The best thing to learn is everything takes time, it’s a matter of knowing how to use it
None of us know how long or short our time will be on this planet. Some go way too young and others stay beyond a century. I hope to be in the latter. One thing I do know, is that the planet we live on is a place of wonder and beauty. It is ever changing but continually provides a beautiful landscape. Sometimes it rages and causes havoc. Is it angry or simply shifting its focus? Other times it is calm, serene and magical. In moments of time we are the same as this planet. Like a spectrum we can gravitate from one end of the scale to another, depending on our circumstances, our thoughts, opinions, influences and other environmental factors. It is a continuum, time is not static. It does not stand still, even after we leave, time continues and the sun rises and falls and night follows day. Again and again it goes on, in spite of the storms and in spite of the droughts. So it is, that we must do the same. We must carry on in spite of the chaos, in spite of the hurt, in spite of the disappointments, the successes and the failures. Life throws us curve balls and it is up to us what we do with them. We cannot avoid them totally and they will have an impact, but we can work around them, and continue to move forward.
Time is a precious thing in that it never runs out and we can make choices and decisions, and if we screw up and cause havoc like the storms, we know it can be cleaned up, renewed and a new day will dawn and brighter days will follow.
We are heading into a new year and this year we are dealing with and bringing Corona Virus with us. It will not disappear at midnight. There is no fairy godmother that can banish it away or give it wings to fly itself away. We will still wake up in our lock downs with our restrictions and precautions and for that we will feel sad, disappointed and angry, but we know that it will not last forever. We know and have to believe we will get it under control, it is just a matter of time and we must be patient, vigilant and not complacent.
During this time we may have found lots of things to be positive about, thankful for and appreciative of, and so going into the new year, we must remain positive and hang on to those positive thoughts. Trust that a new day is dawning and in time, we can obliterate this virus and in the meantime count our blessings of what we have and who we have in our lives and lets also enjoy the beauty of our planet and nature.
Don’t be afraid to keep reinventing yourself, believing in yourself or promoting yourself…. You can be anything you want to be
I love the look of this tree in the photograph. I know it’s not the best photograph, but in its natural glory the picture still tells a story. It’s the story of how we live and co-exist with the environment. The tree began life as a seed and along the way grew up, grew strong and formed attachments, or attachments were made. Other plant life grew around the tree and the tree branched out in different directions, and balanced itself to keep itself rooted, where it was planted.
You’ll notice a street light to the left of the photo. That is innovation and before the invention of electricity or light bulbs, people relied on candles or tilly lamps or the moon and stars. Whatever they relied on, people kept searching to progress and improve their surroundings and ultimately their lives. We are a very long way from the cave men!
These days we have social media and the internet. This has really allowed us to expand our horizons, connect more and it makes the world seem a much smaller place, in that everything is within our reach at the click of a button.
We have tick tockers, influencers, bloggers, facebookers, instagramers and much much more and these platforms allow us to promote ourselves, our products, our lives, our views, our everything really.
So here I am promoting myself and my new product – Caroline’s Card Creations (found on Facebook) or @taylormadecardcreations on instagram. I think that there is nothing wrong in promoting ourselves, in coming up with new ideas, in trying something new, in taking a first step to trying to improve ourselves, our lives and our connections.
Like the lovely tree in this photo with the ivy creeping up it and its branches, extending, twisting and turning it shows us that it has come along way from the little seed it once once and yet, we know there is still more for this tree. It is not over. It provides for nature around it, for birds nesting, oxygen for us and maybe one day will be used to make something. Its purpose is endless.
Like the tree, we are not one dimentional. We cannot exist on our own. We co-exist with others, with nature and the environment. Some people wish they could do something, but are afraid, afraid to branch out, afraid to take the risk. Afraid of failure or afraid of ridicule. By not brancing out or reaching out, we will stay stuck, wondering, regretting, hoping or despairing of what we ‘wish’ we could have tried, should have tried.
So I say, no matter what it is, whether it’s making a new friend, changing a career, inventing something new, moving from one place to another, or creating something, do it, take the first step and be proud that you tried and go promote yourself and all that you are and can be.
Below is an example of one of my cards….. Go Sorcha!
Sometimes, especially in youth, things seem so big that they are insurmountable, but then you often realise that it is the little things that really matter and that anything can be achieved. Every day is a new day to start again, regardless of the big or the little thing. As we age and mature, what was the ‘big thing’ will often pale into insignificance and what was the ‘little thing’ is often the most important thing. Its called perspective.
Surrounded by her family, yet feeling so alone
all is safe and peaceful, in this happy family home
but as she sat at the table, concealing how she feels
the hurt and desperation are really very real
she doesn’t want to burden them, or tell them they were right
instead she’ll keep it with her and end it all tonight
she wants to say she loves them, but her throat begins to close
the words are trapped and stuck there, of the secret no one knows
growing up is difficult, but then to be betrayed
of the love in a relationship, how could she possibly stay?
for when the drink was taken, a monster he became
no one could control him, or even make him tame
so as much as he said he loved her, his fists said otherwise
no more could she bare the agony of the beatings or the lies
not yet even twenty, yet she felt life had no meaning
ashamed of what she’d put up with, had left her true self reeling
so as she went to bed that night, she studied all the pills
they only way to stop the pain – it had been a a battle of the wills
she thought about her family, and she began to cry
deep down inside, within her heart, she didn’t want to die
she knew no other way to stop the hurt and pain
and so she took all the pills and on her bed she lay
sometimes without explanation, an intervention occurs
for when she woke the next morning a ‘voice’ had spoke to her
it’s not your time to go now, don’t be so alarmed
the tablets that you’ve taken, have left you quite unharmed
go and live your life, you are stronger than you think
and then the voice disappeared as quick as she could blink
she felt a little groggy, astounded and so shocked
but soon she felt the strength enough, but her secret would stay locked
she swore she would do something, and make her life worthwhile
no more being trod upon and soon she would smile
now when she looks back on that time, oh so long ago
she’s thankful for that ‘intervention’, that helped to make her grow
and realised that a mind so young, can be easily disturbed
and loose sight of what can be achieved, if we share and we observe
so when around the table, at family dinner time
be sure to check with your young ones, that they are doing fine
and if they appear distant or even a little aloof
sometimes that is just enough to offer you some proof
that maybe all is not so well, so tread kindly and be open
let them know you’re there for them, and would help if they feel broken
it may must be the start, that they feel that they can tell
when all that’s going on in their life, is really not going so well.
Not many of us expect to be talking about our ‘final wishes’ at a young age. That is usually for the very rich or the very old, who make provisions for what is to happen to them at ‘the end’. This pandemic may give us all a different view on that now.
I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully, but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights. I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar. One of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win. So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones
We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world. When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now. I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.
This time it is a different story. This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion. This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.
We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean. It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary. My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virusy’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again. How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug. I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can. Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.
What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it.
From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying. It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers. Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs? Others, not so lucky to survive.
This brings me to the Oscars. What if you get it? You don’t know if you will survive it. You have to be prepared. You have to have your ‘speech’ ready. You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them.
Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end. Whether that is to be cremated or buried. Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in. Is this morbid, no I don’t think so. It is necessary. Not everyone has made a Will. Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one.
Write your closing speech. Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you. Write it in a letter. Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends. Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech. Be prepared. You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win. You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.
In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve. Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home. Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE. Give them some respect. If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own. They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis. Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.
Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes.
People say they are non-judgmental, but I think people judge all the time, if only for a while…
My grandson turned 5 yesterday. He is a very clever, observant and smart boy. He is definitely in tune with his feelings too. The night before his birthday, he go very upset, thinking that once he was 5, he would no longer be able to do crafts or colour in pictures of spiderman etc as he would be too old. His mother reassured him that not only could he still do his crafts and colouring, but that he would get better and better at it and anything that he did, the older he gets. He was very reassured and of course, believed his mother.
I went to see him on his birthday, well to have a social distance visit with him so I could leave his birthday present in the garden for him. After thanking me, he proceeded to tell me that he been upset the night before his birthday because he thought that he would not be able to colour or craft once he was 5 but that his mammy told him that he would be able to and not only that, but that he would get better and better. I also reassured him that yes, that was the case and that I am now 55 and I can still paint, draw and make things and that I got better with age. He smiled and nodded.
We were both painting at my house about a month ago, I was doing an abstract. He told me that my painting looked like a child had done it! Now thinking back to our conversation yesterday, I am a little perturbed that when he smiled and nodded at me, he was being polite, thinking that by 55 I should be able to paint better than something that looked like a child had done it! I think he may have been judging me!
These are very different times which we live in, especially the last few weeks and it is having an impact on everyone, all ages, across the world. This sensitive 5 year old picks up on everything around him and he is alert to everything in his environment and the people around him.
Last week he and his mother were having a chat which lead to how he views the family around him and it goes something like this:-
Nana L – drinks tea
Grandad L drinks champagne
Nanny M smokes
Grandad J builds
Nanny C Judges (means bosses everyone) 🙂
Grandad K works all the time
Daddy drinks cans of boost
Mammy drinks milk (no I don’t) she says
Jess watches Netflix
Jake says cool stuff
Uncle D gives out to B every day!
Aunty S tells C not to tease
Little J goes to school
and S…. poos
Well, we did have a giggle. Out of the mouths of babes hey. Well me being Nanny C, I took a little time to reflect. Am I really ‘Judgey/ bossy’? Well, yes I guess I am. It’s not the first time and I don’t think it will be the last time that someone will say that to be honest
I Judge EVERYTHING, straight away, and I am not ashamed to admit it. However, I am not the only one. You do too! People like to say that they don’t judge but, we all do. You are judging this piece of writing right now. I first wrote this in a notepad in a beautiful leather bound case which I bought in a shop in Dingle. I judged it as soon as I saw it, thought it was beautiful and bought it. Others may have seen it and thought it was just OK or too expensive, that would be their judgement on it.
The dictionary definition of to judge is:-
to form an opinion or conclusion
We all form opinions everyday, from the weather to what to wear, eat or how people interact with each other etc, etc. The dictionary definition is to form an opinion OR conclusion, not necessarily both, at the same time. In my defense then, I would say that when I form an opinion I do not always come to a conclusion on something, that there is room for manoeuvre. For example, lets take the weather. I may say ‘I don’t think it will rain all day’. That is not a foregone conclusion, merely my opinion. A meteorologist may be able to put me right, given that she/he is more expert in the field of weather, but even experts sometimes get it wrong.
I mind this particular grandchild 3 days per week whilst his mother is at work and sometimes at the week end too, until she gets back from work. He spends a lot of time with me, in usual circumstances, at this moment he is locked in at home with his mammy and loving every minute of having her home! He has been known to call me mammy 2, in the absence of mammy 1, but mammy 1 is his absolute number 1 person in his life I might add. As much as I love him and my 3 other grandchildren, I am known to somewhat spoil them more than I did their mothers when they were little. That is a grandmother’s prerogative is it not? Having said that, I still have to ensure he is ‘fed and watered’ properly and nutritionally first. I also have to ensure he is ‘bathed and bed’ by a reasonable hour, so I can absolutely understand his view of me as being ‘bossy’.
Also, I still have two teens in the house and boy oh boy do they test my patience at times. My little 5 year old is often a vicarious party to the conversations which go on between us plus the fact that they often have to be coerced, encouraged and told what to do and how to do it by yours truly, moi! Hence, of course I am a bossy boots.
I would imagine he has taken in a great many of the conversations we have had regarding, teens, indulgent and otherwise, boys, clothes, and make up styles to name but a few. Make up, especially seems to be a regular topic in the house in that I see lots of people contouring their faces to within an inch of their lives. Making themselves look like drag queens with the over made up eyes, lips and enormous eyelashes, that a bird could build a nest in. Then of course, there are the eyebrows and the shiney noses. Who really in their right mind wants to look like Groucho Marx about the brows and Rudolph with the ‘shiney nose’. Girls, put down the high lighter and step away from the brow pack…. Dont you know you are to only enhance what you already have, not recreate it with a pencil! See there I go again with the judging.
I started this piece by saying my 5 year old grandson is a very clever, observant and smart boy. I have judged him correctly on this occasion, not only is that my opinion it is also my conclusion about him. I also observe that he too can be a little bossy at times….. he must take after his nanny C.
In conclusion, however, to his list, when I am no longer ‘actively’ parenting or childminding grandchildren, I propose to be more like grandad L, and drink Champagne…..
from early on we strive to build friendships, work, build networks and build a home, but during all this ‘building’, do we ever feel overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed and then feel the need to break free?
We are conditioned by nature to seek out relationships. We are engineered by our environment as to the types of relationships we build, based on what and whom we are exposed to. Some of us are born to our families and remain with them all of our formative years and maintain good relationships when we flee the nest. Others do not get to stay with their family of origin but may still have some form of contact, or none whatsoever, depending on the circumstances and the circumstances can be many and varied. We are shaped by the people around us, parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, friends. We learn from each other. We build and we adapt, depending on whom we are with and what we are doing. We often ‘go along with things’ so as not to stick out, be the odd one out, rock the boat. To keep the peace is often the easier option. We may surpress what we really feel and deny ourselves the opportunity to be honest and open. To do so could offend, incite an argument, evoke scrutiny that we may not wish to recall or simply we may think it is kinder to not be honest in certain situations. After all, we all have different tastes, ideas, ideals, opinions, beliefs and perspectives, and that is fine.
Sometimes though, it can all become too much. We are but one person. In order to survive we NEED others, we NEED relationships. We need to love and be loved, to feel value and give another person a sense of value. We need relationships on some level, for us to feel full and complete. This can lead us to feeling good, yet overwhelmed. As the saying goes, ‘we cannot please all of the people all of the time’. One person, whether a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a child, we must ‘interact’. It is in the interacting with all of the people in our circle and indeed outside of our circle that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed. We can deny ourselves so much and so often, that we don’t even realise that we are denying ourselves. It can become a way of life, a habit, and habits are easy to form yet difficult to break.
Like an animal, taken from the wild and placed in a zoo, it can adapt to his new surroundings. He will be fed, exposed to company, given somewhere to live, given the basic things needed to survive, but, will he be happy, all of the time or for that matter, any of the time. Yet he stays, no option but to stay, he is so tightly monitored and guarded that his existence is secured. He learns to adapt to his new way of life, but may still yearn for his former life, for his independence. His offspring born in this new habitat will no nothing of the wild as they would have been born to this habitat and will not know any different….. but what is their instinct. They may not know how to hunt, how to take care of themselves, how to survive in the wild, but perhaps they have a desire to find out. Perhaps they have a desire to break free, perhaps their instinct is engrained in their DNA.
We are the same. We were born into our surroundings, guided, nurtured, ensuring or needs were met. We conform to the rules of our environment and of our society. We built friendships, relationships, homes and families of our own. Some of it is easy, some of it is difficult, but still we strive. However, there comes a time, often more than once, that we may want to’ break free’. Not necessarily forever, maybe just for a day or a week or even a few hours. We need to break free for our sanity, for us to be us, the person we were born to be, not the person someone expects us to be. For a short time we need to take care of us, we need to take the time to be free, to recharge, re-energise, reflect and reconnect, if we so choose. We have to NOT deny ourselves of what we want or need. We need to practice self care, in order that we can fulfill and continue to be part of all the other relationships that we encounter and are party to. We need to go and find something, a place, a thing, a journey, whatever it takes, but we need to find our joy, our peace, our inner calm and ourselves. If that means you need to break free, then break free, just do it – you need to love and have a relationship with you!
A time comes in our lives when, at some stage, most of us move home. For others we move many times, which can be very moving
There are many different reasons why people move. To leave home, to move in with friends, to move in with partners, to move to a bigger house, to downsize, to move into a residential home, to move in with foster families, even to move onto the streets. Some of it is planned, some of it is circumstantial and beyond control, but whatever the reason, there is an impact – good, bad or indifferent.
I am hoping to move, to downsize, to sell my family home and I have no idea where I will buy, yet! I feel that the time is right. I feel there is a new beginning waiting for me and I want to explore it. Some could say its a mid life crises, others will say it is risky or selfish and some may say it’s brave. whatever it is, it is my choice to make and therefore my consequence to to accept.
This garden of mine was nothing but a field 19 years ago and together, my husband and I build a home, literally. We sourced and ordered materials, tradesmen and craftsmen and mucked in ourselves and assisted in the building of our house. We planted every tree, every shrub and bulb that have now created a beautiful mature garden. There are oaks, beech, laurel, italian alder, cordyline, magnolia, lilac, phormium, scotts pine, apple, pear, dogwood and many more trees and plants in our garden.
I particularly like this time of year when the bulbs are poking through and out pop the lovely daffodils, the crocus, the hyacinth and peony. From my kitchen window, as I look down the garden, it is bursting with colour in amongst the fiery red dogwood and it makes me smile. Soon the forsythia and cherry blossom will show off in the front garden and give a spectacular display and year after year, it never disappoints.
Not only did we grow build a beautiful home and grow and a lovely garden, we grew a family and it has been home to many more children, other than our own. The walls of this house have seen and heard alot, of tears and laughter, of joy and sadness, of hello’s and goodbyes of ups and downs. It is only 19 years old, but it holds a great history of all those that have lived here. All but two of them have moved on to their own homes, their own journeys, but not necessarily their final destinations. This is not my final destination either and I don’t think my next move will be either.
Will it be moving (as in the emotional sense) ? Yes of course, there are so many memories here, from the laying of the foundations to the erecting of the boundary fence. The nurturing of the children and grandchildren and watching them grow. However, the foundations we laid in them, is far more important and powerful and the boundaries of memories, know no bounds, so will stay with us all, no matter where we are.
I hope therefore, whomever buys my home, will love it as much as the love that went into it and be happy here. For me, it has served it purpose and it is time for me to try something else new. To lay some new foundations and plant a new life, with all my memories tucked safely away and where some new memories will be made. Whether I am crazy, or selfish, taking a risk or being brave, it matters not, what matters is that I am moving, moving forward and exploring the next stage of this thing called Life !
We have had a terrible amount of tragedy here in Ireland in relation to the Cervical Smear Scandal. Tragedies, which could have and should have been avoided. Women who have or are dying of cervical cancer, which needn’t have and shouldn’t have. Human error. Human mistake. It has and is costing lives. Taking women away from their families, husbands, children, friends, THEIR life, THEIR future.
If anything has come out of the ‘massive blunder’, it is that more women are heading to their G.P surgery for the dreaded smear test. Others are still waiting in anxious anticipation that their results will be good news. My own adult children have attended recently to get their smear test done. There is a 5 MONTH wait on expected results. That is a long long time to be worried, particularly if you have any sort of ‘symptoms’ going on ‘down there’
Symptoms can include, spotting, soreness, painful intercourse, increased discharge, unexplained back pain……. My personal experience, years ago, when I did indeed have ‘symptoms’ and begged for a smear, was told I was too young. Too Young…. I was 23. I was planning my wedding. I experienced painful intercourse. I was told to go to a sex therapist, that there was nothing wrong with me, it was all in my head…. I was too young.
Long story short, I went to the sex therapist…. It was still sore…… I badgered my G.P again and again to do more smears…. I wanted a baby once I was married, but thought if I can’t get anything in, how the hell can I get anything out!
I changed my status from single to married, endured painful intercourse and also changed G.P. after several ‘clear’ smear test results. Roll on a couple of years I finally found a G.P that LISTENED to me. Sent me to see a Gynaecologist. As he was about to examine me, and I was totally mortified with embarrassment, he asked ‘Do you smoke’. My first reaction was to look where he was probing, to see how could he tell. Were there tell tale signs down there!! I felt doubly embarrassed then.
Finally, after listening to my tale of clear smears for the last couple of years, sex therapist sessions and still painful intercourse, he arranged for me to have a colposcopy, where a scan of the ‘area’ is done and a biopsy is taken.
‘Oh yes my dear, there is definitely something wrong here’ were his exact words as he was ‘scanning’. Relief, was my first emotion, that I was not indeed mad or frigid! Terrified was my next emotion. I had to wait 2 weeks for the results and I can tell you it was 2 weeks of hell on earth.
My cells were at precancerous stage. Any longer and it would have developed into cervical cancer proper and I would not be here to tell the tale. My point is this. Had I not insisted and badgered and kept going back to my G.P by the time I had other ‘ symptoms’ it would probably have been too late. It took me several clear smears, over 2 years and a colposcopy and all the embarrassment that went with it to find out, there was indeed a problem.
I was treated almost immediately in hospital and stayed 5 days for them to blast and burn the cells, in 2 areas ‘down there’ and was followed up every 6 months thereafter for a couple of years.. At age 30 I had a hysterectomy due to other reasons, but the fear of Cervical Cancer had now been totally eliminated.
I still have no idea why the gynaecologist asked ‘Do you smoke’. I’m still hoping there is no way of telling by looking at said region, but I was too embarrassed to ask him, why did he ask me that, so I will never know!
So for all females out there, get over the embarrassment and get the test done. If you are not totally happy, even with a clear result, go badger your doctor for a Colposcopy…. it may just save your life. Lets not have any more Mistakes!