Welcome - If this works out, then this will be a blog of positive thoughts, fun and inspiration. I welcome your input and invite you to share things you find inspirational. However I reserve the right to post only things that fall within the intent of the this blog.

May your day be filled with love, laughter and happiness.

If you would like to share something here then please email me at thehalffullglass (
at) amnet (dot) net (dot) au



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Small Steps Forward

I'm over the moon and just wanted to share what could be a huge step forward (although starting with small steps at first) towards my Alaskan grand-daughter being able to better communicate with the world.

Little K has autism. In the scheme of things on the spectrum, authorities would class her as low functioning. She is nearly 11 and doesn't have a lot of words, but she is not what I would class at totally non-verbal, and in the past 18 months her word skills have increased a lot. But a lot of what she says is still hard, very hard to understand.

Like a lot of autistic children (and maybe adults) she get frustrated and acts out, and of course, as she gets older and bigger that can be more of an issue. I know it has caused moments of despair for her parents (my daughter in law K and her ex-hubby R) and for my daughter too.  My daughter B became Little K's Aussie Mummy nearly two years ago, and it is so great that Little K has three parents in her life that want the best for her.

Recently I Skyped with my daughter and saw her shed tears because she wants to help K to be able to better communicate and was worried that it might never happen. They were about to meet with Little K's school to look at other ways of increasing her skills and looking at speech programs that could help. But no-one knew how Little K would react, whether she had the skills to understand and if she did how quickly would she learn.

So last weekend I got this video.  Little K had learnt she could ask for chips, and was pushing, chips, chips, chips to indicate she wanted more than one chip. B showed her she could push just one more button and get the same message across. It only took her being showed once and this is the result.

video


Then today I got sent this video. It's short and sweet but you can hear her joy at the end, and now she can communicate so much more and I believe she is also trying to mimic the words as she pushes the buttons.

video



The journey my Alaskan family is on, will continue to be hard, but I hope above all hope, that small steps like these make it easier, especially for Little K, for though I too have only known her for a short time, she is a beautiful and unique child full of potential.

If this is not inspiring, then I don't know what is.

Thanks for popping by xxx

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another one that says it all



Found this on FaceBook today, it was shared on a friends page. Pretty much sums up life if you think about it.

Thanks for popping by xxx

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Perspective ... It's all about how you look at it (Part 2)



The last post I did before this blog fell into oblivion for a couple of years spoke of Perspective, it was the blog post that got the most visits (although not the most comments) out of all the posts I have written here at The Half Full Glass. (Feel free to visit the original post using the link)

What I wrote then still holds true to me today.  Many of you may know I had a total knee replacement back in December 2013, just before Christmas.  What you may not know is the depths of despair that I dropped to, especially in the first six months post surgery. I still struggle even now as the knee has not responded as well as I would have hoped.

During those dark nights, and there were many of them, when pain was my constant companion and all I wanted to do was to chop my leg off, I had to work really hard at not dropping so low that I lost all hope.

I use perspective to do just that.

Back then (and sometimes even now) I have a leg with pain, constant pain, but at least I have a leg, there are many that don't who still have the pain even with their leg amputated. (I can say the night pain is now mostly gone)

I may have to continue to walk with a walking stick, even all these months later, but at least I can walk and I am not confined to a wheelchair.

I may still be sleeping in the spare bedroom as I continue to have periods of insomnia even though I am now off all my pain killers, except for the occasional panadol, but I have the luxury of a spare bed when there are people on the streets who call a cardboard box home.

I also have a hubby who loves me enough to not be offended that I am not sharing the marital bed on a permanent basis.  There are many who do not have a supportive spouse, or a partner or are alone.

I know just how hard it is sometime to keep things in perspective, but I encourage you to try.

Thanks for popping by xxxx (oh and the photo is my jasmine springing into life)




Saturday, September 20, 2014

This Says It All


I found this on Joy of Mom's Facebook Page, and had to borrow it.  I'm hoping you all have someone that is always there for you.

Sometimes I feel that I am the person that is there for everyone else, but in my darkest times I know I have some beautiful friends, work colleagues and family I can reach out to.

So if you are like me, always the person holding the umbrella, be kind to yourself sometimes too.

Thanks for popping by xxxx

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fatherhood ... some musings on an unknown journey

Today is Father's Day here in Australia, which has got me thinking about my dad and my hubby and their fatherhood journeys.

In my hubby's case, fatherhood was thrust on him. We didn't plan to get pregnant when we did (very early in our relationship), he didn't plan to fall in love with a woman who already had a child. We didn't plan to have four children but we did.

I'm sure it has been a struggle for him over the years, and I'm sure that my children think there are things he could have done better in his fatherhood journey (as they undoubtedly think the same of my motherhood journey too) but being alongside my hubby on this journey, I know that he has done the best he can and that he loves each of our children unconditionally, in fact, I know he would lay down his life for them if he had to, even now when they are all adults.

Which brings me to my father and my irritation about who he is as a father.

I haven't had a wonderful relationship with my father during my life, but without him, I wouldn't be ... so the cynical part of me says there is some good in the man.

Am I being too judgemental here though, I can forgive my own husband for his failings in the parenthood journey, but not my own father?

Let's face it being a woman, I don't know what it has been like to be a father for either of them, a parent yes, a father no.

In all honesty I can say that being a mother, while being something I have loved, has at times been the hardest road in my life.  So is it even harder being a dad?

As a mother, for me, the joy of having a child growing inside of my body, the bond I felt from the moment I knew I was 'with child' has been the greatest joy in my life.  That moment when your child is given to you, all mucky and screaming, when it first suckles from your breast, when it first looks at you with those eyes so full of innocence ... as a mother we get to experience that journey, but as a father, well it cant possibly be the same. Just the fact that they don't gestate surely gives them a disconnect no matter how much they want to be a father.

In my father's case, I don't think he was ready for children in his early/mid 20s. I am not sure he would have been ready for children at any age as he is a selfish man in many ways.  I will say that he has seemed to enjoy having his step son come into his life when he was in his late 30s/early 40s, so maybe being an older dad would have given him a better chance.

I am sure, in fact I am positive, that he thinks he has been the best father, and most probably he has, the best father he can be. Why am I so sure, well because he has actually told me what a great father he has been. I kid you not.

Is there such a thing as being a perfect father, a perfect mother, a perfect parent.  No, there is not, for no matter how much we try none of us are perfect. As a parent we can only do our best, and sometimes that best is not enough, but it is our best.

I look at these photos and see a young man, awkwardly holding his child (me) and think, he really didn't know what he was getting in for, did he? The responsibility of being a dad, a father in this little squirming baby's life.







So Dad, were you the father I needed growing up, in all honesty, no you were not.

I do however believe you did your best and that is all we can do.  

I have lots to thank you for, for no matter what you did wrong (or right), being your daughter has given me many things.  

It has made me a stronger woman, it has made me learn to love unconditionally, it has made me strive to be a better parent, it has given me the ability to finally realise that you do love me, maybe not in the way I had hoped for, but that that is okay, for love is love and there are many in the world that have none.

Happy Father's Day Dad xxx  











Sunday, August 24, 2014

Faith, Hope and Love

And now these three remain : faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love ... 1 Corinthians 13:13 



I wish I had an answer to solve the troubles of the world. I wish I had an answer to stop the blood shed where people are using their religion to justify their means.

But the simple truth is, I don't.

But would the world not be a better place if we reached out with love in our hearts instead of condemning others because of their race, creed, colour, religious beliefs or sexual preference.

You don't have to be a religious person, to see the truth in this Bible verse ... and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This week will you reach out to someone with unconditional love in your heart.

For if all of us showed love to our fellow man, then maybe sanity will again find it's place amongst the people of the world.  For without love, are we all not lost?







Sunday, August 17, 2014

Flowers, Love, Laughter and Happiness ... Something We All Deserve



As we here in the southern hemisphere begin our run up to Spring I thought I would share a few quotes for the week ahead that include flowers, laughter, love and happiness. After all we all need a little bit of all of this each and every day.



A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, a man cannot live without love ... Max Muller


Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature ... Gerard De Nerval


Love is a flower, you've got to let it grow ... John Lennon


Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower ... John Harrigan


I  must have flowers, always, and always ... Claude Monet


Where flowers bloom, so does hope ... Lady Bird Johnson


Bloom where you are planted ... unknown


What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity ... Joseph Addison


Butterflies are self propelled flowers ... Robert A. Heinlien






Thanks for popping by, I hope that your week is filled with sunshine and lots of things that make you smile. xxxx

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Words from the Depth of Knowing




Robin Williams suicide has taken the world by storm, how could someone who appeared so funny and full of joy suffer from depression that was so bad it took his life. 

Depression reaches into many families including my own, my husband suffers from it, and hid it for many years until the day he sat on the couch and told me he wanted to die, and somehow I missed all the signs until that very moment.  I now worry on a daily basis about his mental health and I think that in some ways makes it worse for him, but I have his back as much as I can, and I have to trust in his honesty when I ask the question "Are You Okay".

My youngest daughter also suffers from depression and there have been times when I have been able to do nothing except be there stroking her hair and letting her wrap herself up in my warm, cuddly blue blanket, or to sit with her in hospital waiting rooms, or to be her advocate when she struggled to find her voice ... all the while praying she would find the strength to come out the other side. 

Yesterday she posted on Face Book and her words touched my soul and I asked her if I could share them here, for while I too suffer some dark days, true depression has thankfully so far left me alone.

The words in red that follow are spoken by one who has been to the bottom of the dark hole many, many times and has found the strength to keep rising back up.  I hope and pray she continues to do that each and every day.



Her original post:

Remember, kids... Depression lies. It tells you dirty, nasty, naughty lies. Reach out, ask for help and more importantly, create a support system when you feel WELL so that people can recognise when you're not okay. More often than not, I can't speak the words out loud when I'm at the bottom of the hole but I use a certain song lyric which both my wife and my Mum recognise as code for I need help. 
Depression lies. 
Vale, Mr Williams.


Her replies to comments from friends:

One of the things I struggle with the most is not being able to talk about being depressed when I am depressed. I think that's the most dangerous part. I can talk about it when I'm well but when I'm not, I literally cannot get the words out. I've had to find other ways to let people know so that they can make sure I'm safe and okay. It's a horrible thing and I hate it with a fiery passion but unfortunately, sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes it wins and I feel like the only thing we can do is talk about it more openly and honestly. Shine a light or something...


In the interests of openness and honesty, if I ever post: 

Too much time in one day

Too much time to occupy

Boring thoughts

And boring moods

And boring bedtimes


That's the magic code and I am not okay.


I'm happy to talk about it because I think it is really important and for people who don't suffer from it, it can be difficult to understand.

It is a daily, moment by moment and sometimes second by second fight. It is relentless. It's like constantly being pursued by something you can't see and often, it is the moment you relax and take a breath that it swoops in and you're drowning in it again. 


There are things I do on a daily basis that keep me on top of it but I have to practice those things daily and even then, it's not foolproof.

That's why it is so important that people talk about it when they're well because once you're depressed, it's really easy for it to be too late.

You have to be honest about it and that's really, really hard. It's hard to tell your family, friends, work peeps and bosses that you have a mental illness but it's super important that you do.

Those are the people who may very well save your life one day. 


I once spent an entire day sitting on the floor with my boss because there was nothing else I could do and he wanted to make sure I was okay.

One time I had to ask him to call me every morning for almost a month so that I could make sure I got out of bed and went to work even if I wasn't capable of actually doing my job and he did it and I kept breathing and eventually I felt better.

You always feel better eventually but it's the people around you who help you get to eventually. Those people save your life.
 

I remember once having to ask my baby brother to remove his razor from the bathroom when I was in the depths of depression. That was not an easy thing to do. I was scared because I was tired of fighting and when you're tired of fighting it can be hard to be vigilant. You feel like you're moving underwater and you find yourself in places you don't remember moving to and you find yourself doing things, you don't remember wanting to do.

Sometimes asking other people to be vigilant is what saves you even if it means asking your partner to stay up all night and listen to/watch you sleep because it's easier for you to keep breathing if she's making sure that you really are.

I also sometimes use the code 'sometimes my arms bend back'. It pretty much perfectly describes the physical manifestation of my depression so if I post that, bring tea and a blanket and prepare to lay in bed with me and stroke my hair for many hours. You can all come.


I am so thankful that she had a boss that accepted her and supported her through the dark times, I am so thankful she now has a wife that loves her for ALL of who she is. I am so thankful for those friends that have stood by her and so angry at those who left her by the wayside because it was too hard. 


Thank you for reading and please feel to share if you think this will help someone you know and love.

Please, please, please if you read this and it speaks to you, if you are feeling like death is the only answer ... reach out and hold onto someone's hand and hold on tight.  Build your network of friends, family and professionals that can help. Be open and honest.

And please, if you don't suffer depression, do not judge those that do, do not think they can magically make themselves right with the world, this is a mental illness it is not a choice they make.

And as the quote at the top of the post implies, be kind to one another for we never know the journey another person is on.



Lifeline for Australia call 13 11 14 

For information about depression go to www.blackdoginsitutute.org.au

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The ReLaunch

So, in an attempt to get back into blogging,  I'm relaunching my this blog.  It's been sitting here gathering dust for over three years now. Life moving on at a fast pace and too little time meant it fell by the wayside.

I don't seem to have the blogging mojo especially to blog about my life and all the complexities that surround that, well not at the moment.  So given The Half Full Glass was started all those years back as I way for me to focus on the good, to see the glass as half full rather than half empty, it seems a good idea to drag it out of mothballs and use it in the way it was intended - as inspiration for me and any others who may drop by from time to time.

One of the things I realised when I started doing the #100HappyDays challenge on FaceBook was that there is something good in every day (well I always knew that) and I was happily popping up the daily bits and pieces that made me feel good, but then some major life events happened to members of my immediate family and it felt wrong for me to be prattling on each and every day about what I was happy about when they were obviously struggling.  So I ended up stopping the challenge.  But you know what, I sort of missed it.

So with the onset of another Super Moon on the horizon (and I'm hoping that tonight may be cloud free so that I can get some great shot with my new camera) it seemed like the time was right to relaunch this blog.  Now I am not promising daily posts, they may only be weekly at best, but taking one day in each week to celebrate all the good things that have happened seems like something I should be doing about now.

If I manage to get some photos, I'll pop back and share them too (the black and white ones below I took a couple of full moons ago with my new camera - as you can see I had trouble holding it so that I got the whole moon in the shot).


So without further ado here are some moon quotes in honour of the glorious celestial being that shares it's orbit with us:

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth - Buddha

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator - Mahatma Gandhi

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star - W. Clement Stone

Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars - Les Brown

The day, water, sun, moon, night - I do not have to purchase these things with money - Plautus

And the one I love the most ...

The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections - Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me.




Thanks for popping by, I would love you to share your thoughts.  Do you love a full moon rising in the dark night sky, or sinking down through the blue of the morning sky as oft seems to happen as much as I do?   xxx











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