4 things I’m thankful for…

angry bad john art black and white emotion
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SO as we’re doing 2 things we’re thankful for for 30 says and I am 1 day late unfortunately. Yesterday was such a mix of things. I had a paper (on communication) due… the irony… and I had to make a couple of dishes for the special Holy Day evening we had as well as something we call “De-leavening” this time of year which symbolises the putting out of sin (Yes, keep reading, this was never meant to be a religious blog but it comes up occasionally). It’s similar to spring cleaning. This all had to be done before sundown. I remember at 6pm it felt so different than what my life was like the first thing that morning. So many things happened in that short amount of time.
However I’ll be honest with you, as much as I like this “being thankful” project today… after skipping a day I had to mentally fight harder against painful and upsetting and angry thoughts. I have been saying in previous posts how I feel a change already and I do… but I can see that I still need more work. I’m not done.

So what am I thankful for?

  1. Honesty. I can’t go into detail with this, but today I felt overwhelmed by some people in my life being disingenuine. I was ready to make war, and through centering myself I was able to work my way through it in reminding me of the honesty that is… and still is.
  2. Peace. There is a friend who I haven’t seen in a few months who just gave me a dose of peace while I was around them. I had just written down some difficult things that were in my mind was working through – one of them was about being in a large group of people I all knew and although I could see many people greeting each other, I felt very alone. I had to wrestle with these thoughts which is why I am doing this project of finding things I am thankful for. I knew it was negative thinking and I was trying to find a way out of it. Thankfully this friend came and found me today and just lifted me up and was so positive – she had no clue what she did for me but I needed it.
  3. My husband, I know I already mentioned we had our anniversary this week but he helped me immensely yesterday so I could get my paper done, as well as many other cleaning projects. I know some women complain their other half does nothing in the way of cleaning – I have a man that is very hands on. I am very thankful for this. (FYI I did get my paper done and turned in).
  4. Harry Potter – I know this sounds silly but my daughter and I are going through the Harry Potter series together (even though she could read them herself. It has opened up so much discussion on what we believe and think and feel and etc. It has been fascinating for me to see her predict what happens next with such accuracy and have an extra subject for us to talk about is. Anyway, we haven’t had a chance to read it very much lately – and tonight we got a chance to get back into it.
    Anyway… it’s silly but it’s been a fun journey even if I’m unhappy with a few outcomes already – we’re on the second last book.

Hope your weekend has turned out splendid, and you are finding things to be thankful for.

 

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The Brain Changing – day 6

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There has been so much clarity on day 6 of feeling thankful. I have recognised thoughts I would normally have and realise I have a different perception. For example if my children break something or even a difficult driver in front of me. I feel less frustration than normal… more things feel “doable”.

Today, I tackled a side table next to me that had been accumulating in dust. I usually get overwhelmed easily but today I felt like doing it, and I wasn’t mad about not finishing it. The neater I find my house and the quicker it takes me to find things, or clean things or pick up things the more “doable” life feels. It seems so simple but strange at the same time. I didn’t think the simplicity of having a neat home would make me feel more thankful and yet I had to be more thankful to feel like cleaning it.

How can this exist? I used to hate my house. I hated the colour, the temperature (yes, no air conditioning or heating) and just felt uncomfortable. Now with the fix of our air conditioning and heating, and cleaning up the most used but least seen part of our house (the closet) I find myself motivated to do more. I appreciate the comfort in temperature. I appreciate finding clothes I need easily as I am not searching past all the clothes that don’t fit or that are out of date anymore. When the smaller things come easily, then other bigger tasks don’t seem as hard. When I feel like my house is providing me comfort – even as simple as temperature – I want to make it comfortable.

Anyway… small changes have led to bigger changes… my house is coming along and I am so excited soon to have people over instead of dreading the thought of people seeing my messes.
So what two things I am thankful for today that are changing my brain?

  1. Reverse cycle air conditioning – I love that there seems to be a purpose of “comfort” in my house, even if it’s just temperature. I don’t know if you can truly appreciate this unless you have gone through a winter and a summer (like we have) without either. Blankets and iced water has been our options to keep us cool and warm depending on the weather. It’s lovely when your home as a whole (like a heater or air conditioning) that can do this. It feels like the house is there for your comfort. It changes your perception of the purpose of your house, and helps you appreciate it more.
  2. I appreciate our librarians – which is why I’m launching a bit of a book club. Today we went there. It was quite funny because my daughter (who can get quiet) tried to explain to me she lost her library card… I didn’t quite understand, but being the smarty pants she is I said “you have memorised your library card number – just punch it in and we can check-out. Sure enough the machine wouldn’t let her and said to seek staff. I found the librarian and asked her what the problem was. The problem was that my daughter had left her library card somewhere in the library and they found it and locked it in a draw and it alerted them when she tried to check books out. When they got her card they noticed it was falling apart (it’s only 8 years old) and they got her a beautiful newly designed one. My daughter was lamenting that she had her old number memorised and would have to memorise a new number. Our wonderful and librarian searched through all the new cards to find a number that was easily memorisable. How lovely was that? I that eased my daughter’s anxiety considerably. Anyway… I am thankful for librarians who put children at ease over the silliest of things so that they can love books as much as they do. That was the ultimate motivation “Have a new number that you can memorise and feel at ease with so you can check out more books”. Anyway, Librarians will never get enough credit in my opinion… but I love them and love how much they have inspired my children.

    Hope your Tuesday was just as lovely,
    Happy Tuesday!

Thankful 3 & 4

 

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AS I have missed a day (I was out of the house all day), I will write two days worth of being thankful. This is part of the 30 days of being thankful to rewire the brain.
So here it goes:

Saturday:
1. I made a delicious breakfast with hash browns, smoked beef and scrambled eggs. I was thankful for the eggs my chickens give me. We have some beautiful chickens that although I can sit and get annoyed with how loud they are sometimes – not allowing me to sleep sometimes – I am so thankful that they lay the most delicious and healthy eggs.

midnight
Midnight, one of our laying hens.

I then thought about how blessed I was to have such a beautiful breakfast and how many others can’t even afford to eat. I was also thankful that on a Saturday morning – I wasn’t too rushed and had time to make myself a decent meal.

 

 

2. I was thankful that I had friend who expressed their appreciation of my friendship with them. As much as I am thinking about being thankful, it’s nice to hear on a rare occasion that people are thankful for you.

Sunday (Today):
1. The first thing I checked on was my husband today. He was extremely ill and vomiting yesterday, all day and we’re all unsure as to why as he ate what we ate for dinner on Friday night, and no one else got sick. I am thankful that he is able to stomach food today and that he is at least up and out of bed. He is still quite sore and feeling weak but I am thankful that the majority of his suffering has stopped and he is on his way to feeling better.

2. While my husband was sick last night and the children were in bed I had free reign with the TV, and decided to put on a quality show. I miss old shows, because now I feel like there is so much shock and gratuity with today’s shows in order to keep the audience’s attention. A show that provides me comfort, philosophical thought and complex relationships is (and yes I’m a nerd) Star Trek – Next Generation (Season 1). So I started watching that. However my husband found the case this morning and said he wanted to watch it with me so it looks like I’m going to have to rewatch some of the episodes I watched last night. Besides the early 90s outfits and hair, and a few interesting special effects – it is still quite an amazing show.
SO what was I thankful for, just having time to myself – to choose to watch whatever I wanted without taking a vote, and finding an old favourite.

Anyway,

Hope you are doing your 30 days of being Thankful, and finding that your brain is rewiring and your perception is changing.

Thankful – day 2

 

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Continuing on rewiring my brain and doing the 30 days of writing down what you are thankful for… I am on day 2!

1. I am living in Australia and in the United States there was a prolonged winter – we had a prolonged summer. Which sounds great in theory however in reality a lot of farmers were in drought, a lot of crops did not get enough rain, food became more expensive and to bring it home in a very selfish manner – we had a broken air conditioning and were sweating daily. So Today I am thankful for autumn finally showing up and becoming cooler – the rain getting to the farmers last week and not feeling like I’m dying of heat in my own home. I am thankful that fruits and vegetables are on their way to being more affordable and their usual prices. I am thankful for feeling comfortable – with the temperature. I am thankful the thirsty land is being fed.

2. The other thing I am thankful for was that I finally sent off my signed contract for work coming up next term. We did the math and as I am a casual worker, if they call me in (as I am “substitute staff”/supply staff) just 5 days out of the month – our whole budget forecast changes. We will not be dependent on family to financially survive but will be able to save for the first time in years. This is super exciting for us. Term two doesn’t start for another couple of weeks but it’s exciting that there is a possibility for us to not be financially dependent on others. If you haven’t experienced being assisted financially I cannot tell you how depressing it can become. It is extremely painful and am thankful for the possible opportunity to change this part of our lives.

 

Hope you have found two things to be thankful for today and that your brain is being rewired in a good way.

Two things I am thankful for…

hospital

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will remind you of. This time a year ago I was desperate to come home from spending weeks at the hospital without my family. This was a picture of my room as I left…

I started thinking about how thankful I was at home with my children. Then a memory of an article I read recently popped in my head.

You can rewire your brain from depression in 30 days if you think of two things you are thankful for each day.

I used to talk about this all the time with people – about how the brain is plastic and how you can choose to change the way you think. I had gone back into victim mode – and I am not a victim. Lately all I have been thinking about is how I am doomed to fail at everything which is ridiculous I know. All I could think about was all the bad things and I had for years been saying to anyone who would listen…

It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react.

Yet, I had changed into going into a negative spiral. Too many bad things happened at once in such a small amount of time and I started drowning – and forgetting who I was. That’s the problem with mental health – your perception is skewed and you forget who you are.

SO as I thoroughly believe from Norman Doidge’s The Brain that changes itself that you can rewire your brain to do anything. So I’ve decided I’m sitting here every day and saying two things that I am thankful for, and hope that I will have worked my way out of this negative mentality.

1. My Children. Sometimes as a parent we get exhausted and frustrated with them. I have been treating my children like they are big frustrations to me and that angers me because I remember they were my number one motivation a couple of times when I was in the hospital to get myself out so I can be their mother. I forget this, and this memory today that popped up on my phone that this time a year ago I was breaking out of hospital and the only thing I wanted to do was sit and cuddle them. So I told them this, this morning. I said how much I just love to cuddle them and be with them and how all I thought about while I was in the hospital for weeks was just being home with them.

2. Before I told them this, do you know what they did? They are on school holidays and home and up before I am this morning so my son asked if he could put on the kettle for me for my coffee and my daughter put on a recorded episode of jeopardy (the first thing I like to do in the morning to wake my brain up – instead of watching it in the evening). Not only am I thankful for my children, but that they were thoughtful about what I like to do. How lucky am I?

Hope you have two things you are thankful for today – just two. I guess in 30 days we’ll see if I have successfully rewired my brain to create more joy and a positive outlook.

Celebrate the small successes!

woman legs relaxation beauty
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This week I am celebrating wearing shorts! Why? Well, it’s been almost 18 months since the accident of my car losing my brakes which caused it to drag me down a hill. I had terrible gravel rash. It healed incredibly quickly (within 4 weeks) except for one trouble spot that took over a year to heal. It took so long because my knee still had gravel in it. It was pretty gross to look at and even my 4-year-old niece would ask me when swimming in the family pool “What’s wrong with your knee Aunty Jenny?”
Her sweet little mind was very concerned about the “rock inside Aunty Jenny’s knee” and talked about the subject with quite a few people.

Continue reading “Celebrate the small successes!”

A very personal post

Me waking up in the hospital in March after being told the odds were against me (with filter)

⚠️ warning: personal post ahead:

Today (as long as nothing changes) should be my last procedure of the year. The last 18 months has consisted of 7CTs, 3 (going on 4) procedures, 9 (going on 10) Cannulas, 3 local anaesthetics, 2 (going on 3) general anaesthetics, 2 ambulance rides, 3 catheters, countless tears, many prayers, and one seriously considered plan to escape the hospital. Even though today is considered “super safe” I still have a lot of emotion going into it. I know some have it better and some have it worse… but this year has been rough for me (and my family). In 4 days I turn 37 with doctors at the beginning of the year doubting I would live to see it. Now I’m forecast to live many more years (God willing). So as much as I hate having to do another procedure, I am thankful that despite how upsetting this year has been I still get to be a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Hope 37 treats me better… can’t wait to be over the last side effects for the year in a couple of days and no more needles for at least a few months 👍👍