can’t do it alone. Watching my daughter break down in tears as she doesn’t understand, trying to explain what we can, when we can as we don’t want to involve her at all. I want her to be a child, to be happy and care free like I was growing up. It’s vital for them, its normal.

It’s that feeling of helplessness, pure helplessness that drains you emotionally. Mentally you have no idea what to do, what’s right, what’s wrong and what should be done. Physically, you just cannot keep going, your brain is giving up, you have shed to many tears and exhausted yourself that you feel you cannot do anything. I would i had reached that stage of chronic stress, of ‘Burnout’.

This is only a portion of what my family and I endured over two years. From it, I have become stronger, more thankful and proud. I also have unbelievable gratitude towards those that were there for me. Without them, my family, I would not have been able to mange, I would not have put one foot in front of the other each day, I would not have been strong enough to fight for what was right.

I would have given up many times as I was so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. I had burnt out… instead they threw water on me, the put out the flames each time and helped me rebuild.

I felt not just this once but for an entire two years, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. It’s not just one of these types of exhaustion that is worse than the other, it’s all of them.

Together they work as ways to destroy you, to bring you down and to keep you down.

I survived!

However, I survived, just. With family, the amazing family I have together we managed to get through what I hope will be the toughest times of my life. Times we will look back on and just be amazed at what we all went through. My dad is now officially totally grey haired but I remind him it’s not solely because of me.

We didn’t come out unscathed and we are slowly rebuilding, myself and my daughter. Her scars, I know are there. I cannot erase them, I can only try and show her that scars are a part of our lives. They are part of what makes us, us.  They shape us and we must learn from them.

They may not always be good but they are always a lesson.

The annoying 0.99!

So most of us have some sort of gadget which tells us how many steps we have done. It has become the latest thing.

I think this is because we all like to see that we have achieved something in our normal but hectic lives, even if it is half the recommended steps for the day!

Some of us are dedicated to achieving our daily goal, even if this means pacing the room or walking in circles, or even walking past home (this is always a difficult decision), just to hear the ‘BEEP’ and to be acknowledged that you have walked that last little bit!

Others just like to wear something these gadgets to feel fit and healthy, for some it was a gift, others a way of life; their phone, their camera, their message tool etc….

The following image shows not quite a 0.99 but rather a little more, however, this did not deter me (or us in the end)! It was still so close, within our grasp, it had to BEEP just one more time!

This happens to me often and it is so frustrating! I find myself walking a loop around the yard, extending the walk or even passing the mysterious neighbors house,  being frustrated as the last few metres seem to take FOREVER to tick over! All for the satisfaction of another ‘BEEP’.

Am I the only one?

This was my watch when my mother, sister and I walked the 30km on the weekend (if you haven’t seen that blog post, have a read, it was an adventure! It is titled, Sane or Insane.

We had to go by my sisters watch, as somehow I managed to press a button which ‘lapped’ my distance measure, putting me about 340m ahead of her watch. Who knows how this happened, it alone was annoying as we had done so well thus far… thankfully we had my sisters watch, otherwise we may as well have given up there and then!

So….. another 16km later, we rounded the corner, after walking for 6 hours and 16 minutes, in St.Lucia Brisbane, and we spot the car……. the way home….. the rescue vehicle……


We had only another 100 metres to walk before we would hear the official ‘BEEP’ and the necessary acknowledgement by the watch, a small machine telling us that we had in fact walked the full 30km.

This is what ensued:

My sister – who cares, come on lets go to the car.

Me.…… my mind in a tizz, the OCD kicking in walks around the bend and says NO I will not!! It would destroy my whole day, almost like the previous 29.9km was nothing if we couldn’t even walk another 100m!

It would be like

  • running a half marathon and stopping just before the finish line and saying, yep I did it, NO YOU DIDN’T…
  • Starting a coffee and not getting to the bottom of the cup of hot liquid gold, a waste!
  • Going into labor and mid way saying – I am finished the baby can do the rest, cannot even imagine this one!
  • Doing a course and it stating you have completed 99.9% and you saying that’s good enough, rather than searching for the one box that you didn’t tick just to get the 100% and a congratulations e-mail!

It just cant happen!!!!!

My mother – I don’t think she cared at that point, she followed us around the bend and later she said, ‘why did we go round the corner? what for?’ and so we explained.

Sooooooo thankfully, the watch beeped and we finished with just over 30km! I could relax then, I knew I would sleep well!

What crazy things do you do when the annoying 0.99 happens to you?

Sane or Insane?

Let me put it into perspective for you. My family is what I would call an active family. Between us we have completed a number of the Queensland triathlon series (QTS), along the south east coast, with either all of us in the series as competitors or with the others cheering us on, but always together.

We have completed a number of Mooloolaba triathlons, Noosa triathlons, full marathons, walks in Spain, 100km bike rides, 100km Blackall cross country races, comrades and half marathons in Las Vegas, I could go on but you get the drift…..

With parents in their sixties I am so proud to say I have finished a number of the above alongside both of them or with one of them! What an achievement!!

However sometimes I wonder if we are sane or insane to be doing such things!

Our latest idea – well you can be the judge of where we fall, sane or insane.

I do believe it was my older sister who sent me a message one day and it read something like this; ‘do you want to walk 60km?’ I thought what, and then why not…

Sooooo here we are on Mother’s Day of all says setting out to do a training walk, just a stroll, mind you a 30km stroll around Brisbane as training.

You may be thinking why would you do something like that, or even, I don’t think I could hold a conversation with my family, let alone walk with them for a training walk for 6 hours. Keep in mind the actual walk in July will take us approximately 12 hours!!

By now you are thinking insane!!!

So it’s Mother’s Day, think about it, what would Mother’s usually be doing? My ideal day would be to sleep in, cook nothing, do nothing and spend it relaxing at home with family..

Instead it’s 5:45am and my sister, my mother and I are strapping the toes, packing our water bladders, first aid kits, applying the sunscreen and are about to head off for a training walk.

The men were ‘on call’ for a spare set of shoes, a water refill or even a ‘pick us up, we are done’ phone call. Mind you they are also looking after the kids!

The walk – start in St. Lucia, along the river and past all the university colleges, a back way round into rowing, along the rover (coronation drive side) all the way along until the story bridge, cross the bridge on the northern side and along to Southbank. Cross back over to the coronation drive side at the go between bridge and back the way we came. SIMPLE ……

On the bright side though, now having finished the 30km it was quite an amazing morning.

It has to be the longest amount of quality time I have spent with my sister and mother since ‘the girls weekend’ in 2016.

We did become slightly hysterical at about the 24km mark, in fits of laughter, snorting water and realising your bladder was filling up and laughing was not helping, but it was quality time and who knows what sparked the mild hysteria. Imagine what we will be like at the end of the 60km!

It started at with a cold breeze and a beautiful morning, well that did not change throughout the walk. It was also amazing at what we encountered. I don’t know about you but have you ever walked around your neighborhood and really looked at what’s around you. Taken the time to enjoy the sights, the beauty and life that surrounds us.

I was amazed at what we saw and some of these things I would never have known existed. Taking the time to enjoy the moment. To be positive, have a ‘green cape’ experience…. this is where my sister would laugh hysterically at me… I will have to explain this analogy to you another day.

Here are some of the moments we  enjoyed! Come along on our 30km journey.

Coffee and toilet stop: 8km

A nice stop along the way, The Regatta hotel. The Regatta brought back some amazing university memories. Such an excellent part of my life!

My sister and I discussed this and we believe it is or was such a great time due to the lack of responsibility!

With two amazing women, near the pedestrian bridge heading along the river.

A rushing down pipe, a hidden waterfall on the walk, an amazing sound to hear walking along  path on the edge of Brisbane CBD.

A random wooden eye matching the Brisbane eye.

How was it placed there or a better question who put it there?

The pathway along the river, surrounded by nature and the mangroves.

Ducks in the city, what a contrast.

If we hadn’t already had coffee we may have been enticed to stop again!

The story bridge in all its glory, what a beautiful day!

The Story Bridge, about to start heading over it and head home… well with another 16km to go!

A hidden coffee shop at the base of the Story bridge, a beautiful stop.

An artwork made from metal car parts, near the Riverlife centre on the edge of the Brisbane river.

Taking part in celebrating how far we had come!

A man taking on the wall. Can you spot the spider?

I spotted the spider in the first image. Man vs spider – who will reach the top first?

The Climbing walls near kangaroo point.

This amazing tree which was so beautiful and shows us that when nature is untouched it will produce beautiful things.

A panoramic view of the city, Brisbane really is a beautiful city!

The Bougainvillea archway along South Bank.

There is always something nifty to do at Southbank, this shows a garden which has been made and is cultivated where you can sample the produce, even pick it for yourself!

A waterfall along the South Bank walkway.

A beautiful art work dedicated to those who owned the land before us.

Amazing art work along the bridge which meets Coronation Drive. A beautiful way to let people express themselves and their talents.

And we made it! Collected by family at the end! 30km done and dusted!

I must say 30km, 6 hours and 19 minutes on Mothers day was the perfect Sunday. I am exhausted and know that tomorrow steps may be an issue, but all in all it was worth it and I spent it with two incredibly amazing and inspirational women!

The idea is about challenging oneself, after all we only live once!

Oh and I think we are both sane and insane all in one!

What does being strong mean?

The word strong is an interesting word. I mean if you really think about it, it can mean so many things. I asked a few people and this is what they said:

“Capable of handling situations on your own” (Female, 70)

“Can lift heavy weights” (Male, 47)

“Strong. Strength in muscles

Strong character : know your mind. Confident ” (Female, 64)

“The ability to carry large amounts of weight. Either physically or mentally?????” (Male, 19)

“Smart, like Einstein” (Female, 12)

“Physically: able to lift and move heavy things

Emotionally: able to control emotions until appropriate times/places, able to tolerate a lot of “bad” things and stay optimistic

Psychologically: similar to emotional…able to think logically and positively despite great adversity

Strong color = bright, vibrant” (Female, 44)

“Double shot of coffee. 👍” (Male, 37)

“Able to withstand pressure-people, things, mental, physical” (Female, 52)

“Strong ….. I’m a strong woman mentally. Running a family at home and at work. You have to be strong minded to do both jobs 👍 kids are a challenge and if I wasn’t mentally strong I wouldn’t cope 🙂” (Female, 47)

“Being able to lift 3kg’s” (Male, 7)

“…being able to push through those times that you feel like everything is working to bring you down. Knowing that others have gone through what you’re going through, and have survived. ” (Female, 52)

It’s hard to imagine what the word strong means to you, your peers and even wider than that. We all have different definitions, depending on our age, our gender and of course what we have endured in ours lives.

Some acknowledge being strong is not just being able to lift things but also being mentally and emotionally strong! What an amazing picture this paints for us!

Take the time to realise how strong you are, how strong your family may be, your kids and realise that their version may be different to yours!

I may not be physically strong, but I know emotionally and mentally I am. Having endured a life of ups and downs, and I mean major ups and downs I think to myself ‘wow, you’re amazing, you are strong!”

I think you all should to! We are all strong and can only get stronger! Develop this inner strength, test yourself, be healthy and remember to take the time to remind yourself you are what you are, and who and where you are, because you are strong.

You dealt with what was handed to you, you accomplished the impossible at times and won! You are strong!

I do, daily! It’s what keeps me going!

‘The three blessings’

Recently I have been working through a course which focuses on Positive Psychology. This is a movement which seems to be making its way through our education system… as a teacher we sometimes sigh at hearing these words and in our heads we simply think, what now, how long will this last…

Well when presented with the course and a small snippet of what it contained it actually sounded like something I could relate to and in fact already find myself doing.

I am  now completing the second module. It has been personally rewarding and I wanted to share with you one of the things that I have had to do and now continue to do that has resonated with me.

So often when we get to work, or get home, or even pick up the kids, but mostly before we go to sleep we always turn over in our minds what happened in the day.  We ask ourselves questions like;

  • What did we not get done?
  • What went wrong?
  • What could we have done better?
  • What does this mean I have to add to my list tomorrow?
  • Was I a good parent? Did i respond badly to a conversation? Did I yell to loud?
  • Why did I argue with my husband? I am not going to be the one to apologize or reach out? I wasn’t wrong….
  • Should I have done this or that..

These questions and the list of them could go on forever, however, I want you to try something new. I do mean actually give it a go. It will be fun! I cannot guarantee it will be easy or give you the desired responses straight away but I will tell you it makes a difference to your day, how you feel and then of course this flows onto your well being the following day.

Before you go to sleep – ask yourself what went well today? Just that…. What went well…

For a week each night write down three things, yes thats all, three things that went well. Do this for a week and see how you feel. Do it with your children, your husband and see what happens. If you don’t feel like writing them down just have the conversation. It can be over dinner, in a movie break or even in the car on the way home. However, it’s best just before bed!

I have been doing this and I must admit when I asked my husband the following evening, in true male fashion he said well my three things would be;

1. I woke up

2. I breathed in

3. I breathed out…

I had to take a breath myself and go no lets think about three things that went well….

We did laugh – which is a good thing and became one of his first things that went well….

Change is not easy in itself, but to change how we think is even harder!

Let me give you a few of my examples:

Three things that went well:

  1. My soda stream has not exploded on me again, phew!
  2. My daughter was amazing in her second debate this week and their team won! Well done to a group of Year 7 girls!
  3. I walked along the beach and watched my two puppies launch themselves through the water and then role in the sand.

It doesn’t have to be something big, small or have meaning to anyone else but yourself. Give it a go and see how it makes you feel, let me know what it does or even share some of your blessings.

“Be Brave, Be Bold, Be all you can be!”

(I dare you)

A trip to Aldi!

I don’t know about any of you but Aldi is dangerous!

I say this with a smile across my face as I imagine the soda stream machine I bought yesterday that now proudly sits on my kitchen counter…… something I didn’t need but as I waked down past the aisle, you all know the aisle I am talking about, where all these amazing ‘nick nacks’ sit piled up, tempting you to find something even though you need nothing, there it was, it caught my eye!

(Retrievded from Google images 2018)
The Soda Stream

They say women through evolution have better peripheral vision as we were the protectors of our family’s while the men were out hunting… well I must say I agree and this is but one example!

Well like a kid in a candy store I looked around excited wishing I had someone to look at and and say ‘whoa how cool is that, I could use it and create so many amazing things…. flavored water’ but there was no one there, so I just jumped with excitement and celebrated in my head…. the 12 year old was off retrieving the items we actually came for!

The choice now was how many bottles will I need. I think well, one in the wash, one being used and oh maybe two more just in case one breaks! I didn’t read the box which tells you it comes with one so now I have 5… who knows what I am going to do with 5!!

I line up at the counter having forgotten my Aldi bag and so am balancing the soda stream, the extra bottles and a few tins of cat food, the item I actually needed, all while thinking of the amazing things I can do! My 12 year old is laughing totally embarrassed at how excited I am about a stupid machine and she says, ‘that puts bubbles in water mum…. I mean come on, how sad are you!’

Well we return home and I immediately start to set up the machine…. as another thing dawns on me, a litre of soda water costs 90c at Aldi, how much will a new gas canister cost me and where on earth do I get them when it runs out… ah well I say… I will deal with that when we get to it.

So reading the instructions we fill the water bottle to the level, put in some flavoring and away we go……

So when I said before I read the instructions, I really only glanced over the pictures and thought this is easy, just hold it up and push the button….. I forgot the part where it shows you need to seal the bottle, like screw it into the machine to prevent what I would call an explosion of bubbles, water and orange flavoring!!!

You can imagine what happened next…. if not…. I encourage you to try!

(retrieved from 2018)
The nuclear water explosion

The orange mess of bubbled and water exploded from the bottle, I squealed, miss C collapsed in laughter while still managing to make awful whining sounds complaining I had wet her…. children are amazing at making two opposite emotions seem to go together…. I was covered, the table, and of course to top off the whole event the dogs who had been keenly watching on bolted through the cat door and with such speed! Such amazing protectors!

While it may not be the best purchase, or really an impulse buy, the laughter and sore bellies we had after we actually stopped to realise what had just happened was worth the soda stream purchase! So be sure to make those impulse buys sometimes, as who knows what could happen! Its all about making memories!

Oh and rest assured this morning when I made my soda water to take to work – I did screw the lid on properly…. I was still  a little apprehensive pressing the go button!

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