Humble Apologies To You All..

Greetings friends.

My sincere and humble apologies for not updating in a while but life has been speeding past at a great rate of knots and I have only just found time to sit and update. But never fear, I will make sure I update semi-regularly and will hopefully not leave such great gaps in between posts in the future.

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Update to come….

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Apologies for the long-winded rant folks, but as a life-long cricket fan, I need to get a few things off my chest.

People have been messaging me all day, both on my phone and on Facebook, looking for my response to the events of the last 24 hours that have unfolded in Cape Town. I have stayed silent for most of the day while I formulated my response but I feel now is the time to make them known.

To say I was truly sickened by the footage splashed across my social media and all major news broadcasts was a massive understatement. I had been following the live-stream on www.cricket.com.au but had gone to bed before the dramatic events occurred. I woke up and went straight to the laptop to see what I had missed overnight when I saw the headlines. Much like Michael Clarke’s reaction, as I read the headlines, I thought that I was still asleep and had to have been dreaming.

In cricket, the charge of ball tampering is on par with a bowler being called for throwing. It is, for want of a better word, cheating and not to be taken lightly. Cricket is and has always been an example of fair play and sportsmanship, for the most part. The Baggy Green Cap is the symbol of all that is good in the game…or it was until today. Those who wear it are seen as being role models and examples of fair play and I fear the reputation of the Baggy Green has been tarnished forever.

I am now left wondering how we explain what happened to Noah who loves his cricket and Steve Smith. He has no tolerance for cheating or bad sportsmanship, but I fear that this may turn him off the game he loves for life. I guess we’ll just wait to see what happens and his reaction to it

I am truly ashamed to be an Aussie cricket fan and am considering whether or not I will follow this team again. I look forward to seeing how the authorities will deal with this. As an ex-umpire, there is nothing that I hate more than cheating and poor sportsmanship.

I await the next few days with anticipation….

International Women’s Day 2018

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REPOSTED FROM MY FACEBOOK PAGE.

On this #InternationalWomensDay, I want to take the opportunity to show the world how this amazing young lady inspires me every single day.

She is funny, quirky, bold, outrageous forceful, stubborn to the point of frustration (particularly for her big brother and parents) spunky, sometimes cranky, never backward in coming forward and you always know where you stand with her. Even at her lowest moments during her recent cancer journey, she always took things in her stride and was never low for long.

At the age of “almost but not quite” four, you know your place in the world and I along with everyone, you meet are in awe of you. I am quite sure that you will grow up and be a fine scientist like you hope to be and that you will always rid the world of cancer like you said (but no pressure if you don’t) You may be the youngest of 38 in your tribe, but your wisdom and strength amazes me.

Liberty-Jane Eliza-Rose. You, along with your Big Brother Ba are the reasons I have hope for the future. Even though we are over 32,000 kilometres apart, know that I am always there for you and love you to the moon and back several times over. I am so proud of you and all you are and will become.

New Year’s Wishes From Me To You.

While 2017 has been a year that for obvious reasons I would rather forget, it has also been filled with many blessings that I am truly grateful for. Trips to Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane provided time away from the usual and a chance to create many wonderful memories, taking control of my physical and mental wellbeing has me feeling better than I have in years and the chance to reconnect with family and friends have all been highlights.

I have no idea what 2018 will bring aside from a possible relocation from Inverell to Brisbane (God willing), more travel–to New Zealand and around this great country of ours and the chance to reconnect with new and old friends. No matter what happens, I look forward to the adventure ahead and whatever it may bring.

To those who have been a part of my life during 2017 (and those that were not), I wish you all peace, love, understanding and laughter for 2018. Thank you for being such a wondrous part of my life and I hope it may continue for 2018 and beyond.

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“The Happiest Man You’ll Ever Meet”

It has been said that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  (With thanks to George Santayana for the quote).  Today I reacquainted myself with a man I first met over 20 years ago…a man who taught me the true meaning of forgiveness, kindness and friendship. His name is Eddie Jaku and he is a Holocaust Survivor.

 

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I first met Eddie on the floor of the Sydney Jewish Museum in the late 1990’s. My brother Simon had gone there on a school excursion around the time I had started studying and developing an interest in the Holocaust. Simon came home and told me that there was a museum in Sydney that was all about the Holocaust and not only that, they had real people who had survived the Holocaust as guides (which I highly doubted but decided to humour him). The Sydney Jewish Museum is one of the few in the world who have the honour of having survivor guides.

So I found myself at the front door at the Museum, wondering what was on the other side.I took a deep breath and walked in. After paying my admission fee, I walked in and started looking around. After moving through the lower levels, I found myself at the start of the Holocaust exhibit where I met one of the happiest men I have ever met…Eddie Jaku.

Listening to Eddie’s truly amazing, and at times devastating story, I was struck by what a positive attitude he had. A beaming, joyful smile belies the tragedy of the past but is filled with hope and friendship for the future. I cannot begin to imagine the horrors of the Holocaust and the devastation of the loss of his entire family, but I truly believe that this beautiful man came into my life for a reason. Amazingly, he doesn’t hate the Nazi’s or Germans. He believes that hate breeds violence and a far better way to live is to offer friendship and love to all you come across.

After spending some time with Eddie, he made me promise him two things. First was that I would no longer use the word hate in my vocabulary and secondly to promise that I would never forget him. Eddie, my friend….there is no way I could ever forget you. You have inspired me to be a better person. I’m not sure if I have lived up to your example, but I promise you that I will endeavour to. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being an example of the best of humanity even though you survived the very worst of humanity. I am truly honoured to know you and call you friend.

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Eddie’s tattoo

 

A Speech given by Eddie at the Sydney Jewish Museum

A Look Back At The Year That Was…

Happy summer (or winter depending on where you are) friends. I’m currently enjoying a well-deserved few days break on the glorious Central Coast with my mother, visiting my cousin and aunt and waking up to this view from the deck each morning.

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Friends, this post is not aimed at any person in particular, but more to the plethora of posts I have seen recently on Facebook and other places bemoaning what a rotten year people have had. I know that it’s not a contest, but I know mine would have put most people’s year in the shade. But instead of looking back, I am looking forward to the New Year whatever it will bring.

 

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To all those complaining about what a rotten year they have had, I can guarantee you that mine was far worse. Seeing Dad medivacced to Tamworth by helicopter, spending 3.5 weeks with him on life support, bringing him home, losing him 4 days later then being diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety has had me wishing that things were different….much different.

But on the good side, I have learnt who my true family and friends are, spent ten glorious days in Canberra, ticking off long-held bucket list dreams of going to the Austrailan War Memorial and Questacon, taking ownership of my health and started weekly PT sessions with a good friend, looking forward to having birthday number 41 in a few days on the beach on the Central Coast and having a Brisbane Christmas with my mother and brother and I continue to open my eyes, fill my lungs with oxygen and put one foot in front of the other.

While my 2017 was the worst year of the 41 I have had on this planet, there is so much that I am grateful for and things that I wish were different. Yes, I am looking forward to the brand new start that the new year will bring, but I am so glad to have survived 2017. I am a changed person because of it….I only hope I have changed for the better.

Whatever it is that you celebrate at this time of year, I hope that it is happy, peaceful and enjoyable. May 2018 be a year of new beginnings, grand achievements and all you hope and wish for.

 

A Few Things I Want You To Know..

Friends, I have thought long and hard over many months about writing this post. My aim with this blog has and will always be to give an honest account of all…well almost all aspects of my life, both the good and the bad.

So here goes nothing….

 

anxietygirl

 

Three million people in Austraila are living with anxiety or depression according to BeyondBlue…..and I am one of them. After spending 6.5 years studying a BA in Psychology, I never in my wildest imaginings thought that I would become one of the three million.

I had always been an anxious person. From the earliest time I can remember, I had always been terrified of high places. It was only during the first year of my studies (around 2009) where I learnt that my fear had a name. I suffered from a “Specific Phobia” known as Acrophobia–the all-encompassing fear of high places. It was also during this time that I learnt that my phobia was also a form of anxiety disorder.

So what exactly is anxiety? Well from personal experience, I can tell you that it’s a whole lot more than just feeling stressed. I mean, stress is certainly a part of it, but there is far more to it than just that. According to BeyondBlue, on average one in four people (one in three women and one in five men) will experience some form of anxiety and in a twelve month period, close to two million Australians will suffer it at some point during their lifetimes.

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Another form of anxiety disorder that I also suffer from is known as Panic Disorder. This disorder is most often characterised by sudden, intense fear which manifests as panic attacks.  Panic attacks may include; heart palpitations, feelings of dizziness and/or faintness, breathlessness or hyperventilation (over-breathing), chest pains, sweating, shaking or nausea. These symptoms often come out of the blue and while these symptoms are the body’s normal responses to danger, they are often out of proportion to the danger actually being faced and often seem to take on a life of their own.

Panic Attack Video from Wikipedia  

This video gives a pretty good overview of what a panic attack is and treatment options for those, like me, who suffer from them.

While I myself am not ashamed of the fact that I have these mental health issues, many sufferers still are. The stigma surrounding mental health issues I feel is one of the biggest issues facing health professionals today and one that must be overcome before too many people die. It is my hope through writing this blog about my struggles with these issues, I can help people see that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that there is always help available.