#JournalingInJuly Over 50s Lifestyle

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2

July 13, 2019
#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2

The focus or theme for #JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2 prompts appeared to be ‘Favourites’.  I find it so difficult selecting what my favourite things are because they change depending on how I’m feeling or now that I’m older I look at things differently.  However, there are some favorites that I when I started responding to the prompts seem to be constant.

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2

Day 7 – My Favourite Quote and Why

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 2

I’ve used this quote from Michael Jordan often in my website and even had it as my tagline for quite some time. I find I come back to it regularly and certainly believe that it has helped me in whatever goal or dream I’ve wanted to achieve.  I’ve learned that if I want something it is up to me to achieve it. Sure, I can turn to others for support and certainly had great support from Mike, my children and Saturday Sisters when I ran my first full marathon.  But in reality whilst support and encouragement helped sustain me, I still had to push myself to do the training and overcome the mental challenge running such a long distance.  We can want and dream all we want but we have to make it happen.

Day 8 – My top 5 favourite books and why

Why did I restrict this prompt to 5?  I have so many books that I have enjoyed throughout my life that it was definitely difficult to select my top 5.

  • The Italian Class by Maeve Binchy – I love all of Maeve’s books but this one is my favourite.  It combines many of my favourite things:  the regular characters from her books, the Italian language (I’m married to an Italian) and scenes from Ireland and Italy.  I always feel that reading a Maeve book is like wrapping a comforter around me.  Pure Bliss.  She is my go-to author when I need comfort and to hide away from the world for a time.
  • Trinity by Leon Uris – Mike introduced me to Leon Uris and I was touched when one of his first gifts was several of the books by Leon Uris.  He had scoured secondhand bookstores to find them and I still treasure them after 25 years.  My favourite is Trinity another book set in Ireland during the Uprising. I remember thinking I would love to have another son and call him Connor after the main character, Connor Larkin.
  • Hairy MacLary Series by Lynley Dodd – This is a children’s book series which I discovered through my grandson Ethan.  He has the series and I am always delighted when we read about Hair MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy and his crew:  Hercules Morse (an Old English Mastiff) as big as a Horse, Bottomley Potts (Dalmation) all covered in spots, Muffin McLay (Old English Sheepdog) like a bundle of hay, Bitzer Maloney (Mix breed with some Greyhound) all skinny and bony, Schnitzel von Krumm (Dachshund) with a very low tum and their two arch villians, Scarface Claw (tough old Cat) the toughest Tom in town and Slinky Malinky (Black Cat) who was blacker than black.
  • Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham – I loved this book as a child and also reading it to my children. I would imagine myself transported from my home in Australia to England and living on the River with Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I was first introduced to this book in high school and loved it although I never probably delved deep enough into the back stories at the time.  I’ve enjoyed re-reading it over the years and who doesn’t love Atticus Finch?

Day 9 – My favourite place

I’ve been so fortunate to have travelled to many places around the world and many I want to revisit.  They hold special memories for me and the time I spent there.  I’m struggling to choose one favourite place because apart from travelling, I love being at home reading a book, or visiting my grandsons or running by the Brisbane river. But for this prompt I decided after a walk this morning that the Ocean and where I live is my favourite place.  I love hearing the ocean, the waves crashing or lapping the beach – sunny or stormy – I love it all.  I feel calm and relaxed when I’m here.  I remember before we moved here we would visit for short stays and 5 minutes after arrival I felt relaxed and mentality happier.

I thought I would include a link to a video I made about my favourite place:  https://vimeo.com/346976168

Day 10 – What my favourite day would be

This is a difficult prompt because I have a few ways I would spend my day:

  •  A long lunch with my husband, preferably seafood and with an ocean view
  • Sightseeing and exploring a new city or town or village in another country with my husband
  • Running in a half marathon, coming home for a long hot shower and relaxing with a good book for the rest of the day.
  • Spending the day with my daughter and grandsons.  I rarely get quality time with Rachel so would treasure a day with her.

Day 11 – What brings me joy?

  • Blue skies – sometimes when I look at a cloudless blue sky I can help but be filled with joy
  • My darling grandsons, Ethan and Elliot of course.  When Ethan needs a ‘Nan’ hug or has a long conversation with me as we walk to or from school.  When he shouts ‘Nan’s here!’.  The smile Elliot gives when he wakes from a sleep no matter how long or short the sleep was.  Elliot saying ‘hello’ and discovering he can stand and crawl too fast for Nan at times.
  • Achieving a goal I have been working hard towards. Crossing the finish line after a full or half marathon even though I’m tired, I’m filled with joy that I’ve done it!
  • A quiet weekend relaxing with Mike
  • Travelling and exploring
  • Phone calls with my cousin/godmother who lives in another State
  • Receiving comments on my blog or email telling me that I have inspired or helped someone
  • Nature in general
  • Sunflowers and Daffodils.  The Sunflowers make me smile and the Daffodils always remind me of my Mum.
  • Music
  • Reading and getting lost in a good book

Day 12 – Who inspires me?

I’m inspired by many who just never give up and achieve their goals.  However, my main inspiration came from my Mum and her battle with breast cancer.  I write about her often and miss her dearly.  At 53, diagnosed with a lump which was cancerous in a time when not much was known about the disease or treatment was gut wrenching for the whole family. I remember Mum and Dad walking out of the doctor’s surgery and Dad just broke down.  Mum was stoic and continued to be for the 10 years she lived after the diagnosis. 

I admire myMum because of her courage and ‘never give up’ attitude.  A quiet and gentle soul, she never once complained about what was happening to her, the devastation to her body and the pain.  Not only did she have to cope with several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to the point where her hair never grew back, but she had to face the loss of my Dad.  We didn’t see that coming at all.  He was all prepared for retirement at 65 and would look after his love, (Mum) but he developed bowel cancer and died within six months of retirement.  What a cruel twist.

My Mum battled on for another five years and it seemed that she only accepted leaving us when her children were all settled.

My Mum has inspired me before and after she died and I use her as my benchmark for living my life.

Day 13 – My favourite time of the year

I am confused by my own prompt.  What did I mean when I wrote it?  I’m writing about my favourite season here although I could be writing about Christmas which is definitely my favourite time of year.  Autumn and it’s glorious colours always inspire me. Where I live I don’t see the dramatic change in the leaves but have visited places in particular, New York, Washington,  New England and Nova Scotia where the colours are just stunning.  I love the carpet of leaves when they fall.


Have you been joining in the challenge?  Have you discovered new favourite things this week?


If you missed my thoughts during Week 1 you can read them HERE.


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  • Reply Debbie July 13, 2019 at 07:19

    She many lovely favourites Sue! I love your response to who inspires you, we both seem to enjoy autumn and I laughed at how you confused yourself with your prompts. I really enjoyed the prompts this week and seeing your thoughts. Thanks again for the challenge ?

  • Reply Joanne Tracey July 13, 2019 at 17:02

    Some of these were really tough this week! Great prompts & loved your responses…

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins July 14, 2019 at 01:56

    Hi Sue,
    Loved your favorites…and was pleasantly surprised that your fav, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of mine, too. When I first read it I did not appreciate it for the masterful portrayal of the US south in the 30s and the bigotry and prejudice that existed. I have since read it so many times, and get something new and insightful from it each time. A masterpiece.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2019 at 10:57

      Hi Nancy, like you I didn’t really appreciate the message when I was at school but I have re-read many times and it certainly is a masterpiece and so beautifully written. x

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt July 14, 2019 at 03:45

    Sue, you have a detailed set of answers to your prompts. I have to agree with you that the ocean and beach are favorite places, and how nice you live near one! Your memories of your dear mum are so poignant and I can see why she is your inspiration. What resilience in a time when medical knowledge about breast cancer was still being sought!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2019 at 10:54

      Thanks Terri, I’ve found some prompts more challenging than others but am enjoying the process. xx

  • Reply Candi Randolph July 14, 2019 at 10:16

    Hi Sue, reading your responses to your favorites has helped me get to know you a bit better. Thank your for sharing these important pieces of your life. xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2019 at 10:52

      Hi Candi, it has been a good challenge for me. Sometimes the prompts have been difficult and others the words have just flowed. x

  • Reply Donna Connolly July 15, 2019 at 13:50

    Hi, Sue – So many of the things that bring you joy, are high on my list as well – including sunflowers and daffodils! I can’t wait to discuss some of your points further IRL, soon!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 15, 2019 at 17:47

      I know Donna it won’t be long! Getting excited xx

  • Reply Jennifer jones July 16, 2019 at 10:19

    I enjoyed reading your responses to this weeks orompts and about your favourites Sue. There are a few similarities in our responses this week. Loving #journallinginjuly

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:14

      Hi Jen, thank you for taking part in the challenge as I know how busy you are. I look forward to catching up on your posts.xx

  • Reply Barbie Holmes July 17, 2019 at 06:56

    Hi Sue! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post! My number one favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I first read it when I was 16 years old. I have re-read it at least 5 times, each time I take away more wisdom. My second favourite book is Trinity! Once again, I read it when I was a teenager, probably 17 years old. It was a big read for me then, but I was captivated by Ireland’s political struggles at the time. I read it again in my early 40’s. Time to pick it up again! Your tribute to you mum and her courageous battle with breast cancer and your continued pledge to her legacy and support of finding a cure I find most commendable. Thank you for sharing! Kind regards, Barbie xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:17

      Wow Barbie I’m surprised that we have two books in common and both are just so good I keep revisiting them. Thank you for your lovely comment re my Mum who inspires me even today although she is no longer with me. Her legacy lives on.

  • Reply Suzanne July 17, 2019 at 07:05

    Hairy MacLary Series by Lynley Dodd wins hands down. When I was teaching the children loved these books! There are statues in honour of her book characters on the Tauranga waterfront. #MSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:18

      Hi Suzanne I just love the books and also the TV series. I practically know the books by heart as I read them to my grandson so often. It is a beautiful series that is for sure. xx

  • Reply Natalie July 17, 2019 at 08:13

    Hi Sue – I enjoyed reading your favourites, and got new book titles to read or re-read (To Kill a Mockingbird). Some of the things that bring you joy are on my list as well. #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:13

      Thanks Natalie and I’m pleased you found some new book titles to follow up (although some of them are children’s books but that doesn’t matter to me 🙂 )

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 17, 2019 at 13:06

    Lots of similarities here Sue – I love where I live more than any other foreign country – isn’t it lovely that we wouldn’t swap where we are for anywhere else (many people would envy us!) I love Autumn too (and Christmas – minus any family drama!) and a lot of what brings you joy resonates with me too (soul sisters!) xx
    Thanks for sharing the hosting of another great #MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:05

      I believe we are soul sisters, Leanne because we have so much in common and just ‘get each other’. I truly value our friendship. xx

  • Reply Michele July 17, 2019 at 13:56

    I love Maeve Binchy too! Your Michael Jordan Quote could have been attached to my post this week- I wrote about becoming the person you need to be in order to get what you want to have. My perfect day would be breakfast with my husband, coffee on the beach, an afternoon on the patio with a good book and some sun, and an evening spent over a long dinner and wine with family and good friends. It is not exciting, but it is a fulfilling life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:04

      I don’t think perfect days need to be exciting Michele. Your perfect day sounds very similar to what I would love. It is all about fulfilling our lives and enjoying the moment. I’ve read all of Maeve’s books and continue to return to the familiar characters that I’ve come to know as ‘friends’. We are often on the same wavelength with our posts and feel free to use the quote from Michael Jordan. Enjoy the rest of your week. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 17, 2019 at 15:12

    I enjoyed reading this a second time Sue and your idea of a perfect day and what brings you joy really resonated with me. Sharing for #mlstl

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle July 17, 2019 at 15:49

    Great prompts and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on each Sue. I love autumn and autumn colours too, and thanks for some new book ideas! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:02

      Glad you enjoyed the post Min. It hasn’t been an easy challenge for me but then I suppose that is the point of a challenge – to extend ourselves. Enjoy the rest of your week and hope you are still enjoying the relaxation from your recent holiday. x

  • Reply Deborah July 17, 2019 at 17:41

    I’m a fan of winter myself as I hate the heat though I feel the cold more than I used to. My hands and feet are constantly like icicles and my mother thinks there’s something wrong with me!

    As for a fave place… for me it’s usually ‘home’ and not sure if that’s a place or a feeling!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:01

      Love your last line Deb, home being a place or a feeling. I think it can be either really. A place where you are comfortable and contented is home to me. x

  • Reply Christine July 17, 2019 at 19:52

    ooh, I do love that quote – absolutely right. And I concur with lots of your other favourites as well. Cancer is a cruel thing, and to have taken both your parents. Keep enjoying that special time with your family.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 08:00

      Yes it is my favourite Christine although I am fond of an inspirational quote at any time. Family time is just the best isn’t it? How is your new grandchild going? I suppose it is difficult when you don’t live around the corner but hopefully you can get some visits north soon. xx

      • Reply Christine July 19, 2019 at 10:53

        We’re actually here for a few weeks visiting and dog sitting. Sent you a message the other day re potential coffee.

  • Reply Nancy Andres July 18, 2019 at 01:19

    Dear Sue, What a beautiful post. Yes, I’ve been checking back to see the journal prompts and topics (pinning and resharing when I can). Most of the journal writing I’m doing this month is helping me heal grief of my son’s death. Journal writing has always been (since I was a teenager) a refuge and brings me self-acceptance, understanding, and support. Glad you had this series and thanks for hosting #MLSTL.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 07:58

      Hello Nancy and thank you for your kind comments. I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a child at any age and I send my love and best wishes to you. Grief is such a personal process that we all just have to cope with in our own way and time. I’m glad that journaling is helping you at this time. xx

  • Reply Sally Wessely July 18, 2019 at 04:32

    I tried to leave a comment, but it did not process. I loved reading this post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 07:54

      Hi Sally, your comment did show here and thank you for visiting. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post. Are you taking the #JournalinginJuly Challenge? Are you enjoying the theme? Have a beautiful day!

  • Reply Theresa Muth July 18, 2019 at 05:43

    Hi Sue
    I find it so interesting that the simple things in life give the most joy. I love the idea of the journaling prompts! Sharing on my sm! #MSTL
    Theresa @ fabinyourfifties.com

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2019 at 07:57

      Thanks Theresa, you are right that really the simple things can bring us more joy than what some would see as ‘more exciting’ things in our life. I’m pleased you are enjoying the journaling prompts. Enjoy the rest of your week. x

  • Reply Jennifer July 18, 2019 at 20:08

    I love sunflowers and daffodils. Sunflowers are part of my logo for my blog because I love how they lift their head up and look for the sun. Daffodils remind me of my father who planted them all around the house we grew up in. I’m sorry you lost your parents so close together, but your mom’s strength is amazing especially considering that she was able to hang in there for 10 years in a time when so little was know about breast cancer.

  • Reply Trisha Faye July 20, 2019 at 05:47

    Wonderful post! I enjoy reading and finding out more about you and your life.
    Alas, I’m falling behind on my journaling, not quite making every day. I think the prompts I’ve missed, I’ll continue on with and catch up as I keep going.
    Sharing for MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 22, 2019 at 07:38

      Hi Trisha so pleased you are enjoying the #JournalinginJuly. It doesn’t matter if you miss as life can get in the way sometimes. Just choose which prompts speak to you and write when you can. Have a great week!

  • Reply Christina Daggett July 22, 2019 at 02:08

    Here I am at the way bottom, not able to keep up with my blogging friends. I have a good excuse, though. We’ve been busy transitioning to a new country and applying for residency. I hope I’ll be able to have a post about it all, soon. I loved this journaling post, Sue, because I got to know you a little better, and that was a pleasure!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 22, 2019 at 07:58

      Hi Christina I appreciate you taking the time to comment as you are certainly going through a busy time. I know lately I’ve overloaded myself and am trying to keep my head above water but we do what we can, don’t we? Good luck with your transition and look forward to reading about it when you are settled. xx

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