Exploring the world through the web

Experiencing life in any way you can.

Found a new home! July 16, 2012

For a long time I felt all blogged out, Postaday 2011 used up all my blog ideas and words and I was starting to feel like I was trying to find topics to write about and I didn’t want to pollute the web with unnecessary words, so I went quiet, left my keyboard alone (well sort of) and did some creative writing instead; but now I’m back: but I’ve found a new home over at http://clairewade.com I’d love it if you came over and checked it out!

I feel inspired again after a very long time and I’m eager to get back to blogging, maybe not every single day, Postaday was truly hardcore; but certainly once a week if not more, depending on when inspiration strikes. So if you have enjoyed what you you’ve read here, find more of it here…

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2011 in review January 3, 2012

Filed under: Post a Day 2011 — Claire @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. I thought I’d post it here. Thank you to everyone that helped me reach these stats. I can’t believe the blog had over 9,000 views! Amazing and very rewarding.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Blogging everyday for a year – my progress! December 31, 2011

Technically I didn’t start Postaday2011 until the first week of January, when I heard about it; but now seemed like a good date to look back over the year. It’s been really fun to do. There have been a few panicked “oh no it’s nearly midnight” moments and a few technology fails; but I have posted every single day and I’m really proud of myself. I’ve never before set myself such a big challenge and one that I could so easily measure my success.

I only signed up for postaweek; but was so enthused by it, that I was writing every day – to think I’d have missed 6/7 ths of all the fun! I’m so glad I jumped in with both feet! There were times I struggled to find a topic and days when there was so much I wanted to write about that I had to post more than once. Some of the topic suggestions inspired me, while others left me cold and looking for my own ideas. I’ve enjoyed the fun frivolous topics and the ones that have made me analyse myself and my views on the world.

I feel I’ve grown as a person keeping this blog, I’ve learnt about myself and I’ve realised that I thrive with goals, deadlines and challenges. I also remembered how much I love to write and I was introduced to the wonderful and exciting world of NaNoWriMo which is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I would never have found out about it had it not been for postaday. I never considered a future in writing when I was at school and now I know that it has to be part of my life somehow!

Blogging is now a way of life and I won’t be able to stop in January even if I wanted to! 2011 has been full of surprises and I know with 100% certainty that 2012 won’t be any different. I look forward to the next adventures!

Thank you to all the lovely people who have read my blog, those who have just stopped by once and those who have supported me through out. I love reading your comments and seeing the little likes on the screen. I didn’t start the blog to be read by others, I didn’t think anyone would be interested; but I have felt my world expand with each new person that has come into it, no matter how long or short a time that may have been for. I look forward to getting to know you all better in 2012.

I hope the new year brings you health, wealth and happiness.

Lots of love

Claire

 

The pressure to celebrate at New Year’s Eve and how I found a way to cope and even have fun, despite being stuck at home December 30, 2011

New Year’s Eve is a really weird time of year for many people. Apart from Christmas and maybe your birthday, there’s no other time when there’s so much forced joviality and the compulsion to go out and have a good time. I think it’s hard when you’re well and can afford to go out to party; but it’s even more difficult if you’re forced to stay at home because of illness or disability, either yours or someone else’s.

The thing is in truth it’s a night like any other; but because of the date it suddenly has this incredible pressure put on it and it places this huge magnifying glass on your life, where you are, what you’ve done for the past year and what may happen in the coming one. It can be hard to be positive and excited when life keeps making things difficult. One option is to just ignore it – a completely valid choice and one that I have done several times, often when I was so ill I didn’t even know what day of the week it was, let alone that it was New Year’s Eve – it’s much easier for things to pass you by when you’re bed bound and can’t watch television or listen to the radio. Less easy when you’re being bombarded with people who are talking about their plans or lack there of, not just in the real world; but in the media too.

I hate that I can’t join in, that I’m stuck at home, not out of choice; but because of my health. I don’t like feeling like I don’t have a choice in my life. Okay so the choices can be small; but I want to feel like I have some control over what I do and I want to celebrate the New Year. It might be an awful year; but for just a few hours I want to pretend/believe/hope that it will be amazing, the best yet and all my problems will just melt away. I think that’s the one good thing about New Year, you can dream a little, hope for the future and we all need some hope.

Normally I sit at home on the sofa, or lie in bed with my Mum and we watch the television to see some of the fireworks at midnight; but I always feel like it’s an anti-climax. I don’t want to watch other people having a great time, I want to be celebrating, having my own party. Which is why it’s so important to me to do something to acknowledge the new year and yet fit the celebrations to my health, ability and needs.

This year I wanted to have my own new year’s eve party at home and I really wanted to give others the same opportunity. Which is why for the past month I’ve been working on doing the virtual party I had a blast putting it all together, writing the virtual party a special Dazzling Diamond theme and even doing a virtual shopping trip. I put together a menu of cocktails and canapes to have and I also wanted to know some of the background, so I researched the customs behind the event, seeing how other people around the world celebrate. It was really interesting and fun to do too. I learnt a lot and on New Year’s Eve I will be wearing yellow pants! You’ll have to join in to see why!

I know it won’t be the same as actually going out; but I know that this year I get to have fun and welcome in the new year with other people who want to have fun too. People who know that life can suck; but won’t let it stop them having fun, any way they can. I can’t wait! If you’re feeling bored and alone and want to join us that would be lovely – find more details here…

 

Who am I? How do I define my own identity? December 29, 2011

Topic #346: How do you define your own identity?

We are all born into cultures, families and communities with certain values we naturally inherit. But in order to figure out who we are, we have to revisit those inherited values, and decide for ourselves what to believe, or what to value. Simply believing something because our parents or teachers did assumes they were right, and if they made the same assumption about their parent’s and teachers, when exactly did someone sit down and consider the alternatives? How can a person define their own identity? Is it good to do this? Why or why not?

When I was younger I was defined by what people told me I was, “daughter”, “sister”, “friend”, “student”,  “a good girl”, “a hard worker”, “Daddy’s girl”, “Christian”,”teacher’s pet”, “stubborn”, “determined”, “ill”. I think the moment we start to grow up is when we start to think about ourselves and wonder if these labels are really us, really who we are and want to be, rather than what people tell us we should be.

For a long time I accepted other people’s definitions of me; but it wasn’t until the moment that I started to realise that the people around me weren’t all that they said they were, that I started to realise I had a choice. I was taught doctors and teachers were experts, untouchable; but when I started to realise that they didn’t know everything I began to question their authority and also the labels that they placed on me. Everybody has that moment when they realise that their parents are just people and that there are things about them that you pray aren’t in them too. I think those are the moments when we define ourselves. Some come from the way we want to be and others are through what we don’t want to be.

I don’t think our identity or definition of ourselves is set in stone either. I think that we redefine ourselves after every major event in our lives. When everything you’ve ever known, thought, felt and believed gets turned on its head, you’re left with more questions than answers. It’s a terrifying experience when suddenly life changes, the things you expected to happen suddenly never will and the people you trusted and respected most in all the world, turn out to be something completely different. I think you can either close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening or you can be incredibly brave and actually look at everything again and see what it really looks like.

For me this has happened several times in my life and each time it feels like the world is about to end and you don’t know how you will get through it; but once things have calmed down and you have worked through the pain, I think you come out better and stronger. I want to know who I am and I’m willing to put in the time, effort and pain to find it out, even though I know it’s a process that will never end. I want to fall in love, to find my soul mate; but how can I ever do that unless I know and love the real me. I want to know my opinions are my own, that I formed them through education and choice, rather than acquire them second-hand. I want to know that I’m reacting to a situation because of my own choices, not someone else’s in some kind of learned behavious. I want one thing, to be me, completely and utterly me.

 

I See a Seal in the Sea! December 27, 2011

Today Mum and I were at a bit of a loss as to what to do during this weird week between Christmas and New Year. Not brave enough to go sales shopping and having had enough food for a while, I realised I fancied going to see the sea, so we went to a local beach so that we could sit and watch the waves. I always find it incredibly relaxing being able to just watch the water and hear the sound of all that power and energy, I come home feeling much calmer and happier.

It was a cold and grey day, so we had to wrap up well; but it was amazing how many people had the same idea. It was a bit of a magnet for dog walkers and young families; but we managed to park overlooking the beach and sat for a while.

We decided to venture onto the beach as the tide was in and it was lovely to get close to the water. I wanted to throw a few negative things away, launching stones into the water, symbolising a worry or a thing I feel like I’ve out grown this year. It felt very cathartic and spiritual, I felt really chilled afterwards.

The beach we were at, is known for the seal population which comes to shore with the babies about this time of year; but it’s much further down the coast, impossible for me to get to. I’d said to Mum how I’d love to do it one year when I’m better, another thing on my to do list. Anyway we were watching the water when we suddenly saw a big black seal head just a few metres away from us! It was amazing. We watched for a few minutes and saw five different seals all swimming past. It was fantastic, like an answer to a prayer. I couldn’t get to the seals; but they very kindly came to me!

It was a really lovely day and definitely lifted my mood during the quiet lull period.

 

Music in the trees December 26, 2011

Filed under: Post a Day 2011 — Claire @ 11:48 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

My favourite place to hear live music is a great outdoor venue in Thetford Forest, Suffolk. I’ve been to a few gigs there during the summer and we take a picnic and listen to the music. It’s incredibly beautiful being surrounded by a ring of trees; but the sound carries well. As the sun sets you can watch the sky changing colour and then the stars come out and look so bright. The trees are lit up and it’s just breath-taking.

It’s hard work in my wheelchair, really rough and bumpy because of the tree roots, I’ve nearly been propelled out of it on several occasions in fact! I don’t like going on the disabled stand because it means Mum sitting behind me and I like being able to sit next to her while we eat our picnic – one of my favourite parts!

It’s not a cheap outing; but I try to go once a year. Thinking of it now takes me back to happy memories of long summer nights!