Category Archives: Inspirational

Degree of Content

For the past two years, I have been through an emotional and stressful time with realising my marriage was over, including having to deal with a partner in denial of his personal issues.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t actually the most stressful part of my life, the loss of my dearly passed father was what nearly tipped me over the edge.

Thank goodness for my immediate family and the most wonderful caring friends and my inner strength has brought me to a completely new life.

Yes, I am now contended with my lot in life and living on my own.

However living on your own comes with a degree of difficulties, like the handy person type tasks, which I have never had to endure before.

Being someone who is committed to learning new skills, what is picking up a spanner and wrecking the toilet seat, destroying the ceiling fan or screwing the wrong end of the hose fittings to the outside tap? Sooner or later you learn and become skilled in areas you never needed to venture beforehand.

Falling off the stepladder recently and ending up in the emergency room at the local Medical Centre hasn’t deterred me either, despite my sister in Sydney saying, “I know how to scare the bejesus out of her “Nursing Home”.

These comments from my sister created some very interesting conversations amongst my family and friends on Facebook. Unfortunately, it had no effect as I used that same stepladder to trim the garden hedge and this time did more damage to my poor right knee by twisting an already painful knee. Now it is waiting to see a physio to do their magic by easing the swelling and of course pain.

Despite my painful knee I have managed to master fitting out a new toilet seat and yes now have the correct connections on the hose. Will wait until my friends from Western Australia arrive on Saturday to fix the rather lopsided ceiling fan.

The degree of difficulty living alone can be remedied, especially if you have self-determination and prepared to use all your skills and of course Y-tube to learn about fixing things around the house.

 

The Rights of Women

Ending off a rather difficult year, I decided that yesterday was a day to treat myself and see the acclaimed ‘Suffragette’ movie at the local renovated Majestic Sawtell Cinema.

This was a brilliant decision as I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a part of history being played out on the big screen. It made me reflect on how much these suffragettes suffered to ensure women had better conditions and the right to vote. It took decades for women to gain equal rights, although this is not a given across the world. Through men’s ignorance and determination to pull women down these women had the strength and determination with many suffering personally they achieved what we women today take for granted.

Reflecting on history and how long it took to gain the rights for women to vote, especially in the UK, USA, and Australia. However Australian women through the Australian movement of suffragettes, such as Jessie Street Australian women gained the right across Australia to vote in 1902 although South Australia and Western Australia were a few years earlier.

The United Kingdom and the United States followed ten years later.

When I lived and worked in Sydney I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Jessie Street Annual Luncheons at Parliament House. Jessie was a key figure in Australian political life for over 50 years, from the women’s suffrage struggle in England to the removal of Australian constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people. She was recognised both in Australia and internationally for her activism in women’s rights and social justice.

Although Jessie had passed away in 1970 it was at these annual luncheons that I would listen intently to the stories being told by the elders in attendance regarding their personal struggles and what they had to endure to make our lives much better today. These women were the extraordinary Australian suffragettes.

Years on and there is another struggle for women, domestic violence. Through the heartache of a mother Rosie Batty losing her son to domestic violence pushes our nation into facing the disturbing reality that as a country we have a long way to go to stop domestic violence.

Could Rosie Batty be today’s Jessie Street and achieve the ‘stopping of domestic violence’?

Happiness is Finding Your Missing Sister

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What is happiness? For me, it is finding our missing sister Caroline, which had disappeared for more than forty years.

Through the most amazing determination from one of my sisters Debra, Caroline’s biological sister, she discovered the whereabouts of Caroline. She left our Father with her Mother, who isn’t my biological Mother when she was about eight years of age.

Over the years that passed we all wondered and worried about her, was she all right, did she get married and have a family. Of course, there was always the dreaded thought that she may have passed.

Thankfully Debra located her and found that she is well, although she has had a horrible life. She had to confront the death of her Mother at an early age and finding that she had no family members around for support. At that time her immediate family members had moved away some got married and obviously changed their names, including me.

Caroline was a victim and suffered the most horrific abuse by her violent partner, gave birth to four children, two boys and two girls and now a proud grandmother.

Fortunately, her life has now changed for the better, she has found her elder sisters, especially Debra who lives only an hour from her. Unfortunately, I live on the Mid North Coast more than 700 kilometers from her. However, through wonderful phone calls and of course the use of social media we are all connected and can share photos, send messages to her as well as our new found nieces and nephews and grand niece.

Life has now changed for the better for all of us, this is real happiness for everyone, especially Caroline who just can’t believe it is actual, she just keeps crying with happiness, just like the rest of us.

The most beautiful and heartfelt comment came to me from one of my newfound nieces Claudia “I’m so happy that I’m now in contact with my family. I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life”

What My Favourite Teacher Taught Me

Back in 2005, I was asked to contribute an inspirational story about one of my favourite school teachers for a collection of inspirational stories selected by my colleague and friend Robyn Henderson’s book ‘What My Favourite Teacher Taught Me’.

Read on…

Mrs. Bell, my math’s teacher, is the lady who taught me that understanding mathematics is critical to acquiring knowledge and having the ability to analyse information.

At the time, back in the late 1950s at Arncliffe Girl’s High, this was far removed from what I was interested in. But for some reason, her words stuck in my mind and have surfaced over and over during my entire life. What I learned from her has actually contributed to where I am today.

Back in the 1950s, I tended to challenge life and teachers. I can clearly remember Mrs. Bell speaking to me in rather loud tones when I was questioning her knowledge of math’s or disrupting the class by talking about the boys at Tempe Boys’ High School. Even knowing she was, without a doubt, one of the best teachers I had ever encountered, I constantly tested per patients. I was a high achiever and even if I didn’t take in all the lessons I could deliver excellent results at exam time, achieving top grades for three consecutive years. Mrs. Bell persisted with me, this ‘challenging natured’ person, whilst managing to assist the girls who found math’s impossible.

My working life commenced when I took a position in the exciting world of advertising as an accountant using the (then) latest technology in bookkeeping machines – Remington Addo X 8000. This was demanding in itself, being able to program the required ledger you wanted to work on when programming was still in its infancy.

This led me into the computer industry, initially as an accountant and then taking on the new role of Reseller Manager, whilst maintaining the financial control of the organisation.

For ten years my career has moved into developing business by improving internal communication strategies, being client focused, researching new growth market opportunities and strengthening business processes for the commercial training arm of TAFE NSW, TAFE PLUS.

When I think about my career I now realise that the words of Mrs. Bell have rung true for me. ‘Learning and understanding math’s is one of the most important fundamentals of acquiring knowledge and having the ability to analyse information.’ This has actually contributed to where I am today. Thanks, Mrs. Bell.

Your choice to stay angry

You can choose to stay angry, upset and sad, or you can choose to get on with life by facing what has hurt you and be content.

How many of us can do this effectively?

Most people dwell on what makes them unhappy without letting go of it and getting on with their existence.

Dwelling on situations can sometimes make the hurt much greater than it really was, but if you can manage to talk about it with the person/s who has hurt you, then both parties will achieve satisfaction.

If you cannot accomplish discussion, for the sake of your happiness give consideration to, was it really that hurtful anyway!