Creative Writing Challenge – 23 Thoughts from Dee

I have given myself a writing challenge and this is the first day/assignment on the agenda.

Here’s the run down:

Wrote a blog with 23 random thoughts about things.  Now I am going to expand on each of these.  No idea how this is gonna go, so let’s just head down this creative writing adventure of a rabbit hole together and see where we end up shall we?

Here goes.

First thought/observation from my Chinese/Vietnamese New Years blog was:

  1. You may never know the impact an act of support or kindness has had on someone, but it is entirely probable that choosing kindness has absolutely changed or even saved someone’s life – and you may or may not ever know this, but every genuine act of selflessness and support kicks off infinite ripples of hope in a world that is weary from an overload of fear and aggression.  

How deep am I going to go with this one?  Sigh… pretty deep so hang onto your hat and your heart strings we are going on a ride.

I adore people.  Particularly feel close to and resonate with people who are struggling or need a bit of a hand.  My fave NZ teacher Mrs. Ranier from Stratford High school put on my 7th form reference letter that I was “the candidate and champion of the underdog” as she had watched me defend and support many a walking wounded soul in the short two terms as my form teacher.  She was so lovely.  Do you ever wonder what happened to the people in your life who were kind and really saw you?  Wish I could tell her thanks.


Don’t have to put too much effort into thinking about my rather jam packed and adventure filled life to land on a memory of offering our home, a meal, or a hand up to someone.  I rather selfishly gobbled up opportunities to help people in need through the years.  Younger me was unaware that I was processing the trauma of an awful childhood by offering kind words, resources, and all manor of support and service to all and sundry.  That meant lots of people sleeping on our couch or in our guest houses, picking up countless hitch-hikers (two of them lived with us on and off for months when I was first married to my ex-husband). It also meant embarking on a variety of missions of mercy to help individuals or organisations literally all over the globe.  I was a broken, sad, lonely little girl trying to fill up the empty that was left from an unsafe start to my life by reaching out to heal or help people were hurting.  Wanting to give them the safety I was denied.

The English language is awash with phrases and concepts describing such behaviours.  The act of choosing a life of service and support as a way of managing the hurt in ones heart.  It’s funny how some people get bitter and others become beautiful and seek to help others be better.  

What are some phrases that embody this?  The wounded healer. The empath.  The soft-hearted hero.  The snowflake.  Wounded warrior.  Activist.  Advocate.  Angry feminist perhaps?  

At any rate.  Only a few weeks into this year, I have been absolutely blessed with countless conversations of gratitude for kind acts, and also reminded of a calaedascope of cohorts who have been consistent in their courage and kindness toward me through countless chaotic cycles in my story and theirs.  

Many of the people to cross my path and make me feel this warmth and gratitude felt steamrolled or confused by me at first.  One fabulous friend recalled our very first phone call nearly two decades ago.  I needed a masseuse for my grumpy husband.  Apparently I was A LOT.  Since then we have both left our first marriages and have found delightful second life partners.  It was at her engagement party that she reminded me that I’d helped her through her divorce and she’d been incredibly supportive from the sidelines toward me while I was spiralling toward two consecutive nervous breakdowns.  

We are planning a coven of kindness witchy weekend with some of our fave women at the beginning of May.  All of this lovely warmth and support has come through consistent kindness, with a few long periods of silence between us.  

There’s also been a friend pop in for blue tea with me who swears my bull-in-a -china -shop attidude toward rescuing him helped him stand up in an unhappy and abusive situation.  He suggested my Love and honesty may have actually saved his life.  Not sure about that, think he saved his own life by standing up for himself and starting the long and difficult journey toward self acceptance.  He has good days and bad days and I absolutely relish our time together sipping blue tea on a summery Sunday afternoon.

I just realised I could continue this train of thought almost infinitely.  Sharing stories of kindness and support exchanged freely between myself, and strangers and friends alike.  

Instead I will just leave it here, with a warm glow of gratitude resonating around.

Chosen, actively, not to mention all the fear/hate/ignorance swirling around us and totally wrecking the vibe on our social media feeds. We know that trolls and haters are out there. I am actively choosing not to give them or their activities any oxygen. That’s enough said about that…

Going to end this on a high note.

Here’s some snapshots of some of my sweethearts and some of the lovely wonderful things they have said just since the start of this, what is clearly shaping up to be a truly magical year.

Thanks for reading!

2023 Starting Gently

Sunset 🌅 on the last day of 2022

My big kids have been in touch to say they had a lovely new year. We left them house and cat sitting back in Auckland. They’re both older than I was when I left home and started my new life in Aotearoa, and they’ve grown up to be kind humans who generally make pretty good choices. It’s fabulous.

Daniel dressed up for his ball
Stephanie at Christmas lunch with the step fam

Daniel had a few friends over and Steph got off her shift a little before midnight and wandered down to watch the fireworks display off the sky tower with her work friends.

I will go ahead and assume the cats also had a lovely time, as most days are good days for our two spoiled rescue kitties.

Benedict our three legged boss cat 🐈‍⬛

My husband and I saw the new year in exactly as we intent to see most days in. Gently. Drama free. Filled with gratitude.

Had a lovely New Year’s Eve e-bike ride around Rakiura

It’s the first Monday of 2023 and I’ve been awake since 5:30am as is often the case. A hot bath is run, and there’s kaka and tui making a huge and welcome racket at the open window here in Rakiura, which is the southernmost settlement in Aotearoa. We love it here. There’s no room for pretention or flexing. People live a slower more purposeful life in tune with nature and the seasons.

We came here between lockdowns for the first time some years ago and it’s quite unlike anywhere on earth. We keep coming back as we are guaranteed some forest bathing, beautiful dawn choruses from the many birds, and quite a lot more exercise than we are used to back in Tamaki Makaurau.

Our last trip here we stumbled across a local artist’s gallery on our walk through the bush on our way back from Ulva island. She’s now a world famous up and coming artist. I have some of her original pieces that I keep meaning to get framed and they’ve made it as far as the car but never quite to the actual framers, so that’s a job for this year and I will share them with you in a blog. Shortly after we met her she shone bright as a morning star on an episode of the iconic Hyundai Country Calendar. That episode has brought people to the island and to her gallery, success she takes in stride and wears like a boss. She’s something truly special. Most importantly to me though, she’s just an incredible witchy goddess soaked to the bone with grace, beauty and magic that is entirely unique to someone as connected to a place like this as she most certainly is. A flying visit yesterday reminded me just how wonderful she truly is, but also how blessed I am to have her and a handful of incredible goddesses in my life in 2023 after years of getting kicked when I was down and being surrounded by the wrong people.

Rebecca is a world class artist and an incredible human who I’m very fond of. Can’t wait to see her continue to shine in 2023

Today, for the most part, I am just really happy.  I deeply and genuinely wish the same for you beloved reader.

I am absolutely not ready to leave this magic island after three days with my beautiful, gentle, adoring husband. But a few more days adventuring here in the deep south before heading home to our friends, the kids, the cats and the farm is a wonderful way to welcome what I intend to be a gentle, meaningful, and magical year.

A group of people also enjoying the sunset at lookout point

Ka kite.

Thanks for reading.