Be the example of compassion for others around you.
Compassion isn't always easy. Sometimes it means loving the unlovable. Sometimes it means giving up something we would rather keep - that may be time or money.
Compassion isn't necessarily a pleasant feeling. It needs to be acted on in some way or it can leave you feeling very uncomfortable.
Compassion requires empathy.
Some people see being compassionate as being weakness.
I would like to be remembered as being compassionate - both in my work and in my personal life.
And perhaps my greatest legacies are my daughters. I am extremely proud of the way they have grown into compassionate and caring young women.
|Callistemon in my garden|
I have just turned 60. I am beginning a new decade. Where have the years gone? When am I going to grow up and become a neat and tidy person?
Turning 50 was a jolt but turning 60! I can hardly believe it.
0-10 years - the best years
For the first 10 years of my life I had an idyllic childhood. Our family of 4 lived by the beach and I had wonderful parents. Then when I was 10 my father died. Things went down hill decidedly.
|Me aged 4|
My teens - the unhappy time
My teens was probably the most unhappy decade of my life. Much of the time I suffered from depression and was very unhappy and lonely. My whole personality changed. I went from being very popular and outgoing, to quiet and completely lacking in confidence. We had to leave our wonderful house at the beach. When I was 18 I started university and remade my personality, but I was still very lacking in confidence
My twenties - a time of promise
My twenties was probably my happiest time. I began them by marrying my soul-mate. I graduated from university and became a secondary school teacher. Our two babies were born. We moved into our current house. Life held so much promise.
My thirties - things begin to fall apart
In my thirties I resumed working and I worked on and off full time and casually. I didn't really enjoy it but as long as my husband and daughters were happy I didn't really care about myself. But as I approached 40 things began to fall apart. After much heartache both my daughters at the age of 12 and 15 were diagnosed with clinical major depression and we have all battled this ever since. I was very down. My daughter's psychiatrist suggested doing something for myself - a whole new revelation to me - and so I began a Master's Degree in Psychology.
My forties - a new life
My forties began with me studying again. Being back at university and studying was like beginning a new life. I was much happier. My confidence increased and it was as if I had a new life. I completed my Masters Degree and began work at The Annexe, a school for teenagers with behavior problems. I loved my work. J and R still suffered with depression but they were managing TAFE okay. They had nice partners. My husband was my best friend and the love of my life. I was very content - probably more content and settled than I had ever been.
My fifties - the tough years
Then as I approached my 50th birthday the bomb dropped. My husband - my soul-mate, the person I loved most in this world - was having an affair with a secretary at work. He left me for her. My world fell apart. My fifties consisted of me doing the best I could to make a new life. I felt I had to do this for my children. They were my number one priority and I didn't want them to have to worry about me. They were grown up by this time. I am so pleased that decade is over. It was hard work and I stepped out of my comfort zone on many occasions. I met P:-) half way through this time, when I was 54, which was a wonderful blessing. I was also made redundant a year ago which really threw a spanner in the works.
My sixties - the years to come
And now I am 60. What will this decade bring?
I still live on my own but luckily I still have my house which I thought I might have to sell because I had lost my job. I am on pension, for which I am very grateful, although if the right job came along with the right working conditions I would happily take it.
I am very positive about the next decade.
How did I celebrate my 60th birthday? I kept it very low key.
I had a night out with my family at the Hellenic Club in Figtree. They have a delicious buffet where there is plenty of food or my elder daughter J who is vegan and her partner F who is vegetarian.
P:-)'s family had a lunch get together for my birthday. P:-)'s lovely daughter-in-law K made a beautiful chocolate mud cake layered with chocolate ganache.
|My beautiful cake|
The cake was delicious.
For dinner that night I only wanted something light so I had salad and wholemeal macaroni cheese, something I would not normally allow myself. The wholemeal noodles were a concession to being a bit healthy but I would just used normal pasta next time - when my next birthday comes along.
|Chia seeds on my salad|
Old lady refuses to sell house for commercial complex
Tallest vertical garden in world in Sydney