All posts tagged: Wellbeing

“There’s life in the old girl yet”; unbelievable update about Mum

No one wants to be a downer blogger. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty cheery, positive person, while also being sensitive to the cruelty and grief of merely being alive. My 82-yr old Mum (who lives in England, while I’m here in Australia) has Dementia, as most of you know, and I had a challenging time on my visit to her in August. She was still living alone in her rented flat, albeit supported by 5 Carer visits a day, and categorically refusing to even entertain the possibility/probability of needing to move to a group Home… Except events came to a head, as they are wont to do, and the Police were called a few times while Mum was wandering the neighbourhood feeling completely disorientated. I chose to keep all that quiet here, partly out of respect for her privacy, and also because I didn’t want to be a downer blogger. So she was recently moved into a small temporary Home nearby, for her safety and wellbeing, much to the family’s relief. But for her, the …

The Top 7 kidney ‘bad boys’, & I’m sure making a lot of green pulp too

Week One done of my 4-week Adrenal Recovery Program, and it’s a good thing I love celery: 500ml every morning first thing is a LOT of celery, and includes the leaves. Mmm, green and bitter, just how I like to start my day… There are also 7 Big Bad No-Nos I have to avoid at all costs- They’re not in order of importance, and call me Fussy, but it looks like 10 to me really #justsayin’-: Gluten & dairy Soy & corn Pork Eggs Canola oil Caffeine (tea & coffee) Alcohol The hardest one for me is eggs- I’m mostly vegan at home, but vegetarian when I’m out; sometimes I just crave a fried egg on [gluten-free] toast to fill me up in the morning. Without doubt, the other participants are struggling most with coffee and alcohol, which makes me super-grateful once again that I’ve somehow missed getting those vices. Any differences in my energy or sleep? I must admit the ‘Eat-every-2-hours-especially-fruit regime’ seems to suit my metabolism, and I have felt more consistent energy …

Then together, we walked peacefully off into the sunset, my kidneys & I

I’m a pretty healthy chick for 52; most of my friends would agree with that. But I’ve just signed up for a 4-week ‘Adrenal Recovery Program’, that includes 2 consultations with a Naturopath, plus 2 sessions with a Kinesiologist, as well as a weekly support group meeting with the 6 other participants. Why? And this is where most of the fellas may wanna tune out: because the ‘warm/hot flushes’ of the menopause are driving me a little crazy at night, and I’m hoping a kidney/adrenals re-set will help. If I’ve had the magic  8.5 hours sleep I need, I feel like I can run the world (and let’s face it, I’d do a fabulous job compared to Trump). But waking up hot half a dozen times, throwing covers on and off, then wrestling with annoying pillows just because I’m a bit cranky does NOT make me a good world leader (still better than Trump though of course). Part of the benefits of this Recovery program is supposedly deep, restful sleep; that is the new Black …

In my next life, I’m coming back as a sculptor, & here’s why

The little seaside town 10 minutes down the road from me just hosted its 3rd ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ event. It was simply wonderful, and began with sandy shoes scattered in the grass- hands up who hates sand in the house or bed after a walk on the beach? There were dozens of pairs, of all different types of shoes, re-purposed from the local op shops. The Spring weather was glorious, and it was lovely to just stroll around the parks and break wall, marvelling at the local creativity and talent. I was in such a relaxed daze though that I barely registered any artists’ names, so can’t give credit where it’s due; my apologies. That big old kangaroo had a good story though: a social worker told the artist she advised angry young boys in her care to take up a kangaroo stance, and send their fury down their tails into the ground behind them (an Indigenous strategy). My favourite aspect was the emphasis on recycled and found materials being re-purposed; the weaving with …

“How much time have I got left?” Part Two

Deep in my essential core, I’m a dancer. I may be 52 now, and not quite as nimble as I used to be, but I still go to Swing Dance once a month, and my beloved 5Rhythms every week. Not to mention the regular groovy late-afternoon outdoor queer dance parties I sometimes see my son at. At age 28, living in Newtown, Sydney, and dancing at techno raves all weekend, I began to wonder if I could make a living with movement somehow… which led me to an extraordinary teacher, Janis Claxton. Her free, wild, & fiery moves still live in my body, while her feisty attitude found a match in mine, inspiring me to pursue performing/Clown/dance & Improvisation (which all still rock my creative world). Last week she died of lung cancer, aged 53.  At the Women’s Buddhist Dharma Day Part One last Sunday, facilitator Carol Perry asked us to reflect on the question I’ve titled this post with; of course, none of us know the answer, and therein lies one of the causes of …

“Let your body be a soft & steady place for emotions to land.” Part One

I just spent 9.30-3pm Sunday in a yurt at a Women’s Buddhist Dharma Day. What does that actually mean G? Well, it meant I got up at 6.30 to cook a spinach pie for the shared lunch, drove there too fast because I left a bit late and didn’t know where I was going, was the second last one to bumble into the serious silent sitting circle of women, and then spent hours listening to a wise elder speak about Ageing as we meditated together. It was a great day, and such a huge gift to myself. The day’s facilitator Carol Perry also taught at that Eco Village/Permaculture Week Intensive I did- remember that? I love her. And guess what? Because I’d almost arrived late, I got to sit next to her in the circle- I began soaking up her wisdom vibes like a thirsty sponge, hoping she wouldn’t notice the intense draining. Last time I heard her give a presentation, she said this, which almost brought half the room to tears: “My first Invitation to …

I’ve become a waddling Mama duck

I’m at the start of my 3rd week visiting Mum in England, and realized today what’s happening: she’s imprinting on me like ducklings or cygnets do. When I ask her if she’s ready for breakfast, she looks at me to ask if I’m having some? Same with a cuppa, having a shower, or going for a walk. It wasn’t like that for the first week. Or perhaps I was too jetlagged/overwhelmed/finding my way to notice? Now we’ve settled into a routine though, as I’ve learnt the rhythm of her days and nights, including the multiple daily carer visits. So it suddenly stood out to me this afternoon, as I left for a walk on my own, that she really was becoming my shadow. This isn’t good. I return home to Australia in 10 days, and yes, I’m definitely counting down. What’s going to happen once I’ve gone? Who will repeat for the fifth time what we’re having to eat? Who will cook her such fine, healthy lunches, and supply long-favoured treats like crumpets or Crunchie …

Nostalgia looks like a hedge, sounds like a seagull, & tastes like crumpets

Mum and our cousin met me unexpectedly at the train station, so there were hugs all round, then straight home for a cuppa. I can tell she’s very happy to see me of course, but Mum also asks several times where we’re going, as though she hasn’t just heard the answer a minute ago. Which is the world she lives in now. Dementia often takes away short-term memory first, and that was one of the initial symptoms we began to notice a few years ago. ‘Shall we have a treat with our tea? How about a crumpet?’ Nostalgia coats my taste buds like raspberry jam and warm runny butter. I’m drawn backwards through the years, remembering blustery walks on the beach with various dogs, coming home to food treats like hot crumpets. Crackers with sharp vintage cheddar. Fruit & nut chocolate. Crispy fish and chips every Friday. Rhubarb and apple crumble with clotted cream… these are a few of my favourite things. But if I want them, I’ll have to buy them and/or make them. …

Musings on Mum

I’m on the train down to the quaint English seaside town where I grew up, watching the countryside flash by. Neatly hedged fields, thick-walled farmhouses, and glimpses of bigger human settlements marked by the identical carparks and superstores. I’m trying to work out how I feel. It’s a mixture of jetlagged tiredness, slight anxiety, a little excitement, and my hopeful practice of being an open, blank slate. It suddenly occurred to me that Mum hasn’t seen me with blonde hair. Well, not since the ill-fated ‘Highlights Experiment of 1985’ anyway; maybe I should pop my blue cap on? This is a new experience: wondering how Mum is going to greet me. For as long as I can remember of course, she has hugged me hello with a squeal of excitement, and teary eyes, especially once I moved to Australia in 1987, and there were long gaps between my flights home. At my financially poorest, and most rebellious, I admit I didn’t see her for 8 years; I would HATE it if ‘18’ did that to …