The HOLIDAY I Needed … the HOLIDAY I Got …

Holidays are a great place to come home to the heart.
 
Port Douglas for 7 days. A dream holiday to escape winter.
 
Yes I did it… we drew on the ‘FI Account’ and booked a last minute deal with only 5 sleeps till we stepped on the plane and arrived at our beautiful tropical apartment with all the comforts we needed and literally a 2 minute walk to the beach.
 
All I wanted to do was relax by the pool, walk along the beach, swim, read my book and share the experience with John. We were in our own pocket of Paradise; so content cooking delicious meals on the BBQ, sipping on lattes and wine and enjoying just being. We both had new books to read and the TV remained off.
 
On day three John was feeling exhausted and not so enthusiastic about joining me for a walk saying: “I am so glad we booked this holiday. I really needed it”. By day 4 his exhaustion and lack of enthusiasm hit him hard and it was obvious a bug had set in. First some coughing, then a runny nose and finally a headache that kept getting worse and finally became a migraine. So day 4, 5 and 6 of our holiday became a wipeout for John and the dream holiday experience for us as a couple became a nightmare!
 
So here I was with the holiday I wanted suddenly taken away from me. A roller coaster of emotions and feelings surfaced as I observed the situation and reflected on how it all turned out to be like this.
 
Ah yes… the back story.
 
Back to the week earlier when I booked the holiday package on the Thursday and our flight was early the following Tuesday.
 
On the Friday night John’s band was playing and one of the band members asked John for a lift to the gig. Halfway there he told us he was really sick with a bug!!!!!! I opened my window at that point! Not impressed! The next night – Saturday – they had another gig two hours away and he had already asked John for a lift to that as well. Why take two cars all that distance? But now I said to John, “not a good idea driving all that way with him so sick. Remember we have a holiday booked next week”. Though concerned, John kept to the arrangement. They spent two hours driving there and two hours driving back on Saturday night!
 
So now, here we are in tropical Queensland on our amazing holiday and John has come down with the bug big time! It’s only day four!!! I was so pissed off and the emotions were bursting inside of me and out of me in waves.
 
WHOA!!!
 
This was a time to embrace all my feelings and find a way to make the most of the holiday… FOR ME!!!
 
So I allowed myself to walk with my anger along 4 mile beach and dug deep inside to find the essence of what this experience was triggering in me. It was deep… the feelings of ‘you just have to understand’… ‘this is the way it is’… ‘you will just have to wait’… ‘this is more important’… ‘your needs will have to be put on hold’…
 
So, in essence, my programming was getting in the way of my needs.
 
So what happened?
 
Firstly I acknowledged the situation. The holiday I wanted with John was no longer happening, that was clear.
Secondly I expressed my feelings to John reminding him of ‘the back story’. I really needed to get that off my chest. That said, my man was sick so I also expressed compassion. This was no fun for him either.
Thirdly I sprinkled eucalyptus oil all round the apartment to protect myself from his bug.
Fourthly, and most importantly, I made MY now solo holiday MY priority.
 
Everyday I had several walks along the beach. I swam in the warm ocean, I swam in the pool, I read my book. I treated myself to lattes and brunches overlooking the water at the marina. I met some wonderful people. I laughed, I cried, I felt pissed off then I enjoyed the freedom of being me again.
 
Some days were sunny, some were cloudy and some were raining. All in all the perfect environment for me to be in touch with all my emotions and feelings and celebrate being me.
 
Day 7 was the icing on the cake. While John was still weak he was able to join me at the marina and share some of the delights I had discovered and experienced while he lay in bed. The bonus was the sun that now came shining through even though the weather bureau had forecast heavy rain and possible storms on our last day in paradise.
 
As I reflect now … It was the holiday I needed.
 
From John’s perspective I’m not so sure he would agree it was exactly the holiday he had in mind.

I Miss My Mum Today

Okay … Today is one of those days when “I miss my mum”. Can you relate?
 
Late last night my 94 year old mother-in-law was taken by ambulance from her nursing home to hospital with pneumonia.
 
In simple terms she is fragile and life is day by day. In reality life is day by day for us all. There are many twists and turns in life and I know the best I can do is value each moment.
 
As I write I am reminded of a favourite saying of mine: “I ask for help and guidance as I continue to follow the pathway for the benefit of my highest good and the highest good of all concerned” – author unknown.
 
So tonight I will burn a candle and wish for the best outcome without knowing just what that is.
 
May love sustain us all through our day to day living.
 
Jude xoxoxo

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My Mother Collapsed Yesterday And The Doctor Was Called – by John Taylor

My mother collapsed yesterday and the doctor was called. She lives in a retirement village in Sydney and I live in Melbourne. My sister rang with the news and provided updates as the doctor decided hospital was a good idea and an ambulance was called.

Pneumonia in her right lung is the diagnosis with assurances she is in good hands. My sister is keeping tabs on everything.

Its moments like this when reality sweeps in and bites you on the bum. While my mum doesn’t have a lot to say about much of anything she is still my mother, the woman who raised three children and looked after us as best she could. The fact she herself is the result of an over domineering father and a soft pampered mother who couldn’t cope with raising her own two kids resulted in my mother lacking a confidence in her own abilities so much of the time. She admitted once that she used to go back to bed at one time when the last of us was finally out the door and off to school.

I think I’m reminiscing here because my mother’s mortality is suddenly in my face. She’s 94 and I thought I was prepared for whatever might suddenly happen with her but yesterday’s call shows I was wrong. As John Lennon sings, ‘you don’t know what you got until you lose it’. My mum is still hanging in there but the fact she is no longer invincible is more real this morning than it was 24 hours ago. And I feel a fear with that now. 
She’s my mother… the woman I instinctively turned to as a child, the woman who nursed me, cared for me and helped me get through childhood. She did what she could as well as she could and I will always always love her unconditionally for that.

So now I wait for the next update from my sister who has been managing my mother’s affairs and everything else to do with her primary care and wellbeing for the last few years. I don’t know what I’d be doing without her steady hand. Sydney is only a short plane trip away but my sister assures me the doctors are confident for now that she should come through and be back in the retirement village as soon as possible.

Words… 

Yes my mother will die at some time as I will. We don’t know when but that simple fact is inevitable. We all die.
So why is that impending feeling of loss so unsettling? Mum said years ago that she was tired of it all yet her strong constitution defies her body which just keeps pulling her along. I expect that to be what happens now. I expect her to be getting a telegram from the Queen or King Charles or whoever when she reaches 100. She may still break the records for world’s oldest living human being.

I’m scared anyway. She’s my mum after all and now she’s got pneumonia. I’m down here and she’s up there. She’s probably ok. We’ll know more tomorrow.

I love you mum.

PS: It’s the day after and my sister reports mum is looking soooooo much better today than yesterday when she was looking like crap, constantly removing the oxygen mask and pulling out the monitor things. Her amazing nurses report she’s keeping them on their toes. My sister got a bedside phone set up and we rang her this afternoon and I managed some chat between the coughing.

She’s still right in the middle of this and fragile, and her usual confusions are there, but I did get a laugh or two. For me that is a reassuring indicator that I can maybe call the Queen back and re-book that telegram. Wishful thinking? I hope not.

Go mum.

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“I hate Mother’s Day”, I heard someone say …

“I hate Mother’s Day”, I heard someone say …

Mother’s Day is different for everyone. Whether you are a mother or a child your relationship with your own mother is a personal connection like no other.

I know if your child or mother has died then Mother’s Day brings out the emotions and can trigger so many different feelings including: “I hate Mother’s Day”.

Mother’s Day has definitely changed for me since my mum died. But I have actually changed my perspective and can now say: “I love Mother’s Day”. I love it as a mother and I love it as a daughter.

Yes, my own mother is dead so there are no longer physical hugs or physical contact. However, she is ever present with me now. I can go anywhere with her on Mother’s Day because everywhere I go I hold a special place for her in my heart.

Just like any other day, I know on Mother’s Day there will be happy and sad feelings which come and go. I will allow them without resistance and embrace them throughout my day.

Now I say: “I give myself permission to feel without judgement”, and that means I no longer have to fear Mother’s Day or any other day. I can embrace the moment knowing my mum is with me every step of the way.
 
Jude xoxoxo

Outside My Comfort Zone

Today I had a project I was working on which took me outside my comfort zone and I so wanted someone else to fix it for me.
 
John refused to rescue me. I was not happy.
 
I was stuck and reaching outside of me for the solution … and then ‘I got it’. My intuition reminded me to do what I do best in these situations: “write it out”.
 
So I did … It started with acknowledging “I’m stuck” and the words flowed from there.
 
In a short period of time my overview was complete and I was no longer ‘stuck’,
 
Reminder to me … recognise and acknowledge my fears and listen to my intuition.
 
I now appreciate John’s resistance to rescue me. It worked.

I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONFRONT ‘THE ENEMY’ . . .

By John Taylor

Years ago I was in a working relationship with a group of young men who, like myself, had dreams of taking our adventure to the highest levels possible. Unfortunately it all came crashing down when a principal person decided he wanted to separate the group and a couple of us were left stranded.

It hit me very hard, to say the least. In fact, it hit me so hard I stopped doing something I had a passion for simply because I was full of so much frustrated anger and blame towards this person, feelings I have carried for the ensuing 33 plus years. In hindsight it includes feelings of dis-empowerment: that horrible emptiness when you believe you no longer have control over the important things in your life.

And then, not so long ago, this person came back into my life in an unexpected way: asking to ‘friend’ up on social media.
 
My initial reaction was confusion. I asked myself: ‘what can I gain by spending any time interacting with this man? Why bother? Life is too short and why stir up the old grievances?

But then a strange thing happened: I recognised that, while I was definitely, absolutely still carrying anger and frustration towards this person I no longer wanted to be doing that. In fact I had a clear feeling that it was time to put it all to rest… to somehow let it out or maybe even let it go. And that felt good… as a concept anyway.

So contact was made and a dialogue began. I honestly admitted to him that I was unsure about re-connecting and he came straight back with total understanding. In fact, he told me why I should be carrying bad feelings towards him for what happened all those years ago. Whoa!

I decided to write out how I felt and send it to him. Then, if he was totally clear as to why I still carried animosity then he could decide whether or not to continue.

My first letter turned out to be full of blame. I listed all the reasons why it was all his fault and everything I ever felt about everything he had done to me. It wasn’t pretty.

Jude pointed out I’d basically written ‘hate mail’ when I ran it past her to see if I’d expressed myself clearly. Blame doesn’t work, she reminded me… try expressing your feelings instead.

Take #2 worked much better. I found myself writing feelings and how what happened all those years ago was still hanging around in me. I explained the impact it had on me rather than blaming him…. and an interesting thing happened. He responded by fully taking responsibility for who he was back then, and for everything that happened as a result of his decisions and actions at the time.

Whoa #2…

After some more back and forth he suggested we meet up – which we did –and it was a very interesting evening. I now know I have moved through all this thanks to his willingness to allow me to confront him personally as well as my own feelings. What began as a catch-up that shifted through more open honesty finally became a very pleasant reunion. After all, not only had we shared a powerful experience back in those heady days, we also found we now had more than a few things in common.

I learned that his own story is a cross-section of self-confrontation in itself, and that he survived a time where he could easily have collapsed into his own demise. Instead he worked through it all and grew to become the man who has now enabled me to deal with the after-effects of our time together.

I now feel as though a horrible weight has been lifted from my shoulders. In many ways I now feel free. Yes, what happened happened… but now I no longer find the memory of those events fills me with darkness or unresolved regret.
_________

As a learning, growing experience I can honestly recommend looking at anything that’s weighing you down as objectively as you can. Maybe seek help with that. Then see if there is something you can do to empower yourself to move through it.

And what about grudges? They’re something we carry like dead weight if we allow them to fester. And that festering can become something worse if we allow it. Revenge comes from this type of energy and revenge is a dish best served up on a movie screen for quick entertainment. I mean, too many of the world’s conflicts come from grudges and blame.

In hindsight, when I look back over those angry, confused, unresolved issues I carried over 33 years I am now thankful I have had the opportunity to confront them and move on. What I learnt is that ‘The Enemy’ isn’t always the person you harbor a grudge against, it’s the grudge itself.

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