Noice! Verrry Noice!

A few months back while sitting out on the balcony of my new apartment, staring into space, (inadvertently facing my neighbour’s window where the window blind was half way down), and across my view ran a waste high view of a bare chested guy!  You know that moment when all in a split second you think “Whoa!  Look away!  Don’t get sprung staring!!!”  at what was a very nice side view of a muscle bound chest and upper arm.  OBVIOUSLY ! ! ! He works out!!!  I don’t even know how I managed to think all those thoughts in such a short amount of time . . . BUT it was all over in a flash!

So as to prevent potential for any further visual images, this ‘naked run’ incident prompted me to put up a screen between us .  In any case our balconies are so close that there is no privacy if we are both wanting to enjoy the sunshine.  It’s kind of awkward, and so I find myself checking if he’s out on his, before I go out on mine.

My screen is a work in progress . . . some bamboo wrapped around two metal mesh screens . . . secured together with cable ties.  Then on my side I am decorating it with quotes and pictures, and soon some hanging plants.

Then this morning while folding some washing, I noticed out my kitchen window . . . my neighbour has stood up a screen of bamboo on his balcony.  I had to laugh . . .  but wondering at the unlikely possibility if he is offended by my putting up a screen . . . probably not!  But it was funny to consider that he might be an eye for an eye, cheek for a cheek, screen for a screen kind of man?  Or has he also realised the close proximity of our balconies and views into each other’s apartments via our kitchen windows, and decided to follow my lead?

Noice Verry Noice

As I thought more about it . . . (not seriously, but as a notion) I considered the potential for offence.  What if?  Because, I never actually mentioned to him why I put up the screen (and I’m not likely to tell him the original cause) . . . but he would have seen the wire mesh stands just appear, then later the bamboo wrapping.  But the fact that seemingly, his response was not to raise the topic with me, but to put up his own screen (albeit somewhat sparse) did strike a thought . . . and so this parallel . . .

How often in life does an incident happen (like a nudey run),

that causes a reaction (screen),

rather than a response (discussion) albeit an awkward one.

While I was putting up a screen for both our sakes, to establish a boundary line of my privacy space on my balcony (and so I cant see into his apartment), his perception of it might be that I’m putting up a wall?  Or not?  He might just really like my idea, and has implemented it for himself.   But we’ll never know if one of us doesn’t raise the topic.

On the other hand, while my screen blocks my view into his kitchen, and our view into each other’s balcony, he had nothing to block his view into my kitchen.  Now to some degree, his screen does provide that, in case I was to make the same kind of run.  Not likely!  And given my own experience, my blinds are ALWAYS down until I’m ready to face the day.  But I guess he might be exposed to me washing dishes at the sink? But that’s a clothed activity!

Life is full of incidents and mishaps, where we are vulnerable and exposed, maybe more than we wanted or expected to be.  Instead of confronting the situation with a frank, open, honest discussion about it (albeit awkward), we react by pulling away.  But nothing is resolved or clarified in the reaction of pulling away!

As with my neighbour, I don’t know his perception of the screen.  He doesn’t know my reason for the screen.  And there is a whole lot of potential for misinterpretation of and/or misunderstanding, all because an incident happened that I reacted to, which he then in turn also possibly reacted to.

Boundaries and Walls!

While boundaries are good, healthy and necessary, providing a safety net.

Walls are for hiding behind and cause isolation.


Don’t allow the boundaries you establish for your safety

to become walls that you hide behind while still holding on to your insecurities.

Or is it:

Don’t allow yourself with your insecurities to hide behind walls  

masquerading them as boundaries for your safety.

In both cases, you are being ripped off!

My screen boundary has potential to become a wall, and my own insecurity and lack of self confidence in talking to someone I don’t know, will only succeed in building that wall higher.  So I’m now going to talk to my neighbour . . . .

And I did!

It was awkward, starting with introductions . . . as we’ve never actually met and  introduced ourselves.  Then I just straight up asked him if my screen was okay from his side, giving both of us privacy on our balconies, and that I noticed he had done a similar thing.  His resposnse “Yeah, I saw what you did, really liked the idea, and figured I’d do the same.”

Too easy!

Awkward discussion not as awkward as anticipated.  Possible thoughts, concerns and perceptions not even an issue.  It was ALL good, we just hadn’t communicated on it.  And now I know my neighbour  . . .  Win!  Win!


The Nurse in me!

In my day to day paid employment I’m an Anaesthetic Nurse.  That is (in short) to assist the Anaesthetist in their role of putting the patient to sleep for their surgery, keeping them asleep throughout, and to wake them up on completion of their surgery.

Last week, with a patient asleep on the operating table, I was taking off a blood sample from their arterial line, which is a small plastic tube that sits in the artery (usually at the wrist) giving us a second by second blood pressure reading on our monitor.  However as I pulled back on the syringe, I failed to extract the sample.  Assuming it was a positional issue, I requested assistance in pulling the patient’s wrist back so I could complete my task.  Then my anaesthetist advised me that it wasn’t the position of the patient’s wrist that was the problem, but rather my technique.  Whaaaat ? ! ? !

He was accusing me of rushing!!!  That I was pulling back too hard and fast on the plunger of the syringe, thereby causing the artery to collapse, thus making it impossible to extract the blood sample I needed.  Hmmm . . . . the irony here is that this Anaesthetist (and his constant demands), was the reason for my rushing, in order to keep up with his requests.  He had already expressed I was not moving fast enough  . . .  and here he is now telling me to slow down?

At the time of taking this sample, I had already backed off from my break neck speed (so as not to risk injuring myself after a couple of near misses already), so I now felt I was moving at a pace more in line with ‘reasonable’ expectations.  But seemingly, according to him, I was still rushing . . . and the patient’s artery was demonstrating its agreeance with him.

I did heed his advice though, and on my next attempt, I was somewhat gentler on the pressure I held as I pulled back the plunger of the syringe.  And what do you know!!! The blood flowed back easily, and I was able to take my sample.

Life lessons learned are sometimes not about position, but about technique. 

  • When too much pressure is applied in getting what we want or need, the result can sometimes be that that ‘thing’ collapses.
  • Changing position is not necessarily going to make any difference, as the problem is not with the position, but with the technique.
  • Thus the only solution to the problem is to change the technique, slow down, don’t rush, allow the ‘thing’ (in my case – the artery) to return to normal capacity, and try again at a slower pace.

Like my Anaesthetist, we can all be oblivious to the pressure (by our requests or demands) we are putting on another person, or sometimes even on ourselves.

Like myself, we can all be oblivious to the fact that we’re still rushing, even though we think we’ve backed off or slowed down our pace.  We think we’re moving at a normal pace of a reasonable standard … but apparently not.   Sometimes it takes someone else to tell us that we’re rushing in order for us to see that … and sometimes even then, we still can’t see it.

But as I learnt with my Anaesthetist, as much as he can try to rush me by placing constant requests and demands on me, it’s up to me as to how I respond to that.  So long as my patient is safe and receives the proper care due to them, my priority has to be for myself and my own safety.  I am no good to anyone if I injure myself in the process.

And so it is with life . . . it’s up to each of us to navigate our own response to each situation, not allowing ourselves to be rushed at a pace that feels unsafe.  We can only be the best version of ourselves, when we have prioritised our ‘self’ so as to reach that.

Thus I believe we can all do with taking time to:

  1. identify the signals of applying too much pressure.
  2. recognise the potential for collapse before the actual collapse.
  3. in the event of collapse, know how to back off accordingly so as to get the desired outcome from the situation.

Mondo (you) Rock!


A month or so ago, ‘Mondo’ (the vacuum cleaner I’d been given when I moved in to my new home), stopped working.  He was second hand, but still, I was disappointed that he gave up after such a short time together.  But then on investigation, I discovered he didn’t have a bag inside. Doh!!!!  And as a result, Mondo had now over heated, stopped working, and there was ‘a smell’ I hadn’t noticed before.
“How could you be so stupid?” you might ask.
To which I would reply “I don’t know, but I’ve asked myself the same thing over and over again.”

At that time, I removed Mondo’s filter, gave him a good clean, put a bag in him, and tried him again, but Mondo still wasn’t working.  I concluded that what Mondo really needed was another vacuum cleaner to suction out all that dust from his ‘inner parts’.  So I took Mondo up to Godfrey’s to see if they could fix him. For a $10 fee Mondo received a thorough suction out with a high power vacuum … but alas … much to my dismay … that still wasn’t enough.  I had hoped that a good Godfrey suction would do the trick.  But I was again disappointed.  Not even Godfrey’s could fix this issue … but they did offer to dispose of him for me, to which I declined and left with my dead Mondo.

Later that evening, when I felt that Mondo had had sufficient time to cool down, I gave him another go … plugged him into power, and hit the button … NOTHING!  All that achieved was to reinforce those feelings of regret over my not having checked for a bag.  I guess the filter had blocked and the engine was now burnt out.  So rather than repeat and confirm that over and over again, I decided that the damage had been done.  The indicator was fully red instead of green.  Mondo was now kaput, beyond repair, finished, and dead!  Accept it!  It is what it is!

So I resigned myself to accepting my mistake.  But still, I kicked myself, repeatedly, that it didn’t occur to me to check inside for a bag … and for the resulting consequences of having to buy a new vacuum, incurring an expense that I wouldn’t have had to if I had just thought to check for a bag.   I guess I just assumed Mondo had one.  I actually didn’t give it a thought … even though I’d been given 4 packets of spare bags, it never occurred to me to check.

I also felt particularly bad that Mondo had been such a generous gift and I’d not looked after him properly, albeit unintentionally.  And now I could do nothing else but throw him out.  So I ventured out and bought a new vacuum, (a bagless one this time) and put Mondo in the carport to wait for the next hard rubbish collection.

  Then just last week …

… as I arrived home, pulling into my carport, I noticed my dead Mondo was gone from the corner.  Hmm…. someone must have thought they would give him a go (haha … good luck with that!) …. or that they could use him for parts or something … “Oh well” I thought “they have saved me the trouble of getting rid of him” …. but then I noticed a whirring sound coming from within my apartment building … I chuckled … thinking “Imagine that! Imagine if that is my Mondo making that noise? Can’t be!!!  But it does seem a little too ‘coincidental’ that Mondo is gone, and someone is vacuuming somewhere close by?”

Lo and behold as I entered my building … there’s my dead Mondo vacuuming the stairwell.  The cleaner had arrived but didn’t have his vacuum with him, saw Mondo sitting in the carport, and was ‘chuffed’ to find him ‘available’. So … he thought … Carpe diem! (seize the day/opportunity).  I told the cleaner Mondo’s story, and he said “Well he’s working just fine now.”  He seemed shocked, surprised somehow, that I could have thought Mondo was dead, when he is so obviously now working just as he should.

And so it is…

That ‘thing’ that you think is kaput, beyond repair, finished, dead … It’s not!
Just because it seems dead, doesn’t mean it is dead.

Don’t be so quick to throw it away and replace it.

Even though you tried again and again in the hope of getting it working again (the right way – with a bag in it) … and it still didn’t work, seemingly it just needed time.  Time to do what?  I don’t know … cool down completely maybe?  But in any case, it doesn’t matter, as it’s working again, just as good as it used to.  But maybe this time with a bag in place, your ‘Mondo’ (just like my Mondo) will work even better, and have a longer lifespan, without all that dust and dirt clogging up his inner parts.

Apparently even that which by all accounts seems dead and burnt out, (vacuum cleaners included), can be resurrected!  Nothing is impossible!

As I now have my flash new bagless vacuum, I’ve donated Mondo to the apartment building, where he serves a bigger purpose in maintaining our common areas: the foyer and the stairwell for 8 apartments.

I wonder what the bigger purpose is in the resurrection of that seemingly dead ‘thing’ you’re dealing with…

While the dictionary lists resuscitation and resurrection as synonyms of each other, no-one was resuscitating Jesus in the tomb. His story is one of resurrection…

But remember this:
What man can’t (fix) or resuscitate,
God can still resurrect.

The Voice

As I continue to face my fears, pursuing this singing venture … my singing teacher tells me these three points as I work on building my confidence:  

1) Get to know the sound of your own voice and then learn to trust it.

2) You’re hitting the notes, but you get nervous, overthink, forget the words, and miss where you’re supposed to come in. All because you got caught up in a few words you forgot, or your timing went off. 

3) try this: sit on the edge of your chair so your diaphragm has room to expand, but relax into the song, feel the emotion behind the words, what do they mean to you, close your eyes if that helps, and sing the words softly. You know the words, let anxiety go, and the words will come back to you.

4) When you mess up the words, learn to skip over that part, just humm over it or ‘ad lib’ over that part until you can pick up the song again.  It’s your version of a song, and in making it your own, most people will just think it was part of your version. 

Have you ever looked back on your life and questioned the life choices you’ve made? 

Over the last couple of years I have been doing exactly that.  Re-evaluating all the choices I’ve made over the last 25 years.  I can say I honestly believed I was making choices with my life that were in line with what I believed was the plan and purpose God had for me at that time.  And I still believe that … however, now I seem to be on a completely different journey.

But I think we probably all do it at some point … look back on life, maybe overthink it, and question if they were infact the right choices after all.  It’s a tough challenge to face because if I was wrong, then 25 years is along time to be getting it wrong.  

Maybe you’ve been in that place where you chose in line with what you believed? Or maybe you didn’t.

Maybe you’ve been in that place, when life and purpose has not outworked itself the way you had pictured it?

Maybe you’ve been in that place when repeatedly, things didn’t go as you believed, hoped and prayed they would. You began to doubt, and then lost confidence in who you believed was ‘The Voice’ to follow?

Maybe you questioned everything? 

Was everyone right when they said “You’re crazy!”  Maybe you should have been “looking after your own future…” 

But ultimately it comes back to what I believe … and I believe I’m accountable for my one chance at life, and so it’s important for me to follow my heart and the conviction that it carries in order to see the plan and purpose for this life to be outworked.
Well, even as I’m still on that journey, sometimes doubting, sometimes messing up, questioning The Voice, then rediscovering The Voice, learning to trust The Voice again, I’m learning that while the journey has not (thus far) turned out as I had believed, hoped, and prayed for, what is important is that I was faithful to The Voice (which I believe is the voice of God) as He speaks to me.  I followed The Voice to the best of my belief, knowledge, and ability. 
Then, however it works out from there, including those ‘off notes’ in difficult times is all just part of the process of learning to sing my song, to make it my own, and not be a copy of anyone else.

I love (sometimes) how art imitates life… And for me singing is doing just that … and maybe this speaks to you too. 

1) We have to trust the voice! Be it the voice in your head that pushes you to face a new challenge, or the voice of God that  prompts you to follow a dream or take the road less traveled. Get to know what that voice sounds like, feels like, or however it is that it presents itself when it ‘speaks’ to you. Learn to recognise it. Then go with it. 

2) We can be trusting the voice, following it as it leads, hitting the mark, and then for whatever reason, we get nervous, pause, trip up, and then if we’re still caught up in the bit that we got wrong, we can miss what’s coming up. So we need to be … 

3) … living on the edge of our seat, where our lungs can fully expand to breathe in all that they need to, so as to be able to do all that our purpose requires. But then to also relax into that purpose, allowing ourselves to feel what it means to us. Let go of our fears, and then the direction of that purpose will come. Then go with that, and allow it to outwork itself, whatever that looks like …. 

4) And when we mess up, we need to be able to skip over that part and pick up our song as soon as possible. In the meantime, ad lib to fill the gap, and most people will be oblivious to the apparent mess.

 In Jessica Mauboy’s song ‘Wake me up.’ a line that hits home for me is: 

I don’t know where the journey will end, but I know where to start.

None of us know where the journey will end, but I believe if we do our part and listen to The Voice, that’s the start.  Then the rest is up to God … only He knows the end. We can have our own idea about how it might go, but ultimately that’s just our idea … 

Facing fears.

​After years and years of: believing I don’t have a good voice, declaring that “my singing is so bad I don’t even sing in the shower,” fearing the person standing beside me in church might be traumatised by my voice and forced to change seats, and lastly … I definitely don’t sing in the car when I have a passenger! But then…. 

In December last year all that changed… and I had my first singing lesson.  Surprisingly I wasn’t nervous or anxious about it … the appointment had been in my calendar for a few weeks  … so there had been time to get used to the idea. But I did have some fleeting thoughts as I was driving there: 
“Why aren’t you trembling with fear?” 

“You do know you’re going to have to sing solo in front of your teacher don’t you?”  

“What were you thinking in signing up for this?”  

Maybe I was numb with fear? But in any case, I prayed a “God help me!”  prayer.  I sang, I conquered, and I even learnt some stuff. 

1) The way you hear your voice and the way others hear your voice are different. Because the singer is hearing it from ‘internally’ as it moves through the nasal bones. The listener is hearing it externally separate from the nasal sound of the singer’s experience.  

2) Record yourself and listen to your sound, it will sound different on the recording to that of hearing yourself live.  For the above reason … because what you hear from your head, and what you hear on a recording are different.  
It’s about recognising what’s off key (and correcting it), and what is actually not off key but your own unique sound.  And learning to accept that as your sound. 

Life can be like this: 
1) The way we see our own life and the way others see our life are different.  While many have watched it or seen portions of it from an onlookers perspective , there is only one who has lived it, breathed it, felt it, loved it, feared it, and totally been inside of it like no one else can know. But in any case appreciate it from both sides. 

2) Sometimes we need to take a recording as such because how we see day to day life in the now, and how we see day to day life at the end of a season, are two completely different perspectives of the same experience. 
As with a song recording, in reviewing the ‘life season’ recording we can learn to recognise where we went ‘off key’ in life (and make the necessary adjustments or corrections), and where we were actually ‘on key’ with our own unique (albeit different) life sound.  Then it’s about learning to accept our life ‘sound’ as our own.  

Different doesn’t necessarily mean bad.  We weren’t made to all have the same sound. How boring that would be.  
Sing your song (and your life song) with a sound that is all your own …  and sing it loud! 

The Measuring Stick. 

Since moving into my ‘new digs’ I’ve been consumed with looking for good second hand furniture to set up my new home.  

I was previously in a fully furnished apartment (right down to the towels) but I recently moved into an unfurnished apartment, and with no furniture other than a bar table and 2 chairs (which I bought for the former balcony so as to enjoy the city views), I had nothing.  

So began my search of numerous second hand shops, Gumtree, and my local ‘buy swap sell’ site looking for things I needed at bargain prices. 

I love shops because you can see the item, examine it thoroughly and measure it up for size.  Online however, you’re relying on a photo and what the seller writes about the item they have for sale.  

The one thing that surprised me most in the ‘buying process’ online, was the number of people who don’t put in the size dimensions of the item they’re selling.  For me that was the most important information, so that I could know straight away if the item would fit the space I wanted it for or not. If it wasn’t going to fit the space, then all other factors such as color and style were irrelevant.  And so it was, I was constantly asking sellers to tell me the length by width by height by depth so that I could make sure my first decision on space and “Will it fit?” would be met.  

Another factor when buying online is that a photo doesn’t always give a true perspective of the item depending on the angle and the lighting. So that was something I learnt to clarify with the seller, rather than to assume the photo was a true reflection of the item,  only to be disappointed when collecting it. 

While it’s difficult or maybe even impossible to put an exact measure on, I believe we all desire to know to some degree a measure of the length, height, width and depth of love, value, and acceptance we have.  Be it to ourselves, by God, or by those in our world.  

I think the most important thing is having a right perspective on our love, value and acceptance and not like that of a distorted photo due to a wrong angle or bad lighting.  Because choices made thereafter are based on these three: what we see, what we believe, and what we perceive.  

So in the same way that we often measure 3 times to be sure we measured right, we need to apply the same rule to ourselves.  Always checking our perspective…  because while our perception would show and suggest it to be true, in reality our perspective is not always accurate and true of that which we see, believe and perceive.

Most important is that we love, value and accept ourselves. Those who are meant to be in our world will do the same.  And ultimately we can know that our love, value and acceptance by God is unconditional and immeasurable in its unlimited capacity.  

What I learnt from being unwell. 

​Recently I had some issues with dizziness, nausea and vomiting which was thought to be due to a viral infection going around. But after further investigation it was found to be due to tension in my neck, back and shoulders. So I’m now seeing a physio to resolve the problem. 

While walking home after a physio session where we had discussed the abnormal curvatures in my spine due to mild schermanns, mild scoliosis, and some kyphosis of my thoracic spine which contributes to my poor posture, a thought bomb dropped: “It’s time to get serious about your walk.” 

I’ve always known about these conditions, and at various times I’ve   done stretches for awhile. I’ve also been taught how to walk taller, stronger, better to minimise the resulting limitations, but I just don’t stick to the program.  And so eventually pain occurs that ultimately points back to the original problem. 

Sooo … what about you? 

Where are you at?  

Is it time to get serious about your walk? Be it your physical walk, your faith walk, or your life walk.  

To be the person you want to be, to reach the goals you want to reach, you need to ‘walk’ well. 

In life we need to constantly be stretched in who we are, so as to  continually grow towards who we want to be.   
In life sometimes we also need to be taught how to walk taller, stronger, better, so as to remove the conscious and subconscious limitations we put on ourselves. 

In our not sticking to the program we are repeatedly held back by the same original problem.  Be it low self esteem, lack of determination,  or some other negative issue, it’s not helping us in the long term and if left unaddressed will just permit the conditions to exacerbate, thereby making them more and more difficult to correct as time goes by.  
Dire Straits have a song ‘Walk of life.’ As I read through the words, I know this is not the intended meaning, but I’m taking writer’s liberty with the last verse:

“And after all the violence and double talk, there’s just a song in all the trouble and the strife, you do the walk, you do the walk of life.”

I think the negative way some of us talk to ourselves (sub consciously and even consciously) could be compared to that of self abuse (violent) and double talk. But that’s the ‘song’ we sometimes sing to ourselves, and negativity does bring trouble and strife.  And as a result that ‘song’ determines our walk, and can affect our walk through life.  

The singer mentioned in the song lyrics is said to perform “down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay”, which is a reference to busking in the subway. But with my writer’s liberty I see it this way: sometimes we need to get out of the ‘tunnel of our isolated thinking’ and out into ‘the light of day where we are exposed to a new way of thinking’ in order to change our ‘life performance’. 

If life is not ‘paying up’ for you, then maybe it’s time to review your walk.  So you can “do the walk, the walk of life”... that you dream of, that you were made for!  

Here’s another thought … I learnt from my spine assessment that by walking incorrectly I’m exerting 140% EXTRA force on my physical self. 
If you’re not ‘walking’ correctly, how much unnecessary extra force are you exerting on yourself because you’re not “doing the walk, the walk of life” the way you were made to? 

It’s just a thought … 😉

The omelette and the chai. 

​When it comes to food choices, I’m realising just how much a creature of habit I am. I have my regular cafes and restaurants where I almost ALWAYS order the same thing every time.  

Which might be fine for you, if that’s what you do too. And that’s okay… 

But I started asking myself “Why do I make the same choices I do, ALMOST every time?” 

And I heard my response: “Because I’d rather stick with what I know, and in doing so, know that I won’t be disappointed by my choice.”
And so now I’m on a mission to find new places to eat, and consciously choosing something other than my usual ‘eggs benedict’ brekky option for example.  
But what I’ve come to realise is this: that in stepping out of my comfort zone to make a new choice, sometimes it is a pleasant surprise… like the omelette I had in Cafe Lulu last week.  

And sometimes it is not what I expected, like the chai I ordered to go with my omelette.  

I was expecting a chai latte, but I was served chai tea in a pot (they don’t serve chai latte). 
I was initially disappointed, and wished I had been more specific with my question “Do you do Chai?” when I was checking out the menu, determining my decision to stay or go. He said “Yes!” So I stayed. 

But unknowingly we each had a different interpretation or understanding of my question.
But once I adjusted my expectation to my reality, and appreciated my chai tea for what it was, (rather than comparing it with the anticipated chai latte), I found myself ordering a second pot … 
On the road of self discovery, some of us learn just how much we are creatures of habit, always doing the same thing, never stepping out of our comfort zones to explore new interests, which may or may not lead to new appreciations. 
We fear being disappointed, and therefore maybe unconsciously decide to stick with what we know within our comfort zone.  

Then sometimes we need to be nudged… 
In checking out the menu, I was not fully stepping out of my comfort zone… I was still seeking the chai (latte) safety net.  But due to a communication glitch, I made the decision to stay, was served something different … and in the end was pleasantly surprised … enjoying my cafe brekky… even though it wasn’t what I expected.  

So while sometimes we are disappointed by the outcome of choices made while stepping out of our comfort zone, sometimes we are pleasantly surprised.  
So I’m learning to: learn from the disappointments, enjoy the unexpected pleasant surprises, adjust through the communication glitches, but not to give up on the journey of self discovery.  

Disappointment doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  Especially if it shows us what we don’t want, thereby pushing us forward in the direction of what we do want. 

The key is to push on in the search of what we do want, in spite of the disappointments… 

Don’t allow the possibility of disappointment to hold you back from ‘having a go’ at something new.  You just never know what great possibilities may be waiting for you in taking that step out of your comfort zone…. 

The ski lesson.

​Today I was reminded of a skiing adventure I had back in the early 90’s…

Imagine this… you have never been skiing before, but you’ve just spent a couple of hours out learning some new skills. You have mastered the art of snow ploughing, and the ‘pizza’ stop, and you now stand at the top of the home trail, feet pointing inward and poles ready.  You push off.  You are skiing down at a nice comfortable pace ‘feeling’ like you are in control.  Your focus is on your ski position, adrenaline pumping with excitement “I’m skiing – what a buzz!”  

You remember your instructor’s advice “Keep your eyes on your ski stance to stay focused on where you are at and just a few metres in front of you. Don’t worry about what’s further ahead of you than that.”

But after travelling a distance you take a moment to look up and what do you see?  A pine fence ahead and the trail bends sharply to the left. You think “How am I going to take that bend? I’m not!  I’m heading straight for the fence.” 

Now imagine you’re a melancholy,  you see the problem, you analyse it,  and now you need to find the best possible solution.  One problem: there’s no time for gathering information to figure out the best possible solution!  This is now a crisis situation, in taking your focus off your skis, you’ve lost your stance, your skis now parallel have picked up incredible speed, and your legs are like iron that can’t be moved. So what else can you do but in a moment of panic yell “HELP!!  SOMEBODY  STOP  MEEEEE!” in what seems like a slow motion voice filled with fear and anticipation as that pine fence looms closer and closer by the second.  But nobody did stop you … 

So you had to implement Plan B… to fall.  Which you do!  Well it was more like a ‘drop’… but not safely off to the side like you were taught, but with both feet parallel your feet come together, your knees go out side ways, your ankles buckle under you as the underside of your skis come together and you fall landing on your back with your spine and your skis in line with one another like some sort of magnetic attraction to each other.  

Unable to move, you lay there, in the snow, thinking of all the things you’ll never be able to do again. 

Several minutes later, feeling returns to your body, along with the pain, but you are up and walking down the remainder of the trail, carrying your skis as everyone skis right on by.  

When you ski like me, at times life can feel like a ski adventure.  
You think you’ve acquired enough skills to do something, so you step out and give it a go. You’re enjoying yourself… but along the journey, you take a moment to look up at what’s ahead (or maybe you didn’t look up to see) and ‘SURPRISE SURPRISE’ disaster is approaching fast.  

In that realisation, you panic, now it’s approaching even faster, you cry out for help (or maybe you didn’t), but nobody responds, and so there’s nothing else to do but fall here and now.  Because if you don’t fall now, the fall ahead is going to be far worse.  

We don’t always know how to fall properly and safely so as to minimise the injury. We just anticipate that hitting what’s ‘ahead’ will be far worse than ‘dropping’ to the ground now … and so we ‘drop’ now awkwardly and painfully, but thankful to have avoided the anticipated injuries of what lay ahead.  

Eventually feeling returns to your body, and while you might not ‘ski’ again till next season (if at all), at least you took the safer option of incurring the lesser injuries.  The road to recovery is already much simpler.  

Be encouraged on your journey, if you see disaster ahead … to act sooner rather than later, in the best possible way you know how. 

Even if you get it wrong, you will still have got it right. Confronting a situation (real or perceived) sooner rather than later is always better for the outcome. 

Choose the Voice! 

​Earlier this week driving to an appointment, I had my GPS on and was following the voice direction as I was unfamiliar with the route.  However, along the way I was distracted by my thoughts, and without realising it I was no longer listening to the voice direction, but instead just traveling along in the far left lane I was in, which meant I was now taking the exit off the M1 onto the M80, only to look at my GPS and see that I was supposed to stay on the M1. Aghhh!!! 

DANG! those thoughts, distracting me, causing me to lose focus. If only I had kept my focus on listening to the voice direction.  

Thankfully, my GPS rerouted me and the voice directed me to get off at the next exit of Boundary Road (State Route 32), then right back on the M80, then back on the M1, which would then have me back on track for my destination.  Delayed, but at least back on track!

I did have some options though.  I could take an alternative route which was slower by a few minutes,  or I could just trust the voice and it’s advice of the fastest reroute. But I was momentarily challenged by what I had seen as I took that wrong exit …  the peak hour traffic, bumper to bumper, going in the opposite direction.  Surely there’s a faster way. I regretted the distraction all the more.  I so did not want to have to move with all that traffic.  

With moments to choose, I decided to listen to the voice, hear the voice,  trust the voice, and to go with the choice of the voice, back on to the M80. So I joined that bumper to bumper M80 traffic, merging from my far left to the far right to get back on to the M1. Along the way, I saw vehicles moving too fast, while others patiently crawled at the pace set by the traffic.  

Looking at the traffic I perceived it was going to take forever to reach my destination, but my GPS calculated only an extra 15 minutes.  Could that be true with all that traffic?  

In life we can have a plan for a desired destination, and set the direction accordingly, then SOMEHOW, SOMEWHERE  ALONG  THE  WAY …  our thoughts are distracted, and we find ourselves off course. We stopped listening to the voice of direction! 
But we CAN get back on track.  The voice will reroute us, BUT are we prepared to hear it, to listen to it, and to then make the choice to trust it, and follow it?  OR despite what the voice advises, we can choose to look at the circumstances we see, and take one of the optional routes, albeit not the best option. As can be the case with the GPS, we often fear “But what if the voice has got it wrong?” But then on the other hand “What if the voice has got it right?” 

Either way there is always going to be ‘traffic’ on the roads of life. Distractions, detours and rerouting are all part of the journey. But at least rerouting after distraction is an option. The original desired destination is not lost.  Which ever reroute you choose, you will eventually get there.

While some people move slowly and patiently, others are eager to get to where they want to be, as fast as possible, regardless of the pace of the traffic.  I certainly encountered one particularly eager driver very nearly on my bumper, but everyone else let me merge so I could cross … it was the difference between my perceived possible ‘road rage’ behaviour, and extra road courtesies given to me, even though no one knew my journey. 

It’s about learning to read the traffic conditions with or without direct communication. It might mean moving slower than we’d like to at times, slowing down to let others merge safely so they can also get back (or keep) their journey on track.  The apparent disadvantage to us (in slowing down to let another merge in) on our journey, might just be that which gives a far greater advantage to someone else (not missing their lane or exit) on their journey.

Our encounter of a person’s behavior, is not necessarily true of who they are, it is only an indication of where they are at, in that moment.  


Be kind, because everyone you pass on your journey is ‘dealing with stuff’ on their journey, that you know nothing about. 

On the journey we need to be less focused on the time lost in distraction and rerouting, and more focused on what is learnt on the journey, and in continuing to pursue the destination we desire.

And in regards to the eternal question “How long will the journey take?” 

I’m reminded of a common ‘line’ I encountered in Zambia, a friend might say: “I’ll come by your place to see you tomorrow.” to which I would then ask (so I can be ready) “About what time do you think?”  and the answer I had to get used to was:

“When you see me, then you will know I have arrived.” 

… and so it is, as frustrating as it may be at times, the journey will take as long as it takes. But you will get there… so don’t give up,  but continue to pursue it.