The focus or theme for #JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2 prompts appeared to be ‘Favourites’. I find it so difficult selecting what my favourite things are because they change depending on how I’m feeling or now that I’m older I look at things differently. However, there are some favorites that I when I started responding to the prompts seem to be constant.
#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2
Day 7 – My Favourite Quote and Why
I’ve used this quote from Michael Jordan often in my website and even had it as my tagline for quite some time. I find I come back to it regularly and certainly believe that it has helped me in whatever goal or dream I’ve wanted to achieve. I’ve learned that if I want something it is up to me to achieve it. Sure, I can turn to others for support and certainly had great support from Mike, my children and Saturday Sisters when I ran my first full marathon. But in reality whilst support and encouragement helped sustain me, I still had to push myself to do the training and overcome the mental challenge running such a long distance. We can want and dream all we want but we have to make it happen.
Day 8 – My top 5 favourite books and why
Why did I restrict this prompt to 5? I have so many books that I have enjoyed throughout my life that it was definitely difficult to select my top 5.
- The Italian Class by Maeve Binchy – I love all of Maeve’s books but this one is my favourite. It combines many of my favourite things: the regular characters from her books, the Italian language (I’m married to an Italian) and scenes from Ireland and Italy. I always feel that reading a Maeve book is like wrapping a comforter around me. Pure Bliss. She is my go-to author when I need comfort and to hide away from the world for a time.
- Trinity by Leon Uris – Mike introduced me to Leon Uris and I was touched when one of his first gifts was several of the books by Leon Uris. He had scoured secondhand bookstores to find them and I still treasure them after 25 years. My favourite is Trinity another book set in Ireland during the Uprising. I remember thinking I would love to have another son and call him Connor after the main character, Connor Larkin.
- Hairy MacLary Series by Lynley Dodd – This is a children’s book series which I discovered through my grandson Ethan. He has the series and I am always delighted when we read about Hair MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy and his crew: Hercules Morse (an Old English Mastiff) as big as a Horse, Bottomley Potts (Dalmation) all covered in spots, Muffin McLay (Old English Sheepdog) like a bundle of hay, Bitzer Maloney (Mix breed with some Greyhound) all skinny and bony, Schnitzel von Krumm (Dachshund) with a very low tum and their two arch villians, Scarface Claw (tough old Cat) the toughest Tom in town and Slinky Malinky (Black Cat) who was blacker than black.
- Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham – I loved this book as a child and also reading it to my children. I would imagine myself transported from my home in Australia to England and living on the River with Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I was first introduced to this book in high school and loved it although I never probably delved deep enough into the back stories at the time. I’ve enjoyed re-reading it over the years and who doesn’t love Atticus Finch?
Day 9 – My favourite place
I’ve been so fortunate to have travelled to many places around the world and many I want to revisit. They hold special memories for me and the time I spent there. I’m struggling to choose one favourite place because apart from travelling, I love being at home reading a book, or visiting my grandsons or running by the Brisbane river. But for this prompt I decided after a walk this morning that the Ocean and where I live is my favourite place. I love hearing the ocean, the waves crashing or lapping the beach – sunny or stormy – I love it all. I feel calm and relaxed when I’m here. I remember before we moved here we would visit for short stays and 5 minutes after arrival I felt relaxed and mentality happier.
Day 10 – What my favourite day would be
This is a difficult prompt because I have a few ways I would spend my day:
- A long lunch with my husband, preferably seafood and with an ocean view
- Sightseeing and exploring a new city or town or village in another country with my husband
- Running in a half marathon, coming home for a long hot shower and relaxing with a good book for the rest of the day.
- Spending the day with my daughter and grandsons. I rarely get quality time with Rachel so would treasure a day with her.
Day 11 – What brings me joy?
- Blue skies – sometimes when I look at a cloudless blue sky I can help but be filled with joy
- My darling grandsons, Ethan and Elliot of course. When Ethan needs a ‘Nan’ hug or has a long conversation with me as we walk to or from school. When he shouts ‘Nan’s here!’. The smile Elliot gives when he wakes from a sleep no matter how long or short the sleep was. Elliot saying ‘hello’ and discovering he can stand and crawl too fast for Nan at times.
- Achieving a goal I have been working hard towards. Crossing the finish line after a full or half marathon even though I’m tired, I’m filled with joy that I’ve done it!
- A quiet weekend relaxing with Mike
- Travelling and exploring
- Phone calls with my cousin/godmother who lives in another State
- Receiving comments on my blog or email telling me that I have inspired or helped someone
- Nature in general
- Sunflowers and Daffodils. The Sunflowers make me smile and the Daffodils always remind me of my Mum.
- Reading and getting lost in a good book
Day 12 – Who inspires me?
I’m inspired by many who just never give up and achieve their goals. However, my main inspiration came from my Mum and her battle with breast cancer. I write about her often and miss her dearly. At 53, diagnosed with a lump which was cancerous in a time when not much was known about the disease or treatment was gut wrenching for the whole family. I remember Mum and Dad walking out of the doctor’s surgery and Dad just broke down. Mum was stoic and continued to be for the 10 years she lived after the diagnosis.
I admire myMum because of her courage and ‘never give up’ attitude. A quiet and gentle soul, she never once complained about what was happening to her, the devastation to her body and the pain. Not only did she have to cope with several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to the point where her hair never grew back, but she had to face the loss of my Dad. We didn’t see that coming at all. He was all prepared for retirement at 65 and would look after his love, (Mum) but he developed bowel cancer and died within six months of retirement. What a cruel twist.
My Mum battled on for another five years and it seemed that she only accepted leaving us when her children were all settled.
My Mum has inspired me before and after she died and I use her as my benchmark for living my life.
Day 13 – My favourite time of the year
I am confused by my own prompt. What did I mean when I wrote it? I’m writing about my favourite season here although I could be writing about Christmas which is definitely my favourite time of year. Autumn and it’s glorious colours always inspire me. Where I live I don’t see the dramatic change in the leaves but have visited places in particular, New York, Washington, New England and Nova Scotia where the colours are just stunning. I love the carpet of leaves when they fall.
Have you been joining in the challenge? Have you discovered new favourite things this week?
If you missed my thoughts during Week 1 you can read them HERE.