Tag: Christmas

The paradox of our time

(This essay appeared under the title “The Paradox of Our Age” in Words Aptly Spoken, Dr. Moorehead, 1995)

The paradox of our times

Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers.

Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but we have less.

We buy more but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses, but smaller families.

More conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees, but less sense. Read More

Christmas… rescheduled!

Sometimes life just throws tantrums and curveballs because of your illness – missing out on Christmas with my nieces and uncle at the very last minute is just one of those moments. But then you realise that your family’s love, acceptance and support will keep you going long after the Christmas holidays, no matter what.

Instead of Father Christmas giving you presents, they want him to take away your sorrow.

They know that Christmas can’t be bought in a store, but instead is given in invisible mountains of love.

They feel your anguish and wished they could take your physical pain from you.

They root for you, uplift you and guide you.

You feel empowered by them being there, even when divided by country borders.

You know they believe you, even when you wonder if your illness has truly knocked you out cold, taken you hostage and you don’t understand the new rules of the game anymore.

Christmas is not found under a tree, but in the hearts of those who love and care about you.

Happy Christmas, wherever you may be.


©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to wrap friendship

“It doesn’t just happen to myself, of course. It seems a trait linked to social media relationships. We think we’re talking to them over a coffee in Starbucks, but in fact, everyone can hear your words. Friends reply less when words fall between the cracks of self-censorship.”

Image of respect in friendshipFlirty Sprinklepants reporting for duty, sir!

Kind of.

With that name, and only two weeks away from Christmas Day, and I still haven’t had that sprinkly, Rudolph-like wintery feeling just yet.

Oh dear.

No presents yet. No Christmas Day clothes to wear yet on the very day itself. Even putting up my Christmas tree yesterday resulted in it looking rather… boudoir-like. Tacky even. Hell, it simply belongs in a red light district. Whoever said to try red berry fairy lights in my tree… You are a marked man. Read More

#FestifyMS your desk Christmas appeal

“If you’re in Ireland, text Festify to 50300 to donate €4 for Christmas. If you want to give a larger amount if you are living abroad, you can go to http://ms-society.ie/pages/donate to donate any amount you wish to the society. A lifetime membership costs €50 ($67 or £40), and ensures much-needed services to people with MS can be retained or improved.”

Image Festify MS Ireland

You might think, “Not another picture about MS!?”

You’re right. It is another picture about MS. This one however, is different.

I hope that after reading this article, you will have learned how the Irish MS society (also called MS Ireland), is able to provide hope where there’s none, not only through utter commitment and hard work, but also with quiet strength. Read More

Two more awards!

versatile-bloggerWith all the Christmas hustle and bustle, I forgot I was chosen for two WordPress blog awards, given by other WP bloggers! Sheen of Flowers and Breezes told me four days ago about the awards, so apologies for the late reply and nominations.

I want to thank Sheen for being such a great blogger and nice commentator, Sheen is still grieving the loss of her husband and spends time between Pakistan and the US. Please do visit her blog, the link is mentioned in the above paragraph.

The Versatile Blogger Award and the Dragon’s Loyalty Award share the same way of forwarding and awarding, so I will combine both here. Each person I nominated therefore get both awards.

I looked up some of the meaning and rules of the Versatile Blogger Awards (VBA) and found this: “When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them. Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”

The VBA rules are as follows:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy.
  •  Save and add the VBA and Dragon image on your blog.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Telling 7 things about myself is a bit of an exercise, but I’ll have a go either way! Here we go:

  1. I’ve been awake since 11.30pm last night. Considering it’s now 7am, I am giddy of strong tiredness and I need to get rid of as soon as possible. It is Christmas Eve after all. We had a big storm for the last 14h or so, and there’s no sign of it ending soon. When I get so tired I can’t think straight anymore, I get giddy. Teenage-girl kind of giddy. My mum and I were singing songs at 3am, and discussing our favorite native dialect. No alcohol needed here; we’re mad enough as we are!
  2. A few of my big pastimes are writing, reading, talking about books, buying books, trying to write books, rearranging bookshelves that aren’t mine and dreaming of books.
  3. Given the chance, I’d jump straight back into the workforce. Having followed library education and 7-year experience working in one, it’s my first choice. I also have a Counselling diploma (with merit!) and had a fantastic time working in one of the many multinationals in Ireland, so I have options if only there was a cure for MS. This means that come 2020, I want – no, I will – be back at work. I will need to hijack the cure for MS because whomever has it, is not showing his/her face right now. And I need that bloody cure!
  4. While I can talk for Ireland, I find making lists like this extremely hard!
  5. People describe me as relaxed and caring. Treat me with disdain, ignorance, arrogance and/or selfishness however and I will show you the door faster than you can click your heels. I may seem able to be treated unfairly, but my patience will not be tested forever. Treat others as you want to be treated yourself… That is my motto in life.
  6. I talk in my sleep. About history. Chickens. Grass. Books. Laundries…
  7. Gladly entertain the idea that creationists need to go back to Sunday school, that evolutionists rule the world (way to go, Charles Darwin!) and that I love Stephen Hawking! On the other side of the scale, I adore Scrat (of Ice Age), Pinky (of “the Brain” fame), Alf, Garfield, Donkey (from Shrek) and other simple minds.

Here are my 15 Versatile Blogger awards to blogs I love!

  1. lookingthroughanotherseyes.wordpress.com
  2. chorariasaurabh.wordpress.com
  3. farfromdonedotcom.wordpress.com
  4. evelynrookey.wordpress.com
  5. backontherock.wordpress.com
  6. socialbridge.wordpress.com
  7. silverleafjournal.wordpress.com
  8. angloswiss-chronicles.com
  9. nedhickson.wordpress.com
  10. slowwriterblog.wordpress.com
  11. redbird1214.wordpress.com
  12. suejudd.com
  13. http://thelifewelllived.net/
  14. wordsvisual.wordpress.com
  15. climbingdownhill.wordpress.com

Please visit these blogs to find their relevance, meaning and fantastic writing artistry. You will not be disappointed!


©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas: The Paradox of Our Time

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose to make a difference or to carry on as though you have never read it…

Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”

Dr. Bob Moorehead

My Beautiful Words | Inspiring Each Other. Together.

©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Evil resolutions

Ah, that dreaded question! That thing we all say we will do but never actually make it to the finish line!

We’re all creators of almost-standard replies that sound like “This year is the year I will lose 50 pounds of weight!” Or “From January 1st I will stop smoking for good!” Read More

Misty Monday

Right now I’m in from some kind of self-inflicted, being-stuck-syndrome. Thankfully, it only happens a few times a year. I am gasping for air and checking if I’m still alive every 10 seconds. It’s stifling my bones and putting my knickers in a twist.

So I am listening to Lady Gaga. To lift my spirits. Read More

Christmas Day, and every day after

Christmas Day, and it’s a great one so far. Family brings out the best in you, especially if you only see each other a few times a year. This makes Christmas even more special, knowing that whatever happens, your family remains your backbone and your oxygen.

My family had many struggles throughout the years; they’ve seen hardship no family should ever go through. They survived and came out shining like a star. It did make me wonder though why we were going through so much. At the time I thought we were jinxed, it looked like we were, it felt like we were.

It placed a question mark after each time something happened and in the end, it left my faith in tatters. My religion – although already more non-existent than existent, disappeared on me altogether each time something happened that could not for one second explain why God was doing this to me. Read More

The dark underbelly of Ireland’s society

I love Ireland. Anyone who reads this blog or who knows me personally knows how much I do. Some days, however, like today, I feel ashamed for being a part of a society that lets beggars sit half-naked, without shoes, without pants in the bitter cold on one of the busiest shopping streets of Ireland (Henry Street, just off O’Connell Street). People walking past carry shopping bags of expensive stores without glancing at a man sitting there begging for money, or if they glance, they show contempt: “How dare he sit here like that?!”

Perhaps this image does not fit in many people’s reality, but it doesn’t make it a lesser reality because they deny this person’s hardship. If anything, people who show contempt for someone so poor and so down and out only gets contempt from me. Read More

A new dawn, a new season

September 1st… There is some security in hearing those words. September 1st reminds me of my first days in school, of the start of autumn and winter, of the coming of Halloween and Christmas, of curling up on the couch under a blanket and with the candles and the open fire litThere’s something in those last few months of the year that make me long for them all summer long.

I am glad the warm or hot summer temperatures are gone again for another 6 months or so, and even though I love summer… the temperatures are my biggest enemy. My reasons for loving autumn and winter have nothing to do with being a negative person, because I am not.

Physically, my body cannot take anything more than 17° Celsius. Temperatures below that: absolutely perfect; anything above that: torture. It may sound funny, or weird to some people, but when your central nervous system is under attack by your immune system, your body will become a joke in hot temperatures and your symptoms will flare up like a torch-lit Rome. Read More

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