GOOD LIFE WINTER 2017
DON’T TELL ME I CAN’T CARDS FOR COMPASSION WALKING BACKWARDS YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE
Contributors Marjan Beer
Special thanks to Hannah, Amos, Harlow (and puppy Beau) Bartle for a fun shoot down on the Maroochy River.
Cover Image: Amy Higg : www.amyhiggphoto.com
Contents WINTER 2017
THE GOOD LIFE magazine is an extension of the Goodlife Community Centre. OurÂ intention is to drop a bit of hope into your hands, encouraging you to find a place of connection and belonging because we areÂ convinced that people matter.
06 Letter from the editor
08 Walking Backwards By Lindsay Smith
Hasel and Rose Come to Life
16 Something About Time
By Daniel Gettis
The Benefits of Taking a Break
20 You Can Save A Life By Kellie Merriman
A Calm Voice at the End of the Line
34 Cards for Compassion By Hannah Cox
Supporting the Disadvantaged
40 Stay The Course
The Lost Arts
By Gemma Roux
By Anne Slager
The Resilience of Humanity
On With The Show
44 Don’t Tell Me I Can’t
Winter in Paradise
By Marjan Beer
By Rebecca Moore
Life Saving Determination
52 Recipe: Black Bean Chili
54 Regular Happenings At the Goodlife Community Centre
56 Fragments of the Mind By Tim Lovell
Enjoying the Cooler Months
The views expressed in articles and letters are the responsibility of the respective authors and are not necessarily those of Goodlife Community Centre or The Good Life magazine. The acceptance of advertisements does not indicate editorial endorsement. No part of the publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. © Copyright 2017
LE T T E R
F R O M
T H E
ED I TO R
Earlier in the year I started walking on the beach. This is the first time that my schedule has meshed with my children’s schedules in such a way that I can drop them at school and have time to get down to the beach for a walk before I need to be at work. I had no idea when I started this new routine how life changing it would be.
I PARK MY CAR at one end of the beach, walk down to the other end, turn around and come back. Depending on the condition of the sand, (and how many interesting things I stop to look at!) it takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. In just that short amount of time, I feel my mind clearing. Feeling the cool water on my feet, I listen as the waves sometimes roll, sometimes crash, in. I admire the sky and its many different canvases. Big fluffy clouds are my favourite but a clear blue sky can be utterly breathtaking as well. Often the sun is hidden and through the tinting of my sunglasses, the clouds look pinkish where the sun is trying to peek through. The sand is forever changing. One day it can be firm and easy to walk on, the next it’s soft and my heels dig in with every step. Crabs scurry around, catching my eye just before they disappear into their little holes. Seaweed,
shells, coral, sticks and even fish all make appearances underfoot. Some days I must keep my eyes trained down so I don’t step on the hundreds of jellyfish washed up on the shore. The seagulls make me laugh. They are peculiar little creatures, never spreading their wings to get away from me, but always running on their tiny legs. The little swallows that flit about, often near the rocks or on the leafless trees, are always fun to watch. They are quick and fearless. And ducks, I’ve never noticed them at the beach before but I see them now … duck diving (who knew?!) under the waves! Fish. If it’s a calm day, I can see them. Usually, only a small school or two just off the rocks. One day, though, there were thousands, all in a big clump together, evading a bigger fish who kept trying to each them for breakfast. Fascinating!
THE GOOD LIFE MAGAZINE IS ENTERING ITS SIXTH YEAR OF PUBLICATION AND WE ARE FEELING LIKE IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE. This issue that you are holding in your hand is the last one in this current format. We still want to share stories of life, stories of people in our local community who inspire us to live fully, stories that bring hope. We will be sharing these stories digitally so please keep an eye on www.goodlife.org.au/magazine for the new look Good Life magazine.
You wouldn’t think that going for a walk, feeling the fresh sea breeze on my face, noticing the things around me would make any difference in my day. But it does! Last week, it rained for a few days straight and I couldn’t get out for my morning walk. I felt “foggy”, and found it harder to sit still and concentrate. I felt my mind wander just a little bit more than usual. I felt myself hoping the rain would stop just long enough for me to walk! For me, the beach holds motivation, it keeps me wanting to come back for more. But, ‘the secret’ isn’t the beach, it is finding the time, and the place, where the cares of the world can stop just for a bit. Where the phone isn’t ringing, and the inbox isn’t screaming at me to be emptied; where the to-do list is completely out of sight (and mind!). The children aren’t calling my name, the dinner isn’t expecting me to cook it, nor the floor hoping I would mop it! These things don’t disappear completely, they are still there, waiting for me. But, somehow, taking time out to walk and enjoy the beauty, makes me better able to handle them. Have you got some time carved out in your day to just be? To rest your mind? I probably don’t need to tell you but I’d highly recommend giving it a go!
BY LINDSAY SMITH
Author and artist, Caroline Magerl who resides on the Sunshine Coast met with Lindsay Smith to talk about the writing of her first children’s book. HAVE YOU EVER had the experience of not fully grasping what a book is about at its first reading? It lingers in the recesses of your mind, as you twist and wrestle with the content. Sure, you know what it’s saying but there’s more to it. You know there is. It’s like being on a quest, but you never quite arrive. How many times have you wished you could sit the writer down
and ask those burning questions; reach into the creative mind to understand the where’s and the why’s. You know the answers aren’t going to affect the brilliance of the book, but you are driven mad by the thought that there’s more to the story. In this case, it’s the children’s picture book, “Hasel and Rose.” “A picture book?” you exclaim, but wait, listen to the author and look carefully. Then you’ll understand. >>
“IT ALL STARTED WHEN I FOUND THE PHOTO.” “This photo was of me when we first moved to Sydney. I was sitting with a toy, and it was something about the picture that had real relevance, and I realised that this picture was the nub of the story. It was something about the relationship I had with that toy and I was trying to retrieve it. I quite literally had to walk backwards through my life.” The beginnings
“The writing of this novel was the walking backwards and I think the process of learning how to write Caroline uses her words was intertwined with the writing of intentionally to show how her this particular story. It wasn’t one thoughts are formed; her ideas I chose to write,” she explains, “it paint a picture, an invitation into emerged and it was probably the her world of possibilities and images. first very strong idea that I had for a Her spoken words hang in the air long time.” Caroline had stopped like water colours on a page. As writing and drawing when she was she moves on, water washes over fifteen, then in her thirties, she them and they streak and bleed slowly began again. Initially it was away, to be replaced with new just a couple of sentences. The ideas and thoughts. Her voice most significant, “Hasel arrived is modulated, measured. She in a tired brown box.” There was expresses herself with care and a strong visual and emotional attention; her hands punctuating context for those words, and it and accenting her speech; her is around this sentence that the crystal blue eyes adding weight and book took form. Part of the way promise to what she is describing. the story evolved was around the It feels like sitting in a novel, with realisation of an emotional situation us as the characters, framed by her that she needed to address from descriptions and feelings, giving the her background. “My parents encounter meaning.
“It all started when I found the photo.”
lived in a very traumatic time in history. My mother lost both her parents at 14 years old and her family was broken up into different orphanages. My father left East Germany knowing he didn’t want to stay but that meant he might never see his parents again. As such I had no real connection to any one in Germany, except my grandmother.” The difficulties they experienced had an impact on Caroline. She expands, "We got to Australia when I was two and moved to the western suburbs shortly after. It felt like we had dropped from the sky into a different world of fibro houses, Tupperware parties and bushfires over the back fence.” Her father’s solution was to buy a yacht and it is here where they lived. They sailed up the East Coast on the fringes of society; near Australian shores, far from Germany, but not quite a part of either world, nor having a strong tie to a community or family. “I loved the boat, I adored it. It was a little world of my own,” she remembers. The family sailed for seven years, moving around from Sydney to Cairns and back again. Caroline remembers it as a wild time as sailing back then was very different to now, no safety equipment, less people and undeveloped coastline. She went to ten different schools and experienced a sense of rootlessness. As a child, she tried to make sense of her reality, the problem being: who am I, what am I? “I didn’t hear about Germany from my parents, about the old life there. It’s too hard to tell children things. The Germany they came from was very bleak, very sad, very tragic. But then my grandmother used to send me beautiful books, in brown boxes. Children know things, and they feel things and I was trying to put together these conflicting images. It was almost like a thorn in my side; a puzzle that I didn’t know how to solve.” These picture books were in a style Caroline had never seen anywhere else, done by Eastern
European artists. “The packages arrived frequently opened; there was a lot of security and suspicion about things going backwards and forwards to Germany. The stamps on them looked like they had come a hundred thousand miles. The boxes were tatty, but they were very important to me.” She formed a picture of her grandmother by the books she chose. “She loved me, she loved animals. Her choices formed my vision and my love of watercolours. As a child, I was intensely focused by the imagery and the rhythm of the words - the interplay between the words and the pictures, the words and the pictures.” In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. The following year Caroline traveled to meet her grandmother. She landed in Frankfurt and took a train across the border to former East Germany. There were still the wachturms: watchtowers. On one side there were neatly painted houses of the west. Over the bridge, there were brown and grey decrepit houses; it was a different world. It was nearly dark when she arrived in Deutzen where her grandmother lived, in a street lined with brown stone houses that had been built for the miners. She had asked a man for directions and as he was lighting up the street numbers with his lighter, a woman called from a second story. “Is that her?” It was the next-door neighbour, silhouetted, who pointed to the right house. “I was met at the door. It was a very strange experience. I found my grandmother to be much more complex than I had discovered through her books.” Meeting her gave Caroline a greater understanding into her father and underpinned her motives for writing. She explains, “Grandparents buy books. They make an impact on the child. The books they buy you, the things they show you. Books are an incredibly important part of any child’s life. What you love is in the books and the kids soak it up.” >>
Caroline admits she had great difficulty finding the right words for “Hasel and Rose.” “I conceive of things symbolically and poetically and frequently can’t describe these. I can tell you how it feels; where it came from but I cannot put it into words, and to some degree that is why art is such an appropriate thing for me. It’s very emotional, but it’s a non-verbal form “I CAN TELL YOU HOW IT of communication. FEELS; WHERE IT CAME FROM It leaves you free so you don’t have to BUT I CANNOT PUT IT INTO WORDS, AND TO SOME DEGREE exactly say what it is that drives you or what THAT IS WHY ART IS SUCH AN the intense personal APPROPRIATE THING FOR ME.” experiences point to. That’s in part why I stopped writing and went all the way over to images.” The picture book experience of words and images is like having two languages and that is why Caroline loves them. Quite often the writer and the author are two different people. For many years, Caroline illustrated and drew cartoons. In 2001, she was awarded the Crichton Award from the Children’s Book council for the best new talent in the field of Children’s Book Illustrations. When she fell pregnant with her daughter Jen, something stirred in her. She says, “All the chickens came home to roost. I needed community, and family, people around me. Things like that really matter and then all the personal stuff came up from inside and the story came forward. I began to write it, a few poetic snatches and I drew tons of pictures. I have a box that deep with pictures.” She perceived that often Jen saw the world very differently from her. “It’s like she lived in a snow globe of her own making; it’s incredible. I was astonished at the things she told me when we were looking at the same things; that she picked up on and I did not.” Caroline explains, “How, as a child, do you tell the world from the perspective of a new comer, an immigrant, when as a child you see things completely differently. As I thought about this I came to the conclusion: There’s a story in this.” 12
“AT TWO AND A HALF YEARS OLD, I RECALLED THE HUGENESS OF THE SKY AND HOW VERY SMALL I WAS IN COMPARISON.” The Australia that Caroline’s parents came to was very different from the one she knew. “In Hasel and Rose there’s a physical story with real events, but also there is the premise behind all of that, which is much broader. I didn’t want it to be just about me. I wanted it to be something that people could understand in their own way and that is why the story is written in words and a strong visual narrative, because some people go to the words and some people, the picture.” The story is, in this sense, written in these two languages. The editor in New York (a migrant herself,) who picked up the story, commented that she had never read anything quite like this book before. It was as if it had been written in two different languages. Caroline laughs, “Apart from the English words and image languages, when I started to write ideas a lot of them were in German. I then
translated it back to English. It was weird! The editor could tell that I had switched voices; and that I had switched languages.” Caroline had gone from describing something visual to coming up with something completely verbal, then creating the picture after. She describes it as chaos with a thread! The story Caroline opened the book that lay on the coffee table between us, and we started to read. The story is about a family that has recently relocated and the child, Rose, is found on the opening page, sitting at a window, looking out. She’s a very little thing framed by a very large window and dwarfed by an expansive sky. “This is what it was like,” Caroline explained. “At two and a half years old, I recalled the hugeness of the sky and how very small I was in comparison.” >> 13
We read that hers is a new face in a new town; there is music in the language with the repetition of carefully selected words, making the book sound good read aloud.
her journey begins, in a brown box. We the reader know this, but Rose is still calling, beating a drum and making a very loud noise. The whole family is awake and they too are
CAROLINE REACHES INTO HER BAG, PULLING OUT A BLACK NOTEBOOK, “I’VE GOT 40 PLUS OF THESE.” The two languages described previously: words and pictures, interplay through the pages and we find that Rose is unsettled, unhappy. Each page is filled with motifs and symbolism, which come alive when you look intently at the pictures. The very process of reading is like the quest of discovery that both Rose and Hasel are on. There is an incredibly poignant page where little Rose is looking into the night sky looking and looking “and she wished…but the wish thing did not come.” But then on the very next page there is a shift expressed only in pictures. Hasel, a little stuffed toy, hears the call faraway and 14
now looking out the window for the wish that has no name. A powerful image of a family shoulders slumped, even the dog looks downcast, knowing their Rose is so very sad and nothing can be done to help her. The story shifts between Rose and Hasel, using pictures and words, sometimes just pictures. When reading to a child the world of possibilities within each picture is endless, the things to point out and look for, the mountains, the cable cars, the night skies, the piles of boxes, the light house. Knowing the back story, these images suddenly weigh
more, carry more import. As an adult, I could sense the movement of the plot and the very images shout of urgency. I wanted to call out, “Go, Hasel, go”. Because somewhere in the reading the book became about me; my immigrant move; my friend’s search for meaning in life; my family’s looking for significance in grief … the elusive wish. Then the page is reached when Hasel and Rose are united; there’s a sense of relief, and of a hope and a future. A happy ending for the child and resolution for the adult. The ending “The process of walking backwards and the story kind of bumbled along together like a three legged race. I stumbled for ten years,” Caroline explained. She didn’t walk alone. An Australian editor walked with her. Then her book found a home with the Penguin group and was published in 2014. Caroline knew that hers was a unique voice and not everyone would get what she was trying to say. She explained that she knew there would be children out there who perceive in a visual way and who would understand it, even if they didn’t get the story. “I hoped Hasel and Rose would be a timeless story.”
The epilogue Caroline reaches into her bag, pulling out a black notebook, “I’ve got 40 plus of these. It’s my ideas. I write. I draw. I go to sleep at night and when I wake I have this character in my mind. There’s an idea, then another one, then another one, like a hydra sprouting heads! The character then becomes my responsibility to do something with.” As she flips the pages, I see a bear, a loot, pandanus trees, casuarinas, Point Cartwright. “I like to draw around the coast,” she explains, “I love nothing more than putting in details of the things I see.” Within the pages of these notebooks is the promise of another book. Post Script Today I posted a book to my grandson.
In August, this year the picture book world of Caroline Magerl will be exhibited at the Art Nuvo gallery on Buderim, featuring much of the Sunshine Coast landscape.
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something about time
Mondays are my favourite days. That might sound strange to you but for me, Mondays are a reprieve from some of the madness that is my life. I always endeavour to spend my Monday well. I call Mondays #Mondayfunday. Yeah, it’s a hashtag, I like hashtags. BY DANIEL GETTIS
A FEW MONTHS ago though, the surf was bad, friends were busy… it was Monday, but I was bored. The laundry was done (probably because the surf was onshore and small), the cows were fed, milked and well rested. No they weren’t, because I don't live on a farm. But you get the drift… The chores were done. At last. Rest. But you know what? On this strange Monday afternoon, I found out a fascinating thing about human beings. We don't like rest. We constantly feel the need to occupy ourselves with something. So what did I occupy myself with? Scrolling… what’s scrolling? Well it’s an odd activity. It involves us moving our thumb or index finger slowly across a technical device to ensure we maintain the stimuli we are bombarded with from a wide variety of social networking platforms. Is it wrong? No. Does it feel good at the time? Yes. As I scrolled, I felt
my body surrender and sink into the lounge as I almost instinctively created a comfortable scrolling zone. Moments later (or so I thought) I glanced up at the clock only to find that I had just spent the last 2+ hours… scrolling. Surreptitiously observing everyone’s life from a distance. Honestly, I felt creepy. Then another feeling hit me: guilt. Yup, I felt guilty because I had just wasted the past 2-3 hours staring at a 15.5 x 6.5cm screen. I will never forget the words that came rocketing out of my mouth, like they had been freed from deep within me. “I must quit.” But what about all the things I would miss out on? I would miss out on the invites, the parties! Oh, the parties! The dress ups. I would miss out on knowing all about your perfect latte art (don’t get me wrong >> 17
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, I WAS TRULY LIVING.
I totally respect your latte art, it’s ridiculous). What else. Oh yeah I would also miss out on all the news, the posts, the updates, the hashtags. I LOVE HASHTAGS! I can’t quit. I need this! These thoughts besieged my mind all at once. I felt paralysed at the thought of quitting. But I knew I had to. Later that evening I talked things over with my wife. I may have left out the reason why the lounge cushion now possessed an odd shape that resembled a human body. Why did I leave that minor detail out? Because I was embarrassed. I mean. Come on. Who does that anyway? Scroll through their phone for 2-3 hours? I did. But it was time to quit. My wife and I made a pact. No more social media for the month. We did our obligatory farewell posts on Instagram and Facebook and then waved goodbye to all our friends and family, and embarked on our own little journey, not knowing might what lay around the corner. The first thing I noticed was my time. WHERE DID ALL THIS TIME COME FROM???!?!?! It was so weird. I found myself with so much time. No phone to occupy it, no online profile
to fastidiously maintain, no social media sites to demand my daily ritual payment of it. Nope. I had time… I initially filled it by running around the house excitedly exclaiming to myself, my wife or anyone who could hear me, how fantastic it is to have all this free time! Then I started to do more, shall we say, constructive things with it. Like reading… spending time with my wife… dreaming together… We read, we chatted, we dreamed. It was brilliant. But do you know what the best part was? It was our time. We valued it for what it was. We relished the moments we had together. They didn't need to be shared with anyone, they had value in simply what they were. I finished books like I finished a pack of caramel Tim Tams, I was devouring them. And then I had a thought, an idea that went off like a thunderclap that came from nowhere… Why don't I study? Say what? Study? Yeah. What if I started study? Honestly, I felt like I had been given a life vest and had been given all this extra time, like when you smash out a speedy hot lap in one of the arcade games and you hear a distorted amplified voice yell out, EXTRA TIME!!!
YESSS!!! That was me! So I decided to take the plunge, put this time to use. I enquired, reenquired, spoke to trusted friends, researched a little more and then I enrolled. I started to do things that I had honestly always wanted to do. Why? Maybe because I quit social media for a month, or maybe I just gave myself some time and space to dream, to wonder what might be? I honestly don't know why. But I'm so glad that I did. You know what else was really weird? It almost seemed like time went slower, not only did it feel like I had achieved the unachievable in the video game of life by being given extra time, it also seemed as if time was in slow motion… I used to say, “Gosh I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas,” or, “I can’t believe it’s already September.” We all do it. “Wow I can’t believe I'm 33.” It’s a weird phrase, hey, but we say things like that all the time. Maybe it’s because we feel like time is something that is continually slipping through our fingers rather than being unwrapped and enjoyed. But no, throughout the month I found myself saying, “Wow I can’t believe we are still in the same month!” People honestly looked at me and gave me that look, you know the one where you arrive at a dress up party thinking it’s a Hawaiian theme only to find out the theme was Oktoberfest… and we all know that’s awkward for everyone. They looked at me like I didn't belong or like I was out of my mind. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. Maybe, just maybe, I was truly living. I dare you to create some space in your life to dream, to read, to create, to try something new… because who knows what might lie ahead of you when you do.
BY KELLIE MERRIMAN
She stands on a bridge and looks over its side to the underpass beneath her. It is a long way down. If she jumps off the bridge her crippled aching heart can rest in peace. The evil betrayal she recently endured will no longer plague her dreams and thoughts. There will be no more pain. Although, the finality to this wretched decision is fraught with raw emotions and she is afraid. Miraculously, a sliver of hope rises from her soul and she grasps it. She finds her phone and makes a courageous decision to call someone.
MICK ANSWERS THE PHONE and listens to a distraught young woman spilling out her story. Immediately he knows she is in a place of extreme distress. She confides in him that she is the victim of a rape and assault. She will not live with this violent crime that strips her of all her self-esteem and value as a woman. The horrifying incident envelops her in ways she did not know existed. She believes it will haunt her for the rest of her days and she tells him she is going to kill herself by jumping off a bridge. Mick is the calm voice at the end of the line and just who she needs in this terrifying and distressing state. He is an experienced Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter. He has the specific skills to assist this woman who is in the thick of a crisis. A suicide intervention is required. ‘I can’t imagine what this young woman went through but it sounds shocking. We are trained in crisis support and suicide intervention to assist people to find better options. Mainly, we listen. We are not here to rescue them but to support them to move forward in their life,’ Mick says. 22
MICK IS THE CALM VOICE AT THE END OF THE LINE AND JUST WHO SHE NEEDS IN THIS TERRIFYING AND DISTRESSING STATE.
‘The first thing that needs to happen is to keep her talking and get her to a safe place. When people get into a state of crisis, especially a person who is thinking of death by suicide, they can’t see themselves getting out of it. This isn’t about my clever questions I need to ask her, it’s about what’s going on for her right now. It is real and it is personal,’ he says. There are approaches that the crisis supporters use that indicate a caller is willing to receive support. They include reflective listening questions such as: ‘I hear you say you don’t want to live. Let’s talk about that?’ Mick continues listening and asks, ‘When you picked up the phone to call me, what were you hoping for?’ ‘Crisis support is giving the caller the opportunity to make their own decisions.
People usually know the answers but need assistance to get to that point,’ Mick says. ‘We must remember that they’ve called us so we want to explore that with them. They want to talk as they have taken the first step. They want to get out of the situation they are in but it’s too hard for them to navigate what they are going through. The turning point is when the conversation changes from all the things that have happened in their past to what the future holds.’ Mick spends 90 minutes on the phone with this young woman. His training and experience equip him with the skills he needs to assist her. He helps her make the decision not to jump off the bridge and finds a safe place for her to go where the ambulance and police are waiting to meet her. Fortunately, this organising happens just before her >> 23
mobile battery dies. He knows she will be taken care of and given the appropriate treatment to overcome the next part of her healing journey. While many do not want services to help, this young woman has a relationship with the police about her ordeal and she is adamant that Mick give them a message. ‘Please thank the police for me as they’ve helped me greatly.’ Lifeline states on their website that “A crisis is someone’s personal reaction to an event or an
to be a part of a team, too. I wanted to be connected to the community and the people I served with in a very real way.’ Lifeline Service Coordinator Sunshine Coast, Susan Griffith, says the service exists so when someone is in a crisis we can support them in getting through that and hopefully out of their situation. Death is final. It’s a sobering thought for our community. Usually what lies beneath such decisions are private and difficult issues. However, the next day, or in time, the person
THE SERVICE EXISTS SO WHEN SOMEONE IS IN A CRISIS WE CAN SUPPORT THEM IN GETTING THROUGH THAT AND HOPEFULLY OUT OF THEIR SITUATION. experience in their life they find hard to cope with”. And in the extreme, this can involve death by suicide or suicidal thoughts. Their mission is to decrease the suicide rate on the Sunshine Coast and around Australia. Their mandate states, ‘We’re committed to empowering Australians to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope.’ Mick has taken many calls over his seven years of being a Telephone Crisis Supporter and is committed to his volunteer duties. ‘I experienced a tough bout of depression many years ago. Thankfully, I was supported by family and friends and it was their support that helped me to get through it. I was looking for a way to give back and wanted
can feel better. Suicide and other mental health issues are fragile topics that cause people to clam up when these subjects are discussed. So, how do we listen to them in an effective way? ‘Usually people don’t know what to say to friends or family when they tell them they don’t want to live any more. They aren’t equipped with the skills to know what to do. They freeze. The automatic response is to give advice. “You have so much to be thankful for. What about your kids? Your family? Your job? Think of all those things and you’ll be right. Come on, perk up,”’ Susan says. ‘However, that’s not what people need to hear. An example would be to say ‘It sounds
like you could be in a difficult place. I think we need to get you some help. You scared me so I can’t imagine how scared you must feel right now.’’’
Mick and Susan
To educate people about noticing different behaviour in family, friends and coworkers who might be in the midst of a difficult time, Susan is undertaking talks to community and sports groups. The aim is to educate lay people about what to say when someone confides in you about something they are going through such as: suicidal thoughts, loneliness, death of a spouse, anxiety, depression, grief, panic attacks, self-harm, stress and so on. ‘Also, you can look out for noticeable changes in someone’s life. Is someone you know showing signs of irregular behaviour? This could be a sport mate who once was fit, was a snappy dresser and had an upbeat personality. When you see changes such as sloppy dressing, showing up late, seeming disinterested in activities and/or gaining or losing weight, they are signs that something could be wrong.’ ‘All it takes is a simple phrase, R U OK?’ ‘It’s also okay for the person in a crisis to realise that something is wrong. It’s okay to say, “I’m not alright. Can you help me?”’ >>
Death by suicide on the Sunshine Coast is higher than the national average statistics. The highest risk categories are amongst men who are over 80 and in young men aged 18-35. ‘We need people in the community who are willing to ask the questions of people who may be in a crisis situation. The worst thing that happens is they say ‘I’m fine’ and nothing is lost. However, if they start talking about their problems then you may be the person to initiate them moving through their difficult situation and helping them get the support they need,’ Susan says.
HOWEVER, IF THEY START TALKING ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS THEN YOU MAY BE THE PERSON TO INITIATE THEM MOVING THROUGH THEIR DIFFICULT SITUATION AND HELPING THEM GET THE SUPPORT THEY NEED.
For Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention Call 131114. Online chat and online tools available at: www.lifeline.org.au. No-one needs to face their problems alone. Help is available.
An even simpler way you can save a life is to donate goods to a Lifeline Centre. Funds raised from the Op Shops go toward funding the telephone counselling services. Business Manager, Retail Services, Caboolture and Sunshine Coast, Ian Ezzy says, ‘Leaving donated goods outside of the bins or left at the doors outside of the shops, costs us resources that could go to the telephone counselling services. If it rains the goods are destroyed and we then have to pay for staff and the truck to take the now non-usable items away.’ ‘We ask people to come back and donate their goods at another time when the shop is open. We appreciate the effort the community goes to in contributing to this service that helps people’s lives.’ Susan concludes: ‘We are grateful for our volunteers. If you are interested in training to become a Lifeline Crisis Supporter call 54567064 for information.’
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A R T S
on with the show From a time when shabby was not chic, and “mend and make do” the mantra, let’s look at rediscovering the lost arts. BY ANNE SLAGER
THE SECOND FRIDAY in August will always hold a little nostalgia for me. From the age of five this was the day my granny and I made our annual visit to the EKKA, or more correctly, “The Royal Queensland Show,” I remember the anticipation of that first visit, the overwhelming largeness, the food and animal smells and the visual wonders entailed in this experience. Our transport to the EKKA was first by bus and then by train, and Granny knew the route well. A special train line ran right into the show grounds so when we disembarked we were THERE, and I was ready to take on the show! My granny was a wonderful lady who believed in teaching children the “right” way
to do things from a young age. And, believe it or not, there was a RIGHT way to tackle our EKKA visit. Being young, wide eyed and rather in awe of this more than interesting place, I was very willing for the experience in whatever manner that took. Now you’re possibly thinking my granny took me on some rides, bought a few show bags and some fairy floss before dragging me, the tired child home. Oh no! Granny had a much different agenda! At five years old it was decided that I was plenty old enough to begin the appreciation of the finer things in life… first stop… the handiwork pavilion! Believe it or not, this dusty old pavilion is where my love of the fine arts began, I was mesmerised by the beautifully embroidered >> 27
dolls’ clothes, dressed bride dolls and baby dolls lavished in lace and frills. Granny pointed out the fine knitting, checked out the tatting and crocheting, commenting with words like “pearl thread” and “fine tension”; words I learned the meanings of much later in life. As we moved through the pavilion we stopped to savour the sights of the cookery. Granny explained that all the items on display were part of a competition to see which cook baked the best scones, patty cakes, pikelets and pound cakes. The little plates of baking were each cook’s very best effort. How I longed to be old enough to bake treats like those! The patty cakes were small and iced in white with tiny silver balls precisely arranged on top. Granny pointed out that the judges
DREAMY AND PERFECT TO MY YOUNG EYES.
were looking for even cake texture (I didn’t understand!) and elegant icing. Every item of baking appeared to have come from a fairy tale…. dreamy and perfect to my young eyes. After the handwork and cookery displays we ventured on and real fun was found in the butter pavilion! Logic dictates that dairy products were displayed in such a hall but it was so much more than that! From dancing dairymaids swinging their buckets, >>
Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 5544
to butter churning demonstrations, there was joy to be found there. In the meat pavilion, there was the sausage making butcher. Part of his show was to forget the sausage machine was still operating, thus sending the mince flying across the room! (I believe such demonstrations still exist today but that a large glass window has been installed to protect the audience!!). Lunch was such a treat. Granny purchased sandwiches from the butter pavilion and we sat ring side to watch livestock judging. Although that wasn’t my favourite part of the day, soon Granny pointed out my great uncle over at the wood chopping. He seemed pretty good at this skill as he whacked into the logs of wood in record time. Before leaving for home there were more displays to see on the way to what would now be known as the show bag pavilion. When I was young the bags were known as sample bags, and for good reason. The contents of these bags were quite different to those that are on sale nowadays. They contained true samples of foods, toiletries and home products. Granny knew my love of nicknacks and bought a number of these intriguing bags. I think they were my favourite part of my first EKKA.
On arrival back at Granny’s, I excitedly (and carefully) emptied the contents of the sample bags onto Granny’s kitchen table. I couldn’t wait to show everything to Grandad and give him some treats. My very favourite thing from those bags was a tiny bottle of tomato sauce, about ten cm high. Grandad enjoyed some fancy biscuits, Granny seemed to like some kitchen sponges and a pen and I just loved everything. Most of all I cherished the experience and the time I spent with Granny. I’m grateful for the time she invested in me in sharing her love of fine arts and how this experience widened my knowledge. Granny and I enjoyed many more EKKA excursions over the years, somewhat different to the first trip perhaps, but always with the intention to share and learn. I haven’t returned to the EKKA since my granny died but I have frequented many country shows. Although fashions have changed, cake icing is hardly ever white anymore, show bags are filled with chocolates and flimsy toys, there’s something about sitting on a hay bale ringside on a cool winter’s day, cup of tea in hand, inhaling the atmosphere … Perhaps you might visit one of our local Sunshine Coast shows this show season so you too can say, “On with the show”.
P PA E AR SE RA AD DIIS
BY REBECCA MOORE
We’re a little bit spoilt—maybe even a lot spoilt—living where we do. With sprawling sandy beaches, rolling mountains, winding rivers and beautiful lush green bushland, it seems heaven and earth have collided and we are caught up in the beauty of a little piece of heaven on earth.
When we have those crisp, clear nights, the kids and I will light the outside fire pit, have our dinner around it, look up at the stars and play daggy things like ‘I went shopping and bought…’ and just talk - one of my favourite times.” It seems Bec is not the only one who looks forward to the cooler months. Recently retired couple Alan and Jenny from Palmwoods, are making the most of their retirement by enjoying the beauty of our hinterland regions:
A LITTLE OVER the top? Well, maybe I’m slightly biased, but I do love the Sunshine Coast as I know many locals and visitors do too. Our summer months are a playground for water lovers with surfing, skiing, boating and bathing, and summer tends to extend its allotted three month season, flowing over into autumn and spring to give our sun-kissed bodies more time to bask in the warmth. But there does come a moment when we feel the cool change. It doesn’t last very long but gives us just enough time to pull out our winter wardrobe and don some woolly jumpers for a couple of months. So when this annual phenomenon occurs, what do the locals like to do? “I have two words for winter weekends,” says local mum and business owner Bec, “local sport! We love those perfect magic winter mornings and afternoons to watch my son play soccer and to coach my daughter’s netball team.
“We feel so privileged to be able to retire on the Sunshine Coast,” they say. “One of our favourite pastimes during the perfect winter months, is to explore the diverse scenery. It's here that we discover peaceful valleys, lush green rolling hills, sparkling lakes, rainforests, meandering country roads and quaint villages with their craft and coffee shops. The beauty of our surroundings is so enriching.” Sue from Buderim makes the most of the winter months with family time: “During winter, our family loves sitting around our fireplace toasting marshmallows. The kids each find a green stick with a fork in it to toast their marshmallows. They cook the outside layer and then eat that, and continue cooking each layer to see how many layers they end up with. As a family in winter, we also love rugging up and watching a family movie with some munchies and hot chocolate or playing a fun board game.” Whether it be huddled around a camp fire, fishing, bike riding, hiking, movie watching, or curling up with a good book, winter is a beautiful time to enjoy a season of respite from the heat and find yourself embracing our breathtaking region in all its cosiness.
Co mp a s s io n BY HANNAH COX
Coloured card, bright ribbons, and beautiful stamps aren’t usually the tools used to help children living in poverty, but for Toni Davis, and Pia Kallista, they are just that. Together the ladies create a stunning array of cards, which they sell to raise money to support disadvantaged children. In the process, they have not only helped many families in need, they also developed precious friendships and found new purpose in life.
CARD MAKING WAS NOT something most of the ladies had focused on before; instead the group came together through a series of unexpected encounters. It started in Christchurch New Zealand with Jenny Costello. Inspired by the Christian aid organisation Bright Hope World, and the way they partner with indigenous organisations successfully keeping overheads at a minimum, Jenny and a friend began making cards to support their work. Although based in New Zealand, Jenny spends her winters on the Sunshine Coast and brings her cardmaking with her when she travels. One day a stranger at a Maroochydore bus stop (Toni), struck up a conversation with her. Finding they had a lot in common, the ladies caught up a few weeks later, and Jenny showed Toni some of the cards she was making. In that moment, and to her own surprise, Toni found herself offering to >>
help. While she had only attempted to make cards once, Toni was recently retired and had been praying for something worthwhile she could focus her energy on. It quickly became apparent that assisting Jenny was the answer she had been looking for. Toni was making cards by herself for much of the year until she met Pia. Pia had always enjoyed being creative and had been making her own cards for family and friends before she joined the group, although she says her cards used to be very rough. “I didn’t know the techniques I do now,” she said with a smile. In 2012 Pia had found herself at a crossroads, and had been seeking direction and a new focus as she looked for work either voluntary or paid or both. Then one Sunday morning Pia sat next to Toni at church, and happened to inquire about the craft box at her feet. It only took a few days before Pia also joined the group! Under Jenny’s mentoring, the ladies learnt new skills and techniques, enabling them to create beautiful cards at a professional standard. They were also joined by Ruth and Viv. Ruth Carey heard about the work of Bright Hope World through her nephews whose church in Christchurch is affiliated with the organisation, so she helped by selling the cards to family and friends. Viv Jeffs met and developed a friendship with Toni at church, and became
interested in card making thinking it would be a great activity to share with her grandchildren (which it was!). Viv began making the cards with the ladies when she could and also played an invaluable role in finding and establishing places to sell and display the cards. Spending time together making the cards each week enabled the ladies to grow close friendships, and over time they developed a sense of community, which now also extends to their husbands. It also enhanced their lives in unexpected ways. Their efforts in raising money to care for disadvantaged children gave the ladies renewed purpose at a time when they were all seeking change. Working together as a team also allows the ladies to constantly bounce ideas off each other, and give each other suggestions and feedback about their designs. Each card takes a lot of creativity, patience and up to two hours to create. “It’s like going on a creative treasure hunt,” Toni explained. “Matching colours, patterns, and images, before putting it all together”. Toni’s cupboard is now full of cards for every occasion: birthdays, Christmas, mother’s and father’s days, cards to say thank you or offer sympathy. From elegant designs to the sweet and quirky, it seems there’s a card for just about everyone. The vast majority are >>
TONI WAS MAKING CARDS BY HERSELF FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR UNTIL SHE MET PIA.
PIA, TONI, AND VIV COVER THE COSTS OF THE MATERIALS THEMSELVES ENSURING THAT ALL OF THE MONEY FROM THE SALE OF THE CARDS GOES TO COMPASSION.
unique designs, with only a few repeated due to popular demand or because they have been specifically requested. In 2015, Pia, Toni and Viv, made the difficult decision to change their focus, and begin supporting Compassion. Bright Hope World, the initial inspiration behind the cards, is relatively unknown here in Queensland and people seemed reluctant to support an organisation they weren’t familiar with. The group already had close ties to Compassion, as Viv had been serving on their board for many years. Inspired by her involvement, and drawn by Compassion’s work in caring for disadvantaged families, Toni and Pia felt the organisation was a
perfect fit for the group. While Compassion focuses mostly on child sponsorship, the ladies decided against having specific sponsor children. Instead the money they raise helps to support the many children who have been identified as needing assistance but are still waiting for a sponsorship. (Jenny continues to support Bright Hope World but still joins the ladies to make cards when she is in Australia.)
(based on the Compassion gift catalogue,) it means that the purchase of two cards just about covers the costs of a life-saving mosquito net, seven cards pay to vaccinate a child against deadly diseases, and nine cards raise enough to give a new mother a baby essentials kit. So, it would seem the only question left to ask is: how many people do you need a birthday card for?
One of the biggest hurdles the group continues to face has been finding avenues to sell the cards. It is a challenge they are slowly overcoming. They set up a blog where the cards can be purchased from: www.cards4missions.blogspot.com.au The cards are now also available for sale at the Natural Food Store at Currimundi, bi-annually at the Goodlife Global markets, and once a month on Compassion Sunday at Goodlife Community Church. Ruth Carey also continues to help sell the cards where she can, and requests for specific cards are alwaysÂ welcome. When selling the cards, the ladies find they are frequently asked how much of the $4.50 from the sale of each card actually goes overseas? Itâ€™s a forgivable question given the cards have clearly been made using expensive, high quality materials. The answer, however, is quite simple: Pia, Toni, and Viv cover the costs of the materials themselves ensuring that ALL of the money from the sale of the cards goes to Compassion. To put it into perspective,
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Stay the Course BY GEMMA ROUX
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails” - Elizabeth Edwards
THIS REFLECTION ON resilience, penned by a famous attorney and author, who endured the death of her eldest son, the breakup of her marriage, and a lengthy battle with cancer, has always resonated with me. By definition, psychological resilience is an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of highly adverse conditions, and to recover from hardship. Whilst suffering is an experience we would all rather avoid, facing trials and recovering from significant challenges are inevitable parts of being human. To me, this quote captures a quiet determination to stand firm and persevere in tough times and a flexibility to adapt when things don’t go as we planned, all of which I believe are important elements of human resilience. When observed in action, this remarkable characteristic is more complex than can be captured by a definition. It is more than just “toughness” or “coping,” encompassing elements of softness, vulnerability and
strength that both inspire and challenge the onlooker. Exposure to both the suffering and resilience of humans is part and parcel of being a clinical psychologist, however, this phenomenon has been of particular significance this past year, as many people close to me have faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, including significant physical and mental illness, unspeakable grief and loss and financial crises. In the midst of these calamities I have marvelled not only at the ability of individuals to persist through great trials, but to do so with wisdom, gentleness and grace, and to emerge from some of their darkest days with renewed hope and strength, and an enlarged capacity for love and compassion. Though I am not unfamiliar with hardship, nor with the suffering of others, these circumstances provided me with a fresh and invaluable opportunity to reflect on resilience. Whilst we are all unique individuals with our own beliefs and strengths, and there is no one “right” >>
way to face hardship, it is clear that certain behaviours and choices I witnessed improved coping and enhanced resilience. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I observed a humble acceptance, and acknowledgment, of feelings of weakness, vulnerability and brokenness, along with other difficult emotions, and the ability to see them as a natural and non-threatening part of suffering. There was a deep sense of authenticity in the way that hardship was faced and discussed. In the past, traditional views of strength, stoicism and coping have often encouraged individuals to “bottle up” unpleasant emotions, and hide their fears, weaknesses, and their vulnerability, from others. The “towers of strength” people built in hard times often became prisons of unhealthy coping, and as a result suffering sometimes continued behind closed doors for years. I also observed an intentional and continued sense of engagement (rather than disengagement) with friends and family, a continued effort to practise gratitude in the midst of adversity, and a desire to maintain an outward focus on events that were peripheral to their suffering. The fruits of these efforts in my friends and family became clear as time went on; increased compassion, kindness, humility and empathy, better mental health outcomes and a desire to embrace the present moment, which overtook often observed by-products of suffering, such as blame, cynicism, hard heartedness, withdrawal, battle weariness and even anxiety and depression. Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, personal growth rather than stagnation or even regression appeared to follow these periods of intense hardship. Indeed, research indicates that individuals who have been through adversity often report greater levels 42
of happiness, life meaning and sense of purpose five years on, than those who haven’t. Whilst there is no perfect way to approach our trials, most people would like to face challenges better equipped, and to bounce back from tough times more successfully, particularly if it leads to better mental health outcomes, and even personal growth in the long-term. If I were to collate current research findings, along with clinical and anecdotal evidence about enhancing resilience in the midst of hardship, the following would be my suggestions: Keep moving forward: A good friend commented that in the midst of her darkest days, she still made a deliberate effort to engage in healthy coping behaviours as frequently as possible. While this was often difficult to do, the research clearly does indicate that even in our suffering, the best and most empowering course of action, is action! Whether it be getting out of bed and opening the blinds, going for a walk, practising relaxation, calling a friend or even making a to-do list, maintaining momentum is critical to resilience. Avoiding action increases anxiety about the future and decreases our mood and confidence. Acknowledge your feelings and give them words: Avoiding negative emotions may seem like an effective stopgap measure, but it blocks up and postpones a flood of negative emotion in the future, and can lead to unhealthy coping strategies and poor mental health outcomes. Feelings of pain, anger, grief and fear may seem overwhelming and frightening, but by confronting and allowing ourselves to feel our emotions in a non-judgemental way, we process them more effectively, and move through
hardship more smoothly. Keeping a journal to jot down thoughts and emotions as they rise up can be a helpful form of coping, as can speaking them out to a trusted friend or professional. Limiting the time spent ‘feeling’ difficult emotions to half an hour a day, and alternating with more pleasant and practical activities, decreases the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed. In the long term this practice helps us to make meaning of our experiences, and to incorporate them into our identity and life story, an essential ingredient for resilience and personal growth. Stay connected: Research consistently indicates that spending time with family and friends increases happiness, but during hardship it also serves as a way to access emotional and practical support, share fears and frustrations and combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. In addition, being real with those closest to you during hard times often leads to the development of more authentic and meaningful relationships. Nurture yourself: While the last thing on your mind during a trial may be taking care of yourself, it is absolutely critical to recovering from hardship. By prioritising your physical and emotional health by eating well, prioritising sleep, getting some exercise, relaxing and engaging in pleasant activities you are also building reserves and a strong mind and body to tackle the challenges you face. Find silver linings: Continue to practice gratitude, even in your darkest moments. The benefits of this habit are numerous, but research indicates that shifting your focus from the negative and naming positives during hardship improves mood, helps
maintain perspective and makes us less distressed by difficult memories. Find purpose again: Each day, find one small thing to do that helps you feel purposeful. It may be as simple as writing an email, or tidying a cupboard. Respect and celebrate these small gains, for they form the building blocks for bigger ones. When the time is right, begin to attempt larger tasks and allow yourself to dream about and plan for the future. In time, resilient individuals often find ways to leverage their experience for the greater good. Keep the faith: Always choose to believe that things will get better. Holding on to hope is critical to resilience; for without hope we perish. By choosing to maintain an optimistic outlook, research indicates we adapt better to negative events, experience less anxiety, depression and negative health outcomes, and bounce back better from adversity. So if you are in the midst of a tough time, hang in there, there is always hope. Most of us vastly underestimate our ability to persevere through difficult circumstances and to find joy and purpose again after our days in the desert. And if the winds don’t blow your way, remember to adjust your sails and keep moving forward. Dedicated to Tallow Wild, her beautiful parents, my family and friends and to all those close to me who I have had the privilege of walking with through some of life’s greatest challenges. Your resilience, courage and grace inspire me each day.
D O N’T ME TELL ’T I C AN If Maxine had a life motto it would probably be “Don’t tell me I can’t!” As the youngest child with four big brothers she developed that determination when following her brothers around. She calls it stubbornness. Her brothers weren’t always impressed at little sister tagging along but that didn’t stop her. However it was that stubbornness that gave her the life she has now and it is inspiring. BY MARJAN BEER
MAXINE AND HER husband, Rob, moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2000. Rob had been working for QANTAS on the tarmac in Melbourne. He decided that there had to be a warmer place to live and work so they began exploring the east coast, finally settling on this area. This is a proactive couple. They came without jobs and knowing no one. The first few years they worked at “Meals on Wheels” which gave them the opportunity to get to know the area well and meet lots of people. Later they both worked as couriers, driving all over the Sunshine Coast. On the 26th of June 2005, their lives changed forever, and it was her stubbornness that 46
was needed to bring them through some very difficult days. Maxine had always had low blood pressure but in the days leading up to that day in June she had been feeling dizzy and unwell. That evening she went to bed but within 15 minutes she was vomiting uncontrollably and was soaked in perspiration. Rob, Maxine’s brother and his wife debated whether to call an ambulance or just take her to the hospital. They rang the hospital and they were told not to wait but to get her there as quickly as possible. Maxine’s memory of those hours is that it was just horrendous. She also remembers being grateful that she got the bucket in time so didn’t ruin the bed or the carpet in her bedroom. It’s funny
AT ONLY 52 YEARS OLD SHE WAS NOT PREPARED TO ACCEPT THIS – “DON’T TELL ME I CAN’T!” BECAME HER DEFIANT STATEMENT.
again, nor drive a car. At only 52 years old she was not prepared to accept this – “Don’t tell me I can’t!” became her defiant statement. After a week in Nambour hospital she was transferred to the rehabilitation unit in Caloundra and the battle to regain her independence began. The stroke had not affected her speech or caused any paralysis as it had happened in the part of the brain that regulates balance. She could sit or lie down but as soon as she began any other movement she would lose her balance and the world would spin. At this point she could not walk, shower or dress herself. the things that stick in the mind in really stressful situations. When she reached the hospital she was fortunate that the doctor on duty happened to be a stroke specialist so she was diagnosed very quickly. She says “Someone was looking after me for that particular specialist to be there right when I needed him”. She spent three days in emergency because there were no beds available in the appropriate ward. Her husband and others were told she’d had a stroke but the doctor didn’t tell her because he thought she’d just give up. Her comment was “He obviously didn’t know me!” Maxine was told that she would not walk unaided
Rob gave up work to become her full-time carer and she credits him with helping her persevere with the rehabilitation. After being released from Caloundra she still attended the clinic twice each week. The relentless rounds of exercise continued at home with Rob’s help and continual encouragement. Her stubbornness didn’t take the difficulty out of this journey. There were days when she didn’t want to get out of bed - days of depression and frustration, of hating the helplessness and of wondering if it was worth the effort. However she pushed on – for herself and for her husband. One day she got as far as the letterbox but couldn’t get >> 47
back. Rob couldn’t hear her calling so she had to crawl back in. Every day he helped her practice walking and this meant steering her towards the left because she continually moved towards the right. Not only was Rob helping with the rehabilitation but doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and everything else to keep the household running. Everything took a long time to do, and each normal activity was exhausting. In the early days it could take up to two hours to get up, shower and get dressed. Sometimes it was just easier to use the wheel chair when they went shopping. She remembers the day of her last session of rehabilitation at Caloundra when her therapist told her to walk in a straight line for about 25 metres which she did. Then she told him she was going to run the same distance and did it. This was about 12 months after the stroke, so it was an amazing accomplishment. Maxine is so grateful today for her husband, Rob, the therapists and for her four brothers who instilled that stubbornness which wouldn’t allow her to accept “You can’t do that!” It took another six months until she regained her drivers’ license. Maxine regained so much of her independence but there were things she has never regained. She has lost the capacity to remember things – especially short term memory. For someone who never needed shopping lists or a diary for appointments this is really frustrating. She can also easily forget things such as turning off the stove when cooking so Rob follows her to make sure these things happen – also irritating but she recognises that it is necessary.
It was also impossible for her to return to work but Maxine isn’t the kind of person to sit at home and be miserable. She saw an advertisement for Buderim Craft Cottage offering classes in Calligraphy and Needlework. These were not things she would normally have been attracted to – she described herself as a tomboy and such so called feminine activities were not for her. The first day she turned up, feeling very nervous, she met a woman doing a form of embroidery Maxine hadn’t seen before. This welcoming woman soon had her joined up and involved. This friendly group Maxine credits with saving her sanity – not just in the skills discovered, but with their friendship and encouragement. I first met Maxine at my very first aquacise class at a local community centre. I was also entering a new group of people and apprehensive about looking silly in an activity I’d never done before. Maxine welcomed and encouraged me. I watch people and I have observed Maxine with many new comers – she’s always spurring them on with her mantra – “there’s no such thing as can’t!” She helps and encourages whoever comes along. At first I noticed that Maxine always stayed at the back of the pool, near the edge. It turns out that Maxine can’t swim and was afraid of the water when she first started not long before my first class. Now she works in the middle of the pool although still where she can touch the bottom. She’s still telling herself: “Don’t tell me I can’t!” Maxine is still stubborn and full of courage. Maxine is an amazing woman who is happy to use her experience to encourage others. Just don’t tell her you can’t do something.
MAXINE IS SO GRATEFUL TODAY FOR HER HUSBAND, ROB, THE THERAPISTS AND FOR HER FOUR BROTHERS WHO INSTILLED THAT STUBBORNNESS
GOODLIFE COMMUNITY CHURCH
A gathering of people from a broad cross section of our community who desire to explore what it means to have a relationship with God and one another in the context of faith and spirituality. As Christians we believe that God is the creator of life and that he delights in our discovery of his love and purposes for us. We believe that his love and design for life is revealed in Jesus Christ. WeÂ work hard to create an atmosphere that is friendly and encouraging to all and we hope that all people who desire to will find a place in our church family. 50
“PEACE IS THE BEAUTY OF LIFE. IT IS SUNSHINE. IT IS THE SMILE OF A CHILD, THE LOVE OF A MOTHER, THE JOY OF A FATHER, THE TOGETHERNESS OF A FAMILY.” MENACHEM BEGIN
SUNDAY CHURCH SERVICES 8:15am, 10.00am, 5.00pm
SUNDAY YOUTH CHURCH Grades 7-12 Meet on the hill from 9.30am
SUNDAY KIDS CHURCH 10.00am
Can’t make it? We have podcasts! Find them here... goodlifebuderim.podbean.com Live text captioning is offered bi-monthly for the hearing impaired, check website for dates. goodlife.org.au/community/church under the heading “gatherings” 51
black bean chilli L I S T of I N G R E D I E N T S
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, very finely chopped
2 capsicum, diced (any colours you like)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
2 cans black beans
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cans tomatoes, diced
M E T H O D for C R E A T I N G T H E P E R F E C T C H I L L I
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, capsicum, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, and jalapeno. Sauté until onions are soft. Add cumin, oregano, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook slowly for an hour.
Serve over rice or with corn chips. Top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese, chopped avocado and sour cream.
SERVE - ENJOY - REPEAT - OFTEN
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T H IS
happenings ~ 50 Plus ~
~ Church Services ~
Mixed Social For People 50 Plus email@example.com
Every Sunday @ 8:15am, 10:00am & 5:00pm firstname.lastname@example.org
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Every Wednesday at 9:30am email@example.com
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Futsal, Basketball, Netball, Squash, All Racquet Sports
Every Thursday @ 12:30pm firstname.lastname@example.org
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Operating six days a week firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Group Bible Study Thursdays during school term @ 9:30am email@example.com ~ Gymbaroo ~ Multiple days & times www.gymbaroosunshinecoast.com
~ Kids Church ~ Every Sunday @ 10:00am firstname.lastname@example.org
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FR AGM E N T S
T H E
M I N D
Endings What is it about endings that have a sense of foreboding for some and provide a sense of exhilaration forÂ others? BY TIM LOVELL
IT IS BOTH the known and the unknown that affect people differently. For some the end means accomplishment and reflection. When I think of a competitor in a marathon and the months of conditioning and training that leads to a starting point and then, in a relatively short time, a finish, or an end to the race. This was the ultimate goal… the whole point of the venture was to come to the end and with it a sense of satisfaction. For some the end means sadness and loss. When I think of a lifetime and all that it holds for both the individual living and also for all those connected to that life there is a richness and engagement to something full of energy. It’s what life is about. Life is rich with experience and influence, colour and sound, highs and lows, a series of threads that weave a unique tapestry of story, but one day the spool of thread comes to an end… The sadness and loss feel like enemies to be avoided but they cannot be… they will touch us and we will respond. It’s the end… For some the end means applause and recognition. When I think of the cast of a stage play who have rehearsed and memorised every word and every movement in anticipation of the curtain going up, I know the play doesn’t go on endlessly. When the words are said and the songs are sung and the final bow is taken… the end brings an applause that also eventually comes to an end…
Every end holds potential… Another race to be run, another story to be written of experience and life, another play and another audience… Nothing will go on endlessly… but time and seasons… Seasons… seamlessly rolling one into the next… each with its own characteristics and effects… We say one season has ended but when did it end? It just changed… subtly one came and went and another took its place… There are endless opportunities, endless ventures to be undertaken and numerous ways to approach each one… Our response holds the key to the door of the future. It will either lock it closed or open it wide… May we each find the satisfaction of the finish lines. May we each find the spark of life that draws us on and illuminates our way. May we each know the gratitude of every effort made. But may we go beyond endings and look to what is ahead… Maybe it’s not the end but rather a transition and it should be embraced with expectation… Keep your eyes open and your heart expectant… It’s an end… It’s a beginning…
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” WINSTON S. CHURCHILL
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