Challenges and choices

I was not sure whether to write a blog this week or not but eventually decided that it was right to do so. The last few weeks have been full of challenges, physically, mentally and emotionally and they took away all my energy and I then spent several days just resting. Unfortunately some of the challenges are still unfinished like the heating refurbishment and the shower that does not work.

My 80th birthday brought its own challenges. How was I going to cope with this milestone? Would I continue my life in the same way or would I take more time out and rest more? Dementia runs in the female line of my family and generally started soon after the 80th milestone birthday and I am very aware of this. I would not like to be in the state my mother was when she was diagnosed with dementia.

I have decided to do some tidying in my home and change some pieces of furniture for others to make it easier to store items I wish to keep. This will take some time however as the kind of furniture I like is not always available but I will keep looking. But it is a choice I have made as the challenge of putting a 3 bedroomed bungalow into a 1 bedroomed flat is very difficult.

Another choice to make is whether to continue writing blogs and possibly new books as I do love researching. Another choice is what to do with my photos. I generally get the best ones printed and make scrapbooks but I am already on scrapbook 2 this year with more photo prints on order. I do find that the time it takes to make the scrapbooks can be therapeutic and also bring back good memories.

Other choices to make are either to put myself first all the time and take care of others or help others only occasionally. I am the kind of person who will always help others so I don’t think putting them last would work. It is part of my soul plan to care for and help others.

I love to teach as well and am still doing this remotely but feel it is something I can continue with for the moment. After all we learn something new each day. I have started to take more care of myself, visits to an osteopath who does myofascial massage and also a visit to the dentist. I have started to use my etheric weaver more as well. So I am choosing to take more care of myself.

While out with my son this week we saw a butterfly we had never seen before. It was white with its wings closed and then it opened its wings and there was a wow from us both. It was a purple hairstreak butterfly. Nature brings its rewards. So those kind of walks will continue as long as possible.

Thoughts for the end of the year

This year has had many happy parts but also many sad parts too as friends and family have travelled to the Summerlands. Some themes have been strong in my life though and I have tried to help others to think about the way they live their lives. I have written about the wonders of nature and how I appreciate it. I have written about complacency and uncertainty recently too.

During this festive season gratitude has been foremost in my mind. I am so lucky to have a roof over my head, to have enough food and clothes and also to have a few good friends and family around me. I think about refugees from tsunamis and those feeling oppression in their country and I am thankful that I do not have those kinds of things to deal with.

I have also been thinking about how some people seem to want more and more material things and rush off to the sales to get as much as they can carry whether they need it or not. There is a big difference between wanting something and needing something and I always try to think if I need something before I buy it. Of course I do buy some things I don’t really need as we all do but I try not to do this often.

Over the last few days I have seen posts on social media about the amount of food and drink people have partaken of recently. Is this necessary? Does an excessive amount of food and drink do your health any good? Why not give the excess food to those in need.

Then there is the pollution debate. Plastics, air pollution, water pollution are all there up at the front. I try to do as much as I can about all of these. I try to only buy plastic that can be recycled or reused, I try to keep the air around me clean, I don’t have a car and I stopped flying to other countries many years ago. There is so much we need to think about in the world of today if we are going to make the world a better place for everybody. Next year gives us 365 days of challenges to do this. Think of something you can do each day to make the world a better place for at least one person. That is my plan.

A miscellany of thoughts

Deciding what to write about this week has been quite hard. There is so much going on in the world and in our lives that choosing the right thing did not come easy. So this is maybe a bit of a ramble about different things. First of all autumn is definitely here. There has been a distinct change in the colour of the leaves this week and one or two trees are almost bare. The wind is much colder and any flowers left blooming in the garden are dropping their petals and dying down. A new set of shelves sits in my garden now with pots of spring bulbs on them. They are complete with copper slug collars to deter the slugs from eating the bulbs before they even sprout.

This week seems to have been full of challenges, some larger than others. Little things like my mobile phone deciding not to work as well as the scanner and then a download from the Record Office refusing to download. Other challenges are physical as my arthritis plus whatever else it is hasĀ flared up quite strongly. I had a knee replacement ten years ago and I think it is now wearing out! So getting out and about has been somewhat restricted.

But there are good things too. I am doing a course at the local museum and this is very interesting and has enabled me to meet new people who have at least a few things in common like local history. I would like to find the druids who are lurking somewhere but I am sure they will appear when the time is right.

Let’s hope next week is challenge free!


Life’s challenges

All through our lives we find ourselves facing challenges. Some of us have more than others but I don’t know anyone who has never had a challenge to face. But life is a journey and it is the challenges and the lessons we learn that make life interesting. Just think how boring it could be with nothing to make us think and do.

Some challenges are very difficult and may have life changing consequences while others are much easier and may just be a choice between two paths. So what sort of challenges can we have? There are the ones about what job to do, where to live, when to move home and lesser ones like what to wear. All these are challenges that we face, some times every day. How we deal with these challenges can change the way that day goes for us. Wearing the wrong clothes for an important meeting can change the way people see you and also change the way you feel about yourself. But these are minor challenges. What about the big ones?

During my lifetime I have faced many challenges. I remember some of these quite well. One in particular was surgery at a young age which meant I could no longer have children. I already had two but all my friends were busy growing their families and it was difficult to deal with. But the most life changing part of this was the out of life experience during the operation. That did change the way I thought about everything and my whole attitude to life changed from then on. Other challenges have been dealing with unexpected deaths, first of my father and then of my husband.

Now I face challenges with my health but these have been ongoing for some time and I have learned to deal with them. At least I thought I had but each time there is a relapse or flare up I have to think again and find my way through. The biggest challenge yet to come will be facing death but I hope that is some way off and is a topic for another blog post. How do you face your challenges?

One final thought which many disagree with is this; whatever you choose to do at a certain point is the right choice for that moment in time. Only later may you think it was a bad choice. But what did you learn from making that choice? If you learned something from that choice then it was not a bad one.




What a week this has been, not just busy but full of challenges which are making me think about what I can do to stay independent. On Monday I visited the local Christmas Tree Festival which is the largest in England or so I believe. There were over 1000 trees and the imagination of people always amazes me. Businesses. charities, groups and individual people decorate trees for this festival. The Christmas tree for me is a pagan symbol which the church adopted for their use. But I love to see the trees and their twinkling lights.

I have bought a new walker type thing called a rollator which we discovered that although it folds up it does not go in car boots, not those of my friends anyway. This brings its own challenge of course. It is a good idea though to help me to walk as it has a seat that I can use when I need to sit down. Sorting out transport for a holiday became a challenge too as I needed to find someone to take me to Leicester in a car that would take the rollator. I think this has now been solved but it was a challenge and one which left me feeling very depressed.

But as a druid I have bounced back although not fully back and am thinking about how to surmount these challenges and become more independent again. Each night I give thanks for what I have and ask for help in working this out. I suspect that fear enters some of my problems as you get scared to be out alone in case you fall or whatever. I need to overcome this too and not rely on others to always be there for me. I shall be spending the time until Imbolc working on these challenges and hope that I find a successful outcome. How do you deal with challenges that come your way?


Staying hopeful in a challenging world

I hear so many people say that they have no hope left, that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But we need to have hope and see that there are positive things in our lives and that our lives can get better. This is hard for many especially after the kind of week that we have had. Many explosions occurred in several countries and two large earthquakes in others.

But if you look and listen carefully you can also see that there is hope and that better things are happening. Much of the ‘bad’stuff is a way of cleansing, clearing out and getting ready for the new. Look at how nature works. In the autumn she gets rid of things she no longer needs like leaves, and plants die down ready to sleep during the winter. But when spring comes, they appear again and sprout new leaves and bring flowers too. Look for the positive things that are going on, in nature, around you, in your country and in the world. There are many bright and hopeful new beginnings occurring everywhere but you need to look.

One day last week I noticed that my peony had suddenly grown about 8 inches almost overnight and when looking around the spare piece of ground at the back of my garden I found a cluster of beautiful yellow flowers. A sign of hope like the buds on the trees. What are your signs of hope?