there’s a lot of joy to be found in normal, ordinary life

“Through this crazy experience, I discovered what is most important to me, and it’s not money or pretending to be something or someone I am not. Real, ordinary life with my family and friends was truly invaluable.

Sure, sometimes life can seem a bit mundane and boring after what I experienced, but that’s OK. Not everything in life needs to be totally exhilarating, and there’s a lot of joy to be found in normal, ordinary life.”

Dan Saunders who was jailed after spending $1.6 million from a secret ATM loophole #

JOMO

This week’s challenge to myself: turn any negative fear of missing out (FOMO) thoughts into positive ‘joy’ of missing out (JOMO) thoughts.

donnellys castle, pozieres

During our long weekend drive last weekend we had a picnic stop at Donnellys Castle
in Pozieres. This recreational area is North-West of Applethorpe and a short detour from the main highway.

The granite boulders in the park are particularly stunning – you can climb above them and in the caves under them.

Our kids had so much fun running around – even if they were a bit scared of yowies!

bright yellow september brisbane trees

Each September in Brisbane you’ll start to see bright yellow flowering trees – these are known as ‘trees of gold’ or tabebuia aurea.

As these trees are deciduous and lose their leaves over winter, they gain the blossoms before their new spring leaves so this makes them visually stunning, this year because we had a very dry winter they are even more stunning with abundant blossom.

As soon as these stop blooming along come my favourite flowering trees: purple jacarandas.

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sacrificing or suffering for work?

“The most likely to fall into such pattern are those of us who aspire to bring our whole self to work. That attitude is admirable and often necessary. We want to be all in. But then we find ourselves being always on.”

“In most businesses, we seldom value pace. If you run fast today, you’re asked to run faster tomorrow, and so on. We know that resting, at least once in a while, will make us healthier and more productive…but we choose to keep going, regardless.”

Are You Sacrificing for Your Work, or Just Suffering for It?

a big fall

Almost two years ago I was walking through a local forest with our three boys when Finley suddenly started screaming and crying out. I realised he had fallen face-first over the side of a large boulder and was at the bottom injured. I raced down and found he had fallen on his elbow which was dislocated. Three surgeries and almost two years later the only thing that remains is a feint scar and his arm is well and truly back to normal.

On Sunday we visited the same forest and Finley wanted to climb up on the same boulder again. Despite the five metre ledge – he had no fear or anxiety present. I was told the reason he fell off the boulder was he dropped a crystal he was carrying that day and he fell down towards it trying to get it. Standing on top of the boulder Finley spotted the missing crystal half way down that he lost almost two years ago. This time he let me fetch it and he was reunited with the crystal after all this time.

I am constantly amazed how resilient children can be.

amsterdam, august 2018

Spending last week working and hanging out in Amsterdam was fun; here’s some observations from an Amsterdam/Netherlands newbie:

  1. I knew there would be bikes but I just didn’t realize just how many there would be. It’s a shame motorbikes and small cars (Canta’s) also share the dedicated bikeways.
  2. The tourist party scene full of “coffee shops”, mini casinos and sex in the city is alive and well, it’s just not my scene at all – rather disgusting.
  3. Riding a bike 10 mins from our hotel just south of the city centre means you can discover a windmill, the Amstel river, beautiful green countryside and a small goat farm. Riding outside the city center is much easier as there is less “traffic” and it’s still flat like the rest of Amsterdam.
  4. I noticed there’s rubbish and litter everywhere – some people just throw and leave rubbish and expect some other people to clean it up. The party scene makes this even worse.
  5. Someone tried to swipe my wallet in broad daylight – besides this I felt safe most of the time.
  6. Most of the prices were similar to Australia but in Euro instead of AUD which mean it was about 40% more expensive than home.

traps

“There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.”

Philip Marlowe

realising when a diversion is out of control

“A large part of efficient time management revolves around avoiding distractions. An ironic aspect of life is how easily we can be harmed by the things we desire. Fish are seduced by a fisherman’s lure, a mouse by cheese. But at least these objects of desire look like sustenance. This is rarely the case for us. The temptations that can disrupt our lives are often pure indulgences. None of us needs to gamble, or drink alcohol, read e-mail, or compulsively check social-networking feeds to survive. Realising when a diversion has gotten out of control is one of the great challenges of life.”

From the book The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin

busy brains

“Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.”

Why the modern world is bad for your brain

My father was suprised when I told him I am responsible to planning, booking and arranging all my own work travel: domestically and internationally. “Isn’t there a team of  people who do that for you?” he asked. No there isn’t.

One of the best things about my weekend time is nature is forgetting about all that noise and just focusing on the present with my only concern being that I don’t fall straight off a cliff 🙀

 

torschlusspanik

The ever-useful German word ‘Torschlusspanik’: the feeling that the options are narrowing, that the boat is leaving, that you’re too old.

Alain de Botton at his finest

→ you don’t need more free time

“You cannot get more “weekend” simply by taking an extra day off work yourself. If we were to take more time off as individuals, we would be likely to spend that time, as the jobless do, waiting for other people to finish work. We are stuck “at work,” in a sense, by the work schedules of our family and friends.”

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I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit. A flexible job that allows weekend work for one partner whilst the other partner alternates looking after the kids seems like a good idea, but it just encourages us to solely work more and collectively spend less time together. There’s still something about the 9-5.

the hedonic treadmill

how-to-find-happiness

A growing list of traditional life pursuits are being found to have zero to only small correlations with happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction:

Beauty: ugly people are happy too.
Money: Materialism is inefficient.
Sunshine:Avoid really cold and dark places. Everything else is not much different
Education: Cheap education is the best education.
Children: Kids are for meaning and purpose. Friends and vacations are for happiness.
Choice: Simplify. Uncertainty feels bad, simplicity feels good.

Happier Human’s Hedonic Treadmill #

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crested succulents: my new obsession

I’ve been fond of succulents for some time now, but I was feeling a bit over them until I recently discovered crested succulents.

No one really knows how these plants form but they’re a naturally occurring mutation that means a normal succulent grows a ‘crest’ from which sprouts hundreds of tiny leaves instead of a typical succulent form. A crested succulent doesn’t really look like a normal succulent of the same species. The older the succulent gets the longer the crest grows and therefore the more growth it gets across the crest creating a dramatic effect.

As they’re naturally occurring and can’t be grown this way they’re hard to find but I found a market stall that has a few and I bought a couple on the weekend. I also discovered one had formed in a succulent planter I already had – so now I have a nice collection of crested succulents.

I’m looking forward to seeing the crests grow longer and getting more leaves along them. I heard that sometimes the crested mutant will sprout some normal growth out of the crest and the key is to break these off if this happens.

My collection. The plant in the middle is the oldest I have and wasn’t much different in size to the others only 12 months ago

sweet interactions

“My dad counsels people dealing with trauma and major anxiety, and once offhandedly mentioned a suggestion he gave to a client: When you’re out, look for people being nice to each other. Having sweet interactions. Look for friends getting coffee or a person holding open a door or strangers saying ‘how you doin’?’ or a dad kissing the top of his daughter’s head. And in Brooklyn, if you look for them, you get to see these tiny magic interactions everywhere. It’s gotten me through moments of secret darkness; it makes me well up with love for all these sweet, fragile, striving people around me; and for the gentle, kind man I learned it from.”

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