Wow, I’ve just noticed a notification from WordPress wishing me a Happy Anniversary as I’ve now been blogging for 5 years now! How time flies and to think I was hesitant about starting! A special shout out to my Aunt and daughter for their encouragement and support – without it, I probably never would have started.
I find writing is cathartic, relaxing, enjoyable, provides a ‘voice’ and gives me pleasure sharing some positivity in this sometimes not so positive world. I’m grateful to be able to share experiences, opinions and gratitude. Thanks also to all of you for continuing to read, like and follow my blog. Your interaction provides me much encouragement to continue blogging to share my motto of Laugh. Love. Live! I’m very appreciative of the support from fellow bloggers, family and friends who take the time to read my posts – peace and blessings!
I’ve written a post previously about visiting somewhere new at least once a year. Our family were grateful to be able to do that earlier this year when we visited the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for the first time. My husband and I had only been to the Gold Coast before and were worried that the environment was going to be similar but were pleasantly surprised. We stayed in Mooloolaba and found it to be quite family friendly and relaxing with the beautiful surrounding beaches, coastal walk and nearby activities to do and see.
We stayed at serviced apartments in Mooloolaba, called Coco Mooloolaba. The apartment block was situated one street back from the main road which suited us as it was less noisy. It was 5 mins walk to the beach, main shopping and cafe strip. It was also only a 2 minute walk to the local Coles supermarket which was handy for us to stock up on essentials while we were there.
The apartments have onsite management and are owned by a lovely couple originally from New Zealand. They are very friendly and provided helpful advice for visiting different places and booking tickets in advance. We would definitely recommend staying there and we would definitely stay there again. The apartment was spacious, air conditioned, clean and had a lovely balcony where we enjoyed breakfast and lunch on most days, and sometimes dinner if we didn’t eat out. There was plenty of different cuisine to choose from should you choose to eat out: Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian Mexican – cafes and restaurants as well as fast food outlets and of course, fish and chips!
We visited the Sea Life Aquarium – enjoyed a very entertaining Seal show, saw some great sea life, exhibits and learnt new information. There were some Barramundi there that were almost the size of my daughter – they were huge! It is amazing to see nature’s creatures and it never ceases to amaze me to see the majesty of nature’s creatures.
We were also lucky to visit Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. This zoo was like no other zoo we had visited and it was a vast place! We spent all day there and still felt we hadn’t seen everything (we didn’t)! My daughter’s favourite animal is the wombat and she was so excited to discover that she could have a wombat animal experience! It enabled her to go with a group of other visitors to get up close and personal to two different wombats – the oldest wombat is a grandma wombat called Minibus. She is a Common Wombat and is mother and grandmother to two other wombats in the zoo. The other wombat is a Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat called Meg. We were able to take photos of my daughter with Meg and also purchase professional photos.
Most days were spent at the beach or the pool at the apartment complex as it is very humid in Central and North Queensland – even on a cloudy day! Our daughter learnt how to dive in the pool – there’s still some work to do but much progress was made!
We also took a drive up to Maroochydore to visit the Maroochydore Lakes and shopping centre which is built over the lakes. My husband and I did a driving holiday very early on in our relationship which ended up in Maroochydore so it was nice to go back and visit as our previous visit was about 18 years ago!
It was a nice break visiting somewhere new and exploring while we were there. It’s nice to have family time, enjoying each other’s company and taking in the new surrounds. We were literally chasing the sun for my daughter, working out what was causing her anxiety and sadness which clouded over on a couple of days – some photos are reminiscent of happier times away but overall, we enjoyed our time there. It was nice to be able to get away to somewhere new and enjoy a few of our favourite things together – sun, sand and sea!
We were also able to take many lovely evening walks along the boulevard as it was a little cooler once the sun went down, we were lucky to see a beautiful full moon rising over the sea – something we don’t get to experience at home! We appreciated being able to enjoy different things together, experience a different environment and enjoy new things. It enabled us to rejuvenate, strengthen and renew to be able to continue the fight against my daughter’s demons. My husband and I have been able to make some great progress since this trip which was 7 months ago and even though we had noticed changes in our daughter’s behaviour and demeanour, it didn’t come to a head until late last year. It’s hard to watch your child not knowing what the issue is and how you can help. We’ve been able to share with her strategies and tools that are helping – it’s been a challenging process but we can see the benefits when we observe how our daughter is now able to chase her own sun and catch it! It’s early days but we are starting to see some light!
We are grateful for this trip and anytime we get to spend together. We look forward to where our next adventure will take us to continue to Laugh. Love. Live. I’m aware that it’s been far and few between posts for me but hopefully some more consistent posting will follow soon. My frame of mind hasn’t lent itself to posting much lately but hopefully as things improve with my daughter, so does our frame of mind. May you also have an opportunity to visit somewhere new to Laugh. Love. Live – peace and blessings!
Just a quick shout out to say thank you to all my existing and new followers. Thank you for taking the time to read, like and follow my blog – I really appreciate your support and encouragement. I have been quite busy at work with very little time to write and/ or read some of your blogs but I always do, whether it may be weeks or months later but I will. I appreciate the time you all have taken to read, like and follow my blog, this encourage me to continue my blogging journey – one that is continually evolving! I also enjoy reading all your blogs and posts, the variety and creativity that I come across when reading other blogs never ceases to amaze me so please keep posting on your amazing blogs! I’ll post more when I have a bit of time to myself and my blog – until then, Peace and blessings!
Previously I wrote a post titled Waiting to exhale. We’ve been watching and helping my daughter with issues regarding friendships, school and growing up. It’s not pleasant watching your child suffer in any way, and as a parent you wish you could remove the source of suffering for your child. As a parent, when your child suffers – so do you. It is a tough ride, the journey changes you but there is a realisation that even though you wish you could take your child’s pain away, they need to experience it as it is their journey – their learning experience as much as it is yours.
As a parent, you realise that the small wins – such as a good day or week is something to be grateful for. It’s the realisation that you need to take it one step at a time and deal with things as they arise – helping your child to grow, learn and manage life’s hurdles. It is also a life long journey which provides growth as a parent, adult and person. You realise that your child will respond and react dependent on your choices and your reaction as a parent; an adult that your child looks up to. Your child’s guidance is your own behaviour. It becomes paramount then, as a parent, I am conscious of how I behave and how that relates to my child’s behaviour, thoughts and actions. This becomes instrumental in the way my child responds and reacts to life’s challenges.
When speaking about remaining calm, acting with compassion and tolerance – these attributes are ones I must also display. I feel words are meaningless without action. I hope to instill into my daughter, the kind of values and behaviours that we’d like the future generation to display. I’m helping my daughter manage her reactions, focus on positives and acknowledge negative feelings/ thoughts but not letting them control her behaviour/ response. Her father and I are assisting her to become more aware of when and how to manage issues before they become so overwhelming that it is hard for her to see how she can overcome them.
My daughter is an ‘old soul’, her perspective may at times, be much deeper than her friends the same age and often surprises me with her observations and responses but, at the same time she is also a child who is still feeling her way in the world. I’m still waiting to exhale but with each small step in the right direction, it feels we are making progress. When there have been bumps in the road and our progress feels as though it is “two steps forward, one step back” – I’ve come to realise that even one step in the right direction is better than none at all. Our focus at the moment is ‘one foot in front of the other’ so we may continue to Laugh. Love. Live. Peace and blessings!
I recently read the book above which was written by by Tim Costello. He is a former politician and is now CEO of World Vision and also a pastor. It is not a book I would have picked for myself to read but my daughter was given it for a birthday present and it is not something she is interested in reading quite yet as it is not aimed at her age group.
In this book, Tim writes about his own faith journey – his learnings and likens it to tree rings – as his faith grew, a new ‘ring of faith’ was added to his ‘tree of faith’. I believe everyone’s faith/ spiritual journey is individual and bespoke. I feel there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to faith. This book chronicles Tim Costello’s faith journey and the things he has learned about himself, his faith and is still learning. For me, there are some things that resonate and some that give pause for thought.
There were a few observations that stood out to me, they were his observation of young people – he states they “were attracted to Jesus and what he taught. They loved the product but almost universally had contempt for the retail outlet.” The retail outlet being the ‘Church’. He goes on to explain some reasons why that might be, some of which I agree. I believe this is something that everyone would have a viewpoint to contribute.
Another one that stood out to me was when he spoke of a hymn he learnt as a child when he was learning piano. Growing up in the 1960’s, he saw many disturbing pictures of Ku Klux Klansmen. He came to learn that as the prelude to the burning of the cross, the crowd would sing “The Old Rugged Cross“. This was the hymn he learnt to play on the piano as a child and now, as an adult states that he has not been able to sing it “without shuddering because of this shadow”. He states “I have come to understand distorted faith can feed a human desire to feel superior; so many of us are intent on justifying why we are better than others. All I can plead is that the most important teaching of the New Testament is that all have sinned and all have fallen short of God’s standards – all. None are better, none are inferior, and none can save themselves without the help of God and the support of a circle of love.”
He also talks about the use of religion as an expression of altruisitc evil. He states “Religious faith can be used to justify truly horrific actions, whereas true spirituality is always unequivocally pro life and pro respect.” He also writes that he feels as humans, we have no right to take away another life in the name of God or anyone/ thing else. He states that only God has the right to take a life. It is something that resonates as we observe the way humans are treating each other and justifying their actions around the world. It is saddening to observe and see that these atrocities are being carried out at times, by young idealistic people who have been convinced their actions will be rewarded. My thought is why should any horrific action rewarded? Why should there be glory attached to killing? History has repeatedly shown that wars, killing, murder and violence have not solved the problems that they were intending to resolve. If anything, they have presented more.
The book surprisingly proved to be an interesting read, providing some thought provoking questions/ points which I feel the answers are still being sought. While I don’t agree with everything the church teaches, my spirituality and faith in the human spirit is restored when I see or hear about random acts of kindness. I feel the future is in our younger generation and am still learning as a parent, that this can sometimes be very hard to do but I remind myself that it is a learning journey. I say to my daughter that every mistake is a lesson learnt – and there have been many! My faith journey is evolving, which I feel is the case with most people. It is a different journey for everyone and there may be some similarities but I feel overall, that it is a leap of faith. Whatever your faith, belief, spirituality, I hope that the learning journey continues and we can move forward together to Laugh, Love, Live! It is a mainly personal and inspiring journey – I hope that moving forward, there are more messages of tolerance, love, acceptance and compassion. Peace and blessings!
Has it only been 2 years?
Sometimes it feels as though it has been much longer,
At other times, it feels as though it was only yesterday.
Today is your birthday, you are remembered by those dear to you,
Your love, memories and laughter are forever in our hearts,
May you find your everlasting peace.
Even though you are gone, you are never far away,
Your physical state of being is no more….but your spirit lives on forevermore.