To integrate means “to make whole or become complete; to bring (parts) together into a whole; to remove barriers…” Websters Universal English Dictionary. Integrity means “honesty, sincerity; completeness, wholeness; an unimpaired condition”.

Gail Sheehy in new passages: mapping your life against time (1995 – Ballantine Books), explores the “passage to the age of integrity” as we grow towards the sixties. She says that…”People who have met and mastered most of the passages and crises of life up to now are, by definition, resilient.” She also says how we gain the ability in any emotional crisis to control our first impulses and unruly feelings – self-mastery.

It is a great book and set me thinking about my life and where I am at now. The idea of being fully integrated has a lot of appeal. If only I could learnt to accept and love myself as I am, life could be much simpler.

I want to be one, within myself, to know my strengths and weaknesses, to not be concerned about “making a good impression”or worrying what others think. I would like to be free of the expectations I put on myself and the need to feel important.

In reflecting on my soul-searching in recent months, I can now see what is right in front of me – self acceptance! I will reflect on what I can change and learn to love what I can’t change.

Whether I am a partner, mother, grandmother, employee, a friend or neighbour, I want people to get to know me “as I am”. I wish to integrate all those different parts of the whole and learn to love and accept the person who I am.  

thanks for reading


Broken – Weekly Photo Challenge


When my Uncle passed away in August 2010 I was asked if there was anything of his that I would like to have. I had a look around and I spotted a yellow car.

I have memories of it for as long as I can remember. I don’t think I had ever held it in my hands. It was the only thing that I wanted as a keepsake.

I didn’t realise it until I held it in my hands that it had been broken many times and glued back together. I suspect it is at least fifty years old.

It takes pride of place on my desk near my computer. I use it to put my pens and pencils in. Every time I glance at it I am reminded of the many happy hours spent with my aunt and uncle over the years.



Am I too reliant on technology?

I am going away for a short holiday and I don’t know if the holiday accommodation has internet access. Yes, I am reliant on technology, but maybe I will manage without it for a few days…maybe?

I love to read the blogs daily, write my blogs regularly, check my email and check Facebook to see what is happening with my Facebook friends. If I don’t know the meaning of a word I go straight to google.

If I hear something on the news that I want to know more about, I go straight to the web. If I meet someone new, I sometimes check their names on google to gather some more interesting information about them.

If I am going somewhere I check out google maps and street view to make it easier to find the site. If I have an interesting dream, I check out its possible meaning on the Dream Dictionary online.

These are only a few of the things I do each day on the internet. How will I manage the next few days without it?

I will take my laptop with me just in case there is internet access.



Top ten lists – boring or awesome?

AZ list category/icon

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When I am reading a magazine and don’t have much time, I love to read the short snippets of information contained in lists. I think it is awesome that a writer can cover a topic so exquisitely within ten points. It takes a real skill to do it well. So here’s my top ten list about why I think they are awesome!

1. Quick and easy to read and understand

2. They can capture a lot of info in one line if done skillfully

3. It makes me think if I agree or disagree

4. It pushes me to explore something at a deeper level

5. They are great for studying for exams because if I can remember the points made, then I am more likely to remember the information behind it

6. Lists can be used for facts, figures, wishes, dreams, scientific information etc – so they are very flexible

7. In writing a top ten list of my own, it gives me permission to prioritise what I think is important and therefore express something about myself

8. If the list is a synopsis of a bigger article, it enables me to get the overall view, the bigger picture, without having to read a long article. If I like the list I am likely to then delve into the subject more deeply

9. I love task lists when I have a lot to do. Once I have my list written down in priority order, I am able to feel on top of the tasks – it gives me a pathway to follow

10. In reading other bloggers top ten lists I learn more about them and what is important to them and I enjoy that 🙂



You always…

Irish Coffee Glass (Footed): This tempered gla...

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It is so easy to get into the habit of over-generalising  in our communication with others. When I do it, I realise that I am trying to build a case for my complaint. The other one is “you never”. I can also catch my mind saying things like “I was never good at maths”…even though in my last year at school I was second highest in the class.

I am more aware of my words these days. In my first marriage I made these communication blunders “all the time”…well maybe it was just some of the time. I used to say things like, “you never make me a cup of coffee”. Now I am more inclined to be very, very grateful when my partner makes the coffee and I let him know that he makes a great brew.

Another example of is “I always eat too much when I go out”. Perhaps I do sometimes but not all the time.

Then there is the self-conscious one (or a bit paranoid) where I believe I have blown my chances with a friend or employer, just because they didn’t respond with great enthusiasm. I need to remind myself that people have other things on their mind and I am not the centre of their universe.

I need to remind myself that one incident in the past doesn’t decide my future. I can then start afresh each time I communicate and not carry these negative ideas in my head.

Can you think of situations when you overgeneralise? I would love to hear about your experiences!



The ONLY way to travel…

Shannon airport building

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For me, travelling by car is my most enjoyable form of travel, providing it is a good car and I have a good driver (and some good music)!  For a long journey such as 500 miles (about 800 kilometers) I would prefer to do it over a couple of days.

I have driven 700 kilometers in one day on my own but with very little traffic on the road. I love to be able to stop and have a coffee at road houses along the way. In those short stops you get to glimpse a little about the people who live in that community – the locals. I often pick up a local paper and find out what are the hot issues of the day.

The other thing I like about travelling by car is the amount of “stuff ” I can take with me. I don’t have to be too concerned about my preparations for travel as I can always throw in something extra at the last-minute. It doesn’t matter if it stays in the boot the whole time and is not used.

 Compare this to flying and the need to be vigilant about what goes in the suitcase because of tightened security measures at airports. Then there is the weight issue with flying. On a trip to the UK in 2008 I bought a range of goodies to bring home. I didn’t think about having to carry them in my luggage for the rest of the holiday. When we flew from Bristol to Shannon Airport in Ireland I had to pay over $100 for excess baggage!

Given the distance from Perth, Australia to London the only way to travel is by a good airline with stop-over in Singapore or the like. Total travelling time is over 20 hours. First Class travel would be nice 🙂 in a trip like that.

There is something I like about the independence of car travel – being flexible and in control of your trip – unless, of course, there is a fuel strike!



Letter to Lorraine for July 2012

taken by hossen 27

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Dear Lorraine

Today is Monday 18 July 2011. WordPress has asked me to write a letter to you/me to arrive on the 18th July 2012. That is a bit of a challenge as I am not entirely sure where I am at the moment, let alone in twelve months’ time.

It will be Isaac’s third birthday on the 23rd July – make that fourth birthday for this day in 2012. And young Alex will be 12 months old on the 28th July and two next year. At this time I expect they will be in Townsville for 2012 and Tom and I hope to make a visit around this time next year.

We have been in our house here for over 12 months now. I have just finished working a casual job for about 8-10 weeks.

There are lots of positive reasons to stay here in Busselton. It is just that I am having trouble working out how to spend my time in a satisfying way. I have a wish to make some sort of difference in the world and find it hard to settle down to a quiet life with a few hobbies. My only real hobby at the moment is doing this blog.

So I do wonder if it is just that I don’t want to face myself so I keep busy.  In my recent work I was really reminded how fortunate I am with the life I lead – it is almost decadent! So many people have enormous pressure on them with caring for others and personal health issues. I don’t want to invite any misfortune in my life by acknowledging how well off I am. I feel guilty that I don’t really appreciate it and experience the joy that comes with such a good quality of life. Perhaps that is part of the trouble – not accepting that things can go well for me.

28th July 2010 – that is the last day that I saw Uncle Roy. I dropped in at the hospital to tell him and Auntie that I was heading off to look after my grandchildren. It was good to see them both so happy. Uncle Roy passed away on the 21st August 2010. He was talking about getting a pacemaker and being well enough to visit me in Busselton. He really wanted to see our house.

The last day I spoke to him was the 20th August 2010. It was a brief conversation as others came into the room while we were talking on the phone.  Again he wanted me to come over and I said that I would see what I could do. At that point I seriously looked at making the journey. I called on the 21st August in the afternoon and I was told that he had passed away 20 minutes before I called. I was working at the time and I was reluctant to take time off work since I was only new there. On reflection…would I do the same again? Probably – not so much for the sake of the job but the practicality of getting there and not knowing how long I would be there. I am surprised to find myself reflecting on this…

So forward to 2012 – I/you will be coming up for your 58th birthday. I hope that your health is good and that you have been able to keep your weight down. I hope that Tom is well too. I wonder what I/you will be doing with your time. It would be great to think that I/you will grow some sort of small business or interest that provides you with some sense of satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

So I wonder what I/you will be doing this time next year. Only time will tell. It is writing this letter as it has identified a few things about where I am at right now. Issues around Uncle Roy’s death seem to loom fairly high on the radar. The other thing that stands out is that I am looking for something that will engage my time and interest. That THING needs to be satisfying and external to my own gratifications.

I don’t have much to add to this letter. It just makes me realise that all the things I have mentioned are only temporary. So much can change and I wonder what will be different when I read this in 2012. Will I be here to read it? Who knows?


Lorraine in 2011



Is it possible to know someone too well?

Illustration depicting thought.

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Do we ever know anyone at all? Consider how well you know your parents. You have lived with them for years and know many of their funny ways, which buttons not to press, what will bring you brownie points, and on top of that, you share their genetic make-up.

Think about the thoughts that cross your mind over a minute, an hour or a day. Do you think anyone around you would be surprised if your thoughts were projected onto a movie screen for all to see?

Psychologists could have a field day with this topic but unfortunately I can only go by life experience and things I have read over the years. Take for example the concept that we each have a shadow side that we try to suppress most of time. This shadow is no less a part of us than the image we present to the world.

Then we consider the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. If I don’t fully know what is going on in my unconscious then how can anyone else know that part of me and how can we know that in others?

Our outward appearance, our body language and the words we use, show only a glimpse of who we really are. A few years ago I went through a few months of depression. During that time I was doing some study and at the end of the semester we all voted for awards for our fellow students. I was nominated as the most cheerful person in the class. I was quite amused at the irony of it.

Maybe this is why I find people to be particularly fascinating. I love getting to know people on a deeper level and understanding where they are coming from.

I have heard it said that we are truly compassionate only when we can recognise the worst in others in ourselves and the best in others in ourselves.

Another powerful concept is the awareness that the way we see the world is unique to us alone. Even if we spent every minute together, our individual views of the past and our hopes for the future would be unique.

I can see how I get into trouble sometimes with communication as I assume that  the other person is thinking and seeing things the same as me. On occasions that may be true, but often it is not.

So, in summary, I believe that we can think we know someone really well when in fact, we may not know them at all.