Wrapping up 2016 and Bringing on 2017!

Photo credit @a.m_banks- Instagram

Photo credit @a.m_banks- Instagram

Welcome to 2017….. Where on earth did 2016 go!!!

I know I’m a little late to the party, but I can’t help myself I love wrapping up a year that’s passed and looking forward to the beginnings of a year ahead! I don’t know about you guys, but a new year just brings a whole lot of exciting and endless possibilities!!!

Although I can’t say I have completely recovered from ME/CFS (Myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome) I am more functional and active than what I have been in a long time. 2016 was a good year for me, my health turned it up a notch and showed me that my days with ME/CFS are becoming more like it was all just a bad dream.

Throughout 2016 I did have a few issues with my health, but they ended up not being ME/CFS related. How good is that!
2016 showed me a normal and active life, that I am more than welcoming back. I was able to work my way up to working 15 hours a week and maintain that. I will increase the hours more at some stage, but right now I am happily enjoying this work life balance. I also enjoyed a bit of travelling, going interstate, as well as heading over to Singapore off on a cruise. I remember feeling on the cruise like I wasn’t a sick person (how amazing is that). I was also studying some of last year, however I did have to place my studies on hold. I hope to continue them at some stage, possibly in a years time. Putting my studies on hold allowed me time to complete my main goal of returning to work and also allowed me to focus more on my fitness. Which Snowy and I have been loving!

Anyway enough about 2016, we are now in 2017!!!

Whoohoo, bring it on!!!

This year one of my main goals that I will achieve, is dedicated to when I first became unwell. When I first became unwell in 2013, I could barely move. At the time all I could do was lay in bed or on the couch. I did a lot of soul searching and googling online about ME/CFS and came across mostly negative stories. This did not help my frame of mind, I needed something positive. I had no idea when I would get better or how long it would take. However I needed something to look forward to. I decided to make a vision board, it was something I hung on my wall, where I looked every day and helped when I wasn’t feeling the best (which at that stage was everyday). My vision board consisted of destinations that I wanted to visit and stuff that I wanted to be doing once I finally started to get better. The one thing that stuck out to me however was Machu Picchu. I have no idea why, it just did. I decided when I was finally well enough and able too I would go there someday. Thankfully my beautiful friends I am well enough to get my butt over to that amazing place and show ME/CFS who the boss is now!!!

To some it may not seem like a big deal, but to someone that has been suffering with a chronic illness it means having your life back. Suffering from a chronic illness is hard work, but recovering from one is even harder. Achieving your goals is rewarding, here’s to a year full of achieving your goals and setting new ones.

Have a happy 2017 my friends! I hope you all have a fantastic year ahead, sending lots of love, hugs, spoons and positive vibes your way.

Lennae xxx

Photo credit @a.m_banks- instagram

Photo credit @a.m_banks- instagram

Photo credit @a.m_banks- instagram

Photo credit @a.m_banks- instagram


Mr Spoons Adventures

Mr Spoon at Flagstaff hill park, Wollongong.

Mr Spoon at Flagstaff hill park, Wollongong (Photo credit: Instgram @a.m_banks).

Last month I was fortunate enough to be visited by the famous travelling Mr Spoon. He travelled all the way from Germany taking a couple of detours around Australia, before turning up on my door step.

You’re probably wondering who is Mr Spoon and what’s his story?  Well let me tell you!!!

Mr Spoon was created by the wonderful Theresa Laura at spoonsforhappniess.com.  She created him for the Spoonie community. His job is to help each person that receives him feel less alone while dealing with their illness and help them feel connected to a wonderful worldwide community.

Now you’re probably wondering what is a Spoonie?

A Spoonie is someone that suffers with a chronic illness, for more details read Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory.  Mr Spoon is helping raise awareness worldwide for people that suffer with a chronic illness. As you may know I have suffered with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) for over 3 years. My health is a lot better, however I was bed ridden at one point. For some spoonies they can be house bound or even bed bound. This means basic activities can be almost impossible for some.  Knowing that Mr Spoon was travelling around to help with raising awareness, I was more than happy to help and support Mr Spoon on his travels. Anything that helps to raise awareness for any type of chronic illness is always welcomed.

Now that we have covered the important facts I would love to share my adventures with Mr Spoon with you all! Mr Spoon ended up staying with me for over a month.  Our first adventure was our road trip down the coast to Melbourne. Mr Spoon decided to hide in the back seat on the first day, but we managed to get a lot of sightseeing pictures the following day. We looked for whales in Eden, NSW, crossed over the border to Victoria, and headed for Melbourne while hugging the coast as much as possible (for more details about our road trip click here).

After our big road trip Mr Spoon and I were happy to chill out during the rest of our time together.  Before I was due to forward him on, I decided to set him up with a bit of a photo shoot. Mr Spoon loved every moment of it, he is a bit of a model and I’m pretty sure he would win Australia’s next top model if he wanted to hang around and apply.

After a lot of beach therapy and way too many photos, Mr Spoon headed off via Australia post to see the next wonderful Spoonie.

If you would like to have Mr Spoon come visit you, feel free to contact Theresa Laura at spoonsforhappniess.com.

Thank you for visiting Mr Spoon and keep doing what you doing!

 

Lennae xxx

 

Hanging on tight to Buddha.

Hanging on tight to Buddha (Photo credit: Instgram @a.m_banks).

Looking over City Beach, Wollongong

Looking over City Beach, Wollongong (Photo credit: Instgram @a.m_banks).

Wollongong Harbour

Wollongong Harbour (Photo credit: Instgram @a.m_banks).

 

Whale watching in Eden, NSW.

Whale watching in Eden, NSW.

Mr Spoon takes on Melbourne!

Mr Spoon takes on Melbourne!


New day, new year, new GOALS!

Credit @abanksy1 Instagram

Credit @abanksy1 Instagram


New day, new year, new beginnings.

At the end of every year we look back and reflect on what we have and haven’t achieved and what we have and haven’t done. We then go ahead and set more or less the same goals, plus a few more and bigger ones.

I’m allowed to dream, but sometimes I find I set myself up to fail with all this goal setting!

Since I’ve been living with my Chronic fatigue, I’ve learned to do things differently with my hopes and dreams. I’ve always had high expectations of myself and it can be extremely frustrating when I want something so bad, but can’t get there due to circumstances out of my control. That’s why I feel that it’s important to re-assess where you’re at regularly. Your circumstances are always changing, it’s important to factor them all in.

I want to share with you all a few of my tips that I have found to be quite useful;

Write your goals down.
All of them…… Big goals, small goals, short- term, mid- term and long- term goals. Write them all down, tell the world and get them out there. Writing your goals down gives a sense of organisation, we want to make this happen! These goals are going to be my b****!!!

Regularly review your goals.
To track your progress you need to regularly review your goals. Do you need to re-assess any of them at all? You may need to re-evaluate your goals, are you being realistic? Or are you exceeding your exceptions. Its ok you will get there, it may take more time. Only time can tell.

Try new ways to achieve your goals. Some goals need a time-frame while others do not. Try different tactics and try looking at your goals a little differently. Think outside the square. Be realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Focus on one goal at a time. It can get a little overwhelming if you try and attempt all you goals at once. Focus and prioritise your energy on one thing at a time. It will all fall into place with patience and persistence.

Create a vision board of your goals. If you’re a visual person cutting out pictures and making a board can help you visualise your goals. Keep your board somewhere where you can see it daily. Or put pictures up around your home, preferably rooms you use regularly. The pictures become small daily reminders of your goals.

Enjoy the journey. The Journey is where you put in all your energy and hard work, enjoy it. Achieving your goal will bring you a sense fulfillment and achievement, however the journey you have traveled always brings a sense of pride and relief when reflecting on what has been achieved.

Remember, tomorrow brings a new day to try and start again. It’s not easy, but you can always start again. “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try”.

Happy new year my beautiful readers, I thank you all for all your love and support! I wish you all an amazing 2016!

Much love

Lennae xxx

Credit @abanksy1 Instagram

Credit @abanksy1 Instagram


South Island Adventure

Queenstown

Queenstown.

Hello my lovely readers, long time no see! I’m well and truly long overdue for a blog update.
In case you were wondering where I had disappeared to, I’ve been keeping pretty busy with life! Exciting right!?
I’ve been focused with study and work, taking it slowly with them both, but am making good steady progress. I also recently took a much earned holiday to New Zealand! So let’s skip straight to the holiday part, woohoo!!!

Being as Cameron & I are both kiwis and have family back in New Zealand, we were long overdue for a trip home. Since I’ve had quite an improvement with my health, we thought we would make a holiday out of it. I had never visited the South Island before, so we thought why not head there. Then towards the end of our trip make our way up to the North Island and visit family.

I was feeling confident that I would manage our trip well, but of course with suffering from ME/CFS, I couldn’t help but worry and think whether it would be too much. Will I be able to manage everything? My mind starts running wild. We decided that if we booked a camper-van, it would be an ideal way to holiday. Rest whenever and wherever you want. How good does that sound? SORTED!

Everything was booked and we had a plan to spend 10 days down in the beautiful South Island, then the last few days spent in the North with family. I won’t go into too much details of where we went, I’ll let the photos do all the talking.
All I will say is it that if you ever make a trip out to New Zealand, the South Island is an absolute must see. The scenery is beautiful, the streams and rivers are turquoise blue and the amount of snowy mountains is breath taking. The views are spectacular, we found ourselves pulling over every 5 minutes to take snapshots of the amazing scenery.

I pulled up well too, I still can’t believe how well I managed it all! We covered just over 2550 km’s in our camper and managed to visit all the places we wanted to see, which included Milford sound, beautiful Queenstown and Wanaka, as well as the Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers. We also got to do some fantastic activities, a bus tour through Fiordland National park with a boat ride through Milford sound, the shot over jet in Queenstown, a helicopter ride over the glaciers also seeing Mt Tasman & Mt Cook. AMAZING! Even a few gorgeous walks, one up to the Fox Glacier which was one hour, taking on a mega hill!

It was lovely being able to explore and visit new places. After all that adventure, it was up to the North Island to visit our family.

Overall I did need a rest day here and there, but then who doesn’t! It feels good to be able to do normal things again and feel normal! It’s achievements like these that open my eyes up to see how far I have come, every day I keep getting closer to taking back my health.

I’ve tried to pick out my best holiday snaps, but as always I have far too many to choose from. Anyway I hope you enjoy them!

Much love,
Lennae xxx

Up in the Mountains on our helicopter tour. Between Fox & Franz Josef glacier.

Up in the Mountains on our helicopter tour. Between Fox & Franz Josef glacier.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo.

View from Lake Tekapo Hot Springs.

View from Lake Tekapo Hot Springs.

Fiordland National Park.

Fiordland National Park.

Naughty Kea eating the tour bus, Fiordland National Park.

Naughty Kea eating the tour bus, Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park.

Shotover Jet, Queenstown.

Shotover Jet, Queenstown.

Lake Wakatipu.

Lake Wakatipu.

Our Camper, Lake Wakatipu.

Our Camper, Lake Wakatipu.

Makarora, Lake Wanaka.

Makarora, Lake Wanaka.

Franz Josef Glacier, view from the top on the helicopter tour. Your can even see the West Coast & Tasman Sea in the background.

Franz Josef Glacier, view from the top on the helicopter tour. Your can even see the West Coast & Tasman Sea in the background.

West Coast.

West Coast.

Look out from the top of the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown.

Look out from the top of the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown.


Keep Trying!

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on how I’m travelling and to be honest it’s been a bit of a bumpy past 6 weeks with my ME/CFS. I guess it should to be expected though, you should never under estimate the power of your chronic illness (especially when you don’t listen to your body). So here’s an update on my happenings.

I had been increasing my hours at work and I managed to get up to working 8 hours over 2 days a week. Excitement overload! I was working 4 hours a day, that’s half a day!

Being able to work again felt great, but working only 8 hours was starting to not be good enough. In my mind I wanted to be able to work more. My mind was racing well ahead to what I wanted to be doing, rather than what I should be doing. All I wanted to do was keep pushing and eventually I would be at my current goal of working 15 hours a week. In theory it sounded easy enough. I wanted to keep pushing myself to my limit and that meant that I wasn’t taking notice of the fact that I was going to push a little too hard and crash.

Well that happened, straight after I realised maybe I should just calm it down a bit. After pushing through a day at work, I struggled to recover back from it. I thought I would need one week off to rest, but that turned into five!

All I can say is lesson is learnt! It’s all well and good to push yourself, but sometimes you need to take a step back and listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

After 5 weeks off with lots of rest and time to reflect here’s what I learnt;

Patience. You will get to where you want to be eventually, it just takes time.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

Be kind to yourself. We are our biggest critic of ourselves, how about giving yourself a kind compliment instead of beating yourself up all the time.

Listen to your body. Yes it does communicate with you, make sure you listen to it!

Don’t give up. No matter how much this situation may feel like it is dragging on, it won’t last forever so keep trying, you will get there!

On that note I went back to work last week and managed a couple of hours, it felt great to be back at it again. I’m back at the start but that’s ok, I know I will get to where I want to be eventually. It might not be today or tomorrow but it will happen.

Much love,

Lennae xxx

photo credit: Hope via photopin (license)

photo credit: Hope via photopin (license)

photo credit: quote #63 via photopin (license)

photo credit: quote #63 via photopin (license)


Words of wisdom

Since I have become unwell, I have come to rely on positive quotes to lift me up and keep me strong during those hard times. Sometimes all you need are a few wise words to help keep positive. The power of a positive mind can help the hardest of situations. I want to share with you all some of my favourite quotes.

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin <a

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin <a

1. “I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest.” – Dalai Lama

2. "Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday." – Unknown

3. "Always remember that your current situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come." – Unknown

4. "No matter how you feel, get up, get dressed, show up and never give up." – Regina Brett

5. "Some people want it to happen, some wish it will happen and others make it happen!" – Michael Jordon

6. "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." – Walt Disney

7. "Tough times don't last, tough people do!" – Gregory Peck

8. "Believe you can and your halfway there." – Theodore Roosevelt

9. "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." – Unknown

10. "Every experience no matter how hard it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind, the goal is to find it." – Buddha

11. "Every morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most." – Buddha

12. "You are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or can choose happiness instead." – Anis Nin

13. "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light." – Albus Dumbedore.

14. "Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary things." – C S Lewis

15. "Stars can't shine without darkness." – Unknown

16. "Without struggle there is no progress." – Frederick Douglass

17. "I promise if you keep searching for everything beautiful in this world you will eventually become it." – Tyler Kent White

18. "Nothing is impossible, when the word itself says I'm possible." – Audrey Hepburn.

19. "Dream it, believe it, achieve it!" – Unknown

20. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." – Neale Donald Walsh

21. "Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring." – Unknown

22. "One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day." – Unknown

23. "Always believe that something wonderful is going to happen." – Unknown

24. "A journey of 1000 miles must begin with a single step." – Lao Tzu

25. "I believe in the person, I want to become." – Lana Del Ray

26. “What day is it?” Asked Pooh. “It’s today!” Squeaked Piglet. “My favourite day!” Said Pooh. – Pooh & Piglet

27. "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." – Confucius


I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! What are your favourite quotes?

Lennae

xxx

photo credit: JimmyMac210 via photopin cc

 


Hard times don’t last!

photo credit: Valeria CL via photopin cc

photo credit: Valeria CL via photopin cc

“Nothing is permanent not even our troubles.”

Have you ever had that feeling, where you feel like you could burst or cry from excitement? I’ve got that feeling and it’s taken what feels like forever to feel like that again!

I am well and truly getting better. “Hello world, I’m back!”
I am super excited to become a part time student and will be studying a diploma in Nutritional Medicine. That means I will become a Nutritionist once I’ve finished! This is my dream job! If you had told me this would be happening a year ago, I would have been completely upset as there was no way. Dreams of living an active life were impossible. Now I feel like anything is possible I’m out and about every couple of days and not paying too much for it!

Before I got sick Cameron and I were saving our money furiously to buy our first home. When I got sick this goal was still in our sights but I’ll be honest I became terrified about buying a house. We spent a lot of time and effort to make this goal happen, only to be knocked back. We were right at the point of going through the purchasing process. It was devastating! All that time, effort and energy we had put in for a negative result. Unfortunately it was out of our control. It was just not meant to be at this point of our lives.

Re-focusing on the positives we poured our energy into other goals that had been side lined. Since then Cameron has started up his own business as an electrician and I will now be a student! These goals would have been much harder for us to achieve whilst having a mortgage. At the time it was upsetting but now I’m glad that it happened.

Dealing with my illness at the beginning I felt like my life was over. Now I see it as an obstacle pointing me into a new direction. Everything happens for a reason. I may not be able to control what happens, but I can control how I react! As Justice Crew would say Que Sera! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MDTCF1dp28

Bye for now

Lennae
xxx

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc