Create Space

Creating a space for the creative use of life as a tool for learning.

Attitude & Altitude

Can a conversation with a taxi driver alter your life’s journey?


Recently I was very privileged to have a conversation with what I can only describe as an amazing human “being” – a taxi driver.  He told me he was 80 and when asked why he wasn’t retired and taking life easy, he said his wife had died recently and he had nobody to talk to at home.  I though how sad and lonely that must be but he proceed to tell me that he took up taxi driving because he enjoyed chatting to customers.

He told me he had come through throat cancer, a heart attack, a stroke and recently had his knee replaced.  His friend introduced him to music and as a result he has been going to college, learning music for the last 3 years.  I told him he was amazing and asked what was his secret?  He replied “two things, attitude and altitude”.  I asked what he meant and was blown away when he said “It’s all down to how I look at things, my “attitude” and my love of sky diving or “altitude”.  His last sky dive was in February of this year!  He also uses Facebook!  Hands up anybody who would like to be this adventurous, tech savvy and active at 80 plus!

So can we broaden our horizons of understanding of life by studying our taxi driver?    How many widows or widowers are home alone and lonely?  How difficult must life be when a life-partner dies and leaves you all alone?  How many days might you go without talking to another adult?  What determination and resilience must it take to face up to this new stage of life?  If our mental and physical health allow, we can seek out social interaction and new challenges.  However, if our physical health restricts our movement, life’s horizons becomes limited.  Likewise if anxiety or depression are present, it might accelerate loneliness by resisting social interaction and increasing isolation.  Can we be proactive like this taxi driver?  How can we continue “being” when life as we knew it is no more?  Our taxi driver resisted isolation, he sought out social interaction – human company through his taxi business.  He engaged in new learning.  He maintained a positive attitude and took on new challenges in life and online.  And what can we do?  We can begin by questioning our attitude to life.  Are we on a roundabout, just going round and round?  In other words are we living without questioning our thoughts and behaviours?  Are we caught in ground-hog day, denying ourselves the opportunity to grow, to learn from our experiences.  We can take time out to consider ourselves, our family and our neighbours.  Let’s keep an eye out in our family and neighbourhood for somebody who might be a lonely and give a gentle check-in to ascertain how they’re coping.  Or how about visiting a local Nursing or Retirement Home. Maybe our visit could brighten somebody’s day and we might even be takenaback by how positive that makes us feel!

I wish you a day filled with happiness in your own company or in the company of others!



Featured post

In the eye of the storm!

Tonight we are literally stranded on an island waiting for Hurricane Ophelia to move in over us and our fate is in her hands!


A red weather alert has been announced for the whole country. Hopefully Ophelia will blow her worst before she reaches our costal counties and we won’t find ourselves in the eye of the storm!


Artwork by the very beautiful and talented Katie O’R., a name to keep an eye out for in the very near future!


The following is an extract from The Irish Times…

…Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since scientific monitoring began in 1851.

“This one [Hurricane Ophelia] is very unusual in that it has come just slightly westwards but it has taken a direct tack northwards,” Met Éireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack said.

Making its way from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, the (previously) category three storm is the most powerful hurricane this far east of the United States on record. Parts of Ireland and the UK are due to experience the tail end of the hurricane on Monday.

Met Éireann meteorologist Deirdre Lowe said the hurricane was unusual “in that it has developed so far east”.

it is unheard of for a hurricane to form this far east in the Atlantic and then take a south-to-north track directly across Ireland

Active Education…real smiles!

Opportunities for real life learning and hands on training should be part of every school and every education setting.

Only a few children are lucky enough to secure a part-time job and gain real life experience from it. (I can vouch for the benefits to be gained as my own son’s life changed as a result of part-time work).  All schools should have a health food shop, a sweet shop, a bring and buy shop, a coffee shop, a canteen to name a few and I’m sure you could add many more ideas.

There should be school dieticians, gym instructors, secretaries, caretakers and maintenance staff who have students shadow them and observe real life skills in action. This would give every child the opportunity to build real life skills as part of their education.

A few weeks of work experience during transition year is great but it could be so much more!
This is my wonderful niece on work experience. As you can see from that beaming smile and air of confidence, she is gaining so much from this role!

Real education is about much more than books and rote learning to pass academic exams. Real learning is active and involves discovery. It builds life skills through the developement of intrapersonal skills (gaining an understanding of yourself) and interpersonal skills (learning to understand others).

Would you agree? Let’s give all children these opportunities!

Unroll your life.

To unroll your life, you have to open it first.

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Our amazing son on work experience

I wonder what’s waiting to be discovered!

Ordinary and Exceptional

via Daily Prompt: Exceptional


Is it normal to want to be more, to want to be unusual?

And is it typical to not be typical?

And is it okay to be extraordinary and out of the ordinary? And what about being rare or even singular – a one off and unique?

Would it be unprecedented, unexpected or surprising to…

feel you are capable of more? But to not yet know what that more is?

Well in my mind all of this is both ordinary and exceptional because that is what we already are!



Be yourself…ordinary and exceptional!

Much love,

Marie x

Mental health…the future is bright!

It is the final minutes of National Mental Health Day and I feel I have to share this important message which was posted on social media earlier today. I’m doing this to give an insight into what life is like with anxiety, to show how judgemental people can be, to show what resillience looks like and to show how insightful a 21 year old can be having learned a lot from the tough teachers that anxiety and society are…


“Today is national mental health day and normally I dont post really personal things here, but I feel like this is important. I’ve battled with anxiety my whole life and fighting successfully it is all down to the people you surround yourself with.

I’ve had friends and even relationships where I’ve been told that I’m no fun or that they cant cope with MY problem and for so long it made me feel like I was to blame, but Im not! Those people who made me feel small and unlovable are the reason why theres such a stigma around anxiety and depression.

I found myself apologising to these people for my anxiety until one day I realised that I dont need to apologise for who I am. I am happy with myself and I realised that I didnt need these toxic people in my life, so I stopped apologising and instead started to make it up to myself for blaming me for someone elses ignorance.

It’s only through my friends and loved ones that I’ve realised that its just an illness like any other. If you break a bone, you treat it, same goes for a mental illness. These amazing people are the ones that have made me stronger and more confident to take on things that would have originally scared me and helped me to brush off the people who made me feel small.

All it took was to go to my loved ones and tell them that I wasnt okay, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. If youre reading this and you have something, no matter how small thats bothering you please tell someone, or message me, I’d be happy to help. We need to stick together and be open with eachother in order to fight the stigma!”

…I am proud of this post because this kind of insight and level of awareness can take some people years to learn but… this was written by my very loving, talented and creative 21 year old daughter!… I think the future for mental health awareness is bright!

Don’t let anxiety quench your creative flame!



Is today a good day?



Well, any day I wake up is a good day! Yes, I think I can say that’s for sure! But if, like me, some days you struggle a little to see the positives because of some aches or illness, well take heart…because

Firstly, remember be kind to yourself and only have kind words for yourself because in the present set of circumstances you are doing the best you can!

Secondly, if you are struggling, share it – don’t hide it!  Reach out and take heart, because many more are going through the same struggle as you and there is comfort in shared stories!

Last but not least, be kind to others, who knows how they feel?

Check out this excellent A-Z link from Ireland’s HSE

I can’t speak for anybody but myself, but looking through this has helped me realise that the picture of health many people portray is possibly just that…a picture…because under the surface many others must be struggling; this list would not have been needed otherwise!!

Ps…remember…dont judge the book by its cover!


What will you do to make today a good day for yourself and others? Please let me know…


What a beautiful reminder from Life at Midlife of the value of now and the benefits midlife bring!! Thanks for sharing – Roda at Growing Self!

I came across this poem and it spoke everything I feel… ♥ Life at Midlife Author: Mary Anne Perrone I am no longer waiting for a special occasion; I burn the best candles on ordinary days. I am no longer waiting for the house to be clean; I fill it with people who understand that even […]

via Life at Midlife — Growing Self

Nomination Gratitude!


Little did I think waking up yesterday that this nomination was coming my way!

This is my very first nomination!

Everyday I am blown away by the thought that my blog is out there, being read by other bloggers but now that feeling is enhanced even more so, by the fact that somebody would consider Create Space worthy of a nomination when you consider the millions of other amazing & worthwhile blogs!

So to Roda, from Growing Self…Go raibh maith agat! (Pronounced Gho rev moh a-gut) Irish for thank you!), for nominating me for this award!

If you haven’t had the pleasure of engaging with Roda’s blog well now is your chance. You, just like almost 800 others won’t be disappointed!


Announce your win with a post, and link the blogger who nominated you.

Include the featured image on your blog post.

Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.

List 7 things you love about yourself. (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)

Don’t use negative connotation (i.e. Don’t say things like – “I’m prettier than an average person.” or “People have told me I’m smart.” You are pretty. You are smart.)

7 Things I love about myself:

Well, first things first, being Irish, that question could pose a problem! You may wonder why?…well growing up in Ireland, a predominently Catholic country and in a home where practising your faith was highly valued,  it could have been frowned upon to love yourself, as pride was seen as a sin! But thankfully my maturity and common sense have stepped in, enabling me to accept a compliment, to acknowledge my strengths and to be proud of who I am, which many Irish people, to their detriment, still struggle with!

I realise that I am now a composite of the past me, of who I was, who I now am and who I know I am yet to become!

What I love best about myself is…

1. My self-love!
I have learned to love myself, with an unconditional love, which remains steady evenwhen I mess up and fall well short of the mark!  After many challenging years I’ve learned the importance of self-care and following through with that self-care has taught me how to love myself.

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2. My love of people.

This includes my love of family and friends and all the people I interact with in any given day.  I was brought up in a loving home in rural Ireland, and this positive childhood set the tone for how important people are in my life. I’m happy to have time on my own but I would be lost without people around me!


3. My conviction to live and let live!

I have no interest in gossip; and small town or country living can revolve around what is happening in everybody else’s life. I like to do my own thing and leave others to their own lives. I’m there if you need me but I don’t need to live in your ear or vice versa or I have no compulsion to live up to the Jones! My wish for the world would be that all countries/races/cultures/religions/genders could practice tolerance for and acceptance of each other.

4. My positivity!

Living with fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue has been a tough but good teacher! I have moved from a life dominated by this chronic illness for 9 years to a life not free but changed and enhanced beyond belief for the past 10 years.  This process although slow and always a work in progress, is because of a determination to change my perspective or how I view the world; by searching for the positive and practising gratitude.

5. My appreciation of the simple things in life.

I love a cup of tea sitting on a simple bench at the back door, I don’t need fancy garden furniture to make me happy.  I love the sound of the river flowing under the bridge just a few minutes down the road from my home. I love smiling and saying hello to strangers I pass on the street, I get a buzz when they smile back. I think it’s possible sometimes that I might be the only person who acknowledged them that day.  I’m very hard to buy birthday or Christmas gifts for because possessions don’t interest me. I like time with the people in my life. I like experiences including meals with family & friends and mini-breaks, particularly to the beautiful County Kerry!

6. Seeing my students flourish!

When my students begin to trust me and let me into their lives, they open up to the group and to new learning.  I can’t describe the buzz I get when a student writes for the first time or realises that it’s ok to struggle with spellings because they see me struggle with spellings or when they realise that other people have the same literacy struggles as themselves.  In Ireland it’s still a taboo topic, (people will admit a mental health issue easier than admit they can’t read or write). My students often say they were convinced they were the only person on the planet with this struggle and boy what a burden that has been to carry all their lives!

7. My passion for writing.

Getting the opportunity to connect with so many amazing WordPress bloggers has been another turning point in my life! I am a big believer in the power of shared stories! These stories, which are so tentatively offered out there to the public are cathartic, declaring our joys and struggles, our poems and photos, our unique stories in our unique colloquial dialects. And when all you beautiful bloggers find something of interest in my post and come back with warm and encouraging feedback then I know for certain all we need is someone to believe in us!

Then as we begin to believe in ourselves, anything is possible…and what an amazing feeling that is!!


Marie’s (Create Space) Nominees:

*I understand that not everyone chooses to be a part of the award nomination process. If you choose to take part, that is fantastic! If not, no worries! The following are my nominees







To all the above and many more…keep sharing and happy blogging!

Much love,

Marie x


‘STUCK?’…Mark Twain and Nelson Mandela had it sussed!

If like me, the thing you find hardest is taking the first step and getting started, and if you find an endless amount of other unimportant little jobs to divert you away from the main task of your day or of your hour, then take heart…

I have your corner, I know how it feels! We feel… stuck and there can be any amount of reasons; such as tiredness, feeling stressed, inability to focus, feeling overwhelmed, but lean on the wisdom of Nelson Mandela and Mark Twain

they have obviously been through this very same struggle and guess what?

They figured it out, they have it sussed!
Go on…together we can do it!

Let me know what had you ‘stuck‘ today and how you overcame it!

Much love!

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