Category Archives: hope

When Disaster Hits Your Home and Heart – Sharing The Queensland Flood Story


"Fall seven times, get up eight"
 Japanese Proverb

 

If you happen to be a Queenslander (which is a state of Australia, for international readers) then I’d like to say up that today, I feel proud to be one of you. Proud and sad, for everyone, at the same time.

If you have no idea why I would be sharing these sentiments, then please read on and I’ll tell you. It’s kind of a BIG story.

Throwing Out The Old, Bringing In the New

This time last week the only thing on my mind was my home renovation. I was already tired of living out of two rooms in my house (while the rest was being refloored) and the disruption to our family’s normal routine was causing a bit of  cabin fever  for my children.

I was having trouble locating the things I routinely use  (keys, particular books etc..), the washing was piling up (it had been raining a lot) and the noise and tiling dust was a constant background irritant (although frequently broken by the cheerful singing voice of one of the tradesmen !) .

These things were happening but it was kind of fun and we were all still laughing and looking forward to our newly finished renovations.

So, what has all this got to do with being proud to be a Queenslander? Read on….I’m getting there. As I said, it’s kind of a BIG story.

The Natural Disaster

So, looking back on my own little corner of life last week, I feel grateful.

Enormously grateful. It was an enjoyable week for me and as I thought at the time, a wonderful way to start the new year. All renovated, fresh and new – that sort of thing.  A happy time, unfolding into even happier times. New things being created, old things being discarded.  You get the picture….

This picture however (which was no doubt, not all that different in some ways from many others starting the New Year) was not the one I have seen since, night and day, on the television and with my own eyes.

This picture of which I am talking about is one of devastation, loss, suffering and grief – on a massive scale. There is also kindness and generosity mixed in there too. That’s the amazing thing about us humans  – adversity seems to bring out the best in us.

What Happened

I’ve heard it has been world-wide news, so perhaps you already know what I am referring to, but in case you haven’t heard I’ll retell you now.

On January 12th after much rain had fallen all over our state and several regional areas had already suffered huge inundations of water through their homes, a massive event occurred in a town called Toowoomba, a beautiful ‘garden’ city, formerly best known for its annual floral displays. This event can only be described accurately by calling it an inland tsunami. 

I still don’t fully understand all the factors which came together to cause this event. Many of us do not. It was also an event that weather forecasters were not able to predict and thus, the people it affected had no warning. Whatsoever.

The Impact Spreads

As if this alone was not enough to devastate lives and cause tragedy, this body of water then continued its path through several more towns and eventually to the city of Brisbane.

May I just say at this point that I think we are all becoming used to hearing news about natural disasters these days.

Usually though, for me at least, these events occur in countries and places whose names I haven’t heard of and can’t pronounce. Therefore they sometimes seem very far removed from anything to do with me. 

All I can say is about that is that when something like this happens in your home state, the impact is much different. You have visited these towns, admired their beauty, enjoyed good times there and know people who are affected.

The Facts

So you yourself can comprehend (I still can’t) the massive scale of this disaster, here are some of the major facts:-

1. All up, the floods in Queensland have hit over 86 towns and 30, 000 homes have either been totally inundated with water or flood affected in other ways.

Three quarters of this state (which is the size of France and Germany combined) has been declared a disaster zone.

2. At the time of writing this 4,400 people in Brisbane are being housed in evacuation centres.

3. There are currently 50 operational evacuation centres around the city, all providing food shelter and counselling to those affected.

4. And lastly, here is the only statistic that lifts my heart and the one that makes me proud to be an Australian and a Queenslander.

As the business of clearing up begins in some parts, the call for help has gone out to the whole community and today, a volunteer army of some 11,000 people hit our streets and suburbs to help begin the process.

Local Heroes

11,000 people!!!

Picture that.

All armed with their own brooms, spades and buckets. They are of course being backed up by some other heavy-duty equipment being provided by the army and State Emergency Service personal.

The journey to bringing our state back from this disaster will be a marathon one and will involve every member of our community.  The spirit of that community is already being demonstrated even now as all barriers are broken and neighbours, friends, families and more often than not, perfect strangers, all unite for one cause – to help the flood affected.

I will continue to blog when I can, but for now most of my energies will be focussed elsewhere.

Thanks for reading this and please, keep the welfare of the people of my home state, in your hearts and minds.

Thanks again.

If you are on Facebook or Twitter, I would very appreciative if you could share this story with your friends, so more people are able to hear the story and help if they want to.

If you are interested in helping the community of Queensland, you can either register to volunteer or donate online at http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html .

Or if you would just like to share your thoughts with me, I would very happy to hear them.

Advertisements

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Still Be Happy (A Post Christmas How To Guide)


 With the knowledge (er…suspicion)  that the Christmas holiday weekend perhaps went a little smoother for some, than for others, I thought today, the following reflection may be apt. 

It is a little personal (though not too much ) and I hope, if you need it to be, may also be a little therapeutic…..

Some Preamble

I actually tried ignoring (as much as possible) the pre-Christmas hype (shopping/consumer madness, etc…) but try as I may, it still affected me.  So that being considered, there was a few things I needed to get straight; a few ‘truths’ I needed to remind myself and lessons I needed to (re) learn.

I could sum them up in a few phrases – slow down, don’t sweat the small stuff and live every moment, as if it could be your last.

Oh and here’s one more:- acceptance and love don’t always come gift wrapped.

So here’s how I came to these conclusions……

Want Versus Need

Remember this line from the Rolling Stones hit song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need……” It’s true and he’s a few personal examples of just that…

The ‘need’ follows the ‘want’ and is written in bold.

1.” For the holidays, I thought I might try something different,” I told my hairdresser.  ‘ I think I’d like my hair to be lighter’ I continued. 

After some consternation over this request, she shared her plan to make me ‘a shade lighter’. It didn’t work. One and half hours later, I left a deep brunette.

Not what I wanted.

Upon returning home, my kids and family complimented me, gave me some love and actually told me they liked my hair and that I looked nice. They offered their kind words, were just glad to see me and I felt good.

2. ‘Don’t interrupt me on the phone, okay? I really need to talk to this person. It’s important,’ I told the kids. Within seconds, I had to excuse myself to answer my kids questions and attend to their activities. Four times, in fact, I excused myself from the phone.

The person I was speaking to, finally said ‘I think I’d better let you go’ and hung up.

Not what I wanted.

After the call, I looked at the kids. They ran to me and hugged me, as if I had been gone for days (instead of a few minutes) and I decided to give them my full attention, suddenly feeling a rush of appreciation for them, for their enthusiasm and their ability to feel excited over the little things in life.

3. Over Christmas, I did receive a few things I simply didn’t want.

These things however were given to me by people whom I really love and it was a gift simply to know that they felt the same. Finding out that they also treasure our friendship as much as I do was something I needed know. It made me happy regardless of the unwanted item.

Therapy for Life

Perhaps, if you’re tempted to moan or groan about anything unwanted in your life, a little tweaking of your mental processes might help and perhaps you can also find, that you actually did get what you need.

A Final Thought

In my humble opinion, our needs are often already being met, but that fact becomes a little clouded by our own preference for getting what we want.

Futhermore, experiencing the joy that fulfillment of our needs brings does require a little less superficiality.

This is just what I think though and maybe…. I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe there’s something else I need to learn…..

What do you think?

I’d love to hear if you yourself have a personal philosophy to live by when things don’t go your way? Does it help to make you appreciate the small things?

Or why not just share your Christmas experiences this year? I myself have enjoyed a very happy and upbeat celebration; one of the best I’ve had in years. I loved it!!

Please feel free to share anything that didn’t go your way though. I’m here and I’m listening…..:) 🙂

Or maybe you have some other nuggets of wisdom to share? Just press comment and fire away….

PS Don’t forget to pop back again in a few days. I am working on a sequel to todays post. It’ll be a similar ”Art of Happiness” study, which you may find interesting………   🙂

 

Healing and Hope in The Blogosphere or One Blogger’s Birthday Wish.


 

Voices in The Blogosphere

Before I start, I just want to say…. don’t go….stay, have a read, sit down – I need some company!

Phewww…you’re still here. That’s good, ‘cos I thought you were leaving and this post is important, so I’d love you to stay.

I’ll begin first by telling you this:-

IComLeavWe

This past week I joined an idea called IComLeavWe, a week where you sign up as a blogger to participate in a kind of commenting marathon. There is a list and you are encouraged to visit the people on that list and comment on their blog. Sounds like fun. A good way to meet other bloggers and share their experiences and thoughts. This I expected. And looked forward to. (BTW If you were also a part of ICLW, a big HI and thanks for sharing last week 🙂 )

What I didn’t expect was the way I would feel after I had read so many blogs and heard so many voices, many of whom were bearing their soul, speaking about loss, heartache and unfulfilled dreams and hopes. Some were even written by homeless people, trying to break the stereotype of people on the streets. One post I read, from an author who did not have a home, began with “I am not a drunk nor am not mentally ill. I am a mother….”  Needless to say some of the stories I read broke my heart.

Tears and Comments

I wished I could help. Their need for healing and replenishment spoke to me, but what could I do? All I could think of was to leave a kind comment, hoping to cheer their day maybe a little. Still this felt like little.

It still does and all I can say to anyone who maybe reading this, who recognises themselves in what I have just said, is that, my heart is with you.♥

Another Blog Post

Okay so the next thing that happened was that I read (as I always do) the blog of cyber mentor, Craig Harper. If you don’t read Craig’s blog,you’re missing out. His articles are almost as good as mine Confused Okay, maybe better. Possibly. Maybe. Okay, time to shut up, Mon.Lips Are Sealed

Anyhow it was Craig’s birthday this week, as it was mine. And for his birthday, Craig asked that his subscribers donate $2 – to a charity called Door of Hope Australia, a group that you can read more about here.

The Birthday Giving Idea

I donated and kind of got hooked on Craig’s birthday giving idea and wanted to do what I could to extend and build upon the donations already begun on his site. And so…..yes, I am asking you (and I don’t feel real comfortable about asking, ‘cos most people have their own ideas about helping the poor, but anyhow……) to perhaps consider a small donation to this charity.

I know donating to this charity does not help or contribute to the wellbeing of any of the people I talked about at the beginning of this post, but it will help someone, somewhere, namely a group of kids in Africa, some of whom were misfortunate enough to have been born HIV positive (and, as Craig says, and we thought we had problems).

A Birthday Wish

So that’s it – for my birthday (okay, so you don’t even know me and you weren’t going to get me a present anyway –  good point), nevertheless, if you have plenty of what you need and want in life, then perhaps a little donation ( just $2 is the going rate) toward helping the lives of some kids who have nothing, may be something you would consider doing today? It would be appreciated and I guarantee would make a big difference to someone.

You can check out Craig’s article here and donate to the charity we have talked about, Door of Hope Australia, here.

Also if you have a charity or cause that is close to your heart, please feel free to give it a ‘shout out’ here or if you’d like to share your views about helping those less fortunate than most of us, I’d love to listen to them.

Listening is my latest obsession. You can learn so much when you stop talking (even just for a little bit) and just listen. 🙂

Happy Giving and Many Thanks in Advance,

Mon ♥