Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, Pregnancy, schools, Society, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Children: Nature versus Nurture

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Hello Beautiful people,

As most of you followers would know I have been a parent for nearly half my life, I have grown up whilst raising my own children. At times this has been difficult, however, difficult in ways different to what people often assume. Let me explain how. Most people say to me ‘oh you were so young when you had your children, that must have been so hard, you must have missed out on a lot in your life and how did you know what you were doing?” To this I always say “I’m educated, I work, I party, I have lived my life like all my friends and family have, just with a little more responsibility than most therefore I certainly don’t feel like I have missed out on anything!” As for knowing what I was doing, why do people assume that age impacts on your parenting, yes I have seen some young mothers that are clearly struggling emotionally and financially having a family but I have also seen many, many older first time mothers struggle drastically with the transition to motherhood!  It can be argued that the transition for older mothers can sometimes be harder because they have become so accustomed to being the centre of their own lives and then suddenly they are not.

So how did I know what I was doing with my babies when I was a young mum? Firstly I had a very supportive mother who shared all her parenting skills and knowledge with me. Secondly I armed myself with information from various books, pamphlets and journal articles on birth and parenting. I read as much as I could about becoming a parent and how to be a good parent. I wanted to be the best mother I could be and I wasn’t sure if I subscribed to the theory that being a mother was a natural instinct in women. Perhaps in some it is but at such a young age I wasn’t sure if I was one of those women that would just naturally know what to do, so I read. I read everything I could and deciphered through all the information and decided which tips, techniques and theories on parenting suited me and undertook to apply these skills in my parenting. Thirdly a wise beautiful Aboriginal woman I know, upon the birth of my daughter wrote on a card saying “congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter” “always remember these words, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE”……….. I thought long and hard about these words and often they ring true in my head and heart to this day. Unconditional love, what did it mean? My interpretation was that it meant that my love for this child and all my children should be a love given freely and without conditions…….That thought, that notion rang so true to my heart, it not only referred to my children’s behaviours but to everything about them. I would love them regardless of any disabilities, ailments, behavioural problems, developmental issues or personality traits that were challenging! I would love, protect and nurture them for as long as I could with unconditional love. A mothers love that would not set limits or expectations. That is to say the love I gave would always remain the same regardless of the situation. A mother doesn’t love her children any less if they misbehave or choose a different career path to what the mother hoped for them.

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Luckily for me it seems, it turned out I was a bit of a ‘natural’ born mother, I took to mothering like a duck to water! I handled years of sleepless nights, childhood illnesses and temper tantrums with a surprising element of ease. What I found hard unlike the assumptions of others was the attitude of others towards me. People are ageist and automatically assume that if you have had children at a young age that you must be uneducated and have missed out on so much in life. Incorrect in all my spare time at home with kiddies I have ALWAYS studied! The other few challenges have been financial, starting young doesn’t give you the time to set yourself up financially before the added expense of kids comes along. But even that hasn’t bothered me too much because I have seen older parents with tonnes of money wait so long to have children that they then have complications with getting pregnant or babies with health complications or remain career focused after they have children and the child gets little time with its parents, so each argument has its pros and cons.

At the end of the day I have lovely, healthy, happy well-adjusted children that have been and will be nurtured by me! My children know that I love them unconditionally and that under even the most stressful situations or temper tantrums that I will remain calm (as possible lol) and will listen to them and support them.

So the age-old debate of nature versus nurture always pops in to my mind when I reflect on how lucky I have been with being blessed with such lovely children. To me nature dictates genetic traits that my children possess such as their musical ability or their preference for sleeping over sport or more so the colour of their hair or eyes. However my preference for the belief that children are more of a product of how they are nurtured as opposed to what is natural/innate to them could also be refuted. Nurturing can also influence the same aspects of their lives, if I nurture them and allow them to sleep over encouraging them to get up and be active then its their environment and life routine that is shaping who they are and not some innate predisposition behind their preference to sleep!! I don’t believe that as a general rule children are ever born bad……with the exception of a very very small few! Children learn right from wrong from their care givers and their environment. It is not instinctive for them to behave badly however it is instinctive for them to explore every aspect of life and this often tests the boundaries. What is the point of getting angry at a child for wetting his pants if he is only learning how to toilet train. Children learn through POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND REPETITION!! I’m not going to lie to you when I say if you don’t like the sound of your own voice and you don’t want to have to hear yourself say the same thing over and over and over again for the next twenty odd years then DON’T have kids!! I say “stop picking your nose” so frequently it has become a catch phrase in my house that I say with utter disdain!! Other than repetition the other tool I have found incredibly useful is positive reinforcement, not bribes, if the child is old enough explain the rewards and benefits of their good behaviour, if not simple age appropriate gestures such as clapping, smiling and best of all kind words and hugs!! All interactions with children should be age appropriate, yelling at a toddler for putting a fork in a power point is redundant!! They have no understanding why you are yelling and may even do it again just to get a reaction out of you. Solution, to protect your child and save your energy from stressing and freaking out is cover the accessible power point! All these parents that say don’t change your environment and/or lifestyle to suit your children give me the shits!! Ok don’t modify anything in your home and watch the accidents happen or don’t stop having regular house parties and see how you have unruly over-tired kids! Having children requires a lot of effort and planning and responsibility. And I’m certainly not saying wrap them in cotton wool because believe me my kids have been to the Emergency Department a lot more than some but never with accidents in the home. All the typical viral things and broken boys that happen with scooter and bike riding. Children deserve to have fun, healthy, active childhoods in which they feel safe and loved.

From all my time as a parent and a nurse at various, playgroups, daycare centres, preschools, primary schools, high schools and hospitals I have observed and interacted with lots of children and their parents.

Some of these children have such natural kind, placid personalities that you instantly connect with. Some are more unruly and its difficult to engage them. I am not unrealistic that parenting is not without its difficulties but I can honestly say that sadly too often the children that are more difficult in their behaviour are experiencing some sort of rejection or misunderstanding of their behaviour or emotions by their parents. The child acts out, over and over again to gain the parents attention, whether it be good or bad because what many parents seem to forget is that any attention is good attention to a child that is not getting their needs met. Example, I know a lady with twins beautiful girls who are lovely and well-behaved, their mother is aware that her life is not without challenges having two babies at the same time and yet for the most part she remains patient, loving and kind towards her children because she wanted them so much that she will love them unconditionally and protect them forever. This love and understanding of her children helps her to stay calm when they misbehave from time to time and although she will teach them right from wrong, she will never criticise or belittle them. This calm loving parenting is reflected in how well-behaved her twins are. Contrary to this lovely mother I knew another mother with two boys very close together in age, she too was a young mother like myself, and struggled to adjust to the transition of motherhood. I witnessed her out of frustration scream at her boys, slap them, put them in time out and on occasion belittle them. I felt terrible for her boys who just continued to misbehave. They would do everything to push her buttons, draw on walls, pee in corners, hit each other and for every action they undertook there was her reaction swiftly behind them. I tried as a peer parent, friend and nurse to talk to this mother that was struggling about using different strategies with her boys to try to break the cycle of stress and unhappiness in the household. She just cried and said nothing works and despite putting supports in place like playgroup and parenting groups she became dis-engaged and put the children in full-time childcare and spent less and less time with them. Years later I saw them as primary school aged children and noted sadly that none of their behaviour was any better, kids or mothers! It was the mixed messages that this mother was giving to her children that struck a chord with me the most. She would say to the older one “don’t hit your brother’ whilst giving him a massive slap on the backside, sure enough five minutes later he would walk over and hit his brother again! I joke with my children and say to them “do as I say not as I do” especially when it comes to my use of colourful language. However I am not unrealistic and know that children are sponges and admire and respect their primary caregivers no matter how they are behaving. So I may tell them not to do something but if I’m doing it myself then chances are eventually they will do it themselves too and I will have no-one to blame but myself. We can all live in a fairy tale world were we all have the total control of our kids and the final say in all their behaviours but that’s just unrealistic isn’t it! If I get embarrassed by my kids swearing  in public then I have no-one to blame but myself. I can explain to them why I feel the need to swear, how it’s generally frowned upon by society and how I wished they wouldn’t do it but if its something they are hearing all the time its going to be like second nature to them isn’t it! It’s all learnt behaviour!! I’m  pretty sure kids don’t just think, ‘I’m going to behave like a feral unruly animal today and fuck stuff up until my parents crack and lose it at me’. Their behaviour is often a product of their environment and age appropriate development!! Yes girls will be bitchy for a few years but if you ride with it don’t bother fighting back because what’s the point it’s probably a redundant argument about why can’t they shave their legs at the age of eleven?! And boys will be obsessed with body parts from now until forever, firstly their own and then other people’s as they get older. So it really isn’t worth sweating the small stuff because before you know it they are grown!

I get bewildered by these poor women who have these children that are just emulating behaviours that they see everyday and question why their kids are acting out. Recently in the Paediatric Emergency Department I looked after a young chap that had presented because he wasn’t feeling well. His mother had brought him in and it was decided he needed to stay for a few hours observation. It can be boring for a young child to sit in a hospital for hours so I let them sit in the play area, where he had access to lots of toys, books and television. I watched this child for several hours trash the playroom, throwing toys around with no regard for whether they got broken or not or whether he hurt someone with his missile projected toy. He spoke to his mother so rudely for a child his age I was astounded. His mother remained patient, quietly spoken, loving and kind and it bothered me so much that this child was so naughty for her for no apparent reason. I felt for the woman so I offered her a tea and she said “I’m fine thank you, my husband is on his way”. The boy continued to be defiant and obnoxious and refused to let me provide him with any nursing care, which isn’t unusual for frightened small children. He wasn’t frightened though he was angry and naughty and then his father arrived! Wow the old saying of ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’! The dad was immediately abrupt about what the ‘hold up’ was at the hospital, question directed towards me and his wife. Obviously brushed his son aside when the child ran to him for a hug out of excitement upon seeing his dad. Ignored all the child’s attempts at gaining his father’s attention, sat impatiently taping his foot whispering hurriedly to his wife and then got up and brushed the child aside again when the child elected to sit on his father’s lap while I assessed him. This left the child distraught and completely unapproachable followed by a rampage of toy throwing. Toy throwing to which dad returned by chastising the child……. thus perpetuating the cycle of bad behaviour for attention…..and reinforcing any attention is good attention to a child not getting his needs met… All the while my heart bled for the mother who was trying her hardest to parent her child with obvious unconditional love and close to tears.

Parents, primary care givers, whoever they may be need to self reflect regularly on how their family is going. If things aren’t working then it may be time to reflect on why not, take some time out and try new techniques. Most often parents aren’t coping because they are at breaking point from exhaustion. A little time out and reflection on why they have children is useful and how can they get help if they need it! Children need to be wanted they need to have boundaries, routines, rules that make them feel safe and above all they need UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!! A true parent does not love their child any less if they display bad behaviour. Furthermore rewarding their bad behaviour with negative attention is superfluous!! Children need to be praised, encouraged and rewarded for positive behaviours and attitudes!! Positive reinforcement and education started from a young age instil a sense of self-pride and an ability to develop critical thinking skills. Skills that enable kids to differentiate between right and wrong and analyse actions and consequences!! Self pride promotes self-confidence and self-awareness and it is my experience that children with these qualities are often more in tune with other people’s self perceptions!! Teach your children to know who they are and to feel love and respect for themselves and this will in turn reflect in how they treat others!! A school bully once analysed will often confess immense self loathing….. And no child should feel like that… If the bully didn’t feel like that in the first place then they would not lash out and hurt others.

I recently read an article (which out of protest I will NOT post a link to) that stated that we are creating a generation of arrogant children that don,t believe that they can fail at anything…WTF… From what I see in society we are seeing generations of children too scared to aspire to anything, too afraid to be who they want to be!! With the pressures of social media sites, media itself and the fast paced modern technological world, children are finding it more difficult to be who they really are!! The incident rates of youth suicide, binge drinking, drug use, mental health issues from eating disorders to major depression has significantly risen over the last few decades……. So why should I not tell my children how amazing they are? If society and media keeps sending them the message that they are not good enough and that setting their goals and dreams too high may set them up for failure that they may not be equipped to deal with, I say to hell with that theory!!!! In life there will be ups and downs and they know that, they’ve got enough peers criticising them, enough teachers criticising them and enough media leading them to believe they are not good enough, then why should I not shower them with praise!! I chose to have them, they are my favourite people in the world I reserve the right to tell them how fabulous I think they are everyday!!!!

Unconditional love and nurturing children may just be enough to overcome the bad behaviours that parents, who are pushed to their limits, blame on the child’s nature or genetic pre-disposition……

Anyway at the end of the day, all I’m trying to say is, don’t have children if all you’re going to do is complain about them, belittle or ignore them!! There are so many wonderful loving people out there that would give anything to have children but can’t for whatever sad and frustrating reason so cherish and appreciate what you’ve got!! And realise that if your kid is a little bit of a prick it’s probably because you’re being a bit of a shit parent!! Often the traits people find challenging in their children are the traits they struggle to recognise or handle within themselves, like stubbornness……

It is not in a child’s nature to be deliberately naughty and so it is up to us to nurture them so they can learn right from wrong.

TO MY CHILDREN

I will love you

Because you deserve it

Protect you

Because you are vulnerable

Guide you

Because without guidance you may get lost

Inspire you

Because you deserve to have big dreams

Support you

Because even the strongest human will need support sometime

But most of all I will love you!!

With unconditional love, because, I chose you!!

And somewhere, somehow your tiny soul chose me too…..

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxox 🙂

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, schools, Society, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Trial By Society

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Hello Beautiful People,

Well as I said in my last post it has been a very busy couple of months, both for me personally and for our country!!

Lets see how our country has been busy. Some of you, for starters may be wondering why the cute and cuddly image of a pink care bear above has been tainted by the bomb in its hand and the giant ‘A’ for ‘Anarchy’ on its belly?! Well I thought it was a fitting analogy for what some of the events that have recently taken place in our country can be likened too!!

Firstly, our Government, currently the Labor Party are in *power* being led by the infamous Julia Gillard. Is it just me or did this party recently become more of a circus side-show act than they have ever been?! Watching the news reports over and over again about the party experiencing internal discord and leadership challenges was for me, incredibly embarrassing!! It was like watching a group of little kids arguing and saying “no, everybody likes me better, so we should play my game” Hhhmmm shame shame shame all the Politicians need to grow up and set a better example to the members of society, that they are leading, not squabbling!!! So back to the bear, Julia reminds me of the bear, feminine, slightly, strangely adorable, (perhaps because she’s the first female Prime Minister we’ve ever had or perhaps cause she’s a ranga, yep I secretly love them too!) and so like the bear, cute, yet somehow exuding the energy of someone who potentially is (whether it be directly or indirectly) in sighting some sort of disharmony or anarchy even within her own party!! Interestingly enough despite our governments constant bickering within the parties and between the parties it is satisfying to reflect and note that our country comparative to the rest of the world has seen great economic stability whilst others have come crashing down!! And yet we as a nation watch our leaders fight and berate each other with predictions of doom and gloom if they themselves are not in power!! Maybe the politicians will only be happy if the country falls into a nation of Anarchy…… 😉

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On the notion of a nation of anarchy we shall move on from our politicians and address the recent issue of societies response (and mine) towards an incident involving a police officer and a civilian at the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney………

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The above YouTube Video was uploaded and circulated around two days after the Mardi Gras when this incident took place, it went viral almost immediately. Watching it made me feel sick and disappointed in this particular Police Officer and I was genuinely disgusted, at what I perceived to be, as an obvious use of excessive force!! I made my opinions strongly known on my Facebook page despite several people I care about being in the Police Force. I didn’t care if I offended anyone because I hate violence, I’m a hippie at heart and any form of violence reduces me to tears. Yet this clip made me angry, it made me so angry I wanted the world to know that I supported this poor little whimpering kid in his gold sparkly shorts and that the Police Officer should be severely reprimanded!! I too, like Julia, had good intentions at heart but had become the *A* for Anarchy care bear!!!! I’m cuddly and sweet and love everybody, everybody that is except this horrible aggressive Policeman! I was not alone, a lot of my peers, who I perceive as peace-loving people, kind, intelligent, compassionate people were also shouting ‘hate crime’ from their rooftops and demanding justice for this ‘poor innocent’ boy who was brutalised at the hands of this Policeman!! Only two people challenged my very public opinion on the matter and I was confronted by these challenges publicly and unexpectedly……. those two people, Anne and Sean, I’ll always respect you both and be in awe of  the strengths of your personalities. It seemed like everyone I knew agreed with me and that this man was the victim of excessive Police force and there was a trial by society brewing that this Policeman should be dealt with and discharged immediately.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/youll-make-it-worse-for-yourself-new-footage-shows-mardi-gras-teen-kicking-at-officers-20130308-2fp79.html

The above link shows a snippet more of the full picture of the circumstances surrounding the incident in which this young chap was arrested and thrown to the ground. Its interesting of course that this footage is incredibly hard to find and has had nowhere near the million or so hits that the previous footage that was first put on YouTube had as it went viral….. Turns out, after this boy agreed to do some media interviews,  that he knew he wasn’t behaving appropriately but he did think the Policeman was heavy-handed with him….. Further investigation and some not so widely spread news reports have confirmed that the boy was acting unruly and behaving like a public menace. One eye-witness later came forward to say that the boy was seen obstructing the path of an ambulance trying to get to a patient, that he was touching people on the backside that he didn’t know and then very publicly resisted arrest and tried to fight off several Police Officers while he was hand cuffed….. As I said, very limited footage showing this but there is some around!! And yet the general consensus of society was *FTP*……… Maybe we all secretly want anarchy so we can all go around assaulting each other and fending for ourselves……

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I want to make it clear that I still think that the footage of the Policeman taking that guy down does look bad and in a perfect peaceful world (that I have created in my head) he would have gently lowered him to the ground and carefully restrained him (perhaps with a cuddle thrown in). The extra footage shown to me, the news reports displaying the boys behaviour and some cool people I know calmly explaining to me how it feels in those situations and the training they are given to deal with people resisting arrest has made me (very very red-faced!!) come full circle to say, I don’t want Anarchy…. Perhaps I want to be the care bear with the heart on its tummy……

Perhaps, for me to be able to live in a world where the idiots on the streets creating chaos and anarchy need to be dealt with appropriately, there may need to be care bears that are braver than me who can handle having to use a little force when necessary…….

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Everyone in our country has their opinion on how things should be run and how law breakers should be dealt with, myself included. However if we are not going to actively involve ourselves in being the changes we want to see in our society then we have no right to sit back and create a trial by couch sitting critics…… If you don’t have the political knowledge to run the country and you don’t vote, then don’t complain about the leaders screwing it up!! If you don’t know the law and don’t/cant (because of your criminal history) work as a Police Officer then don’t judge unless you can show you can do it better!!

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I espoused my opinion on the Government and the Police as though my opinion was the best and most accurate and then was forced again to reflect on my pompous opinions…….. Self reflection is often hard because none of us ever like to admit that we are wrong or look at aspects of ourselves that we might need to change, cause lets face it we all think we’re pretty awesome huh? I reflected on my opinions of the government and how the country is being run and my very public opinion on this incident with the boy and the Police Officer because of a few recent incidences I experienced myself whilst at work. I was in some situations that required me to use my own critical thinking on my feet and fast, decisions were made outcomes were good and yet opinions and judgements were flying left right and centre. My pride was hurt and I couldn’t understand why people weren’t just telling me how awesome I was……….

Upon reflection………..WE ARE NOT CARE BEARS!!!! WE ARE  HUMAN!!!! 🙂

Which means we do the best that we can, we make rash decisions in the heat of the moment with the best intentions, at least most of us do, and sometimes those decisions will leave people judging us. Criticising or critiquing our actions if you will and we can choose to react emotionally and hold onto that judgement or opinion and become resentful towards society or we can choose to use that information as a learning lesson. Arm yourself with the knowledge that others are trying to impart on you, learn from your mistakes or choices and move forward in strength.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!! Knowing all the facts and all your options will set you free and make you a better person (not care bear) 🙂

We truly live in a lucky country, Liberal, Labor or Greens, NSW, VIC, or QLD Police, I still feel lucky that we do not live in a war-torn country with Militia and Guerilla armies or corrupt Governments (for the most part)!!!

Happy judging, Society!!!

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, Sea change, Spiritual, Uncategorized

I’m back…..or am I? PTSD or Controversy?

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Hello beautiful people,

Well its been a long time between sharing and caring really, so where to start……… Lets see my last Blog was about a sea change and a whole lot of whining about waking up feeling flat and cranky for no obvious reason other than some petty challenges in life such as money and accommodation………or so it seemed…….. The last four months that I haven’t shared have seen me through some even more challenging times causing me to embark on a whole new level of self-reflection…….remember that notion, self-reflection, something I harped on about the importance of in a previous post, well I digress so back on track, the last few months have seen me deal with challenges such as having to go part-time at work due to family commitments (enhancing previous financial problems), daughter experiencing some challenges with uni work, sister tackling life changes, beautiful mother confronting and challenging the big ‘C’ and small boys dealing with learning difficulties…….Now I’m no super woman but am relieved to say that these challenges were tackled courageously, albeit with some tears, plans have been implemented and things are moving forward in positive ways. All these challenges got me thinking, how is it that when life was plodding along without any drama for me to deal with I was feeling more anxious and flat than I should have been, particularly in regards to where we were living? Yes the house was tiny and the kiddies had no backyard to play in and all the boys were sharing a room, however these things certainly weren’t enough reason for me to be having mini panic attacks every time I had to go home……….

On top of all these recent challenges I was lucky (truly, truly lucky) enough to secure the lease on a bigger house right across the road from the property we were last living in. I saw the house become vacant, applied for it and within a week had signed the lease and moved seven years worth of an entire families lives across the road into a gorgeous hundred year old cottage, at least twice the size of our previous house!!!! The first night sleeping in the new house I felt an instant sense of peace and happiness, calmness. I kept thinking how lucky and blessed we are to have such an amazing house and how happy the space made me feel………. I quickly realised it wasn’t the ‘space’ (size) that made me feel happy it was ‘the’ space, the nature or the essence of the space, it encompassed calmness and happiness and positive energy.

*Insert flashback here* Why did my old house not feel like this? Why did it promote feelings of anxiety? Had I always felt like that about my old house, how long had I been having those feelings?

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Its April 24th 2011 and I’m in my dining room with two of my best mates, Stu is at work and the kids are asleep….. We’re laughing, talking and playing a trivia game, the three of us are relaxed and having a cool time……. My mate stands up says she’s not feeling well, me and her boyfriend look at her concerned and say what’s wrong? She drops……she’s not breathing……no pulse……I look at him panicked, he doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s frozen…….. I ring triple O…… I do CPR for ten mins…….nothing…….I hold her………crying………first car crew of paramedics turn up……..nothing……….second car crew of paramedics turn up………. nothing……..I’m still crying…………..

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Is it controversial to allude to the fact that I have self diagnosed with PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder)? Yes I’ve had counselling, who wouldn’t when they lose a close friend like that…… I suppose quite a few people really……..however nobody ever suggested that I may have PTSD because I’m and ED nurse I deal with death all the time……… Hhhmmm actually it really is easier to detach yourself from someone you don’t know. Death at work is hard but nowhere near as hard as losing someone you really care about. My recent months of self-reflection in my cosy beautiful new house have made me really consider the possibility that I have been dealing with a bit of PTSD. That’s even if its possible to have just a bit of PTSD and not a lot of it…..it seems only fair that it comes in different degrees depending on the trauma experienced by the person and how resilient or not the person is. The old house holds so many good memories, of kiddies first steps and birthday parties, and sadly all I see now is pain, gut wrenching heart-break……… Mini anxiety attacks about walking through the front door or being alone in there………. Nonsense really or completely warranted or maybe even controversial……….

Its coming up to two years muffin and I miss you like crazy……. I know your bf does too……….We still always talk about you……..And spending time with your family always gives me a great sense of peace and happiness……..I know what you’re thinking……. Suck it up princess……..But don’t forget……. I know the sweet you…….the one that sent me msgs at night, saying hug a baby for me Nooshie………I don’t think about you as much as I want to cause it’s still too painful………

I’ve been waking up feeling grateful to be living this wonderful life, despite all the recent challenges we’ve faced as a family. I’ve had great support from friends and my family have really pulled together to support each other. All the new challenges and the move into our new home have really helped me reaffirm that I am a really strong resilient person. I know me and enjoy being me, PTSD or not! The things in life I’m most grateful for each day are the wonderful moments I get to spend with my loved ones and the amazing moments I experience frequently at work, through helping others!

I think I’m back to being me without the worry and anxiety…….or am I ‘back’ to being me? Maybe I’ve become a stronger better version of me…….. Oh of course I have, no controversy about that……

Sooooo remember what we used to say when we went shopping and complained about the clothes not fitting us………lol

Lets fake it till we make it baby 🙂

Never take anyone you care about for granted people because one day it might be too late to tell them how great they are!!

So for now, again I send a big shout out to all the amazing people in my life you all know who you are!! However in particular my kiddies, Stu, my mumma, Brennos (always and forever here for ya!), my sisters and all my beautiful mates!!

And if you haven’t seen my new house yet, it’s definitely worth a visit!! So beautiful, warm and happy!!

Today and for as long as it takes, I’ll be wearing my poker face 😉

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Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxox 🙂

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, schools, Sea change, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Sea Change Anyone?

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Hello beautiful people,

I have woken up cranky for the last three days. It’s not really like me. I’m on my days off from work and had lots of things planned, things I wanted to achieve. However I’ve spent the better part of the last three days feeling sorry for myself, chasing kids around and tackling never-ending mounds of housework.

The tribe and I live in a teeny weeny pocket-sized town house in the trendy (and ridiculously overpriced!!!)  Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The hubby and I are both in government employed jobs, receive average wages with no benefits……. Yep that’s right I said government jobs with NO benefits!! No dental, no medical, no rent or mortgage assistance, nothing!! And yes tax payers dollars pay our wages but we pay tax too, and a lot of it, so technically one could say we are paying ourselves too. If Peoples taxes didn’t pay our wages who would do our jobs? Yes we do our jobs partly for the love of them but we need to survive too!

So I think I’m waking up cranky in our poky little house because I’m exhausted from working so hard for an average wage and not even being able to afford to live somewhere I am happy to be or that actually fits my family. We have three children sharing a bedroom that you couldn’t swing a cat in (no offence to our fury loving friends) let alone make their beds or put their clothes away comfortably. Decision made after much debate about whether or not it was okay to expect teenage daughter to share with younger brother, conclusion no because apparently boys stink!

The area itself is surrounded by beautiful beaches, we are fifteen minutes away from Sydney’s infamous Bondi Beach, and parks designed with great play equipment to keep kids entertained for hours.

Not five minutes up the road from us is a hospital campus with some of the best Children’s, Women’s and Adults Hospitals in Sydney.

We are only a fifteen minute drive from Sydney’s central business district, including the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Hyde Park and Centre Point Tower.

We are spoilt for choice with both public and private, Primary and High Schools and have several excellent Tertiary education facilities around!!!

All these great things within half an hour of where we live!! So why would I wake up cranky?

Most weeks consist of hubby and I having opposite rosters, he works days I work nights, yes the old analogy of ships passing in the night fits us perfectly.

School fees, rent prices (that are through the roof, average 3 bedroom house between $600-$1000 per WEEK, which would pretty much take up one of our whole incomes leaving us the bare minimum to live on) food bills, utilities, soaring petrol prices and just general constant increase in cost of living is making it harder for us to stay living in the area that we grew up in.

To buy a house requires a 10% deposit, average house price in area is $700000-$2million…..hhmmm paying the rent we do with all other expenses I would like someone to please explain to me how we are supposed to save a deposit that is more than our annual income?

Someone said to me just start by saving $10 a week and in my head my really mature subconscious said “derrrrrrr $10 a week would take a bazillion years to save the deposit I need” Yes my subconscious is also good at maths!

I have pondered on how my friends that live in the area have afforded to buy properties here. It occurred to me that several of them have inherited houses. Inherited money for the deposit, had family help with the deposit, had some kind of windfall for the deposit. Or lived with family until they were nearly thirty so they could save, buy and rent the property out to pay it off. All of these options not available to me. Besides I’d rather have family around then lose them to inherit money or a house (not saying anyone was cheering about their lose when they got their inheritance, so don’t get your knickers in a not!! And I was independent when I was a teenager so there was no living with my mum until I was nearly thirty!)

I’ve talked about the beauty and the benefits of the area so it only seems fair to point out some of the pitfalls, other than the ridiculous cost of living here!

For a small area it is grossly over populated on a hot summers day you are hard pressed to get a towel sized patch of beach without awkwardly rubbing against the leg of the stranger next to you who is just trying to catch some rays too. For a largely overpopulated area having grown up here, there is pretty much nothing you can do or say that someone who knows someone will be talking about you the next day. The crime rate is increasing at an alarming rate, believe me!! The property sizes for the price you pay are ridiculous. The peak hour traffic can see you at a stand still in your car for an hour on a journey that should take you no longer than ten minutes!!

Yes people can say why didn’t you save before you had kids to buy a house, well plain and simple I had kids before I was prepared to have them and I grew up in rental properties and wasn’t really taught about the great Australian dream of owning my own home, until the realisation dawned on me that renting is dead money!!

Phewww that’s a lot to think about, no wonder I’ve been waking up cranky. Note to self don’t ponder on what you don’t have before you fall asleep!

So options to overcome this, include put my blinkers on and ignore the desire to own a home, one that actually comfortably fits my whole family or…………….move!!

One small word with so many complications………move………

This effectively means looking at suburbs outside of Sydney, trying to choose one that we like, one that we can afford, one that has all the benefits of the area that we are currently in.

It also means addressing the issue of how far away are we willing to move? What about the grandparents and Aunt that we will be leaving behind, that we love so dearly? What about leaving behind all our friends? What about new schools?  What about our jobs? Will we have to find new ones? If we do will the new rosters be worse or any better? Surely they can’t be worse!

People say to me, just move away, have a sea change if you don’t like it you can always come back, ever so casually. It sends my mind into a spin thinking don’t they realise the difficulty surrounding their statement? Don’t they realise that if it was that easy we would have done it by now!

Then there is one of the biggest obstacle of all…………..The teenager!!

Noooooooo you can’t make me move to some small crappy town, I’ll have no friends, I’ll be bored forever, How will I be able to have any kind of life, Why would you do this to me, I wont come??????

And that’s it right there!!! Those three little words that stop all this process in its tracks!!! I wont come….

So, never leave a man behind, no daughter moving with us, means no moving. Yep I am that overly involved in my children’s lives, no I am not yet ready to let any of them go.

I dream of a sea change, where I can wake up relaxed and not cranky and enjoy the view from MY living room!!

I dream of a sea change, a small coastal, partially rural town, with a one man lock up and a little local hospital. A beautiful lush green headland for never-ending picnics above the deep blue ocean lapping at the shore. A little local school that has a great community feel, where all the teachers know the students by name and all the mothers are friends.

I dream of a sea change where the Australian dream is real and a piece of land with a quaint family home on it is a steal……………………..

Have you had a sea change?

Where did you go?

How did it turn out?

Is the grass greener?

Or should I just stay and battle it out with the over crowded streets, over flowing bedrooms and wardrobes, paying nearly all of one wage to live in a house that is too small that we don’t own?

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxox 🙂

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Family, Health, Music, Nursing, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Mental Health Month

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Hello beautiful people,

October is Mental Health Month.

http://www.mentalhealth.asn.au/

On a professional level, as a nurse, to me this means promoting good mental health, making sure people take the time out to let go of stress, relax, unwind, clear your thoughts and enjoy life for a moment. Reflect on where you are in life and whether or not you are in fact happy and experiencing good mental health. Mental Health Month also means promoting understanding and awareness for those in the community that live daily with Mental Illness.

The emergency department is often a place where those who are experiencing a mental health breakdown will present for treatment. Often these patients present scared, paranoid even, delusional, timid, aggressive, intoxicated and possibly even physically injured through self harm or assault. Plain as day these patients present in an incredibly vulnerable state!! I would like now to be a timely reminder to health-care workers to self reflect and remember your commitment to provide non-judgemental, compassionate, professional care!! And if you feel you are burnt out and cannot cope with a patient that is experiencing a mental health breakdown, then for your own mental healths sake, step aside and let one of your colleagues take over!! I feel disheartened when a patient with a mental illness who has self harmed or is paranoid and non-compliant is being judged by health care workers!! If you cant provide holistic care then don’t be there!! A person may appear to you as someone aggressive and yes you need to protect yourself however imagine how terrified they must be feeling to be reacting in such an inappropriate way. Mental Illness is just that, its an illness, they are sick and need help they do not choose to have these feelings, thoughts or behaviours, they are not well!! Its pretty rare that someone would consciously make the decision to behave in a paranoid, inappropriate way or self harm.

Anyway I’m no mental health expert, in fact I must confess that I find it confronting too at times, however more so because I feel sad at my lack of understanding of mental illness. There is just so much to know and sometimes the person that knows the most is the person that has been living with it for years.

Today I was invited to the premiere of a community film called ‘Voices Speak, Lives Change’ it was the project of a group called ‘Working from the ground up’ initiative of Sydney University and University of New South Wales in a collaborative effort with various other groups. The film was shown at the Ritz cinema in Randwick.

http://www.jnc.org.au/Publications/WFGU_Flyer.pdf

The motivation behind the film was to promote, raise awareness and (hopefully) to initiate action/change in the challenges faced by people with Mental Health Issues living in Social Housing in the Eastern Suburbs. The movie interviewed and touched on the lives of thirty four volunteers/participants willing to share their lives and stories in a very personal way.

http://www.jnc.org.au/

On a professional level I can distance myself from the emotional roller-coaster that may try and drag you into its thrilling ride of highs and lows, professionally I can resist the temptation.

On a personal level I will always love someone with Bi-polar………..

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/causes.cfm

Mental Illness is like a cancer that wont go away, it can be treated but its laying dormant there under the skin, buried beneath the haze of medications, therapy and sometimes drugs and alcohol. Its not my area of expertise because I never wanted it to be.

I only want to know the person I love for who they are and not what their diagnosis is.

I know you and that is all I need to know, I know the highly intelligent, very artistic loving creative woman. I know the great cook, patient mother, loving, giving, self sacrificing soul. I know the poet, the song writer, the singer, the digital media producer, the ever creative being. I know you have Bi-polar and you don’t mind talking about it and of course neither do I, however you are so much more than just your diagnosis.

The movie was great and heart breaking at the same time, people in the community with mental illness who at times have felt vulnerable and powerless were given a voice!! They spoke of feeling lucky to live in such a nice area with beautiful beaches, they also spoke of feeling targeted and unsafe at times. This made me feel sad that people felt unsafe in their own homes because they are misunderstood. They requested community awareness about how their behaviour is sometimes out of their control and at times like this they need help not judgement.

Mental Health Month is not just about asking someone if they are okay or assessing them for a diagnosis, its about really reaching out to each other. To ensure you achieve good mental health yourself and to help others feel good and achieve and maintain good mental health too!!

http://www.mentalhealth.asn.au/images/MHM2012/mhm%20factsheet%20final%20text%20with%20graphics.pdf

For all that you do in our community as a volunteer to help others despite knowing at times you may need help yourself, for all your courage in promoting Mental Health Awareness, I will always be in awe of you!! 

For all that you’ve been through and continue to go through, despite how weak you feel at times, you will always be one of the strongest people I know!! 

People remember this, the neighbour crying out for help, the person on the bus next to you or the patient you are treating is someones family member. A grandparent, mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin, someone somewhere loves them and though their behaviour may be challenging they should be treated with respect and afforded the same sense of self dignity as you and me. Please people remember don’t antagonise someone who is already mentally vulnerable.

Mental Health Month is about everybody being allowed to feel safe and happy in their own lives!!

For you sissy, love you dearly, remember when you use to sing this to me xoxoxox

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Music, Nursing, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Self Reflection

Hello beautiful people,

These last few weeks have been so eventful that it seems I have barely had time to sit and quieten my mind. The ups and downs, highs and lows in life wash over us like the constant undulating waves in a choppy ocean. One can start to feel sea sick and emotionally overwhelmed with what life throws at us. At this point I feel its time to stop still on the shore and look out at the sea and source out the calm peaceful energy that one needs to remain centred in rough tides.

Self reflection is a concept that was taught to us all throughout our studies at University. The concept of being aware of the self in relation to ones professionalism, surroundings, mannerisms, behaviours and interactions with others is something that we are taught to be aware of and self evaluate in regards to these areas. However it is something I have always endeavoured to do throughout my life as I have always felt the eyes of society judging me (and not in a paranoid way of course). So many young women are socialised and raised with constant media barrage portraying images of how women should look and behave and on numerous occasions throughout my life I have been told things such as “shouldn’t you loose some weight”, “a lady shouldn’t speak like that” or “girls shouldn’t dress like that or play that game” and to this I would always say ‘really, why?” “Where is the rule book and where in it does it outline how a girl should behave”? I guess Ive always gone against the grain when it comes to how a woman should behave. I speak out for those that don’t have a voice, I’m strong minded and opinionated and I openly show affection! For some reason these qualities I openly embrace seem to make people feel uneasy, so I see its self reflection time again….

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As far as I see it if I’m not hurting ANYONE then why cant I do what I want? These kinds of statements and images have lingered in mind and I have seen the long term damage to other women that I have been close to, be ruined by the random need for others to pass judgement or expectation on other women!!

I by no means am perfect and in regards to recent extensive self reflection have been wrestling with the notion that perhaps I am a massive hypocrite……… I always wish for peace love and happiness for all, I truly do from the bottom of my heart, with the utmost sincerity I feel the pain of so many others when I know I shouldn’t and I wish them peace and happiness despite not knowing whether they really deserve it or not.

My best friend and I used to refer to ourselves as bleeding hearts or rather crassly as “hire a griever” because we are so emotional and forgiving at times that we could attend the funeral of a complete stranger and be reduced to tears in mere minutes. However, here’s the hypocrisy………..

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If you were to hurt me or anyone I cared about I would probably rip your head of with a barrage of verbal abuse in about zero to no seconds and then…….. (And yes I know there are people out there that can vouch for this) …….. Five seconds after that moment of judgement and anger I will be crying at the guilt I feel and the pain I feel in regards to my reaction and the possible pain my victim may be feeling….

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Upon self reflection I am tough, I am a survivor, a survivor of way too many things to be on this page…… At times I am judgemental much to my own disappointment!!! The best and most honest part of me is my kindness and compassion!!! I feel proud to say that at least most of the time the good wins over the evil in me!! I don’t want to be racist or prejudice and I certainly don’t ever want to judge people, its not my job to.

There have been so many sad and challenging things happen lately in our lives and in our city that the heated discussions around me are flying rapidly, like a whirlwind of theories and opinions vying to win. Why does one person do one thing one way and another do it a different way, who is to say which way is right, it is human nature for us to all behave differently. At the end of the day though wouldn’t the world be so much of a better place if everyone could stop taking themselves so seriously and realise that we ALL deserve respect and peace!!

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Respect and peace on an individual level and on a global level!! Self reflection is an amazing thing when the world is spinning and I feel I have lost sigh of who I am and someone appears to be insinuating that I am a fraud or a stupid hippie I take time out to engage in some self reflection. So to clarify, I am not a fraud, I am who I am and yes that is ever changing and I may be a bit of a hippie but I’m certainly not stupid 🙂

I try most of the time to be up front and honest because I believe that its important to be who you want to be free from judgement, hatred or envy. I am never really envious of anybody because quite frankly I think its pretty awesome to be me, if anything I would just like to be a better version of me, perhaps a little skinnier, less chaotic or spontaneous… and even so immediately after writing those words I think, in whose opinion, cause really its the chaos I thrive on that makes me, me 🙂 Are these negative thoughts and self talk all laying dormant in the subconscious filed away under the category of ‘previous insults’ to be used and brought forward when feeling flat, insecure or unhappy…….

I do prefer honesty from others though there is a way and a way, if you do not agree with someone’s actions voice it in a way that may be constructive to future actions, not destructive. You do yourself and your cause no good by behaving badly. If you feel strongly about a certain event, that may or may not have directly invovled you try to discuss it with someone that may have first hand experience or information on the incident that may be able to discuss, educate or even enlighten you to the true facts, please do not engage in ideal gossip or misguided anger.

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At very rare times as Ive said I do judge but briefly and then I feel sadness because who am I to think I am better than anyone else!! Usually my judgement is not based on the belief that I think I’m better than anyone else it is usually motivated by the belief that my behaviour or life choices are better than others. So are they? Am I really a better person because I would never encourage my child to carry a placard condoning violence?  Or because I really try hard not to live my life participating in petty gossip?  There are always two sides to every story and I will usually only know my side until I go out of my way to truly find out and understand the other side. I have no time for secrecy, spying or passing judgement!! I would much rather be out there in the world living it, feeling it, breathing it!!! I would much rather have a heated debate about what you think of my opinions that have you judge me behind closed doors where I am not afforded that chance to defend myself. Perhaps even allow me the chance to take on board your judgement and use it to self reflect and maybe even better myself. Yes some things we say or do will unintentionally hurt, shock or offend others but it is their reaction to our behaviour, so are we suppose to change our behaviour due to a persons response?……..

Perhaps we should at least self reflect on our behaviour if it shocks or offends someone. Should we change or stop if it hurts someone? If it hurts them emotionally? If it hurts them physically? Some people may respond to this question with a definite yes! However some people can move on from their emotions being a little bit hurt, others may not be able to. It seems fair to say that no-one should be allowed to physically hurt another person, no self reflection needed, just don’t do it! (Unless your that way inclined of course, boxers etc).

So what I am trying to say is, we all need to take time out occasionally to sit back and partake in a little self reflection. We all find it so easy to pass judgement on others and assume that our way is the right way but what is right for one may not be right for another.

There are some behaviours I see in people that as I said earlier initially frustrate me and make me wildly angry and then instantly I feel sad, sad for them that they feel so empty or frustrated themselves that they feel they need to behave in such a desperate way! Every human deserves to live in peace, free from judgement and fear. Free from feeling that if they don’t look or behave a certain way that society may not accept them. Never judge a book by its cover, try turning the pages to uncover the layers of what could be a beautiful soul. Never go on hear say or subscribe to the theories of the masses, find out the truth or the facts and decide for yourself. That’s what I always try to do, I always endeavour to make people feel safe enough in my presence to show me who they really are, no facades. I don’t want false interactions, I always try to live by ‘what you see is what you get’. If I’m feeling great I will tell you and if I am feeling sad I will tell you. I know to some its hard to be who they really are and they may be more private and prefer not to show their true emotions and that is okay too. At the end of the day though we are all human and we all experience widely the same kinds of emotions and I feel that as a global community if people could learn to express themselves emotionally more freely and without judgement the world would be a better place. It would be a better place because people would quickly realise that they are not alone with their feelings, so many others may feel the same way and this can lead to people being able to support each other better.

I know my honesty and openness emotionally can make people uncomfortable, Ive seen people blush in my presence or even had them request I “tone it down a bit”, however this is pretty rare mostly people respond well to my random hugs, of course using self awareness and reflection I don’t hug patients, unless they go in first lol 🙂

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I guess this process of regular self reflection always leads me back to thinking am I being the kindest most understanding, compassionate person I can be because these are the qualities that mean the most to me. Of course sincerity is right up there too because there is nothing worse than someone showing a persona that is calm, kind and non-judgemental just to hide that they are really thriving on sitting on their private make believe pedestal looking down their noses at people and passing judgement every chance they can…… Am I sometimes guilty of being part of this group? I have a gorgeous friend who’s catch phrase is “Don’t they know who I think I am’? (Copyright to PJ 🙂 ) and I think this is fabulous and appropriate to her and I laugh every time I hear it and yet to know her is to know that she will extend kindness to anyone that reaches out to her. I believe its ok to be self complimenting and appreciative, what is so wrong with being proud of who you are? Why do people feel threatened by those that exude confidence? Yes there is a difference between being confident and arrogant, however who determines what behaviour fits which category? What one person may interpret as arrogant another might view as a strong sense of self confidence.

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Taking a moment to self reflect has made me look at aspects of my personality that may be misconstrued as arrogant. Yes I think I’m awesome!! No I don’t think I’m better than anyone else!! Yes at times I feel like I am less than others, especially when I feel they are negatively judging me…… However I quickly remind myself that for whatever reason at that moment they feel they know me well enough or they have the need to pass judgement on me and it is there prerogative to do that and mine to walk away with my head held high maintaining my sense of self dignity and self worth.

Am I self evaluating enough? Have I called you a bitch recently? Maybe…. I can honestly say that if I have then I didn’t mean it and now regret it and probably feel really bad for hurting you. Especially because my main motivation in life is to be a healer not a deliverer of pain. I truly want peace, don’t you? I want my children to be raised in a community where it is ok to be praised, loved and supported! Recently there has been a debate circulating around regarding whether or not we are setting our children up for failure by over praising them? To this I say WTF? I again undertook some self reflection on this topic. Am I a boastful parent? I don’t really think so, I recognise their achievements and praise them for them. I try to always praise them so they have good self esteem and feel confident enough within themselves to make good life choices. Why would you not want to praise your children? Do people really think that by praising them we are setting them up with false hope or expectations? Is it unrealistic to say, ‘hey of course you can be anything you want to be” Why cant they be anything they want? Are we wading into a debate that has become to politically correct? All children are innocent victims of their environment and learn by what the elders around teach them. If we teach them that they are limited by our opinions of them then of course they will not strive to be better than a mediocre version of themselves.

So many areas of self reflection lately, politics, religion, parenting, nursing, professionalism, relationships, freedom, judgement and ME!

Politics always fascinate me and I have always undertaken to learn as much as I can about the various political parties and movements to keep track of where my state, national and Global community might be heading. To this all I have to say, somewhat ambiguously, some people in power inspire and impress me and others….well…lets just say they scare me.

Religion also a topic I have forever been fascinated by, I have as well as a few of my friends throughout our lives delved into several different religions trying to find the one that fits us best. The outcome of this being that there doesn’t seem to be one that completely envelopes all that appeals to my system of beliefs. I believe in a God (perhaps because the thought of no God and no heaven is too painful for me) that is a nondenominational God that does not pass judgement on people based on gender, race, sexual preference, cultural and spiritual beliefs; A God that protects all children from abuse and neglect, providing them unconditional love and protection always; A God that commits to ending all this pain and suffering that is becoming so prevalent; A God that will instill respect, compassion, love and Peace in the hearts of ALL humankind!! I pray to GOD THAT A GOD LIKE THIS REALLY EXISTS!!

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Self reflection on parenting has brought me to the conclusion that, yes I do swear on occasion in front of my kiddies however they understand and respect the rule of ‘do as I say not as I do’. Yes on occasion they probably eat to much junk food and probably don’t do enough homework. Aside from all of this (without being boastful, only truly honest because I would be the first one to tell you if they were being little shits!) I think it is fair to say that I have parented with a firm loving hand providing them with constant unconditional love. Instilling the knowledge and boundaries in them so that they know how to respect themselves, me and others. They are loving kind compassionate children that would never raise a hand to me or others (except very occasionally to each other but hopefully they will grow out of that). They are average students academically and I am fine with that! They are average sporting participants and I am fine with that too! Parenting for me has always been and always will be about loving, protecting and guiding!!

Self reflection on nursing has led me to the conclusion that yes it was always meant to be!! Despite the hours, the pay, the difficult patients or colleagues aside from my family it will always be my one true love!! Furthermore, yes I could do to undertake some refresher courses especially in the areas of pathophysiology and pharmacology!!

Self reflection on professionalism has driven me to think about how I conduct myself at work sometimes and to be self aware about how I am communicating with people when trying to get a job done. Sometimes my chaotic personality can make things seem more urgent than they need to be……

Self reflection about relationships is ongoing and ever changing, people grow constantly and as I said in my recent Blog on friendships, they can be fickle and fantastic. I feel I’m in a good place right now with my relationships, there seems to be a nice balance of people around me who understand me and I them 🙂

Self reflection about freedom has me drawing to the conclusion that although we are some of the freest people in the world, we are only as free as we allow ourselves to be. I know a few of you understand what I’m truly saying. We are held back by our fears of what others may perceive us to be. We deny ourselves the luxurious freedom of being who we truly want to be for fear of being judged and denied by society.

Which leads me to my final area of self reflection, judgement. Am I a hypocrite? Do I wish for no-one to judge me and yet allow myself to judge others? I truly try not too! I certainly have discovered quickly and this may come as a shock to those that don’t know this about me, but I would certainly much rather sincerely pay another person a compliment than sarcastically refer to them as ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’!!!! Just so you know I don’t think its funny or a term of endearment to refer to me as either of those words, as far as I’m aware they were words designed as insults and as such I can never be comfortable with them being used towards me as terms of endearment!! I am not, have not been and never will be anyone’s ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’. I feel uncomfortable and sad when women think this is an ok and acceptable way to speak to each other. As Ive said before if I have ever said it to you I would have had to been pretty angry to call you that. Is it so ingrained in women that we aren’t allowed to support each other or pay each other compliments or feel self pride? Or is it just the Aussie way now that women can only express mate-ship by referring to each other using derogatory words? Hhhhhhmmmmm maybe I’m too much of a princess or hippie but I doubt it because I know I can be a real bitch when I need to be but it is rarely! Anyway I have digressed of the topic of judgement a little and so to wrap it all up, people are free to refer to each other as they please as long as both are in agreement that it is ok and one is not feeling judged by the other.

Self reflection, is it really all about ME? Of course it is and sometimes taking a good hard look at yourself can be really confronting. Do you like what you see? Have you done it recently? Perhaps your burning desire to constantly judge others comes from your unhappiness with what you see when you look within yourself…..

One of my favourite sayings of all time is “Be the change you want to see in the world” (words written motivated by a speech given by Mahatma Gandhi)

Self reflection is all about me, when I am the one doing it, however it prompts me to look at how I fit and interact within my world and I enjoy analysing how my life is going. I like the challenge of trying to recognise the areas that might need work and addressing them. It is often my biggest critics that motivate me to self reflect and to them I say thank you! Today you have been my muse 🙂

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Yesterday I was Me

Today I am Me

Tomorrow I will be Me

I am the Me

You think You know

The Me I am is everchanging

The Me you think You know

The Me I am always learning

The Me you think You know

How can you know Me?

If I don’t really know Me

Yesterday I am Me

Today I am Me

Tomorrow I am Me

And you think You know Me

So I guess the day after tomorrow, We both shall See…….

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxox