How to survive when shit happens – and it always does. 

Lower your expectations. 

Make choices based on love not fear. Make choices about what you love not on the fear you may offend someone. Life is short do what you love. 

Practice gratitude. It is useful to write this down. Even if there is only one thing you can find to be grateful about research suggests practicing gratitude can improve your happiness. 

Forgive often. And then forgive some more. People do the best they can in every situation. Sometimes you might perceive that is not good enough for you. You have no idea what is going on in their lives so forgive them for not living up to your expectations. 

The most important person in your life is you. Look after you often. Go for a massage, have your nails done, go out for a walk. 

Crap happens. Accept it, sit with it and don’t fight it. Don’t pretend it isn’t or didn’t happen and if you feel bad that someone else’s crap is worse than yours just know your crap is yours alone and it is ok to feel bad about it. 

Have goals but make sure they are realistic. One person may have a goal to become an Ironman. Your goal might need to be get up in the morning or to put one foot after another for 24 hours.

Reduce toxicity in your life. Reduce toxic social media, reduce toxic television viewing, reduce toxic relationships. This is a good mantra for life but particularly pertinent when life is not as rosie as you would like it to be. There is nothing quite like reading about and watching other people’s crap to make yourself feel even more miserable. You don’t need it so if you can get rid of it. 

Breathe deeply at least once a day. Oxygen is the essence of life. Oxygenate your cells. 

Be gentle on yourself. Some days things don’t work out. That is ok. There is always tomorrow. 

Don’t ever say ” this happened for a reason”. That is crap. Things don’t happen for a reason. Accidents happen. Illness happens. Death happens. These things do not happen for a reason. The best way to deal with them is to acknowledge they have happened and allow them to become part of your story. It is up to you what that looks like. 

Accept help. If people offer to make a meal or take your kids to school say “Thank you that would be lovely”. Resist the temptation to say you are managing just fine. It will make them feel good about themselves and it will make your life a little easier. 

If you can’t cope get help. There are so many people out there to help- your GP, find a good psychologist , phone a friend or phone many of the help lines that are open 24hours/day. It is perfectly ok to ask for help.

Know you will have good days and bad days. The bad days will pass. 

And lastly always believe in the possibility of things getting better. 


Please note all these things are things that have worked for me over the last twelve months when my life has not looked the way I expected it to look. If you have things that have worked for you in difficult times I would love to hear from you so I can add them to the list. 

Until next time 

All my love 

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Monday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for the amazing weekend I have just had.

Today I am grateful that we were able to go  to the Head of the River. The Head of the River is the culmination for the rowing season and it is held at Kawana each year. There are 1o girls schools involved. Lucy was rowing in the Open Third Eight. It was a very exciting race. The girls have been very consistent the whole season coming second or third in each race. They came second on Saturday and reduced the margin between first and second to the smallest margin all season for their race. It was only five seconds difference between first and second. 

The Open Third Eight


Today I am grateful that Lucy was safe after going to a party to celebrate the end of the season. It was in a underage venue and I am very very glad it was well supervised and she is safe. 

Today I am grateful for being able to share my lovely friend Kylie’s surprise 49th birthday. She didn’t want a 50th so her husband organized a surprise 49th. If anyone knows me I am not good at keeping secrets but I didn’t spoil the surprise! it was a lovely party with special friends.

Today I am grateful that on Sunday morning Nicholas ran The Bridge to Brisbane. It is a 10km race over a number of Bridges in Brisbane. Nicholas did it in 46 minutes. I am so proud of him.

Today I am grateful that Sunday afternoon we were able to share a very special afternoon with some cycling friends. My friends Theresa and Mark got married in New Farm Park. They looked beautiful, the setting was glorious, the food delicious, the company fun, the music groovy and the amount of love in the air amazing. I am so glad we were invited and able to share in their special day. 

My friends who got married


Today I am grateful that My girls prepared a delicious Italian feast for Nicholas’s birthday on Sunday afternoon. NIcholas turned 20 on Saturday and we celebrated last night. We had pizza and birthday cake with delicious chocolate dipped strawberries. 

Wow ! What a full weekend. I am grateful last night I had a very good sleep and I am almost ready to face the week. 

This is how I feel today……

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Friday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for doing rowing breakfasts for the last seven weeks.

Today I am grateful for the lovely women I have worked with over the season. I have really enjoyed their company and I have learnt a lot about their girls.

Today I am grateful that I have helped to prepare beautiful food to fuel all the girls after their rowing session each Friday morning. We have made Bircher muesli, delicious muffins, bacon and egg burgers and fruit salad. I love that the girls have a big nutritious breakfast in their tummies to be able to then face the day.

Today I am grateful for all the grateful girls and their happy and tired faces at the end of their session.


Today I am grateful for all the coaches for all the time and energy that they have put in to developing training programs and running training sessions during the season. 

Lucy finishes her rowing season tomorrow at Head of The River. I am grateful that she has been in such a lovely crew, that they have trained hard, dealt with adversity in a resilient way and that she has had fun. I wish her and all the other rowers in the Brisbane Girls Grammar shed all the best tomorrow !

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Thursday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for appliances! 

Today I am grateful that I have a hairdryer to dry my hair.

Today I am grateful for my washing machine that washes my clothes.

Today I am grateful I have a dryer so that I can dry my clothes in wet weather.

Today I am grateful for my dishwasher so I don’t spend hours washing dirty dishes.

Today I am grateful for Sonos because it means I can listen to great music anytime I want to when I am at home. 

I wish though that one of my appliances could do this….

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Wednesday’s Grateful Post 

It has been a while since I posted about being grateful. Life has again got busy and I have not been recording on my blog or in my daily journal what I am grateful about. I woke up this morning and thought it is time to remind myself about all the wonderful things in my life. I don’t know about you but I sometimes forget and it is good to be reminded. So…..


Today I am grateful for the gentle rain that is watering my garden and especially my newly planted vegetable garden .


Today I am grateful for my lovely singing teacher Lesley Jackson. I had a singing lesson yesterday and it is one of the most favourite times of the week for me.


Today I am grateful for Jo Formoza. Jo has a practice called Back2Health and I am seeing her to work on detoxifying  my system of all the rubbish it has had in it in the last twelve months. I feel like it is the right time for me to do this. I have spent many months healing and resting and it is time now to do a reboot so my next stage of healing is as good as it can be. I am taking lots of herbs and drinking lots of tea. 


Today I am grateful for all the beautiful things flowering in my garden at the moment.


Today I am grateful for all my dear friends. Everyone goes through rough times and I have been surrounded by so much love in the last year. I feel that I have enough energy now to share that love with others who are going through rough times.Today I am grateful to be able to care, share time and prayers for those friends who are going through hard stuff at the moment and if you are reading this and stuff is yuk at the moment know I care about you deeply and that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I am available any time for a coffee. 


  

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Wednesday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for my husband David.


Today I am grateful that David and I love each other so much. 
Today I am grateful that David and I share such amazing times together.

Today I am grateful that David is such a special Dad.


Today I am grateful that David and I have always worked together even when we have had times where we don’t agree.

Today I am grateful that David has such a strong work ethic and that he is so ethical and honest. 

Today I am grateful that David is such a good cook. 

Today I am grateful that David and I have things like cycling and travel that we love doing together. 


Today I am grateful for the times David and I walk and hold hands together. 

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Sunday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master, a poet, scholar, peace activist and author. I have just finished his  book 

                                                                                    Fear – Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. 

I loved reading the whole book. It is a book that investigates fear and teaches that life is full of wonderful and difficult moments. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that to ease fear one needs to acknowledge that fear is present and to look deeply at its source.

Some of the parts of the book that really resonated with me were:

Unconditional acceptance is the first step in opening the door to the miracle of forgiveness. 

Our ancestors are part of us and we have all their strengths and weaknesses. It is important to recognize both these strengths and weaknesses.  It is important to make peace with those parts of you and your ancestors that are negative like fear, greed and jealousy. It is important to foster the strengths that are part of us and were part of our ancestors that include kindness, compassion and fearlessness. 

Our responsibility is to produce the energy of compassion that first calms our own heart and then allows us to help the other person. If we punish the other person, he will suffer more, and the cycle will continue. 

We can only remove violence and fear with compassion and love. 

We have to learn to communicate as individuals, communities and nations. You cannot feel safe if those around you don’t look at you with friendliness and compassion. It is clear that police, armed forces and massive fire power can’t guarantee us real safety. Maybe the first thing we have to say is “Dear friend, I am aware that you want to live in safety. I too want to live in safety, so why don’t we work together?”. Wrong perceptions are the foundation of fear, hatred and violence and you cannot remove wrong perceptions with a gun. 

The four mantras of transforming fear into love:

  • I am here for you.
  • I know you are there, and I am so happy. 
  • I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you.
  • I am suffering. Please help. 

A solid sense of community gives us strength when we feel fear or despair and helps sustain our power of love and compassion. 

We need a community that nourishes our joy as well as our sense of shared humanity. 

Mindful breathing is very helpful 

  • eg Breathing in, I know this is an inbreath. Breathing out,  I know this is an out breath. 
  • Breathing in, I follow my breath all the way from the beginning to the end. Breathing out, I follow my out breath all the way from the beginning to the end.
  • Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body. 
  • Breathing in, I am aware of some tension and pain in my body; breathing out, I calm and release the tension and pain in my body. 


It is important to cultivate in our lives the capacity to be happy and the capacity to be loving. It is our responsibility to take care of each other. It is essential we work to understand each other and it even though we know blaming and arguing do not help we often forget. We need to practice not blaming and arguing and we need to practice happiness and the art of making others happy.

I am so grateful for all the wisdom that is shared in this book. 

PLEASE NOTE ALL THE ABOVE ARE EXAMPLES OF WHAT THICH NHAT HANH HAS WRITTEN AND ARE NOT MY OWN THOUGHTS. 





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Saturday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer. 

I have spent many years doing volunteer work for the children’s schools and now I am volunteering in a palliative care unit. 

Today I am grateful for the many friendships I have as a result of the volunteering I have done.

Today I am grateful for the many friendships that I am starting to develop as a result of the new volunteering I am doing.

Today I am grateful for all the things I was able to achieve with the assistance of the committees I was on and the daily volunteering I have done. Some examples of these things were computers for the school, readers for the children, a new Tuckshop, a new garden, an access road, making many many bacon and egg burgers for hungry rowers, and many other programs that have benefited my children.

Today I am grateful that I have had the time to be able to do these things.

Today I am grateful that in my role as palliative care volunteer that I am not constrained by a patient work load and I am grateful I can spend time talking to patients, helping patients to fill out their menus and do other odd jobs like freshen up all the flowers in the ward.

Today I am grateful that my children have all done some volunteer work. Nicholas has worked as a rowing coach and even though that is paid it is more a labor a love. Lucy has worked on school stalls and in a community in India building a toilet and helping a group of school children with sporting supplies and Sophia has worked on some school stalls. I think they all understand what a big difference can be made by doing things in areas that their is no monetary return. 

Today I am grateful that David also has worked as a volunteer. 

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Tuesday’s Grateful Post 

Today I am grateful for all things related to my garden.

Today I am grateful that I have replanted my veggie garden. It is now full of all sorts of seedlings – lettuce, beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, capsicum, eggplant and strawberries. I can’t wait for them all to grow. I go out and water them daily and there are more green shoots every day.


Today I am grateful I have rejuvenated my worm farm. I am so looking forward to composting our scraps, the worms turning the scraps into fertilizer , the fertilizer going on my veggie garden and my veggies being very healthy and tasty. 


Today I am grateful that I have ordered chooks! We get two silky bantams in a couple of weeks. I am so looking forward to having fresh eggs.

Today I am grateful that even though it is still winter I have things flowering in my garden – roses, geraniums, azaleas and dahlias. 


Today I am grateful my mulberry tree is covered in new mulberries. I am looking forward to making mulberry pie when they are ripe. 


Today I am grateful to be able to be able to put my hands in the dirt and plant and water and watch things grow. 

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Today I am grateful for all things related to Lucy’s Semiformal. 

Today I am grateful that Lucy and I spent a lovely day a few months ago finding a dress for her to wear to the Semiformal. We had a lovely day of companionship and shopping and eating. 

Today I am grateful for all the help Paula at Petrol gave to Lucy in choosing her dress, handbag and shoes. Paula was so wonderful to Lucy and made Lucy feel very pretty.

Today I am grateful that Paula recommended a hair and makeup person who came to our home. Lucy had her first rowing regatta on Saturday and we were very tight for time. To have someone come to the house made the day much more manageable.

Lucy at 230pm on Saturday

Today I am grateful that we had the pre Semiformal in our home. It was lovely to get together wth the girls parents, some grandmas and some brothers and sisters. The people we had in our home were all lovely and it was wonderful to see all our girls together looking so beautiful.

Lucy’s hair and makeup shot.

Ready to party.

Today I am grateful that all the girls had a lovely time at the Semiformal and they all looked beautiful. 

All the girls

Very ladylike

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