Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mindfulness with Kindness
Jon Kabatt Zinn defines Mindfulness as "The Art of Paying Attention, on Purpose, Without Judgement to the Present Moment."

But “Without judgement” is sometimes misunderstood as meaning passively accepting, and this is not the case:

We all make judgements between “good” and “bad” without even being consciously aware that we are doing so. For example, the majority of us will judge a kitten or puppy, or a fast and expensive car, as good, and a pile of soiled and smelly nappies/diapers as bad. You may have even noticed a physical reaction just now to the images that those words conjured up. Those reactions are spontaneous and unconscious.

So when we say mindfulness is without judgement, we do not mean fighting those natural and spontaneous reactions. Rather it’s about acknowledging them, with kindness, whether we judge them good or bad. 

And it’s also important to understand that acknowledging without judgement is not the same as allowing an unwanted situation to continue. It is acknowledging that it is as it is right now, and no amount of complaining, whining or self reproach will change that. But that does not mean we cannot plan a way to change things.

In his recent blog in Mindful Magazine, Ed Halliwell suggested using the term Kindfulness, and perhaps it would be a good idea to replace “Without Judgement” with “With Kindness” instead.
And this kindness is really what permeates Mindfulness throughout. Kindness to ourselves whenever we find our thoughts wandering during meditation, kindness to ourselves whenever we get frustrated or anxious about things, kindness to ourselves whenever we forget important stuff or make mistakes.
So paying attention without judgement really means acknowledging everything that‘s going on in our mind, with kindness.

As we practice mindfulness regularly, our self-confidence increases, and we develop not only a greater tolerance and kindness towards ourselves, but also towards the people around us.  And with this greater tolerance and kindness comes greater compassion and understanding. And now we really do have the key to changing unwanted situations; because with compassion and understanding comes greater clarity. We become less reactive and more proactive.

So for example, instead of whining and complaining about, or forcefully confronting our boss, we can approach them calmly and voice our concern or disparity with kindness. We may not get exactly what we want, but the process of change has begun, and our self-confidence and clarity will make it more likely that we will reach some solution eventually.

I have to agree with Ed Halliway when he says that if we lose the kindness from Mindfulness, then it really just becomes a form of attention training.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Positive Thinking, not Magical Thinking

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Whenever someone tells me that I've got to face reality, I always ask, which side? Because reality has a positive and a negative. What they really mean is I have to face the negative side. But too many people think that positive thinking means ignoring the negative and pretending all the time that everything is fine.

And that is where the confusion arises:

Positive thinking is more about acknowledging the negative side of a situation and then looking at what you can do to change it. It can also be about looking for the positives within any situation.

Acknowledging the negative does not mean complaining and moaning, and then doing nothing about it. It’s calling it as it is, and then choosing positive action to change it.

If I need a new car, visualizing the new car in my driveway is not enough. The car will not magically appear. Now I know that lots of people will tell you that the power of attraction will cause all sorts of synchronicities and coincidences to occur so that, against all the odds, I will wind up with the new car. And they may be right. But it still will not just appear in my driveway. It still requires some positive action on my part, such as opening a savings account, applying for a bank loan or buying a lottery ticket!

Henry Ford is famously quoted as saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” And he was right.

By Hartsook, photographer. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
If you think something is impossible, then there is no motivation to even try.  Positive thinking is acknowledging that something is impossible in the present circumstances, but given the right circumstances, it may become possible.

For example, I could not run a 10 Kilometre race tomorrow, but with proper training and practice, I probably could in three months time. I would need to focus on my goal and be positive in my thinking. If I keep focusing on how unfit I am right now, or thinking about how difficult the training is, chances are, I will not be ready in three months time. Yes, I am unfit and yes, the training would be difficult and it’s okay to say that. Saying it is not being negative, it’s being real. Focusing on it is being negative.

So positive thinking does not mean pretending all is well and ignoring the negative. Nothing changes that way. Positive thinking involves acknowledging the problem, taking positive action to find a solution, and then focusing on the solution rather than continuing to focus on the problem.

And I know that there are some situations that seem impossible to change: But here's a story of how even the most difficult circumstances can contain something positive:

Some years ago, my friend's sister, Elaine (not her real name for privacy reasons) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Of course, she and her family were shocked and sad, and they went through a period of grieving at first. But then Elaine came to the realization that she was wasting what precious time she had left, so she tried to savour the moments she had with her husband and children. The more she did this, the more she appreciated the life and family she had, and this more positive attitude began to rub off on her family. 

Elaine insisted that they didn't ignore her illness and its inevitable consequences, and that they talked about it whenever they needed to. I remember one day coming into the house with my friend to find Elaine's teenage daughter sobbing on her mother's shoulder. Elaine just held her quietly until the sobbing subsided. We retreated into the garden to give them some space, but after a little while, we were called back to the kitchen where her daughter was making tea. They were talking about how the family were going to cope when Elaine was gone and how it was important to her that they allowed themselves all the time they needed to grieve, but she was adamant that they were not to “wallow in self-pity”.  The conversation moved to reminiscing about the children’s’ early years and before long, everyone was laughing. I will admit that at the time, I found all of this a bit weird.

Some years later I ran into Elaine’s daughter when she was at college. The conversation came around to that day, and she said to me:

“Having my mum dying of cancer was very hard for me, and I still miss her. But the things she taught me during those last months will always stay with me. And I've tried to pass on her positivity to others.”

And then she told me a story:

The year before, her friend’s little brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She told the family the story of how her mother coped, and this family took her words to heart and did their best to savour the time they had with their little boy. They took him to Disney, to football games and tried to have as much fun as possible with him. In fact, the family laughed together more during this time than they ever had before.

 But, this story has a happy ending. The child defied the doctors and eventually made a full recovery from the cancer. And his mother began a local support group for families affected by serious illness.

Both of these stories demonstrate that even in the most difficult circumstances, a positive attitude can make things a little easier to bear.

Both the positive and the negative are realities. Which are you choosing to focus on?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Taking part in the 100 Day Happiness Challenge

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I began the 100 Day Happiness Challenge on 15th December 2014 and finished it on 24th March 2015. I am a generally happy person and appreciate things most of the time, but the challenge was to find something different to appreciate every day, without fail.  And that was what interested me.

It’s easy for me to appreciate the same things day after day, such as my relationship with my husband and my kids, or this wonderful place where we live in the Dublin mountains, or my cat. Finding something different forced me to notice things more, to pay extra attention to my feelings and to actively look for things to be happy about and appreciate. That has to have a positive effect on anyone’s life.

Some days it was difficult to find something to photograph, other days it was difficult to choose just one thing.  My phone is full of photographs that I didn't post. There's a collage at the end of this article of just a few.

There were times when I was just too tired at the end of the day and wanted to go to bed instead of uploading photographs and writing captions. But I noticed as I went along that I had begun to build up a following on this blog and that motivated me to continue. 

Other times, there was stuff going on that was bringing me down, and that was when I found it most challenging. But just looking for something to appreciate often lifted my humour right there and then. 

And there was one day I really couldn't find anything because I was feeling so negative, (My late mother would have said that I got out of bed on the wrong side) so I made that "Yes" poster and hung it behind my computer screen. This worked far better than I expected. Not only that, every time I raise my eyes and see it, it still lifts my spirit and motivates me. 

There are other days that stand out in my memory for being particularly special,  such as the day we first met our newborn Granddaughter. That was also the day I began the challenge so it was a good beginning!

Ever since I was a child, I've loved Christmas Day and this year was particularly special because my youngest daughter was home from the US with her boyfriend, and of course we were joined by my eldest daughter and her fiancé.

And while the sisters were together, we took the opportunity to go wedding dress hunting. That was a lovely day out. I was such a proud mum with my two beautiful daughters! 

The real advantage of taking the challenge is that I have the habit now of looking for more things to appreciate every day.  One of the lessons of mindfulness is that there is more right with us than wrong with us.  We are wired to notice the negative but that’s not very conducive to a happy and successful life. Appreciation re-wires that negative bias so that we notice the positive first. And it’s not just the obvious stuff, like our loved ones and our home; there is positive stuff happening all the time. Taking part in this challenge demonstrated that to me in a very powerful way.

I said at the end of the challenge that I’d continue with in on Instagram. But already laziness has set in. Or maybe it’s just that it’s no longer necessary for to me to photograph everything. I can appreciate it without sharing. But it’s not that I can’t find things to appreciate every day. That bit comes easy now. 

A collage of just some of the photographs I didn't post. Sometimes it was a difficult choice.

Enrol in my Mindfulness Meditation course here for just €12 (US$10) for a LIMITED TIME.  

Enrol in my Mindfulness Meditation course here for just €12 (US$10) for a LIMITED TIME.  

Sunday, 22 February 2015

7 FAQ's about Mindfulness

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I often get questions from my students, or emails from people who go on my website, asking me about mindfulness and how it benefits them. These are the kind of questions I get asked most frequently. 

If you have any questions that are not here, why not ask in the comments section below? I'll do my best to answer you, or to refer you to somewhere or someone that has the answer.

1. How does meditating improve my life?

Whenever we learn a new skill, we need to practice it. And even when we already have a skill, we need to practice it so to improve it and not lose it. The same is true of mindfulness.

Whenever we practice sitting quietly and paying attention to our breathing, or sounds, we develop the skill of focus, of noticing everything around us, of remaining in the present moment rather than continually living in the future or the past. Then we can bring that skill to our everyday activities.

This is beneficial in that it improves concentration and focus and reduces stress.

2. How is paying attention to drinking my tea or coffee better than using the time to check my emails and plan my day?

Paying attention to one thing while doing something else is a habit we’ve all grown used to. But it means that we are continually either thinking about the future or the past instead of being really aware of what’s going on right now.

But if we can train ourselves to pay attention to the current experience, we began to develop the ability to really see the present more clearly, and to learn from it, rather than having a vague or filtered view of what’s going on. Sometimes we don’t want to look at what’s going on too closely because we are afraid we might see something we don’t like. But if we can stay with the experience as it unfolds, we’re more likely to leave our preconceived ideas and prejudices behind.

So, when you are then planning your day, you are not only doing so with your full focus and concentration, you are also doing so with clearer vision and understanding.

3. I found that the meditation was hard: My mind just kept drifting away. What am I doing wrong?

Great! The good news is that the moment you noticed that your mind had drifted away, you were being mindful.
Just gently bring your mind back to the meditation. You will probably have to do this several times during the meditation.
Some days we have to do this every 5 seconds or less. Other days, our mind will be quieter and we may only have to redirect our attention every minute or so. With practice, we get better and better, but we all will still have days when our attention has the staying power of a two-year-old child.
The most important thing is to stay calm and relaxed about it, and regard the thoughts as part of the meditation, rather than interference.

4. How long will it take before I notice mindfulness making a difference in my life?

Not surprisingly, there is a good deal of variability in how this practice impacts people's lives and when they start to see those changes occur.
That said, it's fairly common for people to report within a couple of weeks of dedicated practice that they were able to meet a situation with a new sense of having choice in how they respond. These are the early signs of developing a degree of freedom from our automatic and habitual tendencies.
Something else to consider: Co-workers, family and friends sometimes notice these changes before we ourselves are clearly aware of them.
5. Is it a good idea to listen to music while I’m meditating?

Music can be helpful in keeping you attentive or it can be a distraction. Sometimes we want the music to entertain us because we’re finding it difficult to stay in the moment.

Really, the aim of mindfulness meditation is to stay in the moment, to be aware of what is happening now within our mind and body and music can be a distraction from that.

I would recommend that you try meditating for short periods (5-10 mins) with music at first, and then lengthen the time as you become more comfortable with it. After that, try meditating without the music, and compare how you get on with and without it.

6. I get fidgety when I sit still for any length of time. What should I do?

We are in a habit of shifting and moving to the body’s demands without even being aware of it.

By bringing mindfulness to this habit, we can learn to quiet the body as well as the mind. So whenever you feel the urge to move, acknowledge that urge but without moving. If it helps, say to yourself (silently) “I want to move”, then go back to the meditation. If the urge returns immediately or you feel you just cannot stay still, then make the decision, mindfully, to move.

With practice, you will be able to acknowledge these urges without having to move. But it’s important not to try and ignore the urge, or push it away. Be aware of them and mindfully decide whether to give to them, or not.

7. I’m enjoying the mindfulness meditation, but I still find it difficult to be mindful in my interaction with others. Will this come with time?

As we practice being mindful in everyday situations it does become easier.  So it’s best to begin with situations that do not involve interacting with others.

Try being mindful while walking, on public transport or waiting in line, for example. Just be aware of your surroundings by using your senses: Look at everything you can around you, listen to all the sounds you can hear, be aware of your body; whether it’s warm or cold, comfortable or uncomfortable. Be aware of your thoughts or any emotions you might be feeling.

As you grow more accustomed to doing this, begin to incorporate mindfulness into your interaction with others: Wait for others to finish their sentence before deciding you already know what they are going to say, listen to what they are saying and take a moment before you speak rather than rushing in. Ask questions and wait for people to answer before making up your mind about their motives.

These things become easier the more we practice them. And remember, have patience with yourself. You won’t always get it right, but you will get it right more often.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Who am I?


I've had a couple of emails from readers asking me, among another things, to give a little information about myself. so here goes:

I came across Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living over 20 years ago, long before it was popular. The Buddhist Centre in Dublin, Ireland ran courses there (and they still do) for anyone interested in Mindfulness, whatever their spiritual or religious belief or philosophy.

 Mindfulness quickly became a way of life for me. It stilled my anxieties, helped me to think more clearly and generally calmed me down. In fact, when talking with one of my adult daughters about it recently, she remarked "I remember you learning meditation when I was a teenager. You were unflappable! I know, because we often tried to see how far we could push you!"

Later, while studying for my degree in Applied Psychology at University as a mature student, I became very interested in the area of Positive Psychology and in the Science of Happiness in particular and I continue to study all of the latest research into this area.

Through practising Mindfulness and Positive Psychology, I have a happy and fulfilled life. Now I want to share this knowledge with as many people as possible.

Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you are interested in these subjects. The following are some details of the classes and courses I tutor, both online and face-to-face.

You can always email me at any time for more details, or just for more information on either Mindfulness or Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness.

I am a Mindfulness and a Happiness Coach/Tutor. (More details on my website here)

I provide one-to-one coaching, either Online (via Skype and email) or Face-to-Face (In Dublin, Ireland only). Email me at for more details.

I also tutor an 8 week course of up to 12 people in Dublin, Ireland. (More details here) 

My Online Mindfulness and Happiness Courses are currently available at

If you are interested in either of these Online courses, email me for a personal 50% Discount Coupon.

Keep smiling :-)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Happiness Can Become a Habit


"No one wakes up in the morning and says "May I suffer all day" Matthiew Ricard. 

We all want happiness, or at the very least, none of us chooses to suffer, but how many of us realise that the choice is ours? And while you might say " I didn't choose that my lover left me," or " I didn't choose to live in poverty", what you did or do choose is your attitude towards those circumstances. 

Some years ago, while visiting Kenya, I made friends with a young man named Joseph, who worked in the hotel where I was staying. He lived in a small village nearby, and one evening he invited me to come and have dinner with his family. We drove there in his car, a small 10 year old Honda , and when we arrived we were mobbed by a crowd of laughing children. Most of them wore clothes that were either too big or too small, and all of them had bare feet. The houses in the village were all made of wood, some with a roof of thatch and others of corrugated metal and were small and dark inside. 

To my middle class European eyes, these people lived in dire poverty, but my abiding memory of that evening was the laughter (and the delicious food). Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and younger siblings all lived on top of one another and they had plenty to say, and it seems, to laugh about. 

Later, when I knew Joseph a little better, in my ignorance I asked him if he minded being so poor. ( I still blush when I think of it).  He stared at me wide-eyed for a moment, then said "We are not poor. We have enough to eat, we have a house to live in, and I have a car." 

Now some have said, when I tell this story, that Joseph didn't have experience of wealth and so what he never had he couldn't miss. But he worked in an hotel where dinner in the restaurant cost the equivalent of what he would earn in a month. Everyday he arranged the hire of luxury cars, such as Jaguars, Mercedes and MGs for the guests, then would happily climb into his little Honda at the end of the day and drive home to have dinner with his family.

There are plenty of people in public life who have everything many of us dream of. They have wealth, love, success and it seems, freedom to do as they please. Yet some of them are unhappy and depressed to such an extent that they take their own life.

What does that tell you about happiness?

Research into happiness puts the influence of circumstance on our overall happiness at around 10%. It's our perception of and reaction to circumstances that makes the difference. And this is where choice comes in. But like any new habit, the happiness habit needs to be practiced.

The following TedTalks video by Biochemist, photographer and Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, tells us more:

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Why Mindfulness?


I have often been asked "Why should I learn Mindfulness? What's so important about the present"?

Well, when you think about it, only the present is our true reality: The past is already a memory, and is always influenced by our state of mind and prejudices. The future does not yet exist other than in our imagination. So there is only the present.

Mindfulness is about being in the present, without any pre-conceived thoughts or prejudices, other than one of non-judgement. Without our prejudices, we see more clearly, we are calmer and we make better decisions for the future.

In the present day society, being in the moment does not come naturally. It’s a skill that we have lost.

For example:

When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you usually think about? If you’re like most of us, then you’re thinking about the future from the moment you wake up. Stuff like:
  • What do I need to do today?
  • Who do I have to phone/email/text?
  • I have to take the kids to the dentist after school
  • I’m meeting with my friend tonight for a drink after work, I can’t wait!
And sometimes we’re worrying:
  • What if this doesn't go right?
  • What if I mess up?
  • What if that person lets me down?

All of this goes on in our mind while we’re in the shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast or driving. In fact, right throughout the day. When we’re performing a task that doesn’t take all of our concentration, we’re often already thinking of the next task, and the next. Meanwhile, we’re performing all of these tasks while on autopilot.

And when we’re not thinking about the future, we’re usually thinking about the past. Stuff like:
  • I can’t believe she said that
  • I wish he hadn't done that
  • If only I hadn't made that mistake
  • I had so much fun yesterday
  • I wish I was still there.

Autopilot or in the moment?

How often have you eaten your favorite food while watching television, working on your computer or reading a book, then looked at your empty plate in surprise because after that first bite, you don’t remember anything about eating it?

 Or how often have you just had to stop for a moment and admire the sunset, or a flower, or the ocean? Remember the pleasure that moment brought you?

 Of course, not every moment is as beautiful or joyful as watching the ocean or the sunset, but because we always seem to be thinking of a moment other than the one we’re in right now, we often miss out on important stuff that’s going on around us, or even within our own body.

 As I said above, mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment. It is noticing and acknowledging all of the body sensations, thoughts and emotions associated with that moment. When we’re practising mindfulness, we’re not thinking about the future or the past.

 This doesn't mean that we don’t plan for the future. But there is a difference between planning for or anticipating the future and constantly ‘living’ in the future.

 Meditation, and Mindfulness Meditation in particular, trains us to be present, in the moment. 

We already know from several studies that any meditation is beneficial to our physical and mental health (3). Specifically, meditation has been shown to be helpful for Chronic Anxiety  (4),and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 5; both conditions being associated with stress.(6,7).

 Afraid of Meditation?

 Yes, some people are afraid of meditation, or are unsure of what if involves. Well, here is what it does NOT involve...
  •  Mindfulness Meditation does not have to involve sitting on the floor with your legs crossed in odd positions.
  • It does not have to involve chanting, humming, drumming or movement.
  • Mindfulness Meditation does not have to involve any spiritual or religious beliefs or practices.
  •  It does not require that you close your eyes.
  •  In fact, you can even carry out a mindfulness meditation while walking, driving, standing in line or eating

Once you’re familiar with the technique of mindfulness, through mindfulness- meditation, then you can begin to incorporate it into your everyday life.
We must live through each moment in this life. So, why not live through the moment deliberately, with awareness and thoughtfulness, rather than wasting it by wishing we were in another moment?

Get online Mindfulness Meditation course here for just €12 ($10) LIMITED OFFER

  2. David M. Levy, Jacob O. Wobbrock, Alfred W. Kaszniak, Marilyn Ostergren.The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information EnvironmentProceedings of Graphics Interface, May, 2012i
  3. Friedman R, Steinman M, Benson H. The relaxation response: physiological effects and medical applications. In: Haruki Y. ed. Comparative and Psychological studies on meditation. Tokyo: Waseda University Press, 1996: 205-11.
  4. C. W. Lejuez, et al. "Meditative Therapies For Reducing Anxiety: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Randomized Controlled Trials." Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269) 29.7 (2012): 545-56
  5. Linda Carlson, et al. "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction For The Treatment Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial." International Journal Of Behavioral Medicine 20.3 (2013): 385-396
  6. Arias AJ, Steinberg K, Banga A, Trestman RL. Systematic review of the efficacy of meditation techniques as treatments for medical illness. J Altern Comp Med 2006;12(8):817–832
  7. Ospina MB, Bond K, Karkhane M, et al. Meditation practices for health: State of the research. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. US Department of Health and Human Services Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, NO. 155. Rockville,MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2007.

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100 Day Happiness Challenge


What have Blogspot done with my photographs? I've uploaded them again and again, and still they disappear after a couple of weeks. Grrrr! My apologies to my readers. 

So, I've decided to take the 100 Day Happiness Challenge. Here's my first submission.      

DAY 1 15th December 2014   


 Our new grand daughter, Katie-Rose, was born on 3rd Dec 2014. This is Grandad and she getting to know one another. 

DAY 2  16th December 2014

I went into the shop to buy a Poinsettia for Christmas. They were so nice I decided to buy two. Then when I got home I remembered the candles I've had in the cupboard for ages. Perfect match! It's the little things :-)

Day 3 17th December 2014

Received these in the post (mail) today. Always a pleasant surprise to get something for nothing :-)

Day 4 18th December 2014

This is my mother-in-law. Every Thursday we go shopping and then have a coffee together. I love her to bits. :-)

Day 5 19th December 2014

Yes, it's a door. It's a door I painted today, along with all of the woodwork in the bathroom. Feeling the satisfaction of a job well done :-)

Day 6 20th December 2014

It's late going up this year, but I love it. We put a cheesy Christmas CD on and decorate the tree while singing along. 

Day 7 21st December 2014

Pyracantha Orange Glow-the only bit of outdoor colour these days. Gives me a lift every time I pass by it. 

Day 8 22nd December 2014

 My youngest daughter lives in the US. She's coming home with her boyfriend for Christmas tomorrow. I enjoyed the delicious anticipation, and reminiscing, while getting her room ready today. 

Day 9 23rd December 2014

Belated Birthday Celebrations! 

Day 10 24th December 2014

Hehehe, Santa's on his way! :-)

 Day 11  25th December 2014

Christmas Day with family

Day 12  26th December 2014

More fun family time

Day 13  27th December 2014


A walk in winter sunshine in Dublin's Dun Laoghaire. This is the Royal Yacht Club.

Day 14  28th December 2014

New Pod Coffee Maker. What could be more perfect
than the perfect cup of coffee, every time?

Day 15 29th December 2014

Coffee break in Queen of Tarts while wedding dress shopping with my 2 fantastic daughters. The Bride-to-be didn't find the perfect dress, but we  all had a ball.

Day 16 30th December 2014

Found this old photo of me and my husband (then boyfriend), taken circa 1983, around the time the romance was new and exciting. Happy to say it is still exciting :-)

Day 17 31st December 2014

My beautiful and talented daughter performing Aerial at the New Year Parade 2014-2015 in Dublin.

Day 18 1st Januray 2015

I am currently studying for a Diploma in Holistic and Sports Massage. As part of the course requirements, I must give 5 people a full body massage in one day. Thank you to my family for being my "Guinea Pigs"

Day 19 2nd January 2015

On Day 6 I posted a pic of our Christmas Tree. Today, we took it down. I love the anticipation of Christmas on the day it goes up, and I love the satisfaction of having the place back to normal again when Christmas is over. Happy New Year to everyone reading this :-)

Day 20 3rd January 2015

My Online courses are going well! They're at 

Day 21 4th January 2015

A brisk 5k walk in Cruagh Woods, in the Dublin Mountains. Felt great after the fresh air and exercise.

Day 22 5th January 2015

I am incredibly privileged to live here, in the Dublin Mountains. On mornings like this morning, I am very aware of that privilege. The sun didn't last long, but my good humour certainly did. 

Day 23 6th January 2015

My fantastic daughter-in-law keeps me supplied with photographs of our new little grand-daughter. We don't live near enough to be able to visit them often, so it's so nice to see her growing. I love it when I hear the sound of another picture arriving in my phone. Here she is-just over one month old-and already taking an alert and obviously fun interest in the world. 

Day 24 7th January 2015

This is Harry. He sits outside my bedroom door in the mornings, waiting for me to get up. He won't come in because he knows he's not allowed. Then he follows me around the house, purring. Wherever I settle, he finds a spot close by, if not actually on my lap.  I love our cuddly morning routine.

Day 25 8th January 2015

One of my beautiful Orchids. (I have 4) They grow on my windowsill with very little attention from  me. This one has flowered 3 times already. They looked so beautiful today in the morning sunshine. 

Day 26 9th January 2015

Flights booked, we're off to Lanzarote in March! Yay!

Day 27 10th January 2015


Day 28 11th January 2015

Sisters chatting, Mum and Dad catching up, Nana waving and blowing kisses. Gotta love Skype! 

Day 29 12th December 2015

My daily visitor. Every afternoon 4 of them visit; 2 doe and their (now grown) fawns. This doe looks like she'll have another little one to take care of in the Spring. By then, they will have their beautiful spotted-brown summer coat. But for now, the winter fashion is grey.

Day 30 13th December 2015

Despite the sunshine, there was an icy wind blowing today. (it snowed, hard, shortly after I took this pic).  I enjoyed the 
opportunity to test drive my new fleece hood. Sooo cosy, and soft. I love it!

Day 3114th January 2014

I learned last night how much we take the internet for granted. For some reason, our satellite signal went down (we can't get fiber broadband where we are). We could not believe that we had no internet. That's my reason for not posting yesterday. But on the bright side, we had an early night.

 So, here's the photograph from yesterday:

Spring bulbs, pushing their way up through the snow. 

Day 32 15th January 2015

Lovely day (except for the weather which was appalling!) doing some more wedding dress hunting with Nana. Nana did not want to be included in the picture though so  I had to cut her out. (She felt she wasn't looking her best ;-)).

Day 33 16th January 2014

I was hooked from the first episode. Not in the same league as THE Sherlock of course, but loving it all the same. The Americans went for the conservative option by making Watson a woman, but Jonny Lee Miller outshines Lucy Liu to the extent that you don't notice who or what Watson is. 

Day 34 17th January 2015

Did some training this morning for pre-event sports massage as part of my Diploma course in Holistic and Sports Massage. We did a full body massage in 10 mins, to the beat of Beggin by MADCON (Full body massage in holistic treatment takes an average of 50 mins). Great fun, being both the "client"  and therapist. Felt like going for a run afterwards, and I don't even like running! Energized much?! :-)

Day 35 18th January 2015

I haven't seen my brother and sister-in-law for 9 months until today. We live about 30km apart and get along great. We chat on the phone occasionally and more often via Facebook. We don't have crazy busy lives-it's just that we keep saying "we should meet up" and then never do. So it was lovely to finally meet up today for lunch and catch-up. 

Day 36 19th January 2014

Woke up to this beautiful dawn this morning. Great start to the day.

Day 37 20th January 2015

This is my husband, Brendan, in his 'office'. I took the photo from my 'office'. We share an identical half of the attic space. The staircase (which is in the near side of that railings) divides it in half. It's bright and airy and it works because we each have our own space, yet we can chat, advise or listen to music while we work. Mostly though we work in contented silence. 

Day 38 21st January 2015

Today we tested the menu at the proposed wedding lunch venue-Thank you to the Proposed and the Proposer (Aisling and Colm) for a beautiful lunch-and the great company. 

Day 39 22nd January 2015

Tea and Jaffa Cakes...what more can I say? :-)

Day 40 23rd January 2015

This is Jack (on the left) and Fred, our "4-legged-lawnmowers". They keep the grass short in the acre of rocky ground we have around the house. So short in fact that we have to feed them hay in the winter because there's not enough grass for them to eat. Mucking out is strenuous work and it has to be done, no matter what the weather. But I actually quite enjoy getting out in the fresh air, not to mention the physical activity. It gets the endorphins going and I'm always in good humor afterwards. Besides, Jack and Fred love a tickle under the chin or between the ears, and maybe a little treat of carrots or apple, so they're happy too.

Day 41 24th January 2015

Jack Frost's been painting ferns on the roof of the car again.They are beautiful. Wonder why he only ever paints ferns though...(“I resent the implication that I am solely fern fixated. I can also do a very nice paisley pattern.”( Jack Frost in Terry Pratchet’s Hogfather)

Day 42 25th January 2015

So, I bought an Amaryllis bulb in early November with visions of using the flowering plant as a centre piece for the table on Christmas Day. I left it on the shelf (still in the box) and forgot about it. Remembered it a few weeks later and planted it up, placed in on the windowsill and forgot about it. Remembered it a couple of weeks later and watered it. Forgot about it again frequently but did water it occasionally. This morning, I was greeted with this beauty, exactly one month later than originally envisioned. Considering the neglect I gave it, I don't deserve such a reward, but here it is all the same. :-)

Day 43 26th January 2014

I love living up in the Dublin Mountains, but there are a couple of downsides in being so remote. One of these is the unavailability of cable broadband, so we have to rely on satellite. This has three downsides of its own. One-it can be a bit flaky at times. Two- You will never get the same speed as cable and Three-there is a "per-30-days" limit on the data usage and if you go outside of that, they restrict your speed during busy times to such an extent that the internet is unusable. I can only guess that the latter is what happened last night-hence I am posting yesterday's challenge pic this morning: 

Don't know it they have these anywhere else in the world other than Ireland, and possible the U.K (?) but they are a chocolaty, marshmallowy, cake/biscuit kind of thing and I was absolutely mad about them in my younger days. My late mum would always include a tin of them with my Christmas present every year as a special treat. (For those of you who are unaware of some timeless traditions in this part of the world-a "tin of biscuits" (i.e a large metal box filled with cookies) is a tradition at Christmas time. Every household must have one or two, for sharing with guests and/or scoffing. They are also a popular gift and many's a household will give and receive a number of tins of biscuits over the holiday.

Anyway, when my own mum passed away in 2001, my second mum, otherwise known as my mum-in-law (see Day 4) continued with the tradition, bless her. She doesn't read this blog so I'm safe in telling you that I don't actually love them the way I used to (I find them a little too sweet now), but I do enjoy one now and again. This year, due to a bit of a mix up with presents, I didn't get my tin of Chocolate Kimberley. They disappear out of the shops once Christmas is over, but, yesterday my mum-in-law triumphantly presented me with a small packet of Chocolate Kimberley in compensation of missing out on the tin. I enjoyed eating this one, but much more than that, I enjoy the love that they represent, from my mum and my mum-in-law. Love you both, Mum! 

Day 44 27th January 2014

"What am I looking at?" I hear you ask. Well, if you follow the road, you will see a little orange spot on the left. That is a young vixen fox that ran ahead of my car last night when I was on the way home. I stopped the car when I first saw her so that she could run into the fields, as is the usual behavior of the wild animals that we encounter on the road, but this little lady just stopped too, sat down and looked around her as though she didn't have a care in the world. As I began to slowly move forward, so did she, keeping pace so that I couldn't get any closer. But again, when I stopped, she stopped too. So we continued on like this to the end of the road, when she eventually went in one gate, and I in another. This is one of the many, many upsides of living in the countryside.

Day 45 28th January 2015

There's snow on the ground and a bitter wind blowing outside, but the gentle rumble of this in the background means I'm warm and toasty. Most times I take it for granted, but on a particularly cold day like this one, I appreciate it very much.

Day 46 29th January 2015

It's not just the Google Search Screen, it's the indication that we have internet again! It's been difficult without it for the past 2 days. I can't even use the data on my phone whenever I'm at home because the signal is not strong enough. Seems we've become almost as dependent on the internet as we are on electricity. And I'm happy to have it back. 

Day 47 30th January 2014

10:50 am. That's the time Brendan and I left the house today, instead of Brendan's usual time of 7:30 am. This was thanks to a heavy snowfall last night. In fact, we didn't think we'd get out today at all, but the morning sunshine melted the snow and we were able to drive my car down the hill (around 2 miles/3 km) where we picked up Brendan's car. He was forced to abandon it there last night and walk home because the snow was too deep and slippery to drive up the very steep hill to our house. So, we had a lovely lazy morning, with breakfast in bed and a lingering shower before heading out. All the sweeter for being a week-day and entirely unexpected. 

Day 48 31st January 2015

Coming home to a fire in the hearth, an open bottle of wine and dinner in the oven, after a long day in college. Ahhh... 

Day 49 1st February 2015

Found these during a walk in the snowy woods today. Everything looked so sparkly in the sunshine. January is finally over, the bulbs are popping up through the snow, and the birds and animals are gearing up already. Welcome to Spring!

Day 50 2nd February 2015

Wow, half way there! The time has flown and it's still so much fun.

It may not be the height of sartorial elegance, but this is the fluffy sweatshirt that I wear around the house on cold days, and I love it! It's like being wrapped in a huge teddy bear. It's big enough that I can wear it over a couple of layers comfortably. As I've said before, sometimes it's just the little things that make me smile.

Day 51 3rd February 2015

The landscape all around me this morning was breathtaking. Everything was covered in frost following a night of freezing fog. This is not a pine tree, the spines are actually pure frost. 10 minutes after taking this photo, it had all melted in the sun. 

Day 52 4th February 2015

The photograph doesn't do it justice, but this is the view of Dublin City as I drive down the hill from our house. I never tire of it, even after 14 years. Tonight was a particularly clear night and it looked as though every light was sparkling. 

Day 53 5th February 2015

It's something I don't always remember to do, but whenever I'm in the shower, I try to just enjoy the sensation of the hot water cascading over my hair and skin. It's 3-5 minutes of pleasure I sometimes waste by thinking of stuff I have to do that day. Today, I remembered to just be in the shower,mostly.

Day 54 6th February 2015

I try to eat healthily most days. But now and again, particularly on Friday or Saturday, I enjoy a glass of cider and a "packet of crisps". Tayto crisps (potato chips) are one of the snack foods that Irish people who move to another country miss most. These and Cadbury's milk chocolate. Both are one of those guilty pleasures we all enjoy now and again. Yum!

Day 55 7th February 2015

There may or may not be more snow to come, but the hay is in! Every six weeks or so, while the grass doesn't grow, we fill the shed with hay for our two donkeys, Jack and Fred. (We buy the hay from a local farmer) Seeing the shed full like this gives me a similar feeling of security as seeing the freezer full of food. Let it snow! 

Day 56 8th February 2015

My happiness source today is the much maligned Facebook. Here I am, keeping up to date with my family, close and extended, around the world. Chatting with my daughter and my niece at the same time, while sitting in my arm chair with my feet up, enjoying a glass of wine. What's not to love? 

Day 57 9th February 2015

I'm not artistic, but I wanted to create something positive today to boost my negative mood, so I wrote "yes" in as many languages as I could. (I cheated for a few and used Google Translate). Making it was fun, and now it's hanging on the wall behind my computer monitor where I see it whenever I raise my eyes from the screen. That big "YES!" jumps out at me every time and gives me a lift.

Day 58 10th February 2015

Nature's Art:  The cobwebs are always there, but it takes the mist to show up their lace-like beauty. 

Day 59 11th February 2015

This was my source of happiness today: A cinnamon bun from Simon's Cafe in Georges Arcade, Dublin 2. They are famous and with good reason. Every mouthful is a little bit of heaven. I waited around for 45 minutes until they were taken out of the oven at 1 pm. It was well worth the wait. 

Day 60 12th February 2015

Impulse buying, especially online, is not something I do often, but this caught my eye and confirmed, among other things, that Facebook advertising works! I've been wondering whether or not to take out some FB ads  for my on-line courses (Mindfulness Meditation and Happiness Studies Courses at hugely discounted price of $10 BTW)  but I wasn't sure if they worked. Now I know. Hope the dress fits, but at $10, the sheer pleasure of indulging the impulse was so worth it. 

Day 61 13th February 2014

Mind boggling, exciting, wondrous, entertaining. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe this series. This is one Christmas gift that will not be shoved into a drawer and forgotten about. Still enjoying it, and will continue to do so for a long time. 

Day 62 14th February 2015

Valentines Day Dinner! Delicioso! Buenas noches...;-)

Day 63 15th February 2015

ghd: Stands for Good Hair Day. I was thinking today (tho' not for the first time) how I'd look most days without this. My hair has a mind of its own and it seldom agrees with my mind. So I have to iron it into submission. Today I'm appreciating my ghd.

Day 64 16th February 2015

We have a 13-year-old Nissan Micra which belonged to my late father-in-law. Brendan, my husband, drives a motor cycle most days, but he keeps the Micra for when it's frosty or snowy. Today, it was due to have the annual NCT (National Car Test). We thought the chances of it getting through first time this year were slim, given its age. Usually they'll tell you what needs to be fixed and then you bring it back for another test. We were even wondering whether it was worth fixing if it didn't pass. But it passed, first time! My father-in-law would be pleased, and so are we. :-)

Day 65 17th February 2015.

On day 43 I posted a picture of an Amaryllis bulb that I had planted for Christmas and finally flowered in late January. The bulbs in this picture are also  Amaryllis, but ones that I planted Christmas 2013. One of them flowered then, the other flowered in July. When it finished, I put the pot in the spare room and forgot about it. Today, I found it like this. One is about to flower, the other is beginning to sprout. I love surprises like this.

Day 66 18th February 2015

My daughters, the light of my life. Best friends with one another and with me. How lucky am I? 

Day 67 19th February 2015

The more information you have, the more choices you have. 
It is my ambition to provide information about mindfulness to as many people as possible in my lifetime. I know that mindfulness works. It's been a part of my live for years, I've seen it work for others, and I study the latest research on mindfulness from the leading universities and research institutes across the world. The findings show that it can actually change the structure of the brain, resulting in significant relief from clinical depression. I could go on. And I will, on Tuesday 7th April at Cornucopia in Wicklow Street, Dublin. If you're interested, you can get a ticket at I'm very excited about giving this talk! 

Day 68 20th February 2015

Cleo, my daughter, and her financé's cat (my Grandcat ;-)) climbed onto my shoulder today and just kept giving me kisses. She's never done that before. I love cats! :-)

Day 69 21st February 2015

Today I have two pictures, because I just couldn't choose between these two cuties. Katie-Rose and Leo, our two adorable grandchildren. We're having a lovely weekend, spending time with them and their fabulous Mum and Dad. 

Day 70 22nd February 2015

Harry the Cat waited out the weekend alone. He had enough food, water and litter, but he missed our company. He hasn't stopped purring since we got home. He and I just spent most of the evening cuddling. People who don't know cats say they're selfish and un-affectionate. We who know them, know that they are loving, affectionate and sweet animals. They just don't feel the need to pander to our ego.  We love them, they love us. Simple. 

Day 71 23rd February 2015

The Mindfulness Classes that I teach enjoy having music to listen to while we meditate. But my speaker broke down. Today, I bought this handsome Bluetooth model. The sound quality is so much better than my old one, I'm glad now that it broke down and gave me an excuse to buy this one.

Day 72 24th February 2015

I didn't take this video, as will become obvious. I was shown it today by one of my daughters. This is one of those slow burners: At first you're not sure what's going on, then you slowly realize and you're mildly amused and then for some reason the giggles start. Every time I thought of it I'd start giggling again. I'm even giggling now as I type. And the same has happened for most of the people who see it. That's why it's gone viral. Why is it so funny? Do you find it funny? I'd love for you to let me know in the comments section below.

Day 73 25th February 2015

                                    Kieth Laverack,CC BY-ND 2.0 via

I could hear the Mistle Thrush this morning, but I couldn't see him. (So I borrowed this photograph from Kieth Laverack) The Mistle Thrush's song is loud and long and beautiful. Another sign that, despite the snow yesterday, Spring has really sprung. That song always gives a lift to my soul. 

Day 74 26th February 2015

It's that time of year again: Most of the year, the frogs are very shy and dive down to the bottom of the pond when someone approaches. But for the next week or so, they are too interested in finding love to be shy. This pair were happy to pose for the photograph. Soon the pond will be full of frog spawn and the cycle will begin again.

Day 75 27th February 2015

Today I gave my first Holistic and Conditioning Massage that was not part of my course requirement or for a family member. It was not for a case study, it was not practice for the exams,. It was for someone who was just in need of some nurturing and healing. This is what I learned this skill for. And what's more, this person wants to come back for more. That's the real test that you're doing something right. I'm feeling very happy this evening. 

Day 76 28th February 2015

I'm posting about massage again. Today was the last day of class for my Holistic and Sports Massage Diploma Course. I'm going to miss this class. I'm going to miss the fun, the camaraderie, the learning, the tutors. The super high standard of teaching. I have a new skill that not only I enjoy using but that is of help and use to others too. Thank you Aubrey and Alison, thank you HCD!  

Day 77 1st March 2015

The heavy snow began falling in the late morning and our planned family day was shaping up to be just a quite twosome. But Ash was not to be beaten by the weather and drove through the snow to have dinner with her Mum and Dad. We enjoyed the giggles, the chat and of course, the food. :-)

Day 78 2nd March 2015

I really hoped that I wouldn't still be posting pictures of ice, snow and hail in March, but at the same time, I can't resist its beauty! This is a bunch of hailstones that went sliding down my attic window just as the sun came out this afternoon. Another one of Nature's random canvases. Minutes later, the hailstones had melted away and the sky was darkening again. Right now, the window is completely covered in snow. 

Day 79 3rd March 2015

I'm loving Tuesday evenings at the moment. I'm teaching a Mindfulness course at the local Community Centre. This is the room just before everyone arrives. I've been teaching Mindfulness courses for several years now and every group is different. I love getting to know them as individuals and as a group. And I absolutely love it when they tell stories of how their week went better because they were mindful. It's great to be able to pass on a skill that you know people are going to benefit from. 

Day 80 4th March 2015

I absolutely love this idea! Putting up billboards with inspirational messages on them just to lift someone's day. Or several someone's. The Joy Team are at and they are awesome.  

Day 81 5th March 2015

My mother-in-law has been losing her sight for the past two or three years, due to cataracts. She was bad enough to be certified as blind, she couldn't see more than a couple of inches in front of her, and reading was impossible. And yet she was afraid to get them done. It's been a long hard slog persuading her to do it, but finally, two weeks ago, she got the worst one done. She's a new woman! She's talking about the snow on the mountains, the birds nesting at the bottom of her (long) garden, and how handsome her grandson is! (She told the rest of us we look older ;-). Today she got her reading glasses and is once more able to enjoy the newspaper. Welcome back, Nana! 

Day 82 6th March 2015

Daffodils! My favorite flower; they represents Spring to me like no other flower and always make me smile. They don't last long one they're cut, but mine are not flowering yet so I cheated and bought these in my local supermarket. They lift my spirit every time I look at them. 

Day 83 7th March 2015

Saturday night is date night for Brendan and me. It has been ever since the birth of our eldest daughter. My beloved mother-in-law advised us "Always make time for one another. Remember you are not just mom and dad, you are also husband and wife. When your child (or children) is grown and gone, there will just be the two of you again. Be sure you are not strangers by then." So, Saturday night date night began. The children are grown and gone, but we still have our date night.We cook one of our favourite meals, light candles and enjoy one another's company. Tonight we made fish pie. With white fish, smoked fish, prawns, cream sauce (lots of cream!) and topped with mashed potatoes (made with butter and more cream). 

Day 84 8th March 2015

The path to paradise? Well no, just the path to the top of the ridge. It was a beautiful bright day today, albeit with a cold wind blowing, especially on that ridge! But it's so good to get out in the fresh air for some exercise! 

Day 85 9th March 2015

This is the view from the skylight just above my desk. Every time I looked up today the sky was different, and with the rain on the glass, it reminded me of an impressionist painting. So I have my own personal impressionist painting, that changes every few minutes. 

Day 86 10th March 2015

I know I posted about the frogs last week, but today it was the sounds that made me happy. I'm used to the birds declaring their territory loudly these days, and at first I thought that my neighbour was using a drill, or there was a small helicopter approaching, but instead, it's the sound of the frogs, declaring their territory too! Listen carefully and you will hear them...

Day 87 11th September 2015

Why would my washing machine make me happy? Because it's been broken since last week and today it was repaired. Funny how we don't appreciate something until it's taken away from us. Today, I appreciate my washing machine.

Day 88 12th March 2015

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

It may seem odd to post a picture of a man who has just passed away in a happiness blog. Of course I'm not happy that Terry Pratchett is no longer with us. But his books have brought so many of us happiness and laughter, and will continue to do so forever, that it seems appropriate to mark his passing here.

Day 89 13th March 2015

I was sitting on the deck, enjoying the Spring sunshine when I caught sight of this little lady, enjoying the sunshine too. Yep, Spring has definitely sprung!  

Day 90 14th March 2015

I was introduced to this recently by my daughter. It. is. delicious. And so much better for you than peanut butter! 99% almonds, 1% salt. I am totally hooked.Had some this morning on a croissant for breakfast. Yum!

Day 91 15th March 2015

Mother's Day flowers from my daughters. Thank you Aisling and Emer.  :-) :-)

Day 92 16th March 2015 

I bought a new cabin-case today for our holiday. That means it's getting close! Whoopee, see you soon, sunshine! 

Day 93 17th March 2015

Celebrating St Patrick's Day with the "Mudder-in-Law". Enjoying afternoon tea/coffee and cream cakes. 

Day 94 18th March 2015

Suitcase packed, tickets and passport ready, hair and nails done. The anticipation is half the enjoyment. See you on the other side...

Day 95 19th March 2015

And here we are, dining al-fresco in a lovely Mexican restaurant with a very nice bottle of wine. It's raining, (we're under a canopy) but the forecast for tomorrow is good, and besides, it's never warm enough to eat outside at home in March! Just enjoyed a friendly chat with the lovely people at the table beside us. Good company, good food, good wine...what's not to love? 

Day 96 20th March 2015. International Day of Happiness 

It's not difficult to be happy when you're on holidays, with a view like this from our apartment balcony. Winding down nicely now...

Day 97 21st March 2015

This made me laugh today. On day 89, I took a photograph of one ladybird on the deck at home. They are fairly common in Ireland but it's usually cause for remark when you see one. I don't know if it's remarkable or usual here in Lanzarote at this time of year, but the place is swarming with them! We've been here many times, but never in March. They were bumping into us as we walked along the beach, and this rock was only one of hundreds that were covered with them. Just as well they're so cute. If they looked like any other beetle, I have to admit, I'd be a bit more grossed out. It did make me laugh though.

Day 98 22nd March 2015

This is my beautiful and talented daughter, Emer ( who lives in the U.S. It was lovely to open Facebook this morning and see a bunch of gorgeous photographs of her and her handsome boyfriend, taken on their way to a friend's wedding and posted by her boyfriend's mother. I know I've said it before, and I'm saying it again, I love Facebook. My sister emigrated to Canada in the 1970's. We didn't even have a telephone in our home. The only way to communicate was through the written letter and my mother read and re-read those letters until the next one arrived. Twice or three times a year, my sister would telephone our neighbour's house, and he would run to get us, almost as excited as we were. We would all stand in this man's hallway, huddled around the phone, talking quietly so as not to waken his small children who were sleeping upstairs. Now, we have Skype, Email, Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, Facetime and of course, the telephone. I love them all, but Facebook in particular, I suppose because it gives me a little window in the lives of my loved ones. I've been looking and re-looking at these photographs all day, and later, I can talk to Emer in one of many ways. I don't have to wait weeks for the postman. My mother passed away in 2001. She saw only the beginning of this technology and loved emailing my sister and getting an almost instant reply. This technology makes me feel that my daughter is not that far away, and that makes me happy. 

Day 99 23rd March 2015

We've been here in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, since last Thursday, and the weather has been a little disappointing at times. The rain and chilly weather are unusual at this time of year here. Even the locals are complaining. But this afternoon, the sun came out and we had lunch at a beautiful little restaurant right on the beach. Then we walked the 3 kilometers along the beach back to our apartment, our feet splashing in the water. Heaven! 

Day 100 24th March 2015

Day 100! The last day of this challenge. I guess I could have included a photograph of Brendan on any one of the last 100 days. He is the source of my happiness most of the time, he is always there for me, supporting, loving, cheering me on, We have been married for 30 years, and it's never grown old. We haven't always shared the same viewpoint about life, spirituality, politics or even parenting sometimes (although that worked out pretty good in the end!) Of course we get on one another's nerves now and then. But we are best friends (and more) and I am grateful for and appreciate our relationship every day. I am content in my own company, but I enjoy being in Brendan's company more than anything. 

I have enjoyed this challenge immensely, and intend to write a separate blog on my experience. I also intend to continue the exercise on Instagram from here on in. I'll be posting just the photograph without the explanation or caption. 

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