December 25, 2012
Even with a cool breeze running through the house it’s well over 80% humidity according to the dial in the hallway. If you’re a parent of a young child you’d be sweating too, if you haven’t done the business by now and got a suitable collection of presents under the tree. It’s a festival for mid-winter for most of the world but we’re here in the most humid time of the year, with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Evan apparently in our midst.
One of the Franklin Road houses has a big ribbon around it with words that make you look twice. A colleague at work commented that they “couldn’t wait for Christmas”. When I enquired what that was about, I was told it was the current pressures. ”Now is as good as it ever gets” was my reaction. It always is.
Enjoying the present is very much part of Christmas, whether that be the wrapped sort or the real sort. Even for a cynic who looks forward to the end of the actual day so they can start enjoying a holiday, here’s an opportunity to really take stock of the present. Sweating it out with a hot roast here in Auckland can be tough, but don’t worry, those relatives won’t be here for long! Always waiting for the future is a trap. The present is our gift to ourselves.
November 12, 2012
It’s a scam! The whole year “I’ll be 50 next birthday” or “50 next year”. Hell, whatever happened to being in my forties! That ended on turning 49 I’ve realised. Wished I knew that then, but then again I guess I entered my forties a year early too. My Tim turned 20 this month, Dad turned 80 and my parents were married today 60 years ago. A card signed by Elizabeth R, another from the GG, one from the PM, one from the Minister of Internal Affairs (something not right about those words being involved in celebrating an honest and enduring relationship!) and finally Mum and Dad’s local MP. So a collection of cards, good wishes on Facebook and no doubt elsewhere and they will awake tomorrow in their 61st year of marriage, almost as irritatingly healthy as they’ve been for as long as I’ve known them! Which is 49, well nearly 50, years, give or take a few years of not really knowing what’s going on.
So don’t hang around for too long not knowing what’s going on – that’s for when you’re 2 years old – not today, waiting for whatever is going on to be done to you. A milestone is a cause for others to celebrate a special person or people – to reflect on their achievements – and on all that they have brought into others lives. For my folks that’s quite a lot for quite a lot of people and I couldn’t be blessed with better parents. Not perfect, but then again who of us is, and whatever we’ve done if we’ve learned, grown and done our best to reconcile differences and appreciate blessings, we deserve to be happy. And my Tim who has had all sorts of challenges, achieving an A- result in a paper made all those around him very proud, especially me. That’s one of the best things to celebrate in this month of milestones. Well done Tim!
A milestone is also the moment to reflect on your own stuff. If you’re too busy to reflect I know what you mean. That’s pretty well me all the time. But it’s also pretty well me most of the time to be happy too which is what I intend to take into my next decade – which starts with the next moment.
Which is of course all you really have. But those moments, taken, will guarantee you 20, 50, 60 or even 80 years of self-fulfilment. If you take them one at a time. So being 49? Great actually. Now that I’m in the moment.
And happy celebration if that’s your thing too this month! November? Lovin’ it as always.
March 11, 2012
It’s been a bit of a first night for me these last 7 weeks getting used to my new role and lots of things have suffered in the meantime, including my blogging here which I enjoy so much. But I’m back. A bit of time out of Auckland recently has seen me flying much more than I’m used to and if you know me you’ll know that it’s not something I’ve enjoyed recently but even that’s going okay somehow. Conditioning.
The movie First Night is a farce. A funny movie set in the beautiful Manderston House in Scotland. Always wanted a two kilometre long stone driveway. I used to listen to lots of opera but haven’t much lately. I think I’m into it again after First Night. It’s about the production of Mozart’s comic opera Cosi Fan Tutte and it’s glorious music, great setting and very funny too.
Sometimes you just need a feel good movie to get you back on track. As I let the story glide over me I realised these last seven weeks have been pretty intensive. Now it’s time to get back to being happy for myself, now that I’m settling in. And enjoy life.
That’s leadership. Leading yourself into a great spot.
I’ll be better tomorrow for it. Hope it’s all good for you too.
February 22, 2012
My son Thomas and Dad were in the basement of Ballantynes a year ago when the earthquake struck. I’ll never forget that frantic 10 minutes after getting a text from Mum “bad stake, I hope Tom and Dad are ok”. Bloody predictive text – I didn’t realise at first what she meant.
I went down there after Christmas, down to the basement at Ballantynes I mean and checked it out. I sat there and reflected on what was a what could have been for my family. Lucky we all were, with people killed only a few dozen metres away.
Thomas has just returned from Europe, engaged to be married, and I don’t mind admitting I like having him safely back home. It felt especially poignant today thinking about a year ago when I felt, for a short time, absolutely powerless and anxious for him and Dad.
There was a lot of luck a year ago. Bad luck and good luck. We got the good one but it’s people just like us all that died.
I hope that those who are bereaved find some peace soon.