Just My Opinion

No idea how it happened, but very pleased to notice today that the algorithms on my social media feeds (twitter, FB, Insta, AND LinkedIn) have completely given up showing me any, if not all political content.

I still get a lot of feminist memes and a fair whack of spiritual (mostly Buddhist) content which is cool and I enjoy and engage with that stuff. That’s how these algorithms work right? They give us more of what we engage with? So, I don’t see much of anything from any political parties, here or overseas lately. WAIT! I get content about and from AOC regularly, but I don’t even see them as a political figure anymore, more just like a fierce, fabulous spirit animal fighting for justice and the planet.

Aside from that, the tap has literally been turned off. It’s fantastic!

So, how do I know that I don’t get political content anymore? This morning, I had to have a conversation with my cousin Ryan in Canada, who is just one of five cousins in Canada I have had conversations with this week, to know that today is election day there. Not sure how to feel about that. Good? Bad? Lighter? Heavier? Isolated? Out of touch? Content? Ensconced in my new tiny little life which clearly is not in Canada?

Like I said… I really don’t know how I feel.

I am actually an avid participant in the democratic process in Aotearoa. I hold my cards close to my chest as the few times I have said anything online I get stopped in the street by someone or other who takes exception or is overly supportive of my political leanings. Because of this, I now have a blanket policy to keep my political ramblings to real-world interactions only.

It’s nice. Maybe more people could and should try turning off the political activist or opinions tap for little bit and see how they feel and how it reshapes the content they are fed? Haven’t thought too much about it before today.

The one thing that really got the gears turning in my tired little mind today was, I wonder what people are seeing me broadcast? Have I successfully taught the entire Internet to leave me alone because I simply do not get involved in political debates anymore? The personal brand that’s been built around me has strong views and opinions about, well, just about everything. That brand, however, generally keeps those things to herself and saves her expletive laden rants for her nearest and dearest and most trusted friends.

I know that nobody sees these blogs unless I copy and paste them as native content as along form update on FB.  The link to my WordPress page simply seems to not make it to anyone’s eyeballs except for a teeny little number of my tribe who are very selective of their friends list and that content squeaks through because we have each-other mutually favourited on our settings.  Aside from those handful of people, nobody seems to stumble across my blog these days.  People have to want to see what I am up to and what I have to say, nobody new is roped into my content or opinion, that is kinda cool.  Best I can tell, my extended sabbatical has seen me all but disappear and that’s actually a really comforting and uplifting thought.  We can fight our way onto the stage and into some spotlight and when it gets too bright we can retreat into a bubble and somehow the crazy singularity that swirls around us even helps us to be more anonymous.

So what was I saying?

Oh yeah.  I know everyone has opinions.  I don’t really have anything deep or useful or overly meta to share about politics, algorithms, or opinions today.  All I am here to say is that my heart and my brain feel better not being bombarded with political content.  I still have opinions.  Lots of them.  But today feels like a win because those opinions feel like they are safely guarded here in my head, my heart and only shared if and when I feel like it.  It is not my job to change your mind or tell you what to think or shape your opinions.  Wait, not my job, but I feel I do have a purpose pleading constantly and consistently to anyone that will listen: “be kind whenever possible”.  

So here’s my opinion about both of our opinions.  It is not your job to make everyone else agree with you about any single issue or number of issues.  It is our job to seek and find information from accurate and rigorously scrutinized sources and allow our political, spiritual and general opinions to evolve in their course.  Provided we are not hurting anyone or ourselves or the planet with extreme or violent actions or activities… That ought not be a big caveat as it ought to be pretty clear in the “try to be kind” schtick you have been hearing me bleet on about for decades now.

So.  

That’s just my opinion.

Have a great day!

Toning Down to Avoid Being Tone Deaf

While this lockdown has been tough, it has provided the opportunity (wanted or not!) to hunker down, prioritise, and plan.  So there’s plenty we could discuss, but today I am going to fill you all in on the changes to our wedding plans.

Bridesmaid Krissy’s gift 💝 on our engagement party 🎉

We were imagining a gathering of 400+ truly magnificent human beings at a zero-waste festival-like event at the top of the hill on the Matakana farm in March next year.  Budgets, entertainment, tents, catering, and magic were all set to be unleashed as we showed off the epic changes and fantastic plans we are progressing on our experimental farm.  I even tried to arrange an upcycled dress to be designed and made here in NZ to follow on with my passion for supporting local and ethical business and creative industries.  But after this latest lockdown, sadly we’ve decided that none of that is happening.

While many of us could probably really use a good hit out about now, we have come to the conclusion that in the face of so much uncertainty, and with so many people struggling, the timing just feels wrong. Bringing a large group of people together just now feels somewhat ostentatious and flies in the face of the evolution we’ve embraced as a couple where we have invested time, energy, and resources into simplifying our lives.  The high-flying rampant champion of change and one of the most visible leaders of the EV revolution is currently parked up. I feel like I’m resting in a safe little cave readying myself for the battle ahead because the world is hurting and we are going to need to be brave.  I’ll be ready.  And steadied by the anchor of the aloof goof I can’t wait to marry.

So while going ahead with a larger event would be the perfect opportunity for us to thank the many people who have supported us over the years, we just feel that the timing is too hard with all the other forces we are currently contending with. We have every intention of hosting a large, safe and celebratory event at the right time – maybe to herald the official opening of the experimental farm and accommodation.

Creating some content (when we were level one) capturing the progress on our experimental farm. This is the exact spot where the wedding will be held. Top of the beautiful hill. Still lots of landscaping to do before the day!

We’re now planning a much smaller more intimate wedding as it feels more appropriate.  I will either have a dress made by my beautiful bridesmaid Steph, or I will rent something, or I will buy something vintage.  The dress thing has done my head in a little bit.  My bridesmaids have been brilliant and supportive and will get me down the aisle (which is actually a meadow) on the day.

What I am certain of, is that I thrive being a part of a Loving, committed, dedicated and supportive partnership. I teetered for a long time between extremes of co-dependence and self-destructiveness. The battle between craving intimacy and seeking all sorts of empty and occasionally even destructive validation raged on within me.

We all have to figure out what works for us and eventually invest energy and effort into the path we choose to tread.  None of the paths is simple or perfect, but I do suggest you pick one to walk and don’t try to dilute or mix your choices too much.  Some people are complete, content and happy single.  Some people sparkle offering support and being buoyed by a spouse.  Polyamory is the path for others.  And then there’s everything in between. All have their advantages and challenges.  All will leave you feeling vulnerable at times.  Any choice and action will mean someone somewhere will judge or disagree with you.  But none of that matters as far as I can tell.  What does matter is you living your most authentic life with kindness, purpose, and conviction. 

One of the most heartfelt bits of advice I’d like to finish with is this: “We are all broken and damaged and can be difficult or even quite crazy at times.  Don’t seek perfection, better to just find a crazy that fits.”  

Damon has patiently allowed me the time and tenderness to meet him where we dwell now, which is the perfect place to embark on the rest of our lives together.  

That’s enough words for this Monday.

Thanks for reading.

XXOO

Plans

Today we were meant to be at an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) conference alongside some of our most trusted and cherished friends and colleagues. Instead, we are in level 4 lockdown in Tamaki Makaurau.

Snuggled safe in our big comfy bed, my fiancé and I are today determined to apply some discipline to our daily schedule. We are both writers and observers with time on our hands to write and observe. This is time that we have been squandering. Rather than writing or reading we have been sleeping and snuggling and spending time in the kitchen creating comfort for the kids who have been returned to us after our attempt at a romantic holiday ended abruptly when the Delta variant of Covid arriving in Aotearoa.

Vaccinations 💉 booked and received without any drama 🎭

So today we begin something we have spoken about nearly daily for most of our time together. Today we are settled in and determined to stop talking about plans to be creative and act upon them instead. Today we start small, with steady resolve, and we commit to taking time to reflect and record our thoughts and feelings while chaos and confusion seem to swirl around while we enjoy safety and serenity in our beautiful and delicate bubble.

I’ve become quite quiet recently, retreating into the safety of the chrysalis of comfort and recovery that’s been built for me.  Sharing my personal struggles in visceral and confronting detail seems far away now.  Life took an abrupt and absolute turn away from the swampy chaos of thinking I was destined to be some hot mess messiah or self-destructive diva.  High flying attention seeking tendencies have been turned upside down, and now I really just want to be left alone, aside from meaningful interactions with the trusted few people I do not fear.  What was once blind bravery and a warrior spirit has been beaten out of me and replaced with cautious optimism and an omnipresent sense of duty.  This is the planning and resting part of the rest of my extraordinary little life.  And part of that planning is just spending a few moments next to the former monk I am going to marry, writing free-form and sharing it with him, and maybe you, whoever you are… I don’t actually know.

I know that our plans to pursue a simpler life focusing on soil and spending more time listening and less time frenetically interrupting everyone feels like it fits.  40 odd years of frenzied grasping for a feeling of belonging and meaning led me down some incredible roads and alleys.  Somehow, I ended up sitting next to the sensitive silver haired sweetheart listening to dulcet chords from his meditation music playlist, with spring birdsong wafting in through an open window.

We have planned to write every day.  That’s not to say every entry will be brilliant or insightful, it is just a commitment to do something and see where it takes us and what we glean from the efforts.  A form of meditation.

So that’s my 20 minutes up.  Pretty proud of us for starting and putting this little plan we have been discussing at length for ages now into some kind of action.  He is still tapping away and it seems like his work is far more formed and accessible than my meanderings, and that’s okay.

At least I started. Plans are good. Action is even better.

Thanks for reading.