Category Archives: Life Lessons

Lessons from moving away, and coming home

In January 2011 I moved to Sydney, and wrote a post about my first impressions of living in Australia. I’ve now been back in Auckland for three months and have learnt a few things from moving away, and coming home again.

Rangitoto

Rangitoto

We don’t need much stuff
Packing to move away was one thing, but packing to return to New Zealand was a whole different story. I got rid of SO. MUCH. STUFF. We really don’t need much, and for those of us who are likely to move again in the future, the idea of accumulating lots of things is a not an attractive one.

You adapt to your environment 
When I first arrived in Sydney, ordering a ‘trim cap’ in a Kiwi accent just didn’t cut it. So, I soon found myself asking for a ‘skinny cap’ to be understood. This conscious change gradually spilt over to most words that contained ‘i’ or ‘e’ sounds. Having lived in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, I also found myself starting yoga, spending my weekends in gym gear, making green smoothies and eating kale chips.

You’re not afraid of spiders anymore
After close encounters with orb and huntsman spiders, a daddy long legs has about the same scare power as an ant.

You gain a new level of independence
Time alone and distance from people who shaped your thoughts historically leads to a new level of independent thinking. You meet people whose backgrounds are significantly different to yours, and gain insights from environments you’d never been exposed to.

You are who you spend time with
As the quote goes, ‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with’. Thanks to my flatmates Claire, Jo and Nicole, I became a little more driven, manicured, fashionable and motivated in the kitchen. And I mean manicured in the literal sense – weekend brunching and walks to the nail salon are some of life’s simple pleasures!

You become an expert in communication
Most of your good friends and loved ones aren’t in the same time zone and you may only see them a few times a year, if that. But with a bit of juggling, keeping in touch when apart is easy with Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook and Snapchat. But you have to plan for it.

You get better at asking for things
Kiwis are generally agreeable and like to go with the flow. Australians are generally better at piping up about their expectations and things they want. Well – they’re better at piping up in general! But this forward confidence is admirable and is a useful characteristic to have.

Special friends become your family
When times are tough or there’s reason to celebrate, your flatmates, workmates and closest friends become your family. They’re there for support, for festivities and for adventures. Personal relationships are what life’s about.

Your priorities change over time
My time in Sydney was phenomenal. I wouldn’t change a thing. It contained some of the most challenging moments, but also some of the most enjoyable. It was a great time but about a year ago I realised that my priorities were changing and my environment needed to change as well. And that was a lesson in itself – to be aware of your evolving needs and changing the things that aren’t working for you anymore.

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Hope for the best, prepare for the worst? No!

That old adage, ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ needs updating, don’t you think?

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Guest post: How my marriage ended

Sometimes we have words and emotions that we want to share, but we don’t. Maybe because the emotions are incredibly raw and we feel we may be exposing too much of ourselves. Maybe because the truths we are admitting to are painful for ourselves and the ones we have loved. 

Today’s post is an anonymous contribution by a wonderfully talented and courageous friend who made an enormous life decision this year. A decision that many people consciously choose to never make.

She shares her experience of separating from her husband, and the lessons that arose from this immense change. Reading the words below fill me with two things: the first is a bittersweet comfort in knowing that we humans all face similar challenges, and the second is a great deal of admiration for my friend. 


The world doesn’t always need to know about your inner turmoil.

So it’s been many months since I shared my writing publicly. But now, I feel like I’ve emerged from a very tough time, and have found my voice again. And it’s telling the story of how my marriage ended. I don’t know if there are lessons in it for anyone else. But I do know that when I was uncertain and adrift, it was comforting to know that others had trodden the same path before me.

Before

Separating from my husband three months ago was not the catalyst for the crisis; the crisis was a long, slow unraveling of a formerly happy marriage.

I left when I was out of options and out of love. The best advice I received, from two of the most trusted mentors in my life, was this: don’t leave until you’ve tried everything you can do to make it work. You’ll know when you reach that point.

These two wise men knew that in moments of guilt and doubt and fear, the anchor that would keep me weighted down – sane and resolved – was the firm belief that this was the right, and the only, decision.

My husband rails against his lack of agency in this process. He says it fits the paradigm of our marriage, where I controlled everything. He says I can’t imagine the way that feels. I don’t deny this.

But being the one to make the decision – the leaver, not the ‘leavee’ – carries with it a different type of anguish.

And he underestimates the lack of control I felt as our marriage disintegrated. The times I tried to get through to him, to break through a carapace of emotional disengagement and distance.

Like a moth that hurls itself against the window, over and over, trying to reach the light inside, I tried everything I could think of to reach him, when he had stopped feeling anything much at all. Depressed, embittered, exhausted – I think he was all of these things. I feel for him, and his pain, which he has only just recognised, and is now trying to address.

But sadly, you can’t hurl yourself forever without getting tired and demoralised yourself. When someone stops engaging with you emotionally, at some point, you’ll do the same.

This is what they call ‘falling out of love’. A brief and prosaic description for a long and painful process.

Three months ago, I intervened in this process. To say ‘I left’ seems such a brief and inadequate description. It fails to express the intensity of emotion involved in reaching that decision, and then in carrying it out.

It’s not a new story – in fact it’s so common that it seems like a cliché. And yet I plumbed depths of sadness and guilt and tears that were hitherto unknown to me.

As all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, every marriage breakdown is momentously and uniquely painful in its own way.

Afterwards

Here I am, three months later. It’s my birthday. I’m officially closer to 40 than 30. In my lighter moments I call myself a divorcée – I like the French emphasis, suggesting something scandalous about a woman who has left the confines of marriage.

My life has changed fundamentally. I swapped the house in the suburbs for an inner-city apartment. I own about a quarter of the ‘stuff’ I used to – much of it left behind, much of it given away. I spend more time out and less time doing domestic things.

I feel lighter. Yes, happier. It’s partly the satisfaction of certainty, after spending so long with one foot out the door, one eye on the world outside.

I’m probably a little more selfish, as I only have myself to worry about. I’ll construe that as ‘nurturing myself’ for the time being.

Lessons

I’ve been amazed and touched by the kindness and generosity of the people around me. Friends, family and colleagues have been so supportive. Help has come from unexpected quarters. People are wonderful.

In my darker moments this year, I wondered if I had the courage to do this – to leave. When that happened, I would invoke the spirit of my great-grandmother, who literally ran way from home in 1923, leaving a narrow and lonely life on a farm with her father and her ‘illegitimate’ child, to start a new life with my great-grandfather.

I’ve read the letter she wrote to her father in explanation, and her pain is palpable. She can’t imagine decades stretching ahead in this lonely life, and yet she acutely feels the pain she will cause to those left behind.

She left anyway.

I never met her, so I’ll never know if she believed that she made the right decision. But I draw on her courage and spirit. And at this moment, I feel like I’m in the right place for me.

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Grandma on life, ageing, young people, musicians and more

In late August I spent some time with my grandparents in Argentina.

My Mum’s Mum, Dora, lives in a city about an hour’s flight north of Buenos  She is a healthy, active, clever and witty woman, and on this visit I transcribed some of our conversations  because they made me laugh, smile or think. Here are some of them!

Grandma on Facebook
Me: “Guess what, grandma! Our photo got over a hundred likes on Facebook, and lots of nice comments from my friends. They said that you’re beautiful!”
(Show her Facebook on my phone)
Grandma: “Ahhh, how nice! And what is this? Some kind of club?”
Me: “Kinda, it’s an online network for all your friends to connect to.”
Grandma: “Oh it’s like a website where your friends meet!”

Me and Grandma

Grandma on convenience and frugality
“I just go to the closest shops. I don’t have time to go to the markets where the food is cheaper. Back in the day when the girls were young, yes. Because it’s important to save money to give your children the best opportunities. Which we did as much as we could. For example, when they went to study in the United States, that was a great opportunity for them. But then it came back and got the best of me because they liked the world and moved far away to Australia and New Zealand!”

Grandma on life’s balance
“Everything has its good and its bad. That’s what life is about.”

Grandma on housing and eyeballs
“The houses that you can have in Australia and New Zealand, well, if you wanted ones like that here you have to pay with an eyeball, and then another eyeball. And if you have an extra eyeball, they’ll take that one, too!”

Housing Cartoon

Grandma on the newspaper
Grandma: “The newspaper is skinny today! It’s on a diet!”
Me: “Why is it so thin?”
Grandma: “Well, everything is skinnier in this country now. They’re cutting down on everything these days!”

Grandma on the media
“Here you go, you can read the paper, if you want to get depressed!”

Grandma on talking about other people
“We should never say too much about other people. Everyone lives in their own world and we can never presume to understand them or their lives the way we each understand our own.”

Grandma on age
Grandma: “How old am I?”
Me (jokingly): “Ninety-four.”
Grandma: “You little cheeky one! No I’m not!”
Me: “Haha, no, I’m kidding, you’re a bit less than that! But I reckon you will live till a hundred.”
Grandma: “One hundred! Oh no, that’s too much! I know some people my age who say a hundred is too much, but that they’ll happily live to ninety-five. Really, ninety-five, a hundred, what’s the difference at that stage of the game?!”

Grandma on getting older versus dying
“Oh gosh, I forgot to do that. See what happens at this age? You forget. It’s one of the burdens of getting older. But then, the only cure for not getting older is death, and that’s no good to us!”

Grandma on love
“When I met your grandfather I wasn’t the only girl he was chasing, oh I know that much! But I’m the only one who gave in, after a while of course! I joked with him that I was his prize for perseverance!”
NB: My grandpa passed away when I was about three, and he remains my grandma’s one and only love.

Grandma on young people
“I think young people these days have too much happening. People are rushed and busy. There’s too much. Things were simpler back in my day.”

Grandma on being hungry
(Waiting for our meals to arrive): “Gosh, where are our schnitzels? They’re really making us wait! You’re going to look like a sandwich to me soon. Or a chicken drumstick! You know, like in the cartoons, when they’re hungry, everything looks like a chicken drumstick!”

Hungry

Grandma on wine
Grandma: “Do you want some wine with lunch?”
Me: “Sure, why not!”
Grandma: “Ah, see, you’re definitely my granddaughter!”

Grandma on film
Me: “Did you know, you were born the same year as Stanley Kubrick?”
Grandma: “Ahhh yes, and what a great man he was! Many amazing achievements and cinematography firsts. That Space Odyssey: 2001 – what a film!”

Grandma on superstition and space travel
Grandma: “Which way did you fly to get here?”
Me: “I went from Sydney to San Francisco first, then came here via Houston.”
Grandma: “Ahhh, Houston! What movie was that from?”
Me: “Apollo 13 – ‘Houston, we have a problem’.”
Grandma: “And what was the problem again? But seriously, if my spaceship was called Apollo 13, you wouldn’t see me travel in it even to the end of the street!”

Grandma on musicians
“My father didn’t really let me go to dances when I was young. You see, for a while he was a musician and played in a band, so I think he knew what musicians were like and he didn’t want his daughter to have anything to do with that, haha!”

Sexy Bach

 

Housing cartoon from here.
Garfield cartoon from here.

Sexy Bach image from Quickmeme.

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Ban bossy? Or how about: ‘don’t be a dick’

You may have seen the #banbossy campaign that’s doing the rounds.

The premise, from the Ban Bossy website is, “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”

My very first thought was, “Wooh! Yes! Equality for all!” But then I thought about it further after seeing a tweet this morning that read: ‘Maybe girls should EMBRACE the word bossy, not ban it.’ – via @rightwinggirl08

While I don’t advocate anyone to embrace being what the traditional definition of ‘bossy’ is, there are many perspectives that point to why we shouldn’t be trying to ban the word:

1) Promoting the banning of a word seems a little authoritarian in itself.

2) Bossy men aren’t always regarded as ‘great leaders’. They’re also called ‘dickheads’, ‘arrogant pricks’ and ‘cocky’ and they have to deal with the side-effects of these names, too.

3) An attempt to close the gap that is the great divide between girls and boys isn’t aided with a campaign targeted purely at females, for a topic that is not specific to only one gender.

4) This divide HAS been closing, albeit slowly, but there is much to be said for the men and women who have supported gender equality.

5) There are far, far greater insults than being called “bossy”. Being ignored is one of them.

6) Humans are emotional and competitive. Negative words will always be used, it’s how we handle them that’s key.

7) The tagline ‘I’m not “bossy”, I’m the boss.’ is inherently flawed. It creates a false association between leadership and being bossy. The best leaders are the ones who lead by example, not those who domineer and give orders.

8) ‘Leadership’ is not the only path to success. Being successful means different things to different people.

9) Our younger selves do many things that we look back on with regret, or rather, with a mature perspective, and being “bossy” is sometimes one of them. But it’s a natural way for young humans to assert themselves and their worth within their families, friendship circles and societies. It can be hurtful to be caught out on our behaviour, but it can also be strengthening.

My take on all of this?

Be human, be genuine, be real.
Show your children how to be compassionate and collaborative to fellow humans.
Be ambitious, be bold, be curious.
Do what you enjoy and you see value in.
Be a leader, if you want to be.
Or not!
Be what you want and respect others for what they want to be.

Just don’t be a dick.

Further reading:
Sheryl Sandberg wrong on ‘bossy’ ban by Peggy Drexler
Don’t ‘ban bossy’, Sheryl Sandberg. Tell us what to do next. by Alexandra Petri
The seven most ridiculous things about the new Ban Bossy campaign by Mollie Hemingway

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Don’t kill empathy with assumptions

Last week I made an assumption.

I was walking through the city at lunch and, feeling frustrated at the foot traffic, humidity and smokers around, I caught myself thinking the worst of a situation.

Three young men were walking ahead of me. Given their backpacks and attire, they appeared to be tourists. Nothing out of the ordinary in Sydney, but one detail got my attention. All three of them were wearing headphones.

Immediately, I jumped to conclusions.
‘Wow, they must be having a great time if they can’t even talk to each other.’
‘How incredibly impersonal to not be engaging with your fellow travellers!’
‘Look at what technology is doing to human interaction these days. Pppfft!’

And then I stopped myself. I realised that these negative thoughts were doing nothing for myself or anybody else. And just as I thought that, another possible option popped into my head.

‘What if they are all simultaneously listening to a walking tour of our beautiful city?’ 

Headphone guys
With this, a whole world of positive thoughts opened up. I imagined the guys downloading a Sydney walking tour app together at breakfast, leaving the hostel to get to the starting point, and hitting ‘play’ at the same time. I imagined them learning about all the great sights in Sydney, and chatting about their day over a beer that evening. I imagined them emailing their families tomorrow and telling them about their awesome day. I didn’t have a clue if any of this was true, but merely imagining it eased the frown in my brow and replaced it with a curious smile instead.

As the saying goes, “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

I have no clue if the guys were best friends since childhood, or if they met that morning. I don’t know with certainty if they were tourists, or foreign exchange students. And I definitely don’t know if they were listening to a walking tour, or to Beyoncé’s new album! I’ll never know the true story about the three guys with headphones, but it doesn’t matter.

When assumptions are made, they can destroy empathy and in turn, stagger enthusiasm and ideas. When we prompt ourselves to consider other options we can open our minds, improve our attitude and encourage creativity.

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Making your own goals and 7 other things about being a grown up

Recently I had one of those birthdays that makes you question, “Am I finally a grown up now?” The clichéd answer: Yes and no. Upon reflection, I don’t believe anyone ever wakes up and says, “Ah yes, I finally feel like what I expected a grown up feels like.” What I do believe is that we get better at being people, and understanding how our own and others’ weird, confusing but wonderful minds work.

Here are eight things about being a grown up that I’ve discovered in the last few years:

1) You’ve never been more in tune with your body, yet are somehow detached from it. You notice the effects that big nights and bad food have on you. You workout, scrutinise labels and invest in quality. Yet, when you’ve been a bit lax, any extra bulge is an alien, an impostor. It’s not even part of you. “WTF is that and HOW did it get there?!” You ask yourself in the mirror, pointing and pinching at unwanted bits. When you’re young, you shy away from them. When you grow up, you confront the issue and squat, plank and green smoothie it away.

Image from here

2) You don’t care what others think of you. Yes, we’re human and intrinsically we need to feel valued and loved, but speaking your mind and being bold is only a sign of strength. You know all those super embarrassing things your parents used to say and do? Yep, you now do them, and then some. You hold your own and know that your words and actions can and will make a difference. When you’re young, you chant in a choir. When you grow up, you’re the lead singer.

3) You get sillier. I realised this one a while ago, but worth mentioning again. GROWN UPS ARE SUPER SILLY. When you’re young, you’re blinded by all the grown up stuff like cufflinks and big words. When you grow up, you see through all that. Grown ups are often much sillier than kids, but as long as we’re honest and kind, it’s all good!

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 5.08.43 PM

4) You make all your own goals. Because of historical and societal ‘norms’, most of us had an idea of what we imagined our lives to be like at certain milestone ages. Not being at those ideals yet being happy without them means we realise how fast time does go by and how our priorities change over the years. Our precious moments are not to be wasted and our goals are to be OUR OWN, not somebody else’s. When you’re young, you want to be normal. When you grow up, you realise that nobody is.

5) You don’t feel ready to be a parent, but you’re ready. Many of your friends are successfully proving that procreation is both a financially and emotionally viable experience. The prospect, although often terrifying, is now one that you know you’ll be able to handle in the future. However, the logistics of childbirth will never cease to concern you.

Why are human babies’ heads so big?! (Human, left. Kangaroo, right) 

6) Any patience you had left with people continues diminishing at a rapid rate. Maybe this one is me being naive, but I never understood in my early 20s when friends told me that they had to end a friendship. Now I know better. People change, and you just don’t have time for people who don’t make positive contributions to the friendship bank account.

7) Everything is about sex. Not in an overt way, but subtly, in the background, like the hum of an airplane. You might not be in a situation that calls for sexual connotations, but yep, there in the background are all the puns, innuendos, cupcake boobs and penis-shaped zucchinis. And it’s all very hilarious. When you’re young, you quietly giggle. When you grow up, you gain a teenage brother who sits on your shoulder and turns mild situations into impossibly lewd ones.

Zuch-peeny

8) You know that nobody has all the answers, but momentum only comes from just doing things. Sometimes you’ll be right, sometimes you’ll be wrong, but both are better than not being anything. When you’re young, you spend too much time worrying about correct processes and the ‘right way’ to do things. When you grow up, you know that paths to destinations are always different and there is no ‘right way’. You just have to keep on moving.

What’s defined ‘growing up’ for you? 

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Top 10: GIF resources, obstacle racing, home-cooked food and more

I’ve been doing a bunch of ‘Top 5’ posts recently to practice more gratitude and appreciation of cool/exciting/nice things. I’ve not posted in July so I’ve now acquired TEN awesome things that I want to share.

1) GIF Search and Reaction GIFs
Are you looking for that perfect GIF to express yourself? Check out the Giphy search site and the Reaction GIFs site for ideas!
Happy Dance
GIF taken from Reaction GIFs

2) The Futility of Comparing Yourself to Others
Just an all-round, excellent post by Leo Babauta. He gives the example of running in a park, and comparing yourself to another, obviously better, runner. BUT, when we compare ourselves to others, we don’t have all the information, so making comparisons is useless.

3) Sunrise clouds
If you aren’t a fan of clouds and you don’t follow me on Instagram, consider yourself lucky. Coz I adore ’em.
Sunrise clouds

4) Warrior Dash & Urbanathlon
If a year ago you’d told me that in a year I’d be doing things like the Warrior Dash or running for 12kms without stopping, I would have said, “YES, DAMMIT I WILL BE!”

It’s an incredible feeling to achieve goals that once seemed unattainable or scary. I was nervous putting myself up for a 5km trawl through mud and obstacles, but it was fine. I was nervous about 12kms and 10 obstacles through the city, but with some focus, training and team support, I can tick it off the list.

Shoes after Warrior Dash
There are many others to add to the ‘to-do’ list, including:

Or check out the Obstacle Racers calendar for a list of upcoming events.

5) Quinoa porridge
Quinoa Porridge
This is a bit of a treat breakfast, but healthy enough to not be too naughty! Perfect for Winter and tastes like it should be sinful. I make mine in coconut milk and a bit of water, by bringing the quinoa to the boil then simmering gently. I add raw cacao and some honey and serve with banana and cinnamon. Variations: cooking in almond milk, serving with berries. Delicious.

6) Rarotonga
In early June I visited Rarotonga for the third time. The first time was in November 2008, the second time was November last year, and this time was for a dear friend’s 30th with a great bunch of friends.
Rarotonga is in my Top 5 favourite places in the world. Check out my November post to get a better idea of why this is.
Rarotonga

7) There are so many paradises, you just have to pick one
I really enjoyed this lovely little post by Paola Parsons. Beautiful in its simplicity, it address the fact that life is never perfect, and often things can be in a state of disarray. But amongst the chaos, there is calm.

Paradise and happiness are what we make it. I choose my current paradise, it’s quite nice.

8) Sydney home-cooked food companies
I’ve already harped on about Hungry Mondays, but they’re not the only ones providing delicious, home-cooked goodness to Sydneysiders. Check out Arthur Street Kitchen and The Soup Stone for more!

Honourable mention: Auckland’s Jess’ Underground Kitchen
The Soup Stone
Harriet from The Soup Stone

9) The Ricky Gervais Guide to a Successful Career
Ricky Gervais – funny, opinionated and now, career advisor (not that he knows it!). In this post by Louise Fletcher we’re alerted to Ricky’s career/life tips, including:

  • Be true to yourself in order to achieve great work
  • You can’t please everyone, so please the right people
  • Worrying about how you’re perceived doesn’t get you anywhere, but worrying about how much value you add does

Check out the post for the full article.

10) Mark Grist on Girls Who Read
A man who speaks admirably about girls who read. In prose. #saynomore

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Why you need to start asking ‘why?’ again

Kids have it sussed. Asking ‘why?’ of any situation is enlightening. It opens the mind, allows for new ways of doing things, encourages creativity and subdues the common adult fault of passive acceptance.

Very little in life occurs by chance. Almost everything that we encounter is due to a choice – yours or someone else’s.

Ask yourself why

Ask yourself, “Why?”

Understanding ‘why’ leads to many awesome insights. It helps us understand why others take the actions they take. It helps us understand why we ourselves do certain things. It teaches us about the fundamental drivers that influence different areas of our lives. It teaches us about history, science, emotion and business. It helps us to not take things for granted and gives us the opportunity to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Why is your friend gloating about their pay rise? Not because he’s being snarky, but because he’s been feeling low and wants to feel better about himself. Why is your client being so demanding? Because she’s been given a hard word about her performance. Why is the driver behind you being so aggressive? Because they’re going through a separation and are at the height of anxiety. 

Kids ask ‘why?’ because often they don’t yet have the life experience to piece cause and effect together. Later, as time starts passing us by faster and faster, we cease questioning. We take a step back, make assumptions and indifferently tolerate, or not tolerate, what’s happening around us.

Asking ‘why?’ takes us back to the basics, providing a deeper understanding of people and life. Asking ‘why?’ grounds us.

We should never stop questioning. If you find that you’ve stopped asking ‘why?’, it’s time to start once more.

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Top 5: TEDxSydney, make another person’s day, VW Golf advert, Le Creuset, Here is Today

The clear ‘Top 5’ highlight this week was TEDxSydney. It was a day of inspiration and ideas and I’m probably still a little high from it! Here’s this week’s Top 5 things I’ve enjoyed:

1) TEDxSydney
I was stoked to be accepted as part of the live audience for TEDxSydney 2013. The whole day was incredible – the speakers, the setup, the attendees, the food! I loved every part.
TEDxSydney name badge
Some of the best bits included:

  • The opening talk, by Ron McCallum, on ‘The Blind Reading Revolution.’ A must-watch.
  • Danny Kennedy on solar power.
  • A video about how crowdfarming was used to feed the attendees.
  • Lawyer Jennifer Robinson on ‘Courage is Contagious.’ She made everyone in the room want to become a human rights activist.
  • Tasty Video Bit by Saatchi & Saatchi: “The First Taste” – a slow-motion video of kids trying new foods.
  • The performance by beatbox extraordinaire Tom Thum was AMAZING! Here’s a video of him jamming backstage with John Butler and Jeff Lang.
  • Joost Bakker’s talk on sustainable and zero waste buildings was rad. He’s doing some awesome things. Check out his website.
  • This Tasty Video Bit by The Projects and Paper House Productions was adorable. Hank and the Pink Balloon.
  • Meeting a woman called Alison Covington at afternoon tea. Alison is bringing Good360 to Australia. It’s all about matching corporate “waste” with charitable need and I’ll be heading along to this event on the 5th of June to learn more.
  • Spending the day with some of the awesome crew that organises TEDxAuckland. Aucklanders, keep an eye out – the 2013 event is happening in a few months and I might just see you there!

2) Make another person’s day in unexpected ways
This post on LinkedIn by Jeff Haden made me smile. He highlights 6 great ways to make another person’s day. In summary:

  • Use your free time to do something nice for someone else, not because you’re expected to, but because you can
  • Compliment someone for something they did a long time ago
  • Point out when you’ve been referred, and who referred you
  • Compliment people for something they don’t expect
  • Notice when someone does something out of their norm
  • Let someone know that you see something in them that they don’t see yet – even if you can’t quite yet see it, either. Give them hope and show them you believe in them

Very happy dog
Oh, and there’s this really cute picture of a dog. ‘Nuff said. (Source)

3) VW: The new Golf advert

There are so many crap ads, so it’s nice when you come across one that can hold your attention. Anyone with a sibling can relate to the kid at 0:13, and I like the divorce proceedings at 0:27. The only thing that’s a bit silly here is how close to a cricket game the guy in the last scene has parked his beloved Golf, but I’ll let that slide. All in all, this is a solid advert.

4) Le Creuset store
Now in Sydney: Un petit bout de France! The beautiful cookware of Le Creuset is now in its own stand-alone store at 106 King St, near Pitt St Mall. I believe I’ll be spending a fair bit of time (and money) in there….

Le Creuset

5) Perspective: Here is Today 
This clever site is a nice reminder of the fact that we’re ultimately here for a fleeting moment. Click through to see how small one day in the grand scheme of things. Damn well, make it count.

Here is today

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