Coping with festivities and gatherings
Hello and welcome. December and early January is a time of various religious and spiritual celebrations which bring people together. There are community festivals, family gatherings, with some events lasting a day while others are observed for a week or more. This should be a happy occasion. However, these couple of months can be a source of stress especially for a person who is unwell or suffers chronic pain. How do you travel comfortably? How do you socialise? How do you ensure attention is on the occasion and not on you and your condition? What if you are hosting the event, how do you cope?
I have found that planning for a possible rapid downturn in my condition, by notifying key people in advance of my situation and advising appropriate responses, helps relieve additional stress. Having a family member or friend who can be there for you, if you become unwell or pain escalates, is reassuring. This does not mean that person is constantly on watch, instead they are the first to respond if needed. Nothing will prevent an acute episode but triggers can either be minimised, or if that is not possible then at least psychologically and emotionally prepared for in advance. Preparation does not mean you are being pessimistic! Quite the reverse. It allows you to enjoy the gathering and can put others, who know of your health condition, at ease allowing them also to focus on having a good time. If a situation occurs that exacerbates your illness you have a person or people around who will stay calm, someone who won’t say or infer that you’re ‘just seeking attention’ or 'not again!' thus denying you the assistance you need. It is important to have an ‘escape’ route even if this is just to another room, pre-arranging a lift instead of driving, and having other practical ways to enable you to enjoy the occasion. Post-event can also be factored in, and allows you to recover properly on the following day or days.
Your plan will be different to others, including those with a similar condition. These plans can be, but are not limited to, how much you want to remain involved in the gathering, and whether or not you are able to catch up with family and friends at another time. You might feel guilty, or your energy disappears further as people ask you ‘why’, especially if you stay at one event but leave another early. When there is no visible sign of your pain and discomfort the querying looks or comments can make you feel uneasy about your decision. All of this will have a bearing on staying, coping or dealing with an exacerbation of your illness or pain, or needing to leave – and not feel guilty. Your response to your list of options will vary. Potential impact, that is, how much are you willing to put up with symptoms versus your decision to leave? This becomes individual right down to each event and possibly each moment at that event.
Assessing potential impact, the whole reason I am wishing to attend, is a major component in my focus. This component is factored into my general pre-planning, as well as mini-decisions that I continually make during the gathering when symptoms are triggered and my well-being is compromised.
In having a plan, you are ready with your intention to be involved, to have fun. If things go awry, then you have enjoyed a wonderful time up to that point. Enjoyment which has happened - those are memories to keep. They can’t be taken away or diminished. If the incredible happens and you last the event thank yourself and be true to your post-recovery plans of rest and recuperation.
I look forward to hearing from you about this and anything else you’d like to share with me, to share with all of you. Thank you for all your comments and questions over the past year.
In closing for 2018 I wish you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, Hanukkah Sameach, Solstice and Feast Day blessings and may the season of goodwill and happiness be with you. Safe travels whether to the next suburb or across our beautiful planet.
Thanksgiving Day celebrates, from 1789, the day pioneer founders thanked God for their bountiful harvest in the new land, declared the "United States of America" only 13 years previously. This year midst the turkey and all the trimmings, coping with dynamic family personalities all in one room, will being grateful for the blessings you have received during the year been more than just a mumbled thanks prior to delving into lunch or dinner?
In Australia we don't celebrate the Thanksgiving Day, but historic differences of the actual day aside, here and elsewhere around the globe, you can stop and give gratitude for what you have. Even if life seems to have dealt you badly, pick one thing, just one thing for which you are grateful. If you are struggling this, gratitude might not be for something tangible but for someone or something that has brought you joy, a memory of fleeting smile from a passer-by that brought back a smiggen of happiness to your day, a child's drawing, and yes even a dog or cat image on your social media that raised a grin or even an "aw, how cute" response.
There is much throughout the world which should not be happening: conflicts based on often centuries long feuds; misunderstandings; ideology; greed; personal trauma; or abuse. We are bombarded with fear, and desensitised to the misery these conflicts inflict. So on this Thanksgiving Day, whether in America or elsewhere, spare a thought, a prayer, in whatever manner is comfortable for you, for your blessings and do something positive, however large or small, towards helping alleviate someone else's suffering.
It's already the early hours of the 4th Thursday in Hawaii, and as dawn arises across Americans everywhere, best wishes everyone for a wonderful Thanksgiving.
It is with great delight to announce my mother, Patricia Evans (nee Morris) who was accepted into the NPW Hall of Fame in mid-2017, has now been included in their HerStory Archive. At the age of 21 as the first female accountant of Bitumen Oil Refineries (Australia) Limited (Boral) in 1949 Patricia is considered a pioneer in the male-dominated field of accounting; a further achievement has been included also: “secured a contract amenable to raising children … somewhat unusual in the 1960s.” The direct link to Patricia’s information on the HerStory Archive is: https://pioneerwomen.com.au/herstory2017/woman/evans-patricia
As mentioned in a previous post, Patricia was further honoured by Boral which celebrated 70 years in 2016 when they profiled Patricia in the December anniversary edition of their journal. Please note the link to the Boral journal has changed. You can now have a look at this article on pages 6 and 7 via: https://www.boral.com/sites/corporate/files/media/field_document/Issue%202%2C%202016.pdf
Over the past five years I have been privileged to be entrusted with Mamma’s memories so that I could write her story. A family history edition of her memoir was printed in time for Mamma’s 90th birthday last December, and this is currently being edited for publication both in print and e-book by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
I’m sure you will join me in congratulating Patricia on her well-deserved recognition.
Anniversary of Suzanne's Corner
I never thought just over three years ago when I was invited to write an article for PnP Authors [Promotional] magazine that it would evolve to a monthly column. My health was such that any commitment loomed like a monster, ready to attack at my most vulnerable times: potential for more stress - not only dealing with pain and other symptoms, but the possibility of being unreliable also threatened. I was and still am lucky that the owner and editor of the Magazine is a compassionate woman and gave leeway - write and submit when you're feeling up to it. Therefore, with pressure lifted my energies were renewed.
Other than a couple of times in 36 issues my column has been part of each month's magazine.
Based on my own experiences and observations of living with chronic pain my columns explore the quality of life that can be embraced regardless of the situation. Many comments and questions have allowed, with permission, insight through my column into others' perspectives and journeys when it comes to living with health issues.
My health has improved immensely over the past 10 years and writing about strategies has helped. So, whether living well daily when triggers persist, or exploring the world through a cuppa at a cafe with family and friends further afield on holidays, enjoy what life has to offer.
For access to May, June & July editions go to:
travelling with chronic pain
a reader’s achievement is the latest article on living with chronic pain in my PnPAuthors Magazine column. This time a reader sent me a comment on her approach to travelling, with a delightful outcome. If you'd like to read more click on: http://authorpp.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/blog-post.html scroll to page 6.
And if you missed "It might be a long road – but it’s worth it" this article is on page 4 in the April edition
Happy New Year
I haven't updated my blog since June, or looked at my social media much in the last six months because I have been focused on research and completing a book 'What Glass Ceiling'; co-authored novella 'Murder on the First'; my monthly PnPAuthors Magazine column; article for the 2018 International Psychics Directory; family commitments; as well as a holiday to New Zealand which was incredible, and a challenge (see my February column in PnPAuthors Magazine - to be published shortly); plus organising my mother's 90th birthday party.
If you're into numerology 2018 is 11 - a power number year with exciting intense energy. Not sure how to make a difference on a local and global level as you're just one person? Many petitions abound where your signature goes to help the collective energy towards restore balance in society where injustice exists; relieve pressure from an already fragile eco-system; bring hope to individuals; to name a few areas these petitions cover. It can take courage - what potential repercussions might follow if you commit to a cause by adding your signature. That seems to pale into insignificance when a 'Victory' is announced and someone or something is now safe in whatever way the need has been addressed by governments, businesses, or even by a local community.
In 2018, may you look at your past achievements - both large and small - what is the stepping stone that you can now build on? What journey towards that achievement helped improve your self-esteem, your self-worth? What can you draw on to further enhance the constructive and creativeness that resides inside you and allow it to blossom?
Wishing you happiness and good health for 2018.
I’m delighted to announce that my mother Patricia Evans has been accepted into the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame (NPWHF) in Alice Springs Australia. Patricia, in 1949, was the first female accountant for Bitumen & Oil Refineries (Australia) Limited (Boral) and the Hall of Fame has welcomed her as “a pioneer in the predominantly male field of accounting” for inclusion in their Herstory Archive.
The acceptance letter includes mention of Patricia ‘securing a contract amenable to raising children (e.g. finished work at 4pm and took her leave during the school holidays) somewhat unusual in the 1960s’. Mamma successfully merged being both mother and career woman throughout her working life. I grew up never knowing that being a woman was an exception in the executive workforce. Mamma always led by example, and is still inspirational to me.
The NPWHF Archive is planned to be updated later in 2017, as resources allow, and Patricia’s ‘Herstory’ will be added at that time. I will post again when her achievements are available online.
In the meantime, please join me in sending Patricia congratulations for being accepted into the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame. http://pioneerwomen.com.au/
Today is the first day
My May column in PnP Author Magazine is published.
How many times in a year, a month, a day do you say "but I don't have a choice"? Or pronounce "I'll be happy when ..." and you then rattle off a list knowing that the perceived effort seems to far out-weigh the desire for that changed state towards happiness.
If you have chronic pain, persistent fatigue then choice on how you live each day truly seems to have been taken away. However, moments arise whereby not being scared or overwhelmed pierce through the haze being replaced by joy, contentment, feeling lighter or an ability to cope even if just for that moment.
Learn how to, in the face of adversity, capture that moment ...
"Choices: Today is the first day of the rest of your life"
April 28th, 2017
2017 International Psychics Directory PEOPLE's CHOICE AWARD
I'm so excited as I'm eligible for the 2017 International Psychics Directory PEOPLE's CHOICE AWARD. My article 'Ego is not a dirty word, or is it?' on ego and ethics is available at http://www.psychicdirectory.com.au/PD2017Digital.pdf (free copy of the 2017 International Psychics Directory) on pg 47. Just the article:
Voting details in http://newagesupastore.com/dir/vote2017/vote2017.html
Please vote for me.
URGENT Funding for a vital health organisation is stopping!
If further funding is not guaranteed then SHOUT (Self-Help-Organisations-United-Together) will need to close its doors within the next month.
SHOUT is the administrative centre in the ACT (Canberra Australia) which supports 47 Health Support Groups, 6000 clients, offers facilities and education resources to people with health conditions, family, carers, friends, health professionals, and the general public in the ACT and surrounding regions. SHOUT's funding is about to be cut disabling SHOUT and as a flow on effect the groups it supports. I have personally benefited from SHOUT via two support groups, which have helped me not only understand more about chronic pain but have helped me realise I'm not alone dealing with a chronic health condition. If SHOUT is disbanded then the financial implications on the health sector will increase - by how much & in what manner we don't want to subject people to that when they are already struggling!
Support groups offer information, self-management techniques, vital communication through meetings and social gatherings to people who would otherwise be isolated because of their health situations.
If SHOUT disappears then flow-on financial implications to both Government and people are numerous. Without these services backed by SHOUT the potential impact on people's health and subsequent wellbeing could be devastating.
Please make yourself heard in support of SHOUT Click for list of suggested media and government contacts.