Working in mental health, for me crisis management, big and small, can be a daily occurrence. And while helping someone or even myself through a crisis is a good feeling, I don’t believe it is the best part of the experience. Like Marilyn Monroe in the above quote, “Within crisis, are the seeds of opportunity,” I agree that the opportunities that arise after the event are. They create personal growth within us that transforms our lives. We are a changed person, older and wiser. due to the lessons we have learnt or have been forced to deal with due to the crisis.

For more information on my inspiration to get through a crisis stop by my earlier post below.

Getting Through Tough Times

Coffee Catch-Up #10

If we were having coffee I would tell you how glad I am that it is now July because what a month June turned out to be. On top of everything I spoke about in my last coffee catch-up this month has continued to serve up curve balls to challenge us and make us stronger.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the reason I missed coffee last weekend was because I was in hospital after a major allergic reaction to antibiotics.  I am rarely sick so the fact that I got an infection from an unknown source that wouldn’t go away was frustrating. Then, after a week of not getting better to change antibiotics, get sicker and end up in hospital was an eye opener for me. Initially, I looked very beautiful with my swollen face however with time and treatment my face has returned to normal. Each day I feel better, however I am looking forward to getting all my energy back soon.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I taught myself to use Publisher this week. It has always been on my bucket list of things to do and I have looked at it many times before, but always gone back to Word – for me the simpler option. This time I persevered and once I got a handle on it I liked it. In fact, I liked it so much that I have decided to transfer my book to Publisher when I have finished this last edit to see how different it looks and increase my knowledge base of this tool. I may even use You tube and see what other secrets it can reveal. With a coy smile, I would also ask you if you have any Publisher experience or handy hints to share with me.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that despite everything I am loving the simpler, slower pace of life at the moment. Not having to rush anywhere, use what food we have and shop minimally is turning out for me to be very rewarding. Instead of buying a large amount of food on the weekend to make feeding the family quickly after a busy day commuting and working possible, we have made a daily plan together about what we eat based on what we have and suddenly we have so much more time. Because we aren’t rushing for some bizarre reason it takes us even less time to cook, we spend hardly any money on food and we are more creative with our ideas. Who knew?

If we were having coffee I would tell you how on the last day of June my husband discovered that the cat had a swollen left neck. We are so pleased June has ended as we don’t want any more surprises. Turns out the cat just wanted to be like me so he got himself an infection that needed antibiotics. No problem, a quick visit to Uncle Tom (his vet), a big needle and he was sorted.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how interesting it was for me to write my curriculum vitae this week. I have lost all previous copies so had to start from scratch and remember 30 years of history, experience and knowledge. It took me a day and a half but in the end I was very pleased with how it turned out. I am also grateful because I am moving back to my home town city and working on semi retirement, hopefully I won’t need to fill out another one, but hey never say never. None of us ever knows what the future holds. If I didn’t believe this before the June I’ve had, I certainly know it know.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I was to be presented with my Toastmasters Triple Crown Award by the District Director at last weeks changeover meeting. It is a difficult award to achieve as you need to complete 3 educational awards. Last year I decided I was up for the challenge and I set it as my goal during my year as President of one of my club’s. I needed to keep focused and plan well but in the end everybody won and I have a super fancy pin to wear whenever I need an extra boast to be the best I can.Triple Crown Award

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world this last fortnight?


Coffee Catch-Up #9

J – John Williamson

John Williamson is one of Australia’s most iconic country music singers. Last year he celebrated 45 years since his first song Old Man Emu become a hit. During this time he has produced 50 albums, which equates to more than one a year. He is an amazing ambassador for Australia and his songs touch and connect with all generations. He also isn’t afraid to take on the controversial issues. Even today on a road trips with our adult children, his albums are the only ones that we have no arguments about.

I have seen him in concert a few times in the local pubs and RSL clubs (Returned Service Leagues), after which he is happy to come out to meet his people and sign his autograph on albums or books.

Below is a small taste of his different styles including some interesting images of Australia when the albums were produced —brings back many memories for me. The first 3 I grew up with and have definitely united the country and brought about change. The last one is relatively new but connects with me as on retire that is exactly what we want to do — join the grey nomads traveling around Australia with no cares in the world.



But with 50 albums there is definitely something for everyone’s taste. I think True Blue is my favourite John Williamson song, what is yours? Let me know in the comments.

Coffee Catch-up #4

If we were having coffee I would  tell you that I can’t believe it’s already February. As this year is going so fast I have decided to catch up for coffee with you every month.

If we were having coffee I would  tell you how much I miss the beach and how I enjoyed my first swim of summer when my husband and I went to the coast on our mini break over the Australia day long weekend. Most of the beaches were closed due to dangerous surf however we persevered and found one open with life guards patrolling it. Lighthouse Beach I love you as I felt safe enough to go for a swim. The water was so fresh and clean on my skin. I was in my element bobbing in the waves until suddenly……. I found myself out of control under the water being turned around sand churning up. The waves dumped me. It happened so quickly, all I could see underwater was sand and foam. I was grateful that the surf life savers didn’t need to save me but I certainly was reminding myself that they would notice me missing if I didn’t come up. Fortunately I was able to save myself and when I popped up for air I decided I was too shaken to stay so I walked out of the surf attempting to focus I the more pleasant aspects of my afternoon swim. That same day there had been several drownings up and down the east coast of Australia so it was no wonder the beaches were closed.

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Lighthouse Beach


If we were having coffee I would  tell you how excited I am with my new coffee machine. When I decided to get one I wasn’t sure which way to go however in the end I decided to go with the biggest variety of pods and the simplest system. I choose the Caffitaly system and a S22 machine. It is a fully automatic one touch capsule machine that has pods from Twinings, Grinders, Gloria Jeans, Moccona and many more. The first drink I made was an extra strong cappuccino and it was amazing. I am please I paid a bit extra for the machine with the milk attachment included and that I didn’t have to froth my milk separately.

If we were having coffee I would  tell you about a little friend my husband and I found overseeing the water at Lennox Head Beach. He was  lizard of some description although we didn’t get too close to him so as not to scare him off. We thought he was cute, what do you think?

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If we were having coffee I would  tell you the storms in Sydney last we were so fierce that within a two-minute window our courtyard went from having no water in it to looking like a toddler’s swimming pool with 5 centimetres of water. There was so much water the drains couldn’t cope so they forced it back out and into our courtyard which has a cover over it. Then as quickly as the water arrived within the half an hour it was gone again leaving behind mud and leaves to tell the tale.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how I enjoyed the annual catch up visit with my long time girlfriend in early January. We have made it a tradition now as life gets busy and we live in different cities. We spending the weekend reflecting, reminiscing and celebrating the year that was, which helps keep us connected and safe in the knowledge that we always just pick up from where we left off the last time we saw each other.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about spending Australia Day 26th January in regional Australia instead of at home in Sydney. It was a little harder to just go out and BBQ lamb so in keeping with tradition I cooked my lamb when I arrived home from the airport. To help me celebrate I also watched this classic video on the day to remind me of all the great things Australia has. The Big Prawn in this film clip is in one of the cities we visited over the Australia Day long weekend. Enjoy!

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have done in the last month. Let me know in the comments?


Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.

Working in mental health nursing from the age of 18, I learnt quickly how to focus on a room full of conversations. My active listening skills allow me to pick up on things I need to know, allowing me to intercept and redirect conversations if necessary. Despite the many and varied conversation I have listened to in  over 30 years I have never overheard something I wish I hadn’t.  I have however heard many conversations that my active listening skills have changed the outcome for.

My listening skills use more information than just the words the other person is speaking. I add

Look at other person

Include body language

Stop talking



Notice the environment

Changing plans

Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.

My latest 180 degree change in a decision happened by accident earlier this year. I was complaining of always being tired and working late several days a week meant I got home very late as my commute is 1 1/2 hours if I am lucky. Out of frustration I decided to drive to work on my late day and see what happened. Suddenly I was home in half the time and I had still included a 15 minute walk to the car.

Much better.

I surprised my self also be driving to work in peak hour traffic and it taking only about a 45 minute drive. Now I have time to exercise or blog before coming to work and still sleep in until 6am.

Much easier to get my 8 hours beauty sleep in.

Driving most days of the week now has made me a more confident driver again. Although through trial and experimentation I consider what time I want to leave work on any day before deciding how I will get there. If I need to leave before 6pm I will catch the train as the journey will take 1 1/2 either way but on the train is more relaxing.

Being a solutions based person I am always flexible and look for things that may need changing. How I get to work is one change I am happy I have made. I have also chosen to support my staff by working longer hours earlier in the week and as an extra bonus I work all my hours in a 9 day fortnight. Win—win all around.

Do you need to change any plans to get a better outcome? A little review and system change is sometimes what is needed to have a big impact.

Inspiring Hope

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

This prompt is great for me. I am currently in the final editing stage of my book—Inspiring Hope: How Eating Disorder Recovery Is Possible, which I plan to self-publish by the end of this year. It has been an amazing journey and I have learnt a lot. As this is my first book jacket I am interested in people’s ideas about how it can be improved. I look forward to your insight.

Possible Inspiring Hope cover

Do you or someone you know have and eating disorder?

Are you confused by them or how to get help?

Have you lost hope that this monster—your eating disorder can be defeated?

You are not alone

Eating disorders are physical and psychological disorders that defy logic and their harrowing effects impact over one million Australians, their families and the economy.

Inspiring Hope is a concise, comprehensive punchy guide that men and women of all ages find engaging. Written by a specialist eating disorder nurse with many years experience, supporting and guiding those in the recovery maze. This book describes life living with an eating disorder and gives expert insights into eating disorder recovery. Full of practical strategies, Inspiring Hope helps individuals recover and assists loved ones with the best ways to offer support and how not to.

Empowering individuals to take responsibility for their life and to learn how their choices affect their eating disorder, Inspiring Hope demonstrates the steps—forwards and backwards—along their recovery journey. By revealing the mysteries involved in recovery, Inspiring Hope gives hope that recovery is possible.

Quotes from those living with an eating disorder throughout, bring this book to life and encourage readers to start or get back on track with their recovery journey because their spark of hope is ignited.