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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

 

#TheMidnightCaller

Death comes calling

 

The Midnight Caller

∼ 

Twas death himself I’m sure

Waiting silently outside my door

Though no door I’ve ever seen

Could keep him away once lured.

∼ 

He held out his hand

Pale and slim

Yet warm and strong

Inviting

“Take my hand and walk with me

You know that’s what you want it to be

No more pain and strife

No hurt or tears

Not even one more for this sharp life”.

∼ 

But as ever before my answer came

To these beguiling words from Death

“Even for the heartsore

I cannot follow you yet.

My time is not right now

There are others her in this life

Who still need me on this side

They may not know just why or how

But deep inside I know this.

I cannot leave this life

Nor desert them in this way”.

∼ 

This life is heavy

My heart bowed down

No answers can be found

In despair I stand and pray for answers

My belief: that they can be found

∼ 

I sensed a smile play around his mouth

A sparkle in dark eyes

“I see you have not yet given up the fight

So, one more I must bid you, Goodnight

Remember though, I am always here

Waiting for your call

When midnight chimes awaken you

Remember, I wait for you too.”

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 ∼

Image courtesy: michellemonique-deviantart-com

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#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Cake coming up for the special celebration

I started a family tradition when I met my ex-husband, and later it was more for the children, as they loved the fruit cakes I made and so it was always a birthday special to have a ‘special’ boiled fruit cake then.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, its easy to make and delicious to eat.

 

Special Rich Boiled Fruit Cake

 

There is something so deliciously special about this super moist cake and it has remained a favourite with guests and family for more years than I care to remember. So when my husband was having his birthday at the beginning of this month, for the first time in ages I felt well enough to do some serious baking. Serious only in so far as I simply haven’t felt well enough to do anything too extra ordinary as I thought I’d end up in the oven with the cake.

Needless to say I had to rush out and buy all the ingredients. One doesn’t have much in the pantry if you’ve stopped baking. So here it is, the cake to make your mouth water and want for more. It was all the more special this time as he had never tasted my boiled fruit cake. Apparently I’ve given his Mum a run for her money with this one. Oops

 

Boiled Fruit Cake – Susan’s Style

Ingredients

I Cup of sugar (or substitute)

¾ cup water

110 grams (¼ lb) butter

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon Bicarb-Soda

I packet mixed fruit (good quality please)

I packet of glace cherries – for the mix             and

1 packet to decorate (I just love them!)

I packet of slivered almonds for the mix,

Reserve some for the top if you like to make a nicely finished off cake.

Place all of the above in a saucepan and boil for approximately 5 minutes. Allow to cool

∼ 

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

All the ingredients in the pan, stir well

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCak

Bring all the ingredients to a boil

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

The Bicarb-Soda makes the foam rise to the top of the pan

 Remaining ingredients

2 large eggs, beaten (700 gm eggs free range are best)

I cup of Plain flour

I cup of Self Raising flour (or Self-Rising flour)

½ cup Sherry (optional)

Alternately add the beaten eggs, plain flour and self-raising (or rising) flour and sherry. Mix well.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

2 eggs beaten, S/R and Plain flour and the Sherry!

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Add eggs, flour/s and sherry alternately

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Mixture is ready for the last stage

Oh – I nearly forgot the Sherry 🙂

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Nothing much left here after all those cakes

 

Place the mixture in a lined cake time in a moderate oven (320 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius) for approximately 1 hour.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

One decorated cake ready for the oven

 

Test with a wooden skewer – if it comes out clean it is done.

Depending on your oven, test the cake after 45 – 50 minutes.

Allow to cool in the paper. (It also keeps the sherry in.)

 

The Special Touch of Decadence

With a pastry brush, and whilst the cake is still hot, paint the top of the cake with additional sherry. The heat makes the cake absorb the sherry immediately.

Depending on whether your mixture was a little dry you can repeat this process after you have tasted the first slice – I have to admit that I usually paint it again and wrap it in alfoil and then a plain tea towel to keep the moisture in.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Sherry to add that extra decadence

(Treating it like a Christmas cake really allows the flavour to seep into the fruit deliciously.)

Cake remains beautifully moist for a couple of weeks – if you can get it to last that long!

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Almost ready to eat…. who needs it to cool down?

I usually have to make two cakes, (at least), to get a chance of savouring it after the first couple of days – even with the two of us! The little uns still love it!

Enjoy!

Blessings, Susan ♥♥♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#LifeandChronicIllness

Image courtesy of Facebook

 

“Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

It seems like a tired old story, doesn’t it? I mean, really, how many people are blogging about their illness or how they are managing it? Is it some, a lot, or too many? Hmm. Perhaps that means there are a lot of sick people out there and they need to be heard in one way or another.

Each person has some kind of tether attached to them, whether it be an abusive relationship, family problems or stress. Whether that stress is overwork or the actual job causing the stress, or simply the pressure of being the penultimate person in life, can find themselves in a situation where their body shouts ENOUGH! If that happens, when that happens, they may find themselves with a Chronic Illness.

Our bodies are incredible organisms which can do remarkable things. We have sent our bodies to the moon and back. We have climbed the highest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest (8,848m) in the Himalayas. We have sent them down into the deepest parts of the ocean. The Challenger Deep in the Marianna Trench was first explored by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in the Trieste bathyscaphe in 1960. They reached a depth of 10,916 meters. We can train to become incredible athletes and we can bring life into the world. We can, unfortunately take life out of the world also in too many wars.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from http://www.petera.se The inimitable Mount Everest

We ask our bodies each and every day to do things they may not yet have evolved enough to do, but the pace of technological advancement means we need to force our bodies to do more to keep up. We have even “beaten” to a smaller or lesser degree most of the illnesses which have killed us in the past. The problem is, we have also created a host of new ones to take their place, some by accident and some by design.

Each and every action we ask our bodies and our minds to do can lead to the organism’s failure. It may lead to our body yelling ENOUGH! If this happens, or when this happens, it may be a minor or major catastrophe.

It may be as simple as an overwhelming fatigue which can be put to rights by a good long vacation.

It may be a ‘breakdown’ which requires much longer away from work to address the issues.

It may also be an insidious invader which slowly sucks the life out of you until it is impossible to ignore. At that point you have your “Chronic Illness”.

Unfortunately there are far too many people who, when faced with a spouse, family member, friend or co-worker with a chronic illness cannot cope with even acknowledging human frailty. The only way I can describe it is that they cannot face their own possible frailty, or their own possible mortality.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from halsamt.wordpress.com

I have seen and worked with people who have turned and walked away from loved ones because they cannot deal with illness. Ultimately, their inability to deal with the situation is reduced to one thing – fear. Fear of becoming ill themselves, of dealing with the illness, fear of being tied down because of someone else’s illness. Whatever the final key element is, it is based on fear.

I saw it many times. Saw the illnesses, saw the injured, infirm, the helpless and counseled both sides of the equation. So one would think that when faced with the same situation I would have been prepared for whatever life had to throw at me. I know I did and I was wrong. I was so wrong that it took a decade of things slowly falling apart, one illness after another, one trauma after another and down some deep well inside I kept pushing all the pain and hurt, the fear and anger deep inside and capped that well.

My mother and my children kept me anchored to my life. They provided me with the lifeline I needed to convince myself that I had everything under control. That was when my husband learned we had been told that my mother was terminally ill. Then my personal volcano started to rumble. When I stepped up to the plate to look after Mum, he decided he’d had enough and left. My volcano really started to rumble and smoke.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from nevsepic.com.ua

Her passing was a body blow and things escalated. No-one seemed to know. They didn’t appear to see the signs of strain, or stress, or perhaps they didn’t care. They may have been too caught up in their own dramas at that point. So I tried to cap my well once more but the cracks were already there. As the saying goes, “I soldiered on” but I could feel my hold on everything slowly slipping.

I even made an escape run by going to the Middle East. I’m still not sure if I intended being able to return from that trip. Nothing fazed me at that point. No careless act was beyond the devil may care attitude I portrayed. Yet my turn had not yet arrived and I did return and for a short time it appeared as if I had managed to shore up the weakened foundations of my well and life progressed.

That was until the dramas began again, different ones but with the same stress load. I struggled to hide it. I tried to deny it. It was no use. The volcano was not going to be denied this time. Slowly and then more quickly the volcano erupted as I morphed from fit and healthy to something akin to a helpless worm. My self-esteem plummeted and my desire to fight all but eliminated. I had a small flicker of light burning far in the distance, my children and my new husband.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from tinyhappyfarm.blogspot.com

My guilt knew no bounds. I was caught on the horns of a giant dilemma, succumb or keep struggling with this “Chronic Illness” rubbish I was bombarded with each time I saw my doctor. (Primary Care Physician for my US friends). Me, a medical research sponge, needing to know all the ins and outs of everything, prognosis, treatment, end results, could not find the damned answer.

When I was finally told I had Lyme disease I was unsure if I was relieved or not. It did not feel right and after 12 months of the most putrid antibiotics I have ever had, it was decided I didn’t have it after all. I dread to think what it has done to my body. One simple test, always done at the beginning of Lyme testing had not been done. If it had I could have saved those 12 months and perhaps started to feel better.

But wishes are only granted in fairy tales and life moves on. The results when they arrived back have turned my life upside down. Yes, it’s still a Chronic Illness, but one with far reaching ramifications, and not just for me. At the moment the volcano is still running hot, the lava is destroying thoughts and ideas and new ones have yet to be made to replace them. I need to get a handle on this monster and beard the dragon in his lair.
I need time and yet time is not a resource I have in abundance. Decisions to be made and plans to make and I’m swimming against the tide, no small feat when I can’t swim.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from cybershamans.blogspot.com

So I ask you, the ill and infirm, those with Chronic Illnesses, the fit and healthy, I ask everyone, to be aware of the little acts you do, be aware of how much difference a small gesture can make to someone who is ill. If you are ill, learn to take pride in the fact that you CAN ask for help. If it is turned down, it is their failing; not yours. If we want our world free from illness, we need to start by understanding its ways. We need to want to beat the monster at its own game. We can, but not alone. We all need to care and work together.

Those who don’t care, do they deserve our sympathy when they crash and burn? I have no answer yet. I try each day to send love and healing, gratitude and thankfulness out into the world, even now. Perhaps it is more important now. I know there is a question within this tale and in time I will be able to answer it, but only after I have accepted it fully.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from chronicillnessmemes.tumblr.com

Chronic Illness is not catching, but it is lonely and isolating. Please, if you remember nothing else, I ask that you remember this.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Pact
#The Pact

Image from xose00100.deviantart.com

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf : Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves

Silence

Weighed heavily as she waited

Hanging like a wet cloak on her shoulders

Wind

Whipped through the tops of the trees

Bringing gusts lashing the grass below

Rolling lines flowed away from her

As the wind blew the grass towards the plain

Confetti like fluttering heralded the autumn leaves

Fluttering

In colourful swathes around her head

In the silence she could hear them coming

Talking softly to each other

No need to shout

When the mind can say so much more

A pause

As they picked up her scent

Her family, her once family

Questions flickered swiftly through her mind

Why was she here?

Two legs could not be seen with the pack

Heart breaking silently she pleaded with them

Lift the promise she made

Her time with the two legs could end now

The pack was safe its territory secure

No longer was the bargain required

That one of the pack should stay with the two legs

Become one of the two legs

So they could feel safe

Safe that the pack would no longer bring them down

When they ventured into the pack’s territory

Puzzled they asked her

Why should the pact be broken?

Her family could hunt and kill the deer

The two legs no longer hunted them for their pelts

The cubs could grow in safety

Run with the wind

Play with the salmon

Raise their cubs in time

Two legs could never be trusted

If she returned

Two legs would hunt them once again

Thoughts were becoming fainter now

As the pack moved further away

Wait!

She silently cried to the night

Let me return! Let  Me  Return……

Silence

Weighed heavily as she waited

Hanging like a wet cloak on her shoulders

A heavy shroud for her heavy heart.

#The Pact

image from howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.josephinewall.co.uk “Snow Flake” #spirit of Christmas

“Christmas, when observed with the right spirit, still has the power to call miracles from Heaven to Earth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich,   Smile Anyway

Spirit of Christmas

I’ve let myself down this year. More than this I’ve let everyone else down. I lost the spirit of Christmas.  After meditating for a long time to gain some perspective, some equanimity to look at everything I’ve made some remarkable discoveries.

  • As well as an existing back/neck problem which has seen me ‘confined’ for long periods I finally discovered:
  • I have Lyme disease and a host of companion diseases to confront.
  • From being “flat on my back” from the injury now I’m “flat on my back” from the medication, most of the time
  • I have been challenged to re-define my approach to the spirit of Christmas
Spirit of Christmas

image from caixinhadepirlimpimpim.blogspot.com

I found that I had allowed my existing beliefs about who and what I am, my beliefs about “how” Christmas should be and my role in it, the very spirit of Christmas, to push me into a position where I was severely depressed because I could not meet these expectations. What was more devastating was that I allowed this to almost ruin Christmas this year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.superstock.co Remember – if you were naughty you got coal in your stocking?

I have found, with the help and support from my husband and some very dear friends that this does not have to be my reality at all. The spirit of Christmas which is so important to me is still alive within me. Whilst this may sound such a simple thing it is, in itself, incredibly profound.  Anything which alters your perception in such a manner is life changing, if you allow it to be.

I found:

  • I have pain, at times intense and unremitting pain, but it does not define me, it is not ME
  • I have some nasty bugs running my internal programs but they do not define me, they are not ME
  • The lack of support for the spirit of Christmas I have always held as a family tradition is not defined by the presence of others, they are not ME

Most importantly I have found that:

  • I am a unique spiritual being having a human existence, my spirituality is not affected by any pain I might suffer, I am ME
  • My unique spiritual  being is not the zillion bugs attacking my human body because I am ME     and
  • It is my spiritual being which creates the magic, joy and belief in the Spirit of Christmas because I am ME

Such a simple and profound statement: I am ME.

Knowing who and what you are, is something which people search for their entire life. I have not found the full scope of Who, and What I Am, but I am content that I have found the ME who is here, right now.

I have always known and accepted I was a “work in progress” since that is the purpose of my spiritual presence here. I simply forgot that changes in the lives around me, which affected my own life, did not change my purpose. I had to learn how to adapt to those changes, to learn something new perhaps, but I retained the essence of who I am. I can retain the spirit of Christmas within me.

I am so grateful that this incredible appreciation has arrived now.  I have been struggling with my meditation but today I found it was there all along.  I have welcomed it back with so much happiness that it feels as though a great light has been re-lit and a beacon now shines in the place of the darkness the depression had enveloped me in.

Spirit of Christmas
“Beacon of Light” walking into sunshine  Spirit of Christmas
  • I am celebrating Christmas Day with my husband, our first alone together and it is going to be uniquely special because we are together.
  • I am celebrating Boxing Day with my son and his girlfriend, a first, which is another uniquely special occasion.
  • I will see my daughter when I can before New Year’s Eve, and I am grateful I can see her then. Whilst she cannot be here “at Christmas” she is here in spirit, in my heart, which is all I need at the moment.
  • Most importantly, my parents, Mum and Dad, will be here in spirit. I miss them more each year but I now know, beyond any doubt, that they will be with me as I sit at my dinner table with my husband eating our Christmas dinner.
  • In all of these and many more the spirit of Christmas I rejoice in is alive and well within me.

It may be the first time I have been ‘alone’ on Christmas Day but it will also be the first time that I have been able to put aside the crushing loneliness their absence brought – even if it is just a little. It makes it a little easier not to have my family physically with me at Christmas when I have always believed that family and the spirit of Christmas were synonymous with each other. I have no idea when or why that changed but since it has and I cannot turn back the clock, I have to “move with the times”.

As the saying goes, “life goes on”, and it does, whether we will it so or not. Whether it hurts or not, life always goes on. It is a spiritual lesson our human selves must accept. When we do, life isn’t as bad, even if just by a little.

Whilst my family may be moving in other directions, as their lives change, then so has mine. Now I have a wonderful and loving husband who spoils me, not just on Christmas Day but every day. As our love grows it encompasses all the changes which occur.  Our spirit of Christmas is alive and growing each year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from twu.ca

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
Bob Hope

When so much seemed to have been taken away I looked and saw that I have so much to be grateful for, a family who are strong and capable individuals, who care enough to want to be around, and a husband whose love will wrap me round and always keep me safe and warm.

The Spirit of Christmas – what a wonderful thing to be grateful for,  I know I am. I hope you are too!

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas with the Spirit of Christmas alive in your own hearts.

Merry Christmas,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson, 2013

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Christmas Calling

image from
josephine-wall-fantasy-paintings.co.uk

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale

~

“I know what I really want for Christmas.
I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

~

The Christmas of times past seems to have vanished like the snow from my door. Snow is never likely to fall in front of my door again, but it really has only a small part to play in the changes in Christmas. I would that I could offer everyone the intense joy and happiness I knew with each and every Christmas. The fact that it has changed for me is a matter of great dismay. The fact that it has changed for so many others is daunting.

As a child I knew so much happiness and excitement as Christmas drew close. It wasn’t for the fact that the stores were filled with toys and lollies and Christmas decorations. It was for the joy and wonder my parents and grandparents created each day leading up to Christmas day. I was fortunate that the shops didn’t put out the decorations, cards and toys until much closer to Christmas. The unique ‘specialness’ of Christmas had not been inundated with the bombardment of the commercialism of Christmas. It yet held that special air of magic. The pleasure of a nativity calendar!

I remember one year, being so convinced that my parents had to be helping Santa by hiding our gifts somewhere at home. After all he couldn’t really get them all round the world to every boy and girl on Christmas Eve, could he? I searched the house from top to bottom (I was very excited). I found nothing of course. My parents knew me well – they had hidden everything at my Nanny’s since she lived next door. It was a thrilling time none the less.

I remember when I was old enough to start sending Christmas cards to my friends. It was a sign, an indication that I was getting older and able to understand the real meaning behind Christmas. It meant, to me at least, that Christmas was a time for family, and for friends, and more than that for everyone I met. It was a time to share happiness, even if it was only a smile or a card.

Christmas Calling

image from theearthconstitution.org

I remember when my children were born and the excitement I felt when I gave them cards and gifts. I remember the fun we had as we made up Christmas hampers for the Salvos and for the RSPCA.  I remember with a sigh, when they too became old enough to want to give their friends Christmas cards.  Yet, in what feels like a few short years later the world itself has changed. Somehow, Christmas has lost some of its magic and sparkle and we are the poorer for it.

People  no longer want to send cards, if you are very fortunate you might get an e card. I haven’t yet found a way to hang it up though. What does that card mean? To me it meant that I cared about the person I was sending it to; I was thinking about them even if I couldn’t see or speak with them on Christmas day – or perhaps over the few days of Christmas. So a card, especially when money was tight, was a true gift of the heart to say…I miss you and I wish you all the best and that you were here. We made cards which held a stronger magic of love.

The other day I heard someone refer to themselves as an orphan and having an ‘Orphan Christmas’ because their parents had divorced. I felt so saddened by that. I thought of all the children who have never had parents, are living on the streets, or whose parents have passed away and therefore cannot have any part of the physical Christmas with them. I understand, I think, what they meant, but I couldn’t stop the tears forming, as I thought of the fact that my parents were no longer here, my brothers not speaking with me and my children unable to visit this year. I was selfish, I know, but the words hit like a barb bringing all the other barbs to play.

What hit the hardest was knowing that this move from giving Christmas cards means that I don’t even have the joy of a card to say – Yes, they are thinking of me. There is a part of them here too. Of course, they are in my heart, but I have to wonder why people are so reluctant to spend a few dollars sending a card.  What has happened to the feeling and magic of Christmas?

Oh, I know, its expensive sending cards today, and if you are giving someone a gift why spend a few extra dollars on a card? Better yet, why send a card when the postage costs more than the card? Perhaps it’s the thought, why send a card at all, we don’t see or hear from them most of the year? Somehow this just sounds like excuses or miserly thinking. (To me). The Christmas Spirit seems to be vanishing, or has the Christmas Grinch caught up with most people?

I am often heard wishing for snow at Christmas, the feel of the crisp air and the crunch of snow underfoot. The robins and tinsel, mistletoe and fairy lights. My mother’s fantastic Christmas tree decorated, which eclipse mine to this day, I can never see again, except in my memory. The paper decorations we all made as children – do you remember the strips of coloured paper, we glued one end to make a circle, then added more? Paper chains, we had a houseful one year. 🙂  I have beautiful cross stitch ornaments and sequin balls made at school by my children. Yet there is a hollow feeling in my heart. The Christmas magic is being stolen.

If I was allowed only one Christmas wish I would give it to –  all of you. I would wish you; a Christmas filled with joy and magic, the excitement of family or friends, or someone who cared, to make your Christmas special. If I could I would make sure that everyone received at least one Christmas card, with wishes for a safe and happy Christmas, filled with love and that you would all return safe and sound in the New Year.  

~

Wherever you are, my wish is that you receive the joy and magic from my heart to yours. That you feel the love and happiness of Christmas, of time shared however briefly together.

~

This, is my Christmas Calling to You.

~

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Through the Looking Glass

image from gamesfortrainers.blogspot.com

“A good plan of today is better than a great plan of tomorrow. Look back with satisfaction and move forward with confidence.” – Ritu Ghatourey

As some of you may know, I am the director of a self-development program called Life Change 90. One of the tried and proven methods in self-development is the review phase.  For some it’s a lot easier than others.

For example: a single person may find it easy to schedule enough time to review the  month, quarter, half-year or year in the space of an afternoon up to a weekend. They have only themselves, as a rule, to concern themselves when they are scheduling the time and focusing on their results, achievements and next plans.

For a couple without children, it may be possible for them to do their individual reviews in a similar manner, but when they review their joint, couple oriented goals, they may need to schedule a weekend and for that they have the ability, without constraints, to go away for a weekend to really focus on where they want to head in the coming time frame.  I should also add that there are no limits with respect to the time frame when they are doing their plans. They can have short, mid-term and long-term plans. Some plans may stretch into a few years in the future or longer, it depends on what they are working towards.

Through the Looking Glass

image from projectavalon.net

However, when you think about a family, the parents of young children have the same aspirations with their goals but their time availability may be drastically curtailed. They are reliant on finding someone to look after their children for however long they can afford to get away. In this context, afford has several meanings, from financial to time and all manner of things in between. So for a couple, with children it may be a bigger challenge than for a single person – and then again, it may not.

However, I’d like to show you a specific example of how easy or difficult this can be.  Our children are all adults, we have the ‘empty nest’ syndrome, but that does not mean that we are time rich. Due to the limitations created by my health issues, finding time when I can truly focus on planning is severely restricted. That is, if I wish to be a contributing partner in the planning.  Add to this, the very real-time challenge presented to my husband who does so many other things to help me in the house and to ensure our relationship remains as vibrant as possible under the circumstances. (I help here too).

Through the Looking Glass

image from preparetochange.com

This weekend has been the first opportunity I, personally, have had when I have been able to give the time to this planning since before I became ‘really ill’.  We had made plans earlier, right up to the time when the wedding took place. However, since then, probably because of the extra stress I put myself under, I haven’t been up to the challenge of planning the next phase.  It’s also been a case of consolidating all that we had planned to that point and those things which were still in motion after that. But, we were ready for a review; it was simply awaiting my ‘availability.

I have to be honest, brutally honest; I really wasn’t totally behind the idea. I haven’t felt ‘good’ for quite a while, Christmas is just around the next weekend and I feel woefully under prepared.  That too is an exaggeration, but it is my reality. I happen to be one of those people who need to have everything arranged down to the last gasp.  Hence the series of heel taps I’ve had all day.

Getting away from home was a nightmare. Nothing wanted to work out right and we were later than we had planned.  Then we were held up in Brisbane when it should have been a quick stop. The traffic on the way to Tambourine was sluggish to say the least. By the time we arrived on the mountain I was tired, sore and not in the mood to start reviewing!  However, I’ve now had dinner, relaxed, watched a little TV, showered and feel ready to do what we came here for.  Tomorrow we start.  I’ll let you know how we go.

To Be Continued…………..

Ciao,  Susan

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Day by day

image from futureofcio.blogspot.com  Happiness is enlightenment and blessings.

~

 “From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities. We have the power to think in ways that reflect and attract all the love in the world. Such thinking is called enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a process we work toward, but a choice available to us in any instant.”
Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles

~

Day by Day, my reality had been the same. The way this morning began I wondered if I was going to make it with any degree of equanimity. For several days now I’ve been troubled with an annoying pain in my left arm. When I say arm I’m not being very accurate, it actually feels as though my entire shoulder-blade through to my fingertips is being crushed under a tonne of rocks. Enlightenment seemed a long way away.

Even after the pain has subsided, how strange to use a word like that when we also talk about the ‘area subsiding after an earthquake’, my entire arm feels numb and somewhat uncoordinated. It has made doing anything a challenge. Day by Day I hope that giving myself a rest I would feel better the next day. It felt strange not having a blog ready to publish yesterday after the 30 day challenge.

Day by Day

image from wanderlustandlipstick.com                      Rocking chair – rest, Oh Yes!

Well it appears the ‘rest’ didn’t work quite as I’d planned. My left hip and leg are now joining my arm and both ankles and feet appear swollen. For the first time ever, I am not researching it before I see my doctor this week. If I manage to wait three days it will be a historic event, but I’m not happy with how I feel. I’m supposed to feel better since I’m able to ‘stop’ my Lyme meds for a month. Time will tell. So I’m just taking it Day by Day.

Yet that is why Marianne Williamson’s quote is so apt. Having the power to create infinite possibilities – good ones – means that I can remove the worry over what is currently passing. She calls it ‘enlightenment’, available in an instant. So I’ve chosen to accept this. It’s a day by day project with myself.

Day by Day

image from http://www.true-enlightenment.com    Enlightenment warmth

In my enlightened state I am not worrying about the strange things happening to me at present. Nor will I undermine myself because I have been unable to attend a retreat I very much wanted to be on.  I am releasing all of the emotions attached to them to make way for positive emotions and actions to replace them.

I asked my body what it needed, and what I should be doing to help myself, at this time. There are fifteen days until Christmas. I have cards to complete and send, although the list has shortened of recent times, gifts to finish buying and a menu to think about.

In years past it has driven me to distraction. It literally turned me into a ball of worried knots, unable to sleep because I may not have enough time to do everything. Also, that everything would not be done ‘perfectly’. In the past, anything less than perfection was not tolerated.  Well, it doesn’t matter. Everything will be done, and those people who get cards, and perhaps a letter, will hopefully realise that the effort to get that letter ready for them is, in itself, a gift. If they don’t, it’s not my problem.

Day by Day

image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk     Rushing to get that shopping done.

I’m almost done with gifts; in fact I have only one to arrange – Way to Go!  I made the ice cream plum pudding today, with help from Ray, and it looks good. I have photos and will put it in a blog soon. It’s yummy in the heat; I just have to remember not to be heavy-handed with the spirits for those who are driving. (Last year it was loaded – oops).. Turkey arranged – check, my stuffing ingredients – check, vegies – have to be bought close to the day. I’m all set.

The Christmas tree has posed a problem – I’m not where I’d hoped to be, but that too simply is how it is, and we accept that we’re here for a while longer. Yet the house doesn’t lend itself to the placement of the tree, not to my satisfaction. The problem I thought was the fact that I had decided not to unpack everything, and there are still boxes around the place. Yet that is not the problem at all. Arranged the way we need to have the house set up, it really doesn’t lend itself to putting one up. Not unless you want to waltz around it at every twist and turn.

I’m still pondering that little problem. If it can be sorted out then enlightenment will make the solution known.

Day by Day

image from http://www.christmashungama.com    Christmas trees, a sign of the season

I had thought my children would be unavailable at Christmas. Quite a shock when I found out. Yet I have since found out that my son is returning to Brisbane and will come down on Boxing Day, as long as we’re having turkey. That is really a big gift! Hopefully, now my daughter has a new job, she will come down on Boxing Day too and we can all be together.

It’s quite strange in one sense, and beautifully perfect in another. My daughter has been given quite a big promotion, to Superintendent. She is the only female Superintendent in Queensland and possibly Australia. It’s a far cry from her situation just a few weeks ago. My son, I thought would remain in Melbourne, but is now back ‘home’. All my preparations are just about complete. (I think the house decoration must fall to Ray).

As far as my health is concerned, it is what it is and I will find out during the week, hopefully, or have more tests to do!  None of this can I change or alter in any significant way by worrying or over analysing them. They are what they are.  As strange as that may seem, it is ‘Living in the Now’, although I prefer to say I am Being Present in the moment.

Day by Day

image from ohua88.com –   Decorations, exotic or plain make the home a magical place.

Perhaps this new-found equanimity is the ‘enlightenment’ that Marianne Williamson referred to. If so, it feels darn good.  There is another older saying, “Let go and Let God”.  If that appeals to you then I’m happy for you. In its own way it is still able to be applied; God is whichever higher power you personally believe in, and that too, is very much alright with me too.

No doubt  I will be challenged, we always are, but for now, I feel very happy with the status quo. I have a full heart filled with the many Blessings I have already  received. I am grateful beyond measure.

~

Day by Day

image from wallpapers.free-review.net       Enlightenment and happiness are with me, join me?

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Join on me on Enlightenment journey this Christmas season and we can see how much happiness we feel and can give to others.

Blessings,  Susan xx

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Being Thankful

image from sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com – #Being Thankful

Being thankful isn’t always easy

In fact sometimes it’s downright hard

But the evangelists tell me it’s all just an attitude

Well, Grammy Jen tells me I have an attitude

And what’s more I should just get rid of it

So I’m a might confused about what I should do

~

Like yesterday

Momma told me to get to the wash

And I pounded and pounded to get Tommy’s jeans clean

That basket was like to tear my arms from my shoulders

But right in the middle of the yard

Little Bobby went scooting past on his wagon

I got my feet all tangled and down went the wash

All over that dirt yard

And I started to tremble something fierce

~

Momma whooped me plenty for being so careless

And I had to pound those clothes extra hard this time

Every time I pounded those clothes

I pretended I was pounding some gratitude in there

It helped take my mind off the whooping

But it didn’t make me feel any better

~

Later when I was helping Momma with dinner

Tommy told her I tore his jeans

He only has one good pair cos he’s always tearing them

So she whooped me some more with the big old spoon

For being so careless with Tommy’s jeans

I know it wasn’t Christian like but I snuck a bug

On his plate of squirrel stew

He never noticed and I figured God would understand

It’s sure hard to be thankful when it seems like it’s always my fault

Being Thankful

image from dougsploitation.blogspot.com #BeingThankful

~

I figure if I keep being thankful

Even when it’s always my fault

Maybe eventually all my daily ‘ thankfulness’

Might fill the biggest old barn around

And then instead of all that whooping

I might get a barrel full of hugging

To make it all worthwhile

~

But Grammy says it don’t work like that

She says, “Girl just fill yourself with gratitude,

Don’t worry about all that attitude,

God’s watching all we’re doing, and girl you’re doing just fine,

So go on now and sneak down to the river and play

Momma’s gone for the rest of the day.

And Tommy’s out after squirrels,

I’ll look after little Bobby and today we’ll both

Get our fill of thankful and gratitude

And I’ll see that sweet smile of yours for a while”

~

So I ran down to the river and swam for hours and hours,

Lay on the grass and watched the angels in the clouds

And I could feel all that thankful and gratitude Granny told me of

And I knew that everything was going to be alright

Because I could see my road stretching far away

On God’s beautiful highway.

Being Thankful

image from forums.vwvortex.com – Seward Highway, AK       #BeingThankful

 “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett

Thankfulness and gratitude are used almost interchangeably. For those things we are giving thanks for, we are expressing our gratitude for. There is no need to become bogged down in the correct terminology, if we are looking at life, at our day and being grateful or thankful for the good things which happen, then we are doing all the right things to make our world a better place.

Focus on the good things, no matter how small and more of those good things are magnetised towards us and life can become a wondrous place. It’s that easy – just remember that like attracts like.

May your days be filled with thankfulness and gratitude.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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I looked with eyes of wonder

Wide with delight and awe

At all the new discoveries I made

With the start of each new dawn

Love and light surrounded me

Kept me safe and warm by turns

I learnt the ways of life and love

Through my parents eyes, hearts and hands

A childhood filled with glee and wonder

I’d live through it all once again.

As time slipped by my eyes grew round

With amazement, glee, then shock and horror

As life in all its intricacies

Bright Eyes

image from angiesdiary.com

Was laid bare before my feet

The chaos, hurt and cruelty

A police woman’s eyes must see

Yet love remained in sheltered places

In the eyes of sweet-smelling babes

Whose lives I cherished and nurtured

Through their own discovering years

Time slips by so swiftly

And eyes see more and more

Love sometimes leaves more scars behind

Than joy and laughter have been made.

Eyes grow wearied and tired

As pain and loneliness soar

And parents whose place is untarnished

Bright Eyes

Mum and Dad

Leave holes in your life as they go

Loneliness settles deep,

In heart and bone and soul

A bystander you find you’ve become

As your children take up adults reins

Then, without thought or warning

A miracle arrives beside you

In a pair of bright, loving hazel eyes

A life once thought lost and desiccated

Now blooms anew like youth

As loves great power enfolds them

And their garden, their life, flowers anew.

Bright Eyes

Beautiful Butterfly

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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