Weekly Photo Challenge: 2012 … A Year of Healing

Here’s a baker’s dozen images highlighting my 2012 for this week’s photo challenge.

This past year for me has been about healing and adopting a new way of experiencing life by living simply and simply being.

It isn’t possible to unravel a life time of PTSD-related symptoms overnight. It takes time. My embattled adrenal glands need more relaxation and less stimulation if they’re going to recover. So, I’m letting go of old ways and learning to put the focus on “being” instead of “doing.” Fortunately I have a loving partner who is supportive and encouraging as I make this transition.

Herewith a few words and images highlighting moments from my healing journey in 2012.

... Puppies bring joy ...

In early December 2011, our beautiful Abbey had a litter of eight healthy puppies. By mid January they were delighting us all with their playful antics and cuteness. Is it possible to be around puppies and not feel a sense of wonder and joy?  Simply being with these puppies helped to buoy my spirits.


February found us in Barcelona for a week. Unsure of how the travel stress would effect me I was a bit reticent about going initially, but after consulting with the doctor my mind was put at ease and off I went. We kept it simple and walked enough for me to fall in love with Barcelona’s ancient charm and culture. The journey home took its toll. Still, I wouldn’t have missed this trip for the world.

... Grey ...

March and April are grey months here in Southern Ontario, and I felt pretty grey with it. Migraines, nausea, vomiting were regular and unwelcome companions. (Once I ended up in the emergency room at the local hospital. Kate Middleton’s symptoms without the pregnancy …) I managed to come through that okay and, with the prescribed anti-nausea meds, seem to be able to keep these unpleasant spells, all stress induced, a little more under control. These unpredictable moments are a stern reminder that I must keep my life simple and rest often if I want my adrenal function to recover.

Spring Tulip

Tulips are my favourite spring flower. With my camera I spent many happy moments experimenting with light.

Ring around the sun

Late May gave me pause. A member of the family attempted suicide and by some miracle survived. Before I arrived at the hospital I noticed this halo around the sun, a sign of hope if ever I saw one. Fortunately my loved on has no lingering effects from his act of desperation. Most important is the fact he is getting the help he needs for a full recovery. While it was not a pleasant experience this episode tested my ability to self-manage during a crisis that in the past would have sent me reeling. It was a milestone showing me how far I’d progressed along my healing path.


Two weeks later, two little miracles — seven-week-old kittens who’d been abandoned in a card board box on the side of a busy country road not far from where I live. They’d been rescued by a local barn owner and were awaiting adoption. My aged cat had died the month before and I was feeling lonely for kitty companionship so I dropped by the barn to take a look. These two beautiful boys, Indy and JJ, captured my heart so I brought them home. Another simple reason to smile.

Baby Robin

We enjoyed lovely weather this summer, so I was often able to relax with a good book beside our newly installed bubble rock. Quite unexpectedly this water feature attracted a number of feathered visitors, especially when the weather turned oppressive. This baby robin came by occasionally to enjoy a wonderful play in the cool, burbling water. I found the simple joy of observing nature in this manner quite healing.

Rusty Two

Mid summer I returned to Alberta to visit my recovering loved one. He introduced me to a new member of the family … Rusty … who is playing an important role in his healing process. Interesting to me is how the simple presence of a small (or large) animal can make such a positive difference in a person’s outlook on life.

Horse Therapy

Speaking of large animals, my horse, Shakespeare (aka Bear), is wonderful therapy. He’s such a good-natured boy — the comic Shakespeare — giving me all kinds of reasons to be happy. Simply being in his presence shifts my focus from my cares and puts me squarely where I need to be … in the moment. It’s such a blessing.

collies at play

Yet more animal therapy, this time the girlies — Sass (mother) and Abbey (daughter) — are a great source of comfort and companionship. Their loyalty and playfulness make up for all the hair. 😉 Simply watching them romp during our long walks on a friend’s farm brings joy to my heart.


In October more travels, this time to Australia via Hawaii. We planned this four-day stop to help manage the travel stress. The almost 20-hour trip to Hawaii (including waiting in airports), however, was still too much and I was quite ill for the first several hours upon arrival. Two days later the stress was compounded by a tsunami warning which didn’t materialize into anything but still took a toll on my adrenals. A traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage the next morning helped to purge the tension from mind, body and spirit. The next day we left for …

Family Gathering at America Bay

… Australia, where we attended a family wedding at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. People ask what we did during our first trip to Aus  and my answer: “Absolutely nothing.” It was not a trip about doing, it was about being with people we love and experiencing the moment. It was about keeping the experience simple. The wedding took place within days of our arrival. After that we drifted and rested and relaxed. No plans, just peace. It was a wonderful way to be.


Returning home we stopped in beautiful Maui for three days and then a day in San Francisco. The short overnight flight was, perhaps, the most stressful passage of the trip simply because we got no sleep. It took most of our one day in San Fran to recover. Still, in the evening we enjoyed a lovely fine dining experience in a fabulous Italian restaurant near Union Square. Just being in this beautiful city was amazing.


It’s a challenge to encapsulate a year in 12 (13) images and a little copy, but suffice to say for me 2012 has been an important year of growth, self-awareness and healing.

In 2013 I look forward to further healing and getting stronger so my life can expand.

My blogs have been an important part of the journey during the past 12 months and I appreciate all the visits, likes and comments I’ve received from my blogging friends at WordPress and beyond. As I heal my voice grows stronger and more confident. You are an important part of that healing.

Stay tuned as I reconfigure my blog experience somewhat, including the introduction of a new one dedicated to the life altering magic of travel.

Thank you for visiting, and all the best to you and yours for 2013 …

Be well,

Dorothy 🙂


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2012

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