A Cup of Kindness for Days Gone By

Happy New Year to one and all!  Did you bring in the New Year in style?  Perhaps a night of dancing, singing, talking and celebration.

As we move from one year to the next, a new joy emerges… one of hope for a wonderful new year and writing a new chapter in our life.  But also one of nostalgia and appreciation for those wonderful people we have in our lives…a huge feeling of gratefulness.

Last night until the wee hours of this morning, I spent time with several great friends and their partners.  Sharing a meal, a wine, great conversation and lots of laughter.  I could not have asked for a better night.  Laid back, relaxing and huge contentment still remains after the midnight countdown.

Watching the Sydney fireworks displayed on the big screen at my friend’s house, noting the colours were fantastic and better than previous years.  Laughter exploded when my dear husband pointed out that we were watching it on a bigger and better TV screen.  LOL!

Sydney, New Year'S Eve, Fireworks

The tribute to our Emergency Services was beautifully appreciated in fireworks colour with an emphasis on their huge sacrifice.  With our nation experiencing horrid drought and ravaging bushfires threatening families and the environment, the tribute was heartfelt.

Our hearts go out to those families that have lost loved ones as a result of the devastation.  These fire-fighting heroes have lost their lives doing something that they believe in and that the rest of us are grateful for their care and bravery in such frightening times.  Their memories will live on in their families, friends and colleagues.

We all hope for rain to stop the fires ravaging our country and allow the brave men and women of our Emergency Services time out with their own families and to rest and recover themselves.  We are thankful to have these heroes fighting the heated battle daily to help many strangers in need across so many communities.

As I listened to the song “Auld Lang Syne” to mark the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020… I had forgotten the meaning of this song and those lyrics.  A little quiet humming remained.  Historians have called it “the song that nobody knows” yet we have all tried to sing it, many of times.

“Auld Lang Syne” is originally based on a 1788 Scottish poem by Robert Burns and is typically sung on New Year’s Eve around the world.  The Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” translates to “old long since” and basically means “days gone by” which is an appropriate toast for the New Year.

In Australia, the lyrics we sing today are a more modern version of the Scots poem.  So when everyone sings the chorus “for auld lang syne”, this translates to “for the sake of old times”.  The song also reflects love, friendship and nostalgic memories.  This folk song is also sung at funerals, graduations and is a farewell song on other occasions.

Video Credit ~ YouTube and “Christmas Songs and Carols – Love to Sing”

For me, this song represents an appreciation for time spent with good friends and family support.  I love the analogy of “a cup of kindness” and the depiction of raising a glass to our friendships in the past and for the future.

Enjoy time with your family, time with your friends and time to reflect solo.  Start setting your goals for the New Year to work towards making your dreams a reality.  You have all the tools within you to make it happen.  But first, you must believe you can do it and you will.

Happy New Year fellow readers!

Take care, Karen.

“This is a new year.  A new beginning.  

And things will change.”

~Taylor Swift, singer.

Another Year Grateful With a Vision

2019 is almost over and it is time for me to reflect upon my year gone by.  A mighty year I have paved my way through, including drought and personal growth.  In review, my vision board has been my regular guidance.

Did you reach some of the goals that you set out to achieve in 2019?

Some goals reached, others still a work in progress.  Overall I am happy with my own personal achievements and what I have been able to extend in doing for others.  I finally learned the importance of looking after myself, something very unfamiliar to me.

This year for me, was one for learning and expanding my comfort zone.  Personal growth was a priority in 2019 and I amazed myself and enjoyed learning in the process.  You just never know what you are capable of until you have a go.

My year started with the creation of a vision board and was used as a reminder throughout the year to motivate and inspire me.  A vision board is a collage of words and pictures to represent your goals and dreams.  It is used as a visualisation tool.

I enjoyed creating my vision board for 2019, as I used pictures, words and colours to personally represent my goals and to inspire my own success.

Vision Board for 2019

Well, how did I go?  Was I successful?

Success is not a destination but a journey. 

So YES I believe I have been successful to achieve and make progress on what is important to me.

OWN WHO YOU ARE!  This was my mantra or affirmation for 2019.  I made a choice to express who I was and love the person that I am, with faults and imperfections.  This is who I am, a unique individual finding her way in this world.  You are never too old to set another goal and dream a new dream.

My 2019 goals were to:

Write a Book – My talent had blossomed this year and my passion for writing has developed.  Through my words in this blog, I have been able to inspire and help others to shape their lives by making better choices and believing in themselves.  As an Author, my book may not be complete but it has progressed in some way.  For this I am grateful.  This goal has also diversified into 2 separate books that I want to write.  My blog is the basis of those books remaining within my mind.  I attended a workshop with a published Author at the Rural Women’s Gathering this year in Walcha and I have learned specific techniques for my writing to use in the future.

Public Speaking – I joined Tamworth Toastmasters to tackle my fear of public speaking and gain confidence in communication skills.  I have learned great techniques and met some great people that encourage me.  I also attended a Grow your Speaking Biz Workshop with Sharon Jurd Events and I now enjoy speaking to others with a specific message to inspire the listeners.  I have also had several opportunities to speak to community groups on agricultural issues, hypnotherapy, my business, anxiety and to inspire students at my former primary school.  My greatest fear has been conquered.  I still get nervous but more excited now. 

“Country Heart Spark” Blog – My unique way of sharing experiences, thoughts and motivation to inspire others.  Like a journal, but for the public to view, I can connect with people, encourage and support them through my writing.  To have found that something special in me and be able to share with others, is enormous.  I love to write and express myself wholeheartedly in the hope that someone really needs to read what I have written today.  The feedback I receive is what keeps me going and I love to know when I have helped someone in some unique way.

Improve Health – I have struggled with my weight, emotional eating and lack of self-care of myself over the years.  This year I have had a few tests with my doctor, had a diagnosis and dietitian advice.  Finally, food started to make sense with how my body was reacting to certain foods.  It was the first time that I actually made a connection.  I also participated in coaching with Katie Godden on Simple Steps to Better Health which was a great motivation and support.  Although limited by finances in this drought, I was able to understand my health issues and start making progress.  I had been eating much better, with more salads, vegetables and meats.  Unfortunately, over the festive season I have made some unhealthy choices but my body tells me when I forget to listen.

Financial Relief – Drought has been crippling us and business choices have been limited for over 2 years.  Whilst experiencing the worst drought in 100 years, we still have been making decisions, right or wrong, to sustainably remain in farming.  We did make the decision this year to sell part of our farming property, subdivided and put it on the market.  We are down-sizing and business will change and I will find off-farm income.  With this land sale, we will achieve some financial relief.

Design Website – I have now created 3 websites from scratch.  I love to be creative and design marketing material.  Self-taught with information online, I managed to create these websites to reflect the businesses using my good eye for detail.  However, I have even surprised myself with the results and how much I enjoy it.  Completed in style!

Spend Time with Family – As a mother of grown-up children, I miss not having dependants.  But our children are always our babies, so being there to listen, to advise when needed and to help teach them adult lessons… becomes a new task.  Drought has made time a huge limitation, but I have managed regular contact with my sons and family.  It was lovely to have both of our sons home for Christmas with their partners and to see their personalities shine.  In October, I also enjoyed a few days with my Mum and valued the one-on-one time I was able to spend with her.

Time-Out – I have been using a visualisation technique.  Visualising myself as a jug full of water, giving to others.  As I started to run dry, I realised I can’t be there for others if I do not refuel myself first.  When I learned to do this, my jug was full enough to share around and help others.  I now find time to write, to unwind and to express myself.  I also give myself time-out away from work, to connect with local organisations, volunteer my time and communicate with others.  During this drought with the mental and physical exhaustion, I still found a little time to relax, feel calmer and be happy in life.  Whatever it is that you love, find time to do it.

Our performance is so much better and we are much more productive when we acknowledge that we are worth it.  We need to take the time to meet our own needs, nurture ourselves from the inside and embrace our capabilities.

Take time to reflect on your own year, your own goals and your own achievements.  It is surprising, in our review, that we have been very successful and made mighty progress in our lives.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve festivities.

Take care, Karen.

“Starting today I need to forget what’s gone,

appreciate what still remains,

and look forward to what’s coming next.”

~ Author Unknown