Hello friends and followers. I cannot believe how fast the last few months have gone. All of a sudden we are a handful of days away from the big fat guy falling down the chimney. And not far beyond that the turn of another year and decade to boot. I recall the turn of the millenium like it was only a couple of years ago. I was working in a call centre and everyone was freaking out about Y2K. The concern was that older computer systems were never designed to consider the calender clicking from 1999 to 2000. Of course nothing went wrong and the world did not end. Here we are 20 years later and it kind of feels like the world is still making stupid decisions and worse mistakes.

For your humble local blogger, life in 2019 has been especially productive and has seen me turn over a new leaf in my evolution beyond the mess that 2013 left me in. Grief and loss closed in on me and if it were not for my need to raise and nurture my children, well I don’t know that I would have survived this far. Three children all of which were dealing with their loss in their own ways. And the youngeset of which was only two years old. He was our foster child at the time and had been with us since he was only a few months old. More on hime later.

Now my simple desire to blog about life and travel and my passions has seen my turn my ability to write into a paying career. One that has allowed me to have a greater level of confidence in myself and my abilities. A life that has balance and allows me to be available my children. You see, for years after Isoble died, I had no idea how I would return to the workforce. Any workforce, let alone a high strees corporate world that I now considered toxic and no longer for me. How was I supposed to support a family of four. This year, I have been able to expand my creative output and now write content for a number of online resources. Ghost writing is not glamouros, but it can pay well.

I have taken further steps this year to address some lingering health issues some of which you will recall from my last trip to Japan. The issues with my feet have been resolved, I continue on a positive trajectory with my therapist and am now working on addressing my weight. A key part of that is dealing with the fact that I have sleep apnoea. Not news to me but I walked into my doctors office this week and said enough was enough. So in general, I am taking positive steps in looking after myself. This has come after a long period of looking after my children. Mostly true but partly an excuse for ignoring my own needs.

Oh and I was able to squeeze in a quick trip to Japan and spent a week exploring my beloved Tokyo. Of course there were lots of photos but far less than any of my previous trips there. This time I was far more casual and relaxed about my photograhy and took the images I wanted to take as they arrived. Rather than spending time and energy chasing them. I have continued to be a part of the Fuji X Aus online photography community and of course have a great relationship with Fujifilm Australia. Photography is my passion and regardless of if I am out shooting, talking with other photographers or writing a blog about photoigraphy, I am in my happy place. And the people at Fuji X Aus are my tribe. I count many of them as my closest friends now as they have been a constant support throughout my journey.

I have been fortuante to have travelled again this year even if only for small distance. In the second half of the year, I was invited by Fujifilm Australia for an night in Sydney at a press event for the new Fujifilm X-Pro3. And then more recently I was able to travel to Launceston for my good friends wedding on a beach in Bicheno. I was also their official photographer and so incredibly blessed to be a part of that beautiful weekend. I am surrounded by so many good people after a period of pushing people way as part of my trauma. I see that clearly now and regret the choices I made. But I have to keep moving forward both my loss and the consequences of my trauma. And to be honest I am feeling pretty good in myself.

My children are a constant delight to me and have all matured and grown in so many ways this year. I love sharing our house and being able to cook and provide for them. We share our lives and our experineces openly and learn from each other in so many ways. My youngest, as I mentioned has been a part of our family since he was only months old. A victim of neglect and poor parenting he joined our family and has never ever left. Just last week, we were able to make his part in our family formal and legally binding. I cannot tell you the relief this brought to us all. Even though he is my son in every way that matters, the releif was incredible. This was a process that Isobel and I started while she was still alive and well. Seven years later I was able to make it a reality. The tears flow.

I am now in a position where I feel that I have almsot fully rebuilt myself from the shell of a man I was after the death of my love. I have been able to find my tribe, my passions and more importantly landed my children squarely on their feet. It was not easy and I have written freely about that here dear reader. But, I have built my community not solely as a means to support me, but to give me reason to give back. To be a contributing member of my society through the sharing of knowledge, courage in embracing the new and the ability to receive and give love to one another. So at this time of year, I emplore each and every one of you to reach out to those around you. Ask if they are ok and be prepared to give and receive love. Love your family or those you choose to be your family. Smile always. Happy readings. G

Below are a list of Australian contact support groups. Christmas is not always a merry time for many people. Be there for them:

  • Lifeline 13 11 44
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
  • Mensline 1800 737 732
  • Relationships Australia 1300 78 99 78