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Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

In my last post leading into the new year – 2014 – Another year coming to an end – I mentioned my Grandfather’s deteriorating health. I’m sad to say he passed away the next day. New Years day.

My mother phoned me in the afternoon saying he had taken a turn for the worst. We thought he’d have a couple of days left so my family were planning a visit to see him and I was doing the same. Around an hour later though, Mum phoned me again saying he had died. We knew he would die eventually but it was much quicker than any of us expected. His health went downhill exceedingly quick.

So this is where my blog title comes into account – is it okay to feel relieved when someone close to you dies? I guess it depends on the circumstances. Most people would only really feel relieved if that person was suffering.

Some people feel guilty for feeling relieved. My Mum is one of them. She said to me just yesterday that she’s relieved he’s dead because it’s ended his suffering but she feels guilty. I told her it was perfectly normal to feel that way after what he’s been through.

If I’m honest I’m relieved too. Don’t get me wrong, I cried when he died. I love my Grandad but I know he’s better off. I will never forget the day he begged for the pain to end. We told him it was okay if he wanted to go to sleep. We were just waiting for the time he finally did. And he did…at last. And yes, we’re relieved. I meant what I told Mum though. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. He’s in a much better place now. He’s sleeping and will never have to suffer again. I’m very happy with that outcome.

Everyone handles grief differently, I understand that. For me, I’m not one to wallow. I grieve for as long as I need to then I move on. I don’t let grief take me over. I don’t pine after lost loved ones because I know it won’t do me any good. I have days when I miss them. Today for example I do miss Grandad a lot but it’ll pass and I’ll just continue moving on.

So if anyone has ever felt relief over someone’s death, don’t feel guilty. If they were suffering it’s safe to say they’re better off.

And without sounding selfish, right at this moment I’m feeling like the stress I’ve been under for nearly two years is slowly disappearing and I like it. A lot. Perhaps 2015 will be a good year after all.

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So as 2014 approaches the end, I’m doing my usual blog on how the year has gone.

I think my lack of blogging is an indication of how the year has been. It seems to be the same for every other year. Just taking one day at a time, getting through life, coping and little things, like blogging, tend to get put on the back burner. It’s not something I’m proud of but I’ve come to accept that sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t ignore that. I need to put life first.

How was my 2014? Well in a nutshell it wasn’t the best year ever but it had it’s good parts.

The hardest part was seeing my Grandad’s second wife pass away from cancer and then seeing my Grandad have a mental breakdown. He has since recovered but he is not the same. His dementia slowly eats away at him and while he recognises us now (where he didn’t a few months ago), his short term memory is shot. Now he’s unwell with a bladder condition that will eventually kill him. It’s really just a waiting game.

Otherwise there were some good memories from this year. We made some great friends and had some fun times with family. Seeing The Hobbit – The Battle of Five Armies yesterday was probably the highlight for me because I had been hanging out for it since the second one last year. It was worth seeing and a great way to end the year.

On the writing note, I’m still not published but I feel more ready to be published. I finished a manuscript just recently and I’m going to send it off to publishers in the new year. I feel my writing has greatly improved this year and so I’m going to try hard to get my name in print. Only time will tell.

Well it’s 22 minutes until the new year and while I’m not celebrating it I know many are. Keep safe and if you’re partying, don’t drink too much and don’t do anything silly. You don’t want to make 2015 a bad year.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back in he new year. I will write blogs when I can and when the ideas come to me. Thanks to all those who have read, liked and commented on them. It really means the world to me.

Lisa ❤

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Okay so we’re into week 2 of NaNoWriMo! How exciting. I still can’t believe it’s come around already. It doesn’t feel like a year since the last NaNo.

How is everyone doing? Are you on track? Are you flagging? Are you wanting to give up? If you’re experiencing any of the last two, never fear. It’s totally natural to feel that way. If you want to see it through though, just take a breather for a day or two then get back into it. You can do this, I know you can.

I’ve joined the NaNo page for Adelaide participants and there are some people who have exceeded 50k already. In fact, one even wrote that in a day! I was flabbergasted by this. When I asked how they achieved it they said, ‘I’m a fast typist and planned my story out really well’. Hmmm well that’s all well and good but in my eyes the way this person said it came across a little—dare I say it?—egotistical. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a phenomenal achievement but it sounded very show offy and let’s be frank, who likes that in a person? I know I don’t.

I’m sure it wasn’t meant to come out that way so I’m taking it with a pinch of salt but it’s something all people need to be mindful of. Don’t boast too loudly. The truth is, I’m a fast typist too (around 100wpm) and I plan my novel out from beginning to end but I didn’t finish my novel in a day. Most of us need the whole of November because we have other things keeping us busy. Work, a family, other commitments.

For anyone who has reached 50k, I’m super happy for you all and it’s a wonderful job well done. All I ask is don’t rub other people’s noses in it. I’m sure most of you don’t but having experienced it once has left quite a sour taste in my mouth.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to whinge. Sorry if it sounded whiny. I came here to report on my progress. After all this is what blogs are about.

So it’s the 10th November and my total word count is—drum roll—19156!

I’m going to be honest. I’m not jumping up and down over that. I had hoped to be at 20k by Sunday but it didn’t happen. You could argue that I’m only 844 words short but that’s 844 words I couldn’t do over the weekend. I love setting and meeting goals but when I don’t it brings me down. In the scheme of things, I suppose it’s actually pretty good but I’m a harsh critic on myself.

I especially want to thank my husband for being so supportive. I’m not sure if he’ll read this, he doesn’t always and that’s fine but if he does then THANK YOU! He’s so understanding and makes sure I’m writing at every possible opportunity. Even when I say ‘let’s do something together’ he just says ‘no you write, we can do something later’. Awww. It means a lot to me and even though I tell him it’s just a bit of fun, he still wants me to do it. I’m determined to make it up to him.

So how is everyone else doing? Don’t worry what you’re word count is. What’s important is that you’re giving it your best, and most importantly….you’re having fun. Just do what you’re capable of and enjoy every moment of it.

Keep strong, don’t give up. You can do this!

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While I have been absent, I have been thinking about what to base my next blog on. I got the idea while I was on holiday. I just haven’t had a chance to write it before now.

Before I continue I would like to remind my readers that this blog is based purely on my own opinions. It’s obvious really and you might wonder why I’ve said that. Well the thing is there came a point when I was worried about what I blogged in fear of upsetting people. That was why I was absent for so long. All my blog ideas were somewhat controversial. But then just recently I felt like a downright dweeb as I realised that this is my blog and I can blog about whatever the hell I want.

With that said, I am blogging about something I am very passionate about:

Children in child care.

Now let me start off by saying this: I have nothing against child care at all. I think it’s a great idea. There are times when parents need to have a break and in this day and age, both parents are working. That’s fine, no worries at all. What I have a problem with is how often child care is used and for what reason.

I know people who use child care because they can’t be bothered with their kids. they throw them in four or five days a week so that they’re not an inconvenience to them. Um hello? They’re your kids! You chose to have them so you have to take responsibility for them. Don’t just palm them off on to someone else just because you can’t be bothered. Then to top it off, when these people finally have the kids (usually only the weekends) they don’t spend time with them anyway. Think of the poor children. Their parents are strangers to them.

Here’s something to think about: Do both parents need to work? Are you working just because you want to be rich and have the best of everything? If that’s the case I think it’s time you re-evaluated your life. Put your kids first for once. If one person can work and still provide the income you need, maybe you should do that. How important are material possessions to you? You don’t need to follow the fashion. You don’t need to have the best in technology. You don’t need the biggest house or the flashiest car. Every child doesn’t need to have a phone or tablet.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to work. It’s good to keep your skills up to date for when your children go to school. But why don’t you think about reducing the hours you work so you can be with them more often? Parents often forget how vulnerable children are. They need attention…they need family. If they don’t have that, they’re going to grow up being lonely and who knows what else they’ll become.

Child care is a great thing to have. It’s important to have a break, it’s important to work and support the family and it’s a good way for kids to get to know other kids their age. But don’t do it because you don’t want your kids around. It happens too often and it breaks my heart.

Just something to think about.

I hope to blog more often from now on. 🙂

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Before I start, this is not a dig at anyone in particular. Everything in this is my personal opinion and I am not intending to cause offense to anyone.

Everyone has their own beliefs about Christmas. Some people celebrate it, others don’t. I fall into the latter and never have since I was born. I don’t miss it, if anything I’m relieved I don’t have the stress of it. That said, I don’t go around telling people they shouldn’t celebrate it just because I don’t. What they do is up to them and I respect that.

However, there are things that really annoy me about the Christmas season. And you know what? I’ve spoken to many people who are really into celebrating it and they agree with me.

Here are five things that annoy me about the Christmas season:

1. The stress of having to buy presents for everyone you know, friends, family, other long-distance relatives etc.

Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, this is one thing that bugs me. I watch how stressed people get having to buy so many gifts, and in my eyes it defeats the purpose. After all, isn’t Christmas supposed to be about giving? If you really want to give people something, why stress about it? Relish in the happiness you get from buying them something you know they’re going to love. After all, ‘there’s more happiness in giving than in receiving’, right?

2. The financial burden Christmas puts on people

People feel they should spend big and they get into bigger debt as a result of it every year. And believe it or not, many of the receivers expect to get expensive gifts – iPads, new cars, holidays – just to name a few. If it’s supposed to be about giving then the receivers should be happy with whatever they get. Why expect so much?

3. The selfish people

Need I say more? When I go shopping, the shops are choc-a-block full of people and the majority of them are so selfish. All they want is to get the best bargains they can and barge through as many people as they can, not caring if they hurt or frustrate anyone. Hello! It’s not all about you!

4. The crazy drivers

This ties in to number three. People just want to get from one place to another as quickly as possible and they care about no one but themselves. This causes accidents, which then means more expense. Then you get them trying to shift the blame even though they were the ones in the wrong.

5. My biggest peeve… those who try to force people like me to celebrate Christmas

Hey, mate I don’t say you should stop celebrating it so the least I expect is the same sort of treatment from you. Please, don’t tell me what you think I should be doing. I don’t celebrate it, it’s that simple, and I’m not bothered by it so don’t go forcing your opinion down my throat. You will never change my mind, I promise.

As I said, these are my opinions based on what I have observed and I know other people who feel the same way. I will reiterate once more… I am not out to cause offense.

So now that I’ve spoken my mind, tell me, whether you’re a celebrator or if you’re not, is there anything else that annoys you about this time of year?

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“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

This quote has always irked me. People send it around saying ‘OMG it’s so sweet’ but I don’t see it that way. I see it as saying he wants to die before you (whoever ‘you’ ends up being) so he doesn’t have to live without ‘you’.

Well, to me that’s a little selfish. What about the other person? They have to live without him, even if it is for a day. Where’s the fairness in that?

Am I reading too much into it? I’m renowned for doing that. 🙂 but I’m curious, what do other people think? Enlighten me in the comments below! 😀

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I don’t usually do this, but today I am going to share with you a short story I wrote a while ago.

Just to give you some background information, this is set in the mid to late ’90s, when internet and mobile phones were around but were not as common as they are now. Hand written letters were still a common thing and communication in certain parts of the world was very limited.

I decided to write it as a reminder of how things once were. We are all guilty of forgetting how difficult it was to contact people in remote areas. Nowadays it’s easy as pie with international text messages, Skype, email etc. Sometimes it’s nice to reflect on the good ol’ days when technology wasn’t the be all and end all of everything.

This is a fuzzy, feel-good, romance but not the sappy and cringe worthy type like some romances. My husband, who is not a romance reader at all, enjoyed this.

So sit back and continue reading. I hope this puts a smile on your face. 🙂

***

Holding On

“He’s never coming back.”

Yvonne ignored the comment and proceeded to make her morning trip to the letterbox. The postman arrived right on time. Exchanging their usual morning greetings, he handed her the mail and sped away with a friendly wave. Holding her breath, Yvonne sifted through it.

They were all window letters—in other words, bills.

In frustration, Yvonne spun on her heel and stormed inside. The door slammed shut behind her causing a picture on the wall to come crashing down. She threw the mail on the side cupboard.

“When will you ever believe me?” the voice taunted. “He’s never coming back.”

“Nina, shut up!” Yvonne glared at her sister. Nina leaned carelessly against the wall in the hallway, her arms folded across her chest. “What do you know?”

“What I just said. He’s not—”

“Alright! Enough already!”

Pushing past her, Yvonne entered the kitchen and retrieved the milk from the fridge. Tears burned her eyes as she made herself a cup of coffee. Two heaped teaspoons of extra-strength coffee. No sugar. A dash of milk. It was the only thing that got her through the mornings.

A few minutes later, she heard her sister enter. The fridge door opened then closed again. When Yvonne turned around a few seconds later, Nina sat at the table with a glass of juice. She was glaring at Yvonne.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Yvonne asked, feeling uneasy under her gaze.

Shrugging, Nina picked at her nails. “No reason…” she trailed off then looked up at Yvonne and said, “well, actually I was thinking that maybe you should see a doctor. I mean, it’s been six months and—”

“Nina!” Yvonne ran her hand through her short brown hair in frustration. “Why do you keep going on at me about depression? I am not depressed!”

“You can’t blame me for wondering. You’re like this every morning. And for what? All because you didn’t get a letter from Sean.”

“Be quiet, Nina.”

“No I won’t be quiet. When will you ever learn that Sean is gone? He’s never going to send you a letter begging you to come back. He broke up with you.

Yvonne bristled at the comment. Setting her mug in the sink with more force than intended she said, “This subject is officially closed.”

“No it’s not.” Nina’s hazel eyes were dark with anger. “You change the subject every morning!”

“Well, can you blame me? You bring it up every morning!”

“Maybe I wouldn’t if you would listen to me!”

“I always listen! I’m sick of you repeating yourself!” Taking a deep breath, Yvonne said in a calmer tone, “I just want you to drop it. Please.”

“Fine,” Nina said. Standing up she turned to Yvonne and in a cold, hard tone said, “But I am going to say this. It’s time you got over Sean. You saw the letter. Get it through your thick skull once and for all: he is not coming back.”

Before Yvonne could respond, Nina turned and stormed out of the kitchen. The mornings never changed. Once upon a time, she and Nina had a close relationship. Two years earlier something changed and they grew apart. Yvonne never knew what caused it.

As she got ready for work, Yvonne caught her reflection in the mirror. It had been a long time since she took a long, hard look at herself. She was shocked at what she saw. Her once shiny, happy, brown eyes were now sad and empty. Her face, which used to always have a smile, now wore a frown.

Perhaps I am depressed?

Shaking her head, Yvonne pushed the thoughts away. It wasn’t true. The truth was: getting over Sean wasn’t easy. Before she received his break up letter, they had been steadily dating for a year and a half. They had long term plans. His sudden disappearance had shocked her. He offered no explanation.

How could one recover from that?

She didn’t know what it was but deep down she knew there was a missing link. That was what she clung on to—a glimmer of hope that he would come back.

An hour later she arrived at work. The moment she walked in the door, she was greeted with an overpowering fragrance. As she looked around all she saw was an array of red roses, fluffy teddy bears and romantic cards. Valentine’s Day. Her heart ached as she was reminded of Sean.

Approaching her desk the ache in her heart grew. It was still the same. Plain and boring. She had no flowers from that special someone.

Sitting down, she placed her head in her hands and groaned. If she had remembered what day it was, she would have called in sick.

The temptation to order herself a dozen red roses was overwhelming. Of course she didn’t. Naomi, her desk neighbour, who happened to be single more often than not, did that every year. Yvonne refused to stoop to her level.

As if on cue, Naomi arrived with a vase of red roses. Two dozen red roses. She smiled brightly at Yvonne and proudly put them on display.

“Aren’t I a lucky girl?” Naomi cooed, lovingly running her finger across a rose petal. “Liam went out early this morning to buy these for me.”

“I don’t see why you had to bring them into work,” Yvonne said. “They would keep much better at home.”

Naomi clicked her tongue in annoyance. “Of course I’m going to bring them in. I’m not going to look like an outcast by not having any flowers.” She glared at Yvonne with one raised eyebrow. “So where are your flowers, Yvonne?”

“We’re having a romantic dinner tonight instead. He’s cooking for me.”

Naomi huffed and turned away, not convinced. Busying herself with some paperwork, Yvonne’s guilty conscience ate away at her. She had never told her workmates the truth. That glimmer of hope she held on to stopped her from saying it.

“So, when will we see Sean again?” Naomi asked a few moments later, turning to look at Yvonne suspiciously. “It feels like we haven’t seen him for ages.”

Yvonne cringed but didn’t face her. Six months of lying was taking its toll. When Sean was around, he visited her at work frequently. When he disappeared, of course everyone noticed his absence. Her excuses were running dry. There were only so many times his grandmother could be sick.

“He’s got better things to do,” Yvonne spat, turning to glare at Naomi.

She turned back to busy herself once more.

A few moments later, a bustle of excitement from the reception desk captured her attention. Glancing up, she saw a delivery man with a large bunch of red roses. They were even bigger than Naomi’s.

Approaching her he said, “Are you Yvonne Harrison?”

All she could do was nod.

“These are for you,” he placed the roses on her desk then turned and walked away.

“Wait! Are you sure you have the right person?”

He turned back and looked at her quizzically. “If you’re Yvonne Harrison then yes I do. Have a good day.”

Before Yvonne could contemplate the situation, a small crowd of women gathered around her desk. They were jealously admiring the roses.

“Oh no you don’t,” Yvonne snapped, snatching the note Naomi tried to pinch away from her. “Just because you don’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean you can go reading my private notes.”

“You liar,” Naomi cried. “You’ve seen my flowers!”

Yvonne snorted. “What those? They must have cost you a fortune, Naomi.”

Naomi’s face reddened with anger. Stamping her foot, she turned and stormed out the door.

When everyone had returned to their desks, Yvonne took that moment to open the note. Her heart stopped when she read it. It was from Sean.

Her chest tightened as she held back her threatening tears. One lone tear escaped and dripped down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away.

What was going on? Was this some sort of cruel joke?

“Yvonne? Are you ok?”

She looked up to see Samantha, the receptionist, looking at her with concern.

“I’m fine, Sam,” Yvonne wiped away more of the dreaded tears.

“Did Sean send those to you?”

Yvonne nodded and fresh tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Why are you upset?” Samantha coaxed. “Can he not do dinner now?”

Dinner? Quickly remembering the lie she told earlier she said, “Oh that. No he can still do it. I suppose he decided to send flowers after all.”

“They’re beautiful.” she sighed mournfully. “I wish my boyfriend would send me some.”

The change in conversation calmed Yvonne down. Taking a deep breath she said, “It’s not all about flowers, Sam.”

“Oh I know that. It’s not just the flowers, Von. We’ve been arguing so much lately. Things aren’t what they used to be.”

“Is he stressed? Maybe you two need to talk?”

She smiled sadly. “I wish it was that easy. He doesn’t have feelings for me anymore. He told me so.”

“Then why don’t you—”

“End it? I know I should but I can’t bring myself to.”

“Why not? You have a right to be happy, Sam. If he’s not making you happy, someone else will.”

A tear dripped down her cheek. “I just want what you and Sean have.”

Samantha turned back to her work with a heavy sigh. Yvonne felt a stab of guilt. Perhaps the time had come to stop playing games. Rather than admitting her lies of the last few months, she could make up another story. Perhaps that they broke up after Valentine’s Day?

Yvonne pushed the thoughts aside and returned to work. As the day slowly progressed, she got little done. Her concentration was not on the job. She couldn’t stop thinking about Sean. Why had he sent the flowers? Was it him? Or was someone playing a trick on her? Perhaps it was—

Nina! Yvonne’s suspicions arose immediately. Her mind worked overtime as she tried to piece things together. The missing link! She knew there was something missing. If only she could figure out what it was.

At last the day ended and she went straight home. She was thankful Nina was working the nightshift. She needed time alone to think.

When she pulled up into the driveway, she saw a man standing on the porch with a suitcase at his feet.

“Can I help you?” she asked as she stepped out of the car.

The figure turned around and that was when she saw his face.

Sean.

The sight of his handsome, chiselled features made her heart race. Oh how she had missed him. He broke out into a grin, showing that one dimple in his left cheek she adored so much. In two large strides, he was standing in front of her.

“I was wondering where you were,” he said, stroking her cheek softly. “I thought you would be ready.”

His touch left her cheek tingling. Yvonne’s breath caught in her throat. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. She wanted to ask: what did she need to be ready for? Instead, she heard her own whimper as the tears she had been holding spilt down her cheeks.

“Oh I’ve missed you,” Sean whispered as he pulled her into an embrace.

His arms around her triggered the memories she had locked away. Memories only couples share. Memories she couldn’t bring herself to think about over the last six months. Memories she never wanted to forget again.

“Why are you here?” Yvonne finally managed to choke out.

Sean pulled away and looked down at her, his brow furrowed in confusion. “What do you mean? I told you I’d be back. I wrote you a letter six months ago. I told you to be ready.”

Yvonne felt a sob rising up in her chest. “What do you mean? What should I be ready for? Sean, six months ago you left me a letter saying we should break up.”

“Break up? Why would I want to break up with you, Yvonne? I want to marry you. I said that when I got back, we would get married.”

Another tear dripped down her cheek. “I never got that letter, Sean. I thought you had left me.”

His grey-blue eyes filled with tears. Pulling her back into his arms, he stroked her hair and said, “Yvonne, I’m so sorry. I love you. I would never leave you.”

“Then where have you been?” she demanded, pulling away from him.

“Africa,” he said simply. Then remembering she hadn’t seen the letter he continued, “I got offered a six month research contract. I had to leave immediately so I didn’t get to see you. That’s why I wrote the letter. Where I was working I had no access to postal services. I couldn’t send or receive anything. So in my letter I said the money I got from the job would set us up for our new lives together.” He smiled and kissed her softly. “I said the moment I got back I would ask you to marry me. And that’s what I’m doing.”

The missing pieces fell into place. Yvonne knew exactly what happened. Overcome with a feeling of love and adoration for him, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him tenderly.

“Oh Sean, of course I’ll marry you,” Yvonne cried, tears of happiness dripping down her cheeks. “I want to marry you right now!”

He smiled down at her and planted a kiss on her forehead. “That’s why I thought you would be ready. That was my intention.”

“Oh Sean, I’m sorry. You were expecting me to be waiting—”

He silenced her with a kiss. “None of that matters, Yvonne. Why don’t you go pack your things? Let’s get married now.”

She nodded eagerly and ran inside to do just that.

Ten minutes later, they were in the car ready to start their new lives together.

Sean said, “So about that letter—”

“Oh don’t worry about that,” Yvonne interrupted, “I’ve sorted it out.”

“Let me guess… Nina?”

Yvonne nodded.

While Yvonne was inside preparing her things to elope, she had left a note for her sister.

 

Nina,

I know you’re in love with Sean. It’s taken me two years to realise it but now I do. I know you destroyed Sean’s original letter and replaced it with the breakup one. I must give you credit for fooling me for six months but did you really think it would last? Sean returned to me today, Nina. He told me the truth. I’m not angry, even though I know I should be. Actually I want to thank you for doing us a favour. You brought Sean and I closer together. You made us realise nothing can break true love.

We’ll talk when I return from my honeymoon.

Yvonne

***

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. I can accept criticism. 🙂

FYI – This is also available to read for free on wattpad.com at the following link. On this site you have the capacity to vote and comment on the story.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/8807128-holding-on-short-story-completed

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