Saturday, September 1, 2018

How to move forward when things are tough

Dear readers,

Where do I start... I am humbled by your kindness - the comments here and on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and the many personal emails I have received.  Thank you so much - I cannot respond individually, it would mean me crying for hours on end :) but please know I have read every single word (many more than once).

For those of you who have also lost a parent or are in the sad phase of caring for an unwell parent, my heart is with you.  It's something we all have to go through whether we never knew a parent or have lost them.  Some of us are lucky - I feel so - because we have nice parents who love and care for us and got to a *reasonable* age.  I know I have been extremely lucky because my parents are wonderful.  I had a stable childhood with lots of love.  Money was always okay, or if it ever wasn't temporarily we never knew about it.  My siblings and I received encouragement to be ourselves, be independent and make our own fun.

For today's blog post, I want to share something I journalled.  I have had a lot of sadness, as you would imagine, but it doesn't feel good to sit around crying, saying 'W h y?'  Instead I decided to think of all the ways I could honour my dad, because I know he'd be cheering me to go on living my life in a happy way, and to make it even more amazing than it already is.  That's what I would want for my loved ones if I was in heaven.

So, dear Pa, here is how I plan to honour your memory.  From your influence, I will:
  • Live my life my way
  • Do what I'm happy doing and find a way to stop doing things I don't like
  • Make things, have projects, use my creative mind
  • Be organised with my records and money, simplify, keep everything in order
  • Travel to places I want to go to
  • Solve problems: consider the options, work things out, fix things
  • Be proactive with my health, eat nutritious food, try new things
  • Dress in a way that suits my dream life (dad wore jeans and a white shirt with cowboy boots every day)
  • Keep on loving denim :)
  • Have simple pleasures and daily routines
  • Change things up if I feel called to, even big things
  • Live the way others dream about but never do
  • Be kind, gentle, love animals
  • Be generous to others and also honour my own needs for time alone, how I spend my money, etc
  • Design my life around my own unique desires

If you would like your own piece of my amazing Pa, I invite you to borrow his list of wisdom.  You can wear whatever makes you happy though, it doesn't have to be denim :)

In the spirit of creativity, being organised and completing projects, I am excited to say that my book is complete, and I am just finalising the cover.  It will be ready to order next week, that's the plan.  Please don't ask about a pre-order, hehe, it's just too much for me to get my head around.  I'm sure it's very simple to do... but let's keep things simple and I'll just let you know the second it's out, okay?

I can't wait for you to see it.  I am doing a new-style cover and will also be updating my other covers over the next few months.  Exciting times.  I wish you a wonderful weekend and I will see you next week with my new book.  Thank you all for you patience, and also for the many 'gently nagging' emails that have kept me going!  I appreciate them - and you all - so much.

Many hugs to you, from me, Nina and Jessica cats, and Daphne and Chloe dogs.  My sister renamed the dogs Claphne, which I think is just great.  Sort of like Brangelina, but my dogs are on better terms with each other.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Fiona



  1. Hello Fiona, such beautiful way to honour the memory of your Pa. He has clearly inspired you to be your beautiful individual self just as you are generously inspiring other ladies to do so too.
    Hugs, x

  2. Dear Fiona,
    I’m so sorry for your loss but your father sounds like such a wonderful person who truly lived his dream life. I love your list of ways to honor his memory and feel he would certainly love that list too. I’m sorry that you lost him at a relatively young age but as I watch my 94 year old mother’s decline, I’ve begun to wonder about the perfect age for someone to die. There’s truly something to be said for “dying with your boots on”. (Do you have that expression in NZ?) For him to be doing what he loved right to the end must be a great comfort to you.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Charlene

  3. Ha! That last paragraph, Fiona - "Claphne" made me laugh out loud :)
    Congratulations on your book coming out next week, and you're new hair length looks great by the way.

    All those things you listed as inspiration from the way your dad lived his life is something I and everyone should aspire to. Please do honor your dad in those ways, I believe you do already and your blog readers benefit from it - thank you for the many years you've been doing just that here in this space.

    Lots of love to you and keep being exactly the way you are, including any future changes - you're perfect.


  4. You are so inspiring and such an inspiration on how to go through something like this with such grace. It makes me not want to waste a moment.

  5. I will be borrowing your Dad's list :) its so great Fiona.
    Hugs from across the ditch.

  6. You are an inspiration and an honour to your dad. It's Fathers' Day here in Australia and I have no contact with my father in order to protect myself. I'm not sad or angry anymore. It is what it is. I used to envy peers who had loving fathers but I realised that I've had (and still have) many surrogates over the years who've taught me to use tools, drive, fish, long-term financial security and much much more. Here's to loving dads everywhere, whether biological or otherwise ❤️

  7. I'm going to copy your list (and dads) and begin living the parts I'm not yet living. It has inspired me to really jump in and enjoy my life even more. I am taking better care of myself, taking better of my Alpha Hubby, and I especially love, "Live the way others dream about but never do". Leland and I are working to grow bolder, not older, and we're having a blast. We are going on new adventures and living life by our rules (and God's) and our next 24 years together are going to be even more amazing than the first 24 were - and they were top shelve amazing!

  8. Your dad's picture is so cute. I'm sure he's super proud of you. Congrats on finishing your book. YAY!

  9. A great portrait that exudes his upright readiness & self-composure. I keep a favorite picture of my dad in my closet. It is the tiniest of closets and dearly private, where each day I can say 'good morning', 'good night' and 'I love you'. Your list encourages me to reflect on my own father's quips to live by. And the combined names is hilarious btw!

  10. As a long term reader of your wonderful blog, I am so so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I have journaled every day since the passing of my mom last year. All the things she taught me, the friendship we had and her endless humour are still with me daily. My sincere condolences to you and your family. xox wendy from BC

  11. You're an inspiration. Keep strong. I can't wait for your new book. A big, big hug from Mexico.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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