The ‘C’ word

I’ve not posted much in the past couple of months as life’s become busier – work’s providing quite the challenge, junior soccer duties take up some time and doing many jobs in and around the house since we moved in have all conspired to keep me away from here. I’ve been ‘quiet’ online the past few months.

The much feared ‘C’ word has entered the inner sphere of our lives. It entered quite suddenly (on the surface, but we all believe it has been hidden for a while, waiting for the right time to jump out and present itself).

My dad has lung cancer.

He’s undergone radiotherapy and a round of chemotherapy, and at the moment he’s at home resting up, in preparation for a likely second round of chemotherapy. It’s all new territory for us and we have no idea where this journey will take us, so for now we’re just getting through each day/week as it comes to us.

It is affecting me in subtle ways, but nothing that I can put my finger on at the moment. If I seem aloof or not engaged with you, go easy on me.

 

 

A Short Course in Human Relations

I saw this from one of my Facebook friends this morning and had to share!

The six most important words:
I admit that I was wrong.

The five most important words:
You did a great job.

The four most important words:
What do you think?

The three most important words:
Could you please. . .

The two most important words:
Thank you.

The most important word:
We.

The least important word:
I.

Health First. Do you do it?

Winter is one of the worst times for blood donations. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service often has signs out calling for donors as blood stocks are low. Winter is one of the most difficult times for blood donations as a large part of the population are ill – coughs, colds, flu and chest infections are some of the reasons you may be turned away, unable to donate.

Since starting my plasma donations late last year, I’ve used them as my yardstick for my health – As the donations are every 2 weeks, I’ve worked on staying healthy from one donation to the next. I’ll admit this may sound kooky to others, it’s been working out very well for me. Now let me contrast this to the wellbeing of the ‘general’ population (yes, here comes some ‘generalisations’)

Many of the people I know are working like crazy and not really taking time for themselves. Weekends are filled with activities that keep them ‘busy’, never letting themselves relax and recover (which is an important part of staying healthy). Black-hole holidays and digital detox are becoming part of the choice for where to spend your ‘holiday’ time, as a way for you to disconnect from the belief that you have to be connected, available and busy all the time.

Health first.

For me, my health is the most important thing in my life. From this everything else has a chance to grow.

Love? check.

Happiness? check.

Ability to continue donating blood/plasma to help others? check.

Once your health is gone, what else is there? At what point do people begin to care about their health? I think many other people don’t care about their health because their focus is on other things – money, status, wealth, getting ahead of the neighbours. I’m pretty sure there are many who will agree with me, and some will be in denial.

Let me know your thoughts on why (if) you think people’s focus isn’t on their health.

What do people really want?

“It’s freedom. I’m going to do what I want to do, how I want to do it, on my own schedule. What people also want to be respected for is their wisdom, for their power, for their coolness, for their influence, for their experience.”

—  Dr. Ken Dychtwald

The above is an interesting, succinct answer to the question in the title: “What do people really want” It resonated with me and some of the goals I sought to achieve when starting the project (and throughout the journey so far). Many people believe money will make them happy, but money can be a burden. The saying goes “those who have little give most“.

I’ve advocated that living a life that is in service to others and to make the world a better place in whatever way you can. Sure, we can see death, destruction and travesty if we choose to look for it, but in even the most desperate human survival stories there have been stories of courage, faith, hope and wonderment. Money won’t help you attain any of those.

My question to you (as we’re all individuals): “What do YOU really want?” Be personal, it can be different to everyone else because only you can be the best you out there.

No more house hunting

The number 28 takes on more significance in my life after we purchased a new house this past weekend.

It’s the ‘next’ step in our current journey kicked off more than a year ago when I embraced my redundancy, changed careers, and shared the journey with the family.

Change can be big and scary, but nothing worth fearing if you communicate and share your thoughts and those of the others invested in the change with you.

I hope you are all well, and I promise to post more now the ‘house hunting’ period is complete 🙂

Valentine’s Day 2012

Following the ‘keep things simple‘ mantra, I surprised my wife today with a hand-written note for Valentine’s Day.

Even though I tell her many times (and often forget to tell her many times) throughout the year, taking the time to put my thoughts on paper was a fabulous experience – stuff I’d wanted to say but never found the right time; stuff I didn’t have the words for at the time (hard to believe, I know!), or stuff that simply missed its opportunity to shine.

No-one can do anything alone in this world – we are social animals and in more ways than one we need others to help us become great. Let me be clear about this: I could not do what I do without her. Her support for me is essential for me to get done what I get done. Even to the point where it doesn’t immediately benefit her, she still supports me. That’s what love is. That’s what dedication is. That’s what it takes to make a successful relationship.

To my Darling Eva, everything in that letter is 100% true. You are a star and I am who I am today through having you by my side. ♥♥♥☺♥♥♥

The packing begins!

As mentioned in my previous post about one of the BIG things 2012 has in store, We’ve begin preparing our house to be sold. To some this is a daunting time, but for me it’s a chance to start another ‘new’ chapter in our lives, albeit on a much larger scale than the last ‘new’ chapter I started in August 2011!

I’ve begun packing boxes and came across some of the baby clothes we’d put away from when my boys were babies (Mr6 & Mr9 will soon become Mr7 & Mr10 – likely to be in our new house!). It’s amazing to see how much they’ve grown in a few short years – Once time passes it seems to ‘compress’ into a wonderfully vivid memory of all the great and wonderful things they’ve achieved in a few short years.

One could say I’m getting a little nostalgic already!

Anyway, I just wanted to keep you all up to date on what’s happening and will continue to bring you snippets and thoughts as I come across them. How’s your 2012 coming along?

2012

I’m planning on keeping things simple in 2012. They’re not resolutions, but a simple stating of the things that I’ll be aiming for in 2012 (not necessarily in order):

Buying a new house:

  • With a backyard (Mr 6 needs a dog, and in a way, we probably all do)
  • Enough room to run around and kick the football
  • A vege garden
  • Chooks
  • Enough room to have people stay over 🙂
  • this will also herald the start of a long-held desire to share the good things with those who are less fortunate – more on this in a future post!

* To satisfy my love of cars, getting my paws on a special car (a Porsche or HSV would do nicely)
* Spending more time with friends doing fabulous things like the Warrior Dash, motorcycle rides, drives and dinners
* Completing a marathon
* Work-wise, making a kick-arse contribution to everything I do

I’m not too fussed about the details at this point but know this is where I’ll be aiming in 2012 helps to focus the thoughts – clarity will come during the year 🙂

If you wish to come on my journey with me, please let me know how I can help you or how you can help me achieve the above goals!

Perspective is powerful

I had an appointment at 9:30am today to  donate clinical plasma – I arrived at 9am but did not leave until 12:00pm (the interview + donation generally take 90 mins). I’m in holiday mode so wasn’t fazed by it but one of the other donors (there to donate whole blood, which takes 5-10 mins vs. the 40-60 mins for plasma) was quite irate at how long things were taking and that she had an important meeting to attend.

One of my favourite nurses (he rides a motorcycle and is good for a chat about anything) came over to hook me up to the apheresis machine and was apologising for taking a while to get things happening this morning. He went on to explain that there’s a young boy who underwent a bone marrow transplant early this morning and in order to help with the operation, they had invited approx 10 regular donors to come in and donate this morning. He explained that even though the schedule was already packed for the day, squeezing in another 10 at that critical moment was essential. He went on to explain they were simply doing what they could to give this little boy the best possible chance at life. My day was impacted by this, but who am I to complain?

Somewhere out there in Sydney tonight, a family is hanging on to see whether or not their little boy has a chance at life. I wish that family all the strength, love and fortitude they will need to get through the next few hours/days. 

Perspective is powerful.
Put yourself in that family’s shoes tonight.
If you think like I do, any delay to the ‘normality’ of your life through an event such as this will have you asking questions about what’s really important in life.

In fact today I’ve been in quiet contemplation about all manner of people, families, sons, daughters and others who are suffering in one way or another tonight, I wish you all the best and hope you have what you need to get through. ♥☺♥

What’s your indulgence?

I recently had lunch with a fellow I went to school with 21 years ago, and during the course of the conversation, he asked “What’s your indulgence“? I was stumped for an answer, as I could not think of anything in my life that I’d deem an indulgence!

I’m a practical person, enjoying what I have and not wanting for much (to the lament of the rest of my family who are asking where’s my ‘Christmas list’). Overall, I’m not sure I have any indulgences – I have a broad interest and can get stuck into many different topics, read various articles or books and have conversations with many different people on varied topics.

I’m wondering if I should adopt an indulgence in 2012 and see where that takes me. What do you think? What do you think my indulgence could be? More importantly…What’s your indulgence?