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A Reflection on 2023

  • January 10, 2024
  • By 50 Shades
  • 4 Comments
A Reflection on 2023

Looking back on the year that was 2023, I can categorically say that it wasn’t the best year. Although, I did cram in a couple of holidays and a magnificent wedding amongst the chaos, it is probably a year I want to forget.

A reflection on 2023 makes me realise that you should never take anything or anyone in your life for granted. Having lost my dear Mum and gone through a marriage separation has been very grounding for me. It’s never easy losing people you love.

January

The beginning of a new year and the loss of my dear Mum at 91 years of age. After a fall, my Mum sustained severely broken ribs and was hospitalised, only to pass away from a heart attack when she was in hospital. She had a rich and full life with 5 children, 8 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

A Reflection on 2023

It was an extremely sad and busy time as I was executor of her will and had to make arrangements for her funeral, the cleaning out of her unit that she owned, and eventually put it up for sale. I was fortunate to have wonderful family help and support around me during this sorrowful time.

February

My birthday month and the start of my journey towards healing following my Mum’s death. It was a month of gentle self-care with loads of family support around me. I never knew how much I was going to miss my beautiful Mum. She was a constant in my life and I saw her at least twice a week.

A Reflection on 2023

For my birthday I was treated to dinner out and a morning tea with birthday cake with some close friends.

March

I spent two weekends in Sydney during March. The first one visiting my daughter and her fiancee in Sydney, where we went for walks, enjoyed a dinner out in Newtown, went to the beach at Tamarama and even played tennis with my daughter’s friends.

A Reflection on 2023
Sydney Harbour

After having to cancel flights to Italy to get on my free cruise, we still had airfares to Sydney. So we decided to play tourists in Sydney on a four day stay. We walked Darling Harbour, caught a ferry across to Balmain and walked around this suburb. We took our daughter to a Thursday night rugby league game. Walked around the Botanic Gardens, took in the new Art Gallery and caught a ferry over to Manly. On the last day I did some shopping in the city.

April

We returned to Sydney a few weeks later to embark on a cruise from Sydney to Hawaii. We were aboard the humungous ship Ovation of The Seas for 18 days, stopping at Bay of Islands and Auckland in New Zealand, then spending five days at sea before we stopped in Moorea and Papeete in French Polynesia. Following another few days at sea we arrived in Honolulu.

A Reflection on 2023
Ready to board the Ovation of the Seas in Sydney

Whilst I was aboard the cruise ship I caught a Flu virus and spent most of my time in my room or up on deck in an isolated spot because I had such a bad cough.

May

After we got off the cruise ship we commenced a 6 day holiday on the Big Island. Here we spent three nights in Hilo and three nights in Kona. We did some great hikes in the Hawaii Volcano Park around the rim of an active volcano and went chasing waterfalls around Hilo.

A Reflection on 2023
The majestic Rainbow Falls

Unfortunately, I had the Flu pretty badly, so had to spend three days in Kona resting and trying to recover.

Later in the month, my family and I spread my late Mum’s ashes into the Tweed River. It was a beautiful day and a touching send off for our dearest Mum.

June

I spent a few weeks living in a holiday apartment in Coolangatta due to the breakdown of my long term marriage. It was a very difficult month, but the time taken out showed me that it would be possible to live and survive on my own going forward.

A Reflection on 2023
A Coolangatta Resort

July

I spent a weekend in Sydney with my daughter attending a Sydney Theatre production called “The Poison of Polygamy”. I also went shopping with my daughter and found a dress for her wedding coming up in November.

A Reflection on 2023

I spent a very pleasant birthday lunch celebrating a Bowls Club friend’s birthday in Kingscliff. My friends at the Bowls Club have been my rock during the year.

August

My son and daughter-in-law asked us if I’d like to come along on a five day family holiday in Fiji on Mana Island. Having not been to Fiji since the 1980s I was eager to spend some time here on this group of South Pacific Islands. I was not disappointed. It was five days of pure bliss.

A Reflection on 2023
Mana Island, Fiji

When I returned I attended my daughter’s hen’s luncheon that was held at a Greek Restaurant in my home town. I had a wonderful day with her friends.

September

I went on a fantastic day trip to Tamborine Mountain with my Bowls Club friends. We all had a great time

My sister and I visited my Dad in Bendigo, caught up with family and friends, and played tourist here for a few days, stopping in Daylesford on the way back to Melbourne Airport.

A Reflection on 2023

October

I celebrated my son’s 35th birthday with his friends at the Bowls Club. We had a great afternoon in the Beer Garden area that is super child friendly for kids of all ages.

A Reflection on 2023
My son and I on his birthday

November

I attended my daughter’s wedding in the Byron Bay hinterland and had the time of my life. It was a glorious and happy occasion. I never knew there could be so much love between two wonderful people. They are a match made in heaven.

A Reflection on 2023
My Daughter’s Wedding

December

After such a hectic year I decided to spend ten days in Vietnam staying in Ho Chi Minh City for two nights, and eight blissful nights in Hoi An.

A Reflection on 2023
Hoi An at night on the river

Christmas came and so did the dreaded Flu virus once again. I was very ill for most of the Christmas period, but managed to enjoy some time eating drinking with family and friends.

Although 2023, wasn’t the best of years for me on a personal level, I am positive about new horizons and also some great overseas holiday plans I have for 2024. Happy New Year everyone!!!



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By 50 Shades, January 10, 2024 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 4

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

4 Comments
  • Debbie Harris
    January 14, 2024

    Hi Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear of your marriage breakdown and wish you well as you navigate 2024 in a totally different way.It’s always great to follow your travels and you’ve had a good year of going to places and bravely on your own too! Take care. xx

    • Kathy
      January 14, 2024

      Thank you so much Deb. It’s pretty rough being suddenly single, but I’m not going to allow it to slow me down or prevent me from travelling this year. I have plenty of trips planned and will be trying to enjoy my life with a positive outlook. Happy New Year! xx

  • Christine
    January 18, 2024

    Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your mum – how devastating – and also to hear you’re suddenly single. May you forge a new happy path in a different way and cherish your memories of your mum.

    • Kathy
      January 22, 2024

      Thank you so much for your kind words Christine. I’m feeling more positive for the upcoming year and will be making lots of exciting holiday plans.

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