Welcome to the world baby girl

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To quote SirPeter Jackson “New Zealand is not a small country but a large village”    and nothing has reinforced this more lately than the birth of a daughter to our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford.  In fact when announcing the birth Jacinda herself welcomed the baby to “our village.”

Young Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford is notably only the second baby ever born to a sitting Prime Minister.  Dubbed the “Prime Miniature,” her birth has drawn our country together to celebrate. Cynics, notably right wing journalist Mike Hosking  would have us believe that this is all a big fuss about nothing.  It’s just another woman having a baby.  But when ever was a woman just having a baby?  It’s a big deal.  Every baby is important, every baby should be cherished and celebrated.

Government, among other things, should be about stewardship of the nation for future generations.  It’s not just about economies, balance of payments and trade agreements.  Ultimately it’s about the people who live here, both now and in the future.  For the leader of our nation to have a newborn ensures we have a leader with an eye to family friendly, sustainable policies.

Right now I’ve never been prouder to be a New Zealander.  By celebrating this birth we prove that as a nation our priorities are set firmly in the right place. Yes there’s a whole bunch of issues we need to work on, for example the #metoo campaign is as alive and well here as in the rest of the world.  But for the most part we’re on the right track.  We have only to look at the United States to be reminded of that.

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Staring at the wall

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Bit of a clickbait image that one, but reality is, we’re all staring at the wall, it’s just a bit closer when you’re already half way through.  It’s a constant reminder to take on challenges, get out, try the new and  face life head on.

The older we get the more crucial it is to strip ourselves of the status garnered by past achievements and experiences.  To seek out the new, refreshing and challenging, essentially to reinvent ourselves.

If we lose our employment at age 50 plus, we can trot out our new and improved CV, network, and update our Linked In profile, do the rounds of agencies and HR offices.  But doesn’t this all smack of neediness and vulnerability,?  Almost begging?  And do we still want to be at the mercy of an organisational and employment culture which has proved to be fickle at best?  Do we REALLY want to go back there?

Let’s get real here: statistics show that the over 50’s spend longer in unemployment and and go back to work at reduced remuneration.    If you’re a woman it’s even harder to get back into the workforce.  These figures don’t include those of us who just give up aka “retire early” and live on savings.

If that’s the case why bother going back to a mainstream career. It’s time to get angry, to “rage against the dying of the light”, to use that rage to propel us into a new way of being, of seeing the world.

It’s time to take up the challenge to embrace the new, to feel that fear and to use our skills in a revolutionary way.  To have some adventures (before the dementia kicks in!)

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity or Self Indulgence?

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As I sat down to write this morning that nasty word self indulgence popped into my mind.  As in “it’s self indulgence to write about just any old topic, this blog should have a purpose, a message, a defined audience”   Don’t you just love that inner critic?  As I get older I realize more and more that the devil that is my inner critic appears as the voices of adults from my childhood.  You know the ones.  In fact I recently found a whole list of them in “The Answer”  Allan & Barbara Pease:

  1. Act your age – grow up
  2. You should be ashamed
  3. You are selfish
  4. Accept what you’ve been given
  5. Who do you think you are?
  6. No, you don’t feel like that
  7. Eat everything on your plate
  8. I wish you were more like….
  9. You are a bad child!
  10. Don’t say that!
  11. Because I’m your mother, that’s why!
  12. If everyone jumped off a bridge would you do it too?
  13. Because I said so
  14. I’ll teach you the meaning of the word ‘NO!’
  15. Do what I say – not what I do
  16. You’re just like your useless father/mother
  17. Money doesn’t grow on trees
  18. Don’t pull that face, the wind will change and you;ll be stuck like that
  19. Wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident
  20. Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about
  21. Be grateful for what you have and don’t keep wanting more
  22. There are children starving in Africa
  23. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you

And there it is:  right up there at number 3 is self indulgence’s little brother:   Don’t be selfish.  Tut tut…

Now for some dictionary definitions:

Creativity:  The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.; the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative 

Self indulgence: Allowing yourself to have or do anything that you enjoy;  excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims

Reading those definitions would suggest that creativity is presupposed by self indulgence.   Surely it is the unrestrained gratification of whims and ideas,  of intellectual curiosities, the doing of things that one enjoys, the exploratory wanderings, that form the basis of new thought and creation?  And what a nasty little phrase that is -“excessive or unrestrained gratification”  NO NO NO NO!!!

Here’s to creative noodling and following down curious alleyways and writing about all kinds of random topics.  Here’s to excessive and unrestrained gratification,  here’s to fun, here’s to living life with #heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update

 

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SOOOO,  it’s been a while…..

I don’t know where to start.  Actually, yes I do.  Life got unaccountably busy last winter, fourteen hour days driving a car park shuttle on a skifield will do that.  Which makes finding time to write a blog difficult.  Especially when I got so tired that I fell asleep halfway through dinner – or once notably halfway through a sentence……And don’t get me started on the number of skis I loaded on a busy day.  Calculations on that one came to a grinding halt – it just got too scary to contemplate.   Suffice to say blog posts were down on my priority list – well below sleeping, and eating…

NONE of which was helpful to a disciplined writing routine.  And once out of routine it became more and more difficult to re-establish the longer time went by.   Then that other person in my head started up – you know the one that sounds like your least favourite school teacher.  The one that’s never a good idea to listen to.  The one that says all your ideas are crap, and who’d want to read them anyway.  THAT voice… Unfortunately I listened.  BAD idea.

ALL of which is an abject lesson in how-not-to-do-creativity.

TIME to get back on the horse again, because to be honest I’ve really missed writing, missed sharing my opinions, missed telling stories.

SO here we go again, back into it.  See you again soon.

 

 

 

 

Speak out!!

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If you will live a life of authenticity

If you will truly be yourself, the yourself you were meant to be.

Speak your truth, shout it, sing it, dance it, write it, get it out there.

If you believe you were not destined to rust out, to go gently into that good night.

If you believe you were here for a purpose.

DON’T pipe down, play it small, remain quiet….

Speak out!!!

Why you should go all in on YOU

Usually I do the major life review thing at New Year, but for some reason this year the urge came upon me on my birthday.  It wasn’t even that I’d decided to get all insightful and zen – to be honest I was just downright frustrated and fed up and this was what led to the break through.

I guess I realized that I no longer had anything to lose.  On the surface – large parts of my life had turned to sh**.  Like – living on savings, trying to find some kind of income, laptop blown up – making it really hard to blog, partner with diminished mobility due to failed surgery on his knee, winter, cold house.  BUMMER!  It sucked, and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to gain traction on any of it.  So I gave up.   And that changed everything….

So often we hear from the likes of influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins that we need to be ourselves, be the best that we can be, be honest, be authentic.  And despite writing posts on it here and here I hadn’t realized that I still wasn’t being enough ME. Not nearly enough, not even halfway enough.   Which was weird, because that’s what I THOUGHT I totally was doing.   I wasn’t embracing my weird, my crazy and irreverentness (is that even a word?), my loudness, my colour, my impulsiveness,  all those things that I’d been criticized for all my life.  I looked at myself and realized I’d been playing it small.  Far too small.   And if you ever meet me, you’ll realize that I’m NOT a quiet play-it-small person.

Instead, on that brilliant birthday I made a decision to double down on the loud, the crazy, the irreverence, the weird, and if people didn’t like it…… well zero f**ks given.   Nothing else was working anyway so nothing to lose.   And in some weird the-universe-is-watching-you way it’s worked.  Like, INSTANTLY.

In the past two weeks, I’ve dyed my hair the reddest red I could find, thrown out all the black clothing and put together the most outrageous and colourful combinations I could imagine, turned up the stereo, got an awesome job (never expected that, the over-50 curse has been upon me lately) and figured out how to get around the broken laptop dilemma until I can afford a new one.  All because I decided to say f**k it, even if it meant selling the house, moving, and losing relationships.  Whew, is that a rollercoaster or what?

To all you regular readers, I apologize.  I’ve been a fraud.  This blog is all about living with #heart especially when you’re over 50 and have to start again from scratch, and up till now I realize that I haven’t been doing that honestly.  Even my writing has been measured and careful.   But no more..  Expect more SHOUTING, more rants, more crazy.  More passion too – but what a poor sad word that’s been  debased by the HR departments of big corporates.  Anyone for a self-starter who’s passionate about counting things??? Groan.  Actually I think crazy about covers it.

And the work….driving shuttle buses at the local skifields with an awesome crew of people.  And free skiing.  Did I mention free skiing????  Except not skiing,  this year I’m learning to board so it’s free riding.  AND getting to be in the mountains all day.

So if you’re at that place where I was not so long ago.  Give up, stop trying so hard, DON’T  try to change.  Double down on YOU, wallow in your you-ness and see what it brings you.  It might just be gold.

And if you’re wondering I’m FIFTY SIX YEARS experienced.  That’s the word.  Experience.  Not old.  Never old.  Just crazy!

Bring it on! Live with #heart!  And please read follow and share too!

Rob

PS my bus is the tiny one down the far end….

#dowhatyoucan’t

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This summer has been all about earning money driving international visitors all over the lower South Island of New Zealand, which has meant that I haven’t had much time for my own outdoors adventuring.  I’ve been working on self development adventures instead.  Recently three of us had a day trip up Roy’s Peak.  It was sooooo good to get out in the hills for a change.  As you can see in the photo above the day was glorious and there was hardly a breath of wind – quite unexpected for this time of year.  In case you are wondering that’s me on the left in my snazzy Adventures Before Dementia t shirt with my good friend John beside me.

The point of all this is that it’s not about three people climbing a peak.  Two of them strolled up it – yes you John and Lizzie.  But one of them didn’t – no surprises who that was.  Yes moi, me, yours truly.  I admit it here now and in public .  I struggled going up that goddamn hill.  I huffed and puffed and plodded.  I’ve always been ashamed of the fact that I’ve struggled whenever I’ve climbed anything of any consequence.  I’ve been up a few peaks by this stage in my life and if there’s is someone sweating and puffing and going reallllly slowly, chances are that it will be me.  It’s literally one foot in front of another, plodding.  So embarrassing.  BUT dammit I do it.  I get there eventually and nothing but nothing can take that achievement away.

So isn’t this a metaphor for our lives?  Why are we so ashamed when we’re making a good honest effort?  We may not be as fast as others or as able, or skilled, or agile, or clever, or whatever, but with determination we will get there in the end.  We need to embrace our struggles, for these become our adventures, these are what make us and what ultimately become our greatest triumphs.  In the heart of every difficulty there  lies the seed of its solution.  Your bump in the road may be someone else’s Mt Everest.  So don’t laugh next time you see someone struggling with ANYTHING – give them a high five instead.  They’re going at their own pace but at least they’re out there trying .  At least they are having adventures and #doingwhattheycan’t.

Inspiration for this post came in part from a Casey Neistat video – watch it here.  Don’t let anything stop you, be the man or woman in the arena, face marred by blood and dust, striving valiantly.   Do what you can’t, have the adventure, live the dream, be the person on the iceberg (you need to watch the video to get that!)

And if you see me sweating up a hill one day, stop and say hi – I could probably use the rest!

 

Cheers

Robx

 

 

 

 

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