Some thoughts on my 2015

Saturday 1283  –  2.01.2016

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

Well hello everyone. It has been nine months since I last posted on this blog and Nooooo I haven’t had a baby in that time, in case you were wondering !

I would like to share some thoughts about my 2015, what I’ve been doing since I posted here last and what I’ve been thinking

1 – It’s been a difficult year personally because of ill-health both physical, with heart disease, and mentally, with depression. The first is mended the second is influenced by all the stuff that follows, but I am getting there. Anyone who has visits from the “black dog” will know how difficult that can be as it steals your motivation and self-belief, saps your energy, and affects concentration. Mental illness is still not talked about enough and many sadly still feel they have to hide it because of stigma. It is an illness just like any physical illness and people who suffer it should be treated with understanding and empathy. 

From the World Health Organisation (2012)

“Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men.”

I’m sure I will be writing about this again!

2 – It’s been a helluva difficult year internationally and has certainly not helped the above  – Hate and destruction seem to be running unfettered, across the world, whipped up by the media, xenophobia and fear mongering by many who have vested interests in keeping people in fear: after all people are easier to manipulate and control when they are fearful; are they not? ( there are several posts in here but I have been too overwhelmed to write them yet!)  It is sometimes difficult to remember that the majority of people want peace and harmony to enjoy their lives with their families and friends, but I still believe this to be the case. 

3 – America has to contend with Donald Trump, who taps into that fear and magnifies it 1000 fold. Need I say more?  America led by Donald Trump would be a very scary prospect indeed!

4- Here in the UK we have to contend with Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP ( United Kingdom Independence Party ); some might say a watered down version of Trump.

5 – I’ve always been political but this year, faced with what seems like a cruel and heartless Conservative government, I have put my money where my mouth is and joined the Labour Party, since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader. I intend to be much more politically active in 2016 so I’m sure I’ll be writing about this as the year goes on.

6 – I lost my Mojo for photography and indeed for blogging but I am gradually rekindling my love of the 1st, hoping to share both my photos and my thoughts by way of the 2nd.

7- The world is getting smaller as social media gives us the opportunity to be connected with each other; and in real-time. I discovered twitter this year ( I have been on it for a couple of years but not actively )  It gives you unprecedented access to makers and shakers, nationally and across the globe. It is both exciting and terrible at the same time. It brings out the best in people when they share Missing people’s names or campaign against something unjust but it also brings out rank bigotry and hatred in too many people. It is easy for some people to hide behind anonymity and quick to type something without thought for the effect it will have on others. A double-edged sword indeed!

8- Many of you will know about my passion against injustice, fighting it wherever I find it, but in the 2nd half of this year I felt I should give that up for self-preservation.  Then I got impassioned by a Campaign here in the Uk called #WASPI – Women Against State Pension Equality who are fighting against unfair changes to state pensions for women born in the 1950’s. All  have had their pension age increased from 60, not just once but in many cases twice, with up to 6 years added on; in my own case 5 years and 5 months. The issue has been no or little notification of the change so no time to plan financially. It has caused real hardship for many, most of whom are not against equality of state pension age between men and women but feel they have suffered dis-proportionally.  You can find out more about the campaign on twitter or on Facebook . Main issues Here  and if you live in the UK you might like to sign this Petition to the Government. There will be a debate in Parliament on 7th January.

I am always reminded of what Nelson Mandela said –

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Throughout my life this has always been so very important to me. So the fight goes on and I suspect I will still be fighting against injustice when I have one foot in the grave. I just cannot help myself!

9 – Part of my fighting injustice in the world continues to be my support of Kiva  which I have written about before in a post called A Hand-up not a Hand-out which you can read here

10 – Some things I have been particularly thankful for this year – My beloved children Katy and Steven, my dear friend Helen and many others. The beautiful,natural world of trees, water, animals, birds and insects. How healing it has been to get outside and into nature when I have not been feeling the best. It is reliable and constant. ( and mostly wet at the moment!) I am truly thankful I am still alive and for our wonderful National Health Service which effectively saved my life; an NHS under threat by our Tory government as it is gradually being sold off to the private sector, service by service. 

Finally I would like to wish you all a 2016 full of hope, passion, laughter, love and above all peace and freedom. Please click on the photo below and watch the 3 minute Video. I am sure it will make you smile. Thank you

 Human

More here – Human-the Movie

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.

Saturday Girl signing off.. I promise it will not be 9 months before I post again!

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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9 comments on “Some thoughts on my 2015

  1. […] A couple of weeks ago I wrote my thoughts about my 2015  and mentioned that I had been suffering with depression. You can read that post here . […]

  2. Just want to send my love and best wishes to you Helen. Take care and take photos…
    😇
    John

  3. Bernie has my vote! I’m pleased to here that you are physically well. I’m not at all surprised that depression followed, in fact it seems the natural state after what you’ve been through. And yes, the world is nuts. I admire you for your strength in keeping up the good fight -on all fronts. You are so very talented, so I hope that photography will eventually sparkle for you very very soon. Selfishly, I want to see much more of your exceptional work, and very soon:)

    • Helen Cherry says:

      How kind of you Elena.. The world of artists and photographers on here is very supportive. I have been taking photos on and off throughout really. I guess to be more accurate I should say that it has been the lack of enthusiasm for editing them that has been the problem… getting there 🙂

  4. LensScaper says:

    I agree with so much you have written Helen. It’s brave to admit to ‘depression’ and there are so many people out there (especially men) who cannot take that step of admitting they have a problem, and of course until you admit you have a problem you cannot hope to find solutions or help.
    On a more positive note I do believe that any form of Art works so well as a ‘therapy’. The difficulty is finding that motivation to get out with a camera but finding that first new inspiring image can certainly have a magical effect on lifting spirits. We moved house last November and for months the pressure and hard work of house hunting, selling and de-cluttering consumed every hour. It was hugely stressful. But finding time for photography again since we moved has been a wonderful release. I do hope 2016 will be a better year for you. As for Donald Trump – the man’s a joke, but there are far too many Americans who cannot see that yet.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thank for your kind comments, they are much appreciated Andy. Moving house is very stressful indeed and I completely agree about Art being therapy, in all it’s forms.
      Wishing you health and happiness in your new home.

  5. scillagrace says:

    Great video! Certainly made me smile. And Donald Trump is an absolute joke. I won’t waste my time on him. I am supporting Bernie Sanders – progressive Democratic Socialist! Something new and honest reviving my hopes. My daughter told me about him first about 2 years ago. As mayor of Burlington, VT, he made the city 100% electrically self-sufficient on green energy. I am sporting a bumper sticker on my car even as I hob-nob with the wealthier donors to the Foundation I work at. It starts conversations sometimes. Wealth inequality is way out of control. It’s time for a change!

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