Walk a Mile In Their Shoes

2013-11-08_12-22-28How lucky am I? Are we? I mean really? Every day we waste breath complaining about minor aches and pains, or not being able to afford those new shoes – when every day someone else is breathing their last breath –  or watching someone they love, struggle to take an unaided step, with or without shoes.

Do we ever really try to imagine what it must be like to be in someone else’s shoes? Or do we just go about our days, engrossed in our own lives with barely a second thought given to the plight of others – of even those closest to us?

I’m guilty as charged, as I’m guessing many reading this may be too. Empathy only grows when we truly get a chance or make the effort to walk a mile in the shoes of others.  When we stop to think long enough to try to imagine what it might be like to be that person – even just for a few hours… Continue reading

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Do You Think Before You Tweet?

Warning: Engage brain before thumb

I have a story to share. It’s about something that happened to me during my recent hospital visit.

Apparently I’ve never been seen to blush quite the shade of coral that I did this day. Apparently my face matched my nightie. Nice, huh? Well, I am a stylist, so ofcourse everything must co-ordinate. But I digress… Continue reading

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365 Acts of Kindness…some inspiration for “One Day”

This is what Random Acts of Kindness can look like every day. I dare you not to smile watching this…

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Looking for a Silver Lining In 5B

One of the feel-good moments I had was when my daughter surprised me with a visit from my beloved Boof!

I’ve just returned home after a 20 day stay at Le Hotel de Wesley (Wesley hospital). I really tried hard to remain positive and cheery but I have to admit there were many blue moments in between. There are no frequent-flyer points awarded for frequent or protracted hospital stays, and take it from me, the days are long and lonely with only meals, obs and visitors to mark the time and lift your spirits.

One of the things I’ve always done to get me through is shift my focus to other’s stories instead of dwelling on my own sad tales. Face-to-face connections really work best to distract from pain, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the wonderful staff of 5B for their special touch and keeping me sane…

Which each change of shift I’d get so happy when I’d discover which nurse had once again been allocated to look after Bed 5 (then 10). I knew that the time would fly by ‘cos I’d have someone wonderful “visiting” me at any opportunity!

While these people took care of my physical needs every day, more importantly they took care of my spirit. They interacted with me on a personal level. They opened their own books and trusted me with a few pages of their stories. Sure, I asked. I’m good at that. But they could’ve given one-word answers and quickly left me alone. Instead they’d stay for a bit and truly brightened my day… Continue reading

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That Bitch in Bed 5

My daughter Elle visited daily & kept my spirits from crashing. She's a NIT (nurse in training) & got to practice her skills on me more than once!

I’ve been in hospital for over a week now. I’m still not sure when I’ll get out. But one thing I do know for sure is that no one will ever refer to me as “that bitch in bed 5″. It sure ain’t no fun being here, but hey, I’m a veteran and over the years I’ve worked out a few things about coping with pain/illness frequent hospital admissions. Want my top tips? I’m glad you asked!

1. Look for any and every opportunity to meet people you would otherwise probably never meet, and to learn something about those people – to listen to some of their story. In hospital you will meet many from so very many different walks of life. The nurses, catering staff, cleaners, student nurses, other patients, their visitors, even some of your more “approachable” new doctors! Ask how they are instead of waiting to be asked how YOU are. The payoff? You’ll make a positive impact and you may even be remembered for being a good listener. After all, isn’t feeling heard a basic human need for everyone? Continue reading

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How Stupid Do I Feel?

Ain't this the truth?!

Yesterday, I raced home from the shops, unpacked groceries, ran around like a chook proceeded to lay out gear out for hubby to quickly slip into when he arrived home from work because we were to attend a function at 3pm. I texted the lovely guest of honour to apologise ahead of time that we’d be late but would get there as soon as hubby arrived home from work. I was almost ready when I got a reply saying “Honey, it’s tomorrow!”. How stupid did I feel? All dressed up with nowhere to go! Continue reading

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My Social Media Challenge

Just for one week - Make sure your status updates either Inspire, Inform or Entertain

We’ve all seen a million photos and read a billion Facebook updates of messy Friday night antics and trashy photos of “woo-hoo” girls drinking themselves into early dementia. We’ve all read thousands of random-teaser-type Facebook Status updates that neither inform nor entertain. How about we all start using the power of our own Facebook networks to share more inspirational stories such as these and leave our own quests for 5-minute-fame behind for a bit?!  There’s the challenge! Are you up for it?  Continue reading

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Bedside Manners

“Dr House is a real pussycat compared to one of my doctors!” I know that’s quite a big call but…

Don’t we all expect a certain level of courtesy; a standard of behaviour; a code of ethics? At the very least, politeness from the people to whom we hand over our hard-earned cash for a service or product, let alone entrust our life/health? Am I being unreasonable therefore, to ask for a certain standard of courtesy – a bedside manner at the very least – from God forbid, a Doctor?

I talk a lot about style and as much about communication-skill styling and the importance of making sure we pay just as much attention to the way we make people feel in our presence as we give to our physical appearance or our immediate surroundings.  So you won’t be shocked to hear of my horror at some of the people-skills (or lack-thereof) I encounter from  medical “professionals”.

Let me introduce you to Dr Ignorme (prounounced “ignore me” *Names have been changed to protect the guilty (ahh, I mean innocent)… Continue reading

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There Are Some Things I Just Don’t Do.

Most of us are afraid of something. Dentists & spiders are mine!

There’s something about me you don’t know. There are many things, actually…

But yesterday I actually went to the dentist. For. The. First. Time. In. 8. Years.
(Before that, it had been 12 years). Get the picture? Yep… I don’t do dentists.

Actually there are many things I just don’t do…

Drugs. Smokes. Spiders. Early mornings. Phones. Strenuous exercise. Diets. Annual Holidays. Sewing. Did I mention spiders?

What I’m alluding to here is that there are some things I don’t do because they simply frighten the crap out of me. And in between are the things I either simply choose NOT to do or don’t GET to do (but would like to!)… Continue reading

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I am a Dag

I'm showing my age, I know. But I really loved Judy and Don. Penny was also one to aspire to...

Just ask anyone who knows me. They’ll tell you. I am very much in touch with my inner dag. So much so, I’ll even pluck up the courage here to share with you a few of my guilty pleasures. Some date waaaay back. Others I continue to enjoy to this day:

  • I love Saturday Disney – yes, at my age! More specifically Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place and even a little of the Jonas Brothers thrown in for good measure!
  • I still love watching The Love Boat & I Dream of Jeannie; The Brady Bunch and I used to be avid fan of Nip Tuck!
  • I also  love boy bands;  Take That, Five, Backstreet Boys…love ‘em all. And I have some Michael Bolton, Cliff Richard, The Monkees and even a bit of really old Jason Donovan on my iPod!
  • I used to play “Lost In Space” in the playground at school. I always made my friends let me be Judy so I could be with Don. And the boy I always made play the part of Don just happened to be the boy I had a huge crush on – devious little thing, wasn’t I?
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