Subjects to write about when life’s in a deep hole

Subjects to write bot

I’d been casting around for subjects to write about. Right now, they need to be things that give me joy even when life seems to have fallen into a deep hole. Finding topics rarely fazes me. Writing itself brings me great joy, so that to not write leaves me confused and flat.

This blog, and the one that preceded it for many years have kept my life on an even keel through many good and bad patches.

Amazingly, while preoccupied with these thoughts, an article appeared in my newsfeed. The remarkable Jeannine Ouellette wrote about a heartbreak and ways she found to continue to write through it. I owe her a debt of gratitude for the inspiration.

Read more: Subjects to write about when life’s in a deep hole

Division and war

Division and sadness plague Australia. A referendum to enshrine in the Constitution a Voice to Parliament for our First Nations People was soundly defeated on the weekend. A ‘Yes’ supporter and voter, I feel deeply sad for my Aboriginal friends and colleagues. My book, Other People’s Country outlines many of my ideas.

Many people are doing it tough, with housing at a premium, homelessness on the rise and the cost of living as it is.

The shocking war between Gaza and Israel must distress everyone.

The ongoing, entrenched conflict between Russia and Ukraine seem insoluble.

On a personal level, my new status as ‘separated’ feels unreal. I pray that my husband’s family take good care of him.

Subjects to write about

Given how difficult the past months, weeks and days have been, I managed to come up with these subjects to write about, thanks to Jeannine Ouellette.

  • The little oak tree under our apartment. The view from our balcony is not beautiful. Rather, it’s interesting! When we moved here six years ago, a row of young oaks graced the verge. Sadly, the one outside our place died after a year and was replaced. We watched it struggle. Now its companions have reached the level of our balcony while it barely reaches the first level. But this year it has a full cover of leaves. It delights me and in another five years, God willing, I’ll look out into a sea of leaves.
  • There are ducklings swimming with their parents on the lake a very short walk away through our ‘party park’. Two of my granddaughters, takeaway coffees in hand, and a great-grandson watched five babies without a mother. Hopefully they were reunited.
  • An orchid I bought last year and carefully watered when it finished blooming has rewarded me with another stem of flowers. Magic!
  • The perfume of low-growing jasmine used as verge plants fills the air in Subiaco and Spring is underway.
  • My brother, Peter, and I had a brief phone conversation and I came away feeling refreshed and enthused.
  • Someone told me I looked nice in my new dress with the red beads my sister, Elizabeth gave me, ‘because’.
  • I do not think a day goes by when I do not have a phone call or a visit from my family. And there are the children and the great-grandchildren to delight me. I am blessed!

These are all subjects to write about. I could write at length about them now I know what’s possible.

What gives you joy

I’d love you to share your list of what gives you joy in the comments below. We build communities when we share our thoughts and hopes.

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  1. What a fabulous post!
    What gives me joy…things I could write about…
    My trips and travels, as in my recent post.
    Beautiful moments captured in sunsets.
    Kids and grandkids and their special occasions, like my 4 year old grandsons birthday in a few days.
    Landscaping my courtyard garden to be my own!
    The wonder of Mother Nature. Walking in a park, on the beach.
    And more! Just being grateful for each day.
    Having weathered a severe storm in a year that changed me deeply, I see life quite differently now. I am enjoying a space of peaceful calm. I pray for you the same.

    1. Lovely response, Susan, and thank you for being part of my life. The things that give you joy are the things I see regularly in your wonderful photography and in your writing. Thank you for taking part in this conversation, and for your prayers. xx

  2. I’m sorry about your tough times, but well done for continuing to write anyway. A great post to counter what’s happening because there is always something that gives joy, that touches the heart. My biggest joy every day is having the luxury of living happily on my own, in a house that’s adapted for my needs. My garden is also my joy, seeing something in flower, growing well, looking out on greenery. And having a heart to heart with someone special that leaves me feeling nourished and heard.

    1. That’s a lovely comment, Suchita. I follow your posts and instagram, as you are obviously aware. Thank you. Joy, like awe, are everywhere. We just need to be aware and to acknowledge both to encounter more and more. I love your idea of the luxury of living happily on your own in a house that meets your needs. Thank you for sharing the things that give you joy.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story Maureen. Things that give me joy are the fresh morning air (particularly somewhere out of the city), the moments when my kids (Rico, 5, and Ivy, 3) play nicely together, and acts kindness between people.

    1. Hi, Jo. Thank you for sharing the things that bring you joy, including Rico and Ivy. I’m overcome with gratitude for the acts of kindness I encounter every day from those who love me and also from random strangers along the way.

  4. I am so pleased you have the freedom to find joy again, it’s been a tough few years and the burden of care without gratitude or respect is now lifted. Sometimes one doesn’t realise how debilitating this can be but liberation raises the curtain on joy!
    Well done Mum. Love and celebration❤️

    1. Thanks, Jenny. I’m beginning to feel freer with every day, and enjoying the liberty from responsibility after so long. Thank you for the support and comfort you bring to my life.

  5. What a beautiful passage Maureen. Thank you for bringing me back to “counting my blessings”. I’m so sorry for your difficult situation and sadness, and the sadnesses of others; especially poignant with the week that we have had with the failure of the referendum and the SHOCKING war in the Middle East. I feel much gratitude for the life I can live in Australia, and for the company of beautiful family and friends, including you of course, of now living a slower life after many busy, but rewarding years of work and family. I am healthy, active, creative, loving and loved.

    1. I’m glad you are counting your blessings again, Margaret, especially at the end of a week which, as you say, was both difficult and shocking. Thank you for sharing some of your blessings with us.

  6. It’s so hard sometimes to find joy in our days when life is tough. I think of you when I look at my beautiful, red “Courage” standard rose which I’m thankful for. It was a 50th birthday gift from my son & lovely daughter in law. This rose is so well named as it survived Chilli Thrip when several others didn’t.
    I walk & sit in the garden enjoying quiet or listening to beautiful music 🎶 🎵 Take Courage. 🙏

    1. Sometimes tough times lead us to a different kind of joy from that which we hoped for and imagined, Maureen. Thank you thinking about me and comparing me to your treasured rose, a comparison I do not merit, but I love your idea. Thank you for sharing what gives you joy.

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