Second Chances in Life

There are times in our lives where we wouldn’t get a second chance to do things, or redo things from our past. Is that because we don’t allow ourselves that option, or is that because we see it as our past and we shouldn’t be looking back? When I have come to crossroads in my life, like now, I have learnt that there are times when you do need to look back, see just how far you have come, and to even be able to just see that little bit into the future.

Ten years ago my life was only six hours from passing me by. I was lucky as I made it to the hospital in time. Even to this day I remember every part of that day down to each detail, and my week stay in hospital, and understanding just how close I came to leaving earth and my family. I returned home, I would say in ways a different person, but in other ways the same. I stopped taking a lot of things for granted and made the decision to be more active and enjoy my life and find some purpose in it.

I took up martial arts with my kids and husband, until about two to three years later I ended up doing knee damage and had to give it up. Then I followed with Triathlon, which I fell so deeply in love with. I loved the idea of three different sports all wrapped into one. The variation in training and so much more. My goal was to complete the Busselton Half Ironman, which I did in May 2014. Come August 2014 I couldn’t run any more and by October 2015 was told it wouldn’t be going to happen, the running that is. March 2016 was told never to run ever again. Though cycling was a good possibility and definitely swimming.

never let go

Driving back from Busselton Jetty Swim February 2017, I told a friend of just how much I missed triathlon. There was frustration within me as I wouldn’t be able to run the run leg ever again. Every weekend I would look at my road bike and wonder if I should sell her, as I wasn’t going to go back to triathlon again, but there was something inside me that couldn’t let her go, I couldn’t sell her. This past Friday, I had my physiotherapy appointment, and my physio is an awesome guy and knows his stuff, and especially when it comes to sport, and triathlon itself. I asked would it be possible to walk/power walk a half marathon? I was told yes, though some changes would need to be made. I would need to slowly build my walking distances, if there was any sign of foot issues to see him and to stop. He also gave me two little foam pads to attach to my feet where my sesamoid bones are below my big toes (issue areas). Look at some good shoes as the ones I had on were very much well worn (approximately 2900km over a year of wearing.)

I have the go ahead to start training with conditions to be careful and pay attention to how the body goes. So here is where my second chance comes into play. Three years ago, I did my last Triathlon, finished with some bad injuries. This week I have started with some basic fitness building until I got the green light, I now can commence my triathlon training again. I have the big plan of completing Busselton Half Ironman in December 2019, with multiple smaller events from swimming, walking and triathlon before hand.

if you don't go after

The interesting part to what lies ahead of me, is also my attitude to my training. When I trained for Busselton 2014 I was in the start of recovering from anorexia, that I had for more than 30 years. Now that I am recovered I have put conditions on myself for the journey that is ahead of me. If I drop below 56kg, I will not compete. If I do not pay attention to my nutrition I will not compete. If I start to get into a cycle of obsessing I will not compete. This is the new journey to a love with a healthy attitude and out look.

This time round, I have more to balance in my life. I have a full time job, a novel in progress that I don’t want to stop, a great family life and social life. By paying attention to the other aspects of my life and putting my training into what time I have available, is a better balance than putting everything else around my training.

So, second chances can be very positive things in our lives as long as we can see that they are for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Finding the balance in our lives to allow for second chances is also key. The biggest is enjoying the journey that you take, not the end result, as there could be a chance that, what the big, end result isn’t what you think it will be, when the journey is more than you think it is.

no regrets

The Moment of AHA

When you have that ‘AHA’ moment, you think, you analyse and then you go “well why not!” Yesterday as I drove to Officeworks for a ‘look’ $30 later, I had a wonderful ‘AHA’ moment. The thought…’instead of running, why not walk a half marathon’, if you can still cycle, why not go back to triathlon?

Lexi ready to rumble

Its been almost three years to the day that I did what I thought would be my last Half Ironman Triathlon. It was the first weekend in May 2014, I had been training for eight months, ready to take on a dream. I had a few niggles with my right foot and calf, but managed to ignore it and take on the dream. Was I really ready for it, looking back now, I shouldn’t have done it. I wasn’t listening to my body hard enough leading in to it, I was listening to my head, and heart about making sure I got to that finish line before the cut off. I came away from the Busselton Half Ironman happy that I finished, though sad, the finish wasn’t what I had pictured. Come August 2014 I had found out I had a repairing calf tear, that had happened prior to the race (more likely to have happened in March 2014), October 2014 was the first real sign there was an issue with my right foot. Fast forward 1st August 2015 a day I remember extremely well. The loss of my grandmother, and the first cortisone injection into the bottom of my right foot, with the hope it would help it heal.

believe_in_yourself_thumb

Leaping to January 2016, with weeks till my first tempt of swimming Rottnest Channel (unfortunately 15.5km and ended with hypothermia) with another twelve months which included surgery on right foot, in which my surgeon told me that I wouldn’t be able to run again, walking would be good, and possibly cycling, but NO running!! So with time past and recovery done, and lots of frustration, jealousy and more, I am now looking out through the window of positive thoughts and new but old dreams.

So on returning home from my drive and look at Officeworks, I cleaned my work room up, which is large enough to have my writing area and bike set up on the wind-trainer to make the slow start back to triathlon. With my bike now set and ready to go, I spent the rest of my evening, at my desk, journaling my goals. I have taken a long term goal of Busselton Half Ironman 2019 (December) and broken it all down into smaller pieces. February 2018 Duo Swim Rottnest Channel; August 2018 Half Marathon, City to Surf, Perth; September 2018 The bloody Long Walk, 35km South Perth to Cottesloe Beach. December 2019 Busselton Half Ironman. There is an even bigger dream, though until I can complete the above with no further injuries or problems I won’t bank on the Biggest Event, until I know its more than do-able. If it is, December 2020 will be it.

Believe in yourself

Journaling and Learning

In the past few days I have started bullet journaling. I am using a Quill Sketch Book as my journal, something very simple. This is a place where I keep my word counts for when I write my manuscript, thoughts, drawings, ideas and more, a work in progress.

-just-being-me-quotesYesterday while I was writing my manuscript I put three heading on the page of my journal: The Past Me; Me Now; The Future Me. The past me has shown me where I have come from, to the ‘Me Now’ to where I am right now. I also wrote this:

I AM ME

I AM NOT WHO I WAS

AND PROBABLY NOT WHO I WILL BE

I have come to see that so much of my past that was negative, and at times had positives, but the big one was low confidence, which I felt every day, though I could hide that in showing others that I had more confidence than I really had. Then I look at myself now, I am the happiest I think I have ever been. I am doing the real things that I love, not what I thought I loved.

The part about Bullet Journaling is that its quick, its simple and its effective, in ways that are creative, and open to ones self. It doesn’t have to be perfect, its a safe place that I can put thoughts, whether they are good or bad, happy or sad. I can watch as I reach my goal of 110,000 words for my first draft of my manuscript. I can watch my progression of my drawing, as I have just reunited with my pencils after seven plus years. Its a time in my life that I am enjoying and look forward to see what unfolds.

NamasteLilium

Bringing Past Loves Back

tree of life

Yesterday I had a split shift at work, I had a few hours to sit and either draw, journal, or write my manuscript. With my beloved German Shepherd, Abbie at my feet sleeping, I was able to click away at the keys for a couple of hours an with 1600 words done, I was happy to save and close my manuscript document and head back to work feeling like I have accomplished a little more of my story. I have even started bullet journaling as well, which is interesting as I am able to add some creative thinking with everything that runs through my head, and believe me there is a lot at times.

creative writing novel

I am finding part of my own coming back to drawing, is similar to my character Felicia in my novel, where she has had time away from what she loves to do, and unsure if she should continue with her love, or to let it go and find something else to fill the gap, as the person she spent the most time with doing what she loved was no longer with her, and the loss she felt, was feeding her lack of confidence to carry on. In the past I had such passion for drawing, learning how to, and craft. Though I gave it all up when a business I had, I had to close due to lack of customers and high over heads, and the GFC. It did take a toll on my confidence as I felt like I had failed. It has taken me over seven years to come to this point of being happy to try again. I am not drawing to

 

mariners compass

Mariners Compass

 

make money, I am drawing to enjoy the relaxation and the creative outlet. I am even looking to pick up the paint brush again. I remember the days when my children were young and I would sit for hours while they were at school painting (folk art)bears, flowers and so much more. I loved the whimsy of the bears, and so much more. Its time to relive those days of playing. Its time to enjoy being creative and not just with my writing, but seeing I guess from the inside out how my character enjoys getting back to what she truly loves and finding herself again.

 

abbie and me writing

Abbie sleeping as I write

 

So here is to finding old loves new again. Have a lovely day.

Creative Journey 2017

Tonight for the first time in approximately seven years I have picked up a pencil and started drawing again. I have been contemplating different forms of creativity over the past couple of weeks. I am loving my writing, and now my reunion with drawing. I have looked at doing architecture, but after speaking with a friend of mine who is an architect, I have come to the decision that its not a career path for me. I think I have found where I might need to be. I feel its time to do a bit of playing in interior design and decorating again and also getting back into some drawing and painting again.

creative journey 2017

Looking at what I have done tonight has brought a big smile and feeling of accomplishment for the first time in along time. My novel is a work in progress and will be for some time to come. Going back to interior design is allowing me to do something I have studied before and really do some hands on work with my ideas. Drawing will be my down time, with what ever the universe will make with it.

I wish to spend time nurturing my creativity, in many ways. I will be journaling every day using the technique of bullet journaling which will also allow my creativity to come through as well, I have always journaled most of my life, usually the traditional way, of  writing what ever is on my mind and answering my own questions and doing mind dumps. Doing bullet journaling  will have a more creative flare. I will share some pages as I go.

Until next we meet here. Happy Easter and have a wonderful week.

Universal Whispers

With writing my novel, I have slowly, and I mean slowly come to see that the words I have written in my manuscript are starting to be a reality in my own life. Not the story line itself, but the things my characters love and do. I have always believed that the universe will help us through life, and that we are to listen closely, though there are times when we go off on our own tangents thinking its the path we should be following. Then you hit a dead-end and turn around and head back to where you had started. Its doesn’t mean you have wasted time, you have learnt some interesting lessons along the way, but the universe has the right path for you to follow.

Now some will see the path that is the right one for them from the start, others like myself can take 30 plus years before we see our path. Is it the ‘yellow brick road’ we are to follow or is it a different colour? I think mine has been a rainbow of colours, even though I am only just finding certain parts of the path to be amazing and interesting and talk about learning things, and seeing things for what they should be, not what we want to see them for.

The past two days I have spent cleaning (deep clean) my house and rearranging furniture in a couple of rooms (Kitchen, Dining and Family room). My home to me for a long time was just a house to be in and sleep in, I didn’t really feel like it was a home, until recently when I came to realise so much in my life has changed for the positive, and just how much of my characters are parts of my soul coming to life. I have always been creatively minded, I just couldn’t put my finger on the long term creative flame. I studied interior design and decorating in the past and never really took it any further, I have quilted/patchworked, folkart painted, embroidered, drawn, painted, and more. Today I can see a future in my writing and also in interior design and decorating and also designing houses.

Diy-If-You-Can-Dream-It-You-Can-Do-It-Kids-Room-Vinyl-font-b-Decorative

I can now sit down to write my third character more deeply now, with some changes made to her past situation which will be a better lead to where she is in her life now. To be able to feel just a part of what she does for her architecture, interior design and decorating business has rubbed off onto myself to look further into study for myself in a reality that is mine, with a twist of Felicia to keep me creatively minded and heading in the right direction.

Interior design

It has taken a little more than a universal whisper for me to see which path is my path, but now that I see it a little clearer, I can start the journey and see what excitement and lessons that will be before me.

Till next we write, have a great week…

Her World, Part 2

Her world is moving yet again, she feels the slow turn of the universe she is within, her days are the same, her thoughts are different. Her manuscript has come to a stop again. Her third character is still causing some issues, issues of depth, when she thinks, she is starting to understand Felicia, she gets a couple of hundred words written, and then she hits the wall again, Felicia resists letting any more about herself, be know to the writer. The days in her world are becoming cooler and so Summer has truly left the southern hemisphere to head north. Autumn is usually warm this time of year, but 2017 is a strange one for weather changes. The feeling she has for the cooler nights are of warm trackies, ugg-boots, and her trusty german shepherd by her feet as her fingers click along the keys of her laptop.

So her character Felicia, an architect, interior designer, mother to 20 year old twin girls, and divorced. Her life is her job, and she doesn’t quite see her neglect for her daughters as the girls see of her. With a new client and an amazing renovation to design and put everything together for her clients, she is in her element, hard at work, when an email advertising a garden conference to Latina, Italy lands in her in box, not just once but each day when she checks her emails in the morning. Felicia has never really thought of adding anything more to her creative portfolio, and resists the email, until….

So she who writes of this character is finding some points to Felicia to be a little too shallow, so she starts to delve into Felicia’s world of architecture, and interior design through magazines and even thoughts of renovating her own home, in simple and effective ways. She sat at her favourite coffee shop this fine cool morning with her magazines, paper, pencil and ideas and away she went, even with her design not to scale just yet, it was more about getting ideas down; not just in design but in words. So with her weekend starting on Sunday, it will be more reading of architecture magazines and working out ways for her to make Felicia seem more three dimensional, compared to what she is at the moment.

While she spends this time researching, her own mind has conjured up a few ideas for her own future, could she be good enough to design houses herself? and could she study to become an architect? With already studying interior design and decorating in the past, it would be a simple extension to what she already knows. Could this be…When I grow up, I want to be…. even at 40 something she still has time to work out what she wants to be when she grows up, as so much keeps changing, nothing is a given, its a choice and with choices wonderful things can happen. For her its not a matter of finding a new career path, as she loves her job that she has, its finding new ways of fulfilling the creative drive that burns deep with in her.

Her love for writing, and the inner creative that loves the idea of designing houses and decorating them, also playing with garden design as well, will help in building her friendship with Felicia, her understanding of who Felicia is, and her understanding and learning of herself.

Until next we meet, have a wonderful weekend.

Her World

Sitting alone, peace and quiet surrounds her, there are only the noises of a pigeon, a distant dog bark, her mind trying to work out things in life. Does she write the article now, does she continue the first draft of her manuscript, or does she just enjoy the time of peace and scroll through Pinterest finding so many ideas for her home and even her character?

Her creative mind has always been on the go, for as long as she can remember, the older she got the creativeness changed, into creating ways not to eat. Going through disordered eating treatment has bought her to the other side of the dark tunnel where there is just light, learning, and more understanding as time passes. From a sports fanatic to now craving for her writers den, her computer, papers, pens and books. The time that she has to put fingers to the keys or pen to paper is minimal at times, but she knows every minute she is away from it, the craving is so much stronger.

Years were spent journaling in her darkest times, the want to be someone, as she felt that she was no-one, and never good enough for anyone either. She felt she couldn’t give anything to her children as she felt herself, she wasn’t enough. The constant blur that was her mind, the constant want to be someone that she wasn’t, to be someone that was important, that she felt she wasn’t. Years of keeping this bottled up, came out everyday in her journals. Page after page of the same words, just in a different order. It wasn’t until twenty years later, months of psychological treatment that her thoughts about herself started to change. It didn’t happen over night, though even today another three years down the track her vision of who she truly is, is becoming clearer day by day.

Today as she sits in her writers den, surrounded by what makes her happy, her computer, paper spread over the desk, paint colour swatches, chocolate, and her beloved German Shepherd sleeping by her feet as she types. Thoughts of her characters from her novel passing in and out of her mind, the ideas for future novels, ideas for magazine articles, interior design ideas and her other love interior decorating, storage ideas and stationary. After now re-arranging her writers den multiple times over the last few weeks, she feels that things are coming together and her desk (a trestle table)is placed where she can see into the kitchen and not have distractions by the birds playing in the garden out side her window, though she is able to see out on to her patio. Her white cube book shelf is right next to her desk, her previous desk which was made originally as a quilters cutting table, will now become a design table, as her mind runs through house designs that she would like to play with, and maybe not just for her characters.

From a life of emotional stress, frustration, negativity, and even suicidal thoughts, today her world has become her haven, her safe place to be her true self. Usually the preference is that she be alone, and with her dog, though slowly each day she becomes more and more accustomed to her adult children and husband being a little noisy at times and not realising that she might just be in a moment of writing and that when spoken to, her concentration wanes. Though most times it doesn’t take much to get back to the words of the story, though its more a matter of learning to control the frustration so the block for writing doesn’t happen.

 

cottage-gardens

Example of a Cottage Garden

 

It is not just her writing that she loves so deeply, or her german shepherd, it is her garden, or a lack of garden. It is not a lack of space for a garden, there is plenty, it is a matter of having plants to plant out in her back yard, that is now ready to receive new native Australian plants and stunning English cottage plants. Her goal for her garden is to blend both Australian natives and English Cottage. Today, she headed to her favourite nursery, Zanthorrea. It is not far from home, and such a beautifully warm Autumn day was just the calling she needed to go. Her love for gardening stems back to her childhood, and this particular nursery has been around that long as well and she would have been there when she was a child. Today walking out, held in her hands is an ice-cream container with nine small tubes of native plants; grevilleas, in different colours, a callistemon that is pink flowering and others. She wishes to wait until the sun drops and the outside temperature drops a little more. Her love for roses, gardenias, camellias, lilies, hydrangeas, magnolias and many more different cottage plants. Her idea for her garden is coming together very slowly, but the end result will be worth the wait.

 

australian native garden

Example of an Aussie Garden

 

So with another weekend for her almost over, and another work week ahead, it is time to head back to Pinterest for a little inspiration and ideas for her own home, and her characters needs for her clients. Oh and time to go and water the rest of her pots on the patio.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Having Faith in Oneself.

This past week has been filled with so much of life, but not of writing. I have had this week to think more than to write, I have read every night and let myself dream, both daydreaming and at night. I am a very vivid dreamer at night, and through the day I am able to see certain thoughts in visuals. Gee even writing that sounds strange, but I guess that is just me.

all of our dreams

I have actually enjoyed this past week of thinking. I have allowed myself to be open to my third character for my novel, whom is an architect and interior designer and decorator. I have wrapped myself in Pinterest images of every room I can think of for design and decorating ideas that my character would think to be her style. There has been some days where life has definitely got in the way of my writing, even sitting yesterday at a horse race (Ascot Race course, Perth) I was still able to allow myself to relax and let my character come to the fore-ground of my thoughts and was able to write a few ideas down on my phone, about her. I have been needing more depth to her  and she has played hard to keep her distance from me, though this time has been a good learning experience for myself to be able to coax images and thoughts about her.

canvas

After going out this morning (main photo) I have made a decision to put part of my life into words and to write an article and pitch it to a magazine for hopeful publication. I have tried to think of ways to write this particular part of my life, as a memoir, and that might still be down the line. I also thought to make it into a short fiction piece, but I think it might be more important to make it into a magazine article, because I know more and more people of different ages are facing, or have faced disordered eating in their lives or of people they know.  Its time to make more people aware.

I have a fear within to put this out there in writing, but a feeling that its needed. I am currently watching someone I know, finally dealing with their own disordered eating, and what it is doing to people around them; its time. Its time to get completely out of my comfort zone and put my issues, feelings, and experience on paper and see if others agree its time for the wider public to know what its like and why its done.

Tomorrow brings a day of writing; my novel, the start to the article, and to research ways to pitch to magazines. With no-one else but me and my German Shepherd to keep me company as I write and a beautiful day ahead, its time to get a little reading in before some well needed sleep.

Until next time, have a wonderful week, what ever it brings.

Author Talk: Deborah Burrows.

Tonight my daughter and I attended an author talk at our local library. I find these evenings very interesting, and as we are both aspiring writers we like to get to as many author talks as we can.

Tonight we listened to Deborah Burrows, author of Ambulance Girls (genre: Historical fiction), I had read about Deborah before tonight, finding out she is a lawyer by day and writer by night. A Perth girl, with a love for Oxford as well (lived there 2014-16). Listening to her tonight you can see and hear her love for history especially World War II.

debburrows

Deborah started the talk with the sound, of what we would have heard every night during the London Blitz, the warning sirens, the planes coming over, the gun shots from the ground to the bombs being dropped. We were asked to close our eyes and really listen to the sounds. For me the sounds were scary, intimidating and we were only listening to a recording and its 2017, not 1940. I loved how Deborah spoke of her main character, Lily (Australian),  you could see in her eyes the awe Deborah had  for her,  her tenacity, her courage and strength. Deborah drew you into the statistics of the London Blitz, which were amazing and scary to hear. Ambulance Girls will definitely be a book that will be on my to read list and to make its forever home on my book shelf, very soon.

I took away from tonight’s talk, the depth of her character, Deborah’s love for her character, and the history that it is set. As an aspiring writer, spending time listening to authors talk is of such necessity for learning and understanding for myself and my own writing. With a couple of tips taken and notes made, I look forward to continued pursuit of my own first novel, and a historical fiction myself.

Until next time, have a wonderful night.