Independence Day

Today is the 4th of July. It’s internationally recognized as American Independence day, and conjures thoughts of fireworks, hot-dogs, sparklers and block parties for people around the world.

 

Old Fashioned Summer Picnic

Old Fashioned Picnic with Slice of Watermelon

People around the planet are familiar with this day, thanks to movies and television. We’ve all seen the images in American films, portraying these celebratory scenes. The cliché is generally a setting with kids running slow-motion through the street with red and white gingham tablecloths dotted out of focus in the background. Props like lemonade, ketchup, mustard, and smiling veneers of perfect housewives and happy families feature heavily in my own mind’s eye when I think of the 4th of July.

 

I’d take a stab at saying the vast majority of my Kiwi friends and family covet this kind of fairytale to some degree. It seems so idyllic, so full of energy and community. So very, what is the word I am looking for… Patriotic.

 

Kiwis are a bit more low key. I find more joy and sense of community in Matariki than I do in Waitangi day (our 4th of July equivalent). Waitangi day, sadly, often seems to turn into some racial and moral soap-box. We don’t have big block parties and BBQ’s.  We have a long weekend in the middle of our antipodean summer, and we get together to roll our eyes at the sorry state of affairs. We get together, and carry on to love the stuffing out of our special people at beaches, baches, parks and playgrounds across this beautiful island nation. We laugh, we eat, we toast, we talk.

 

So.

 

On the way to the airport to fly home to Auckland, the iconic Kiwi Poet Sam Hunt was on the radio. He was being interviewed by Paul Henry (who I can’t help but like despite, or perhaps because, he always seems to have his foot in his mouth) for his birthday and to publicise his new book.

 

Sam Hunt is a seasoned eccentric. He was born to be so. He left school at 16 with a brain full of knowledge. The intelligence he cultivated wasn’t generally gleaned from his traditional academic path. His mother was a huge fan of astronomy and poetry, and his father was a barrister with a love of words and debate. He was nurtured in fertile soils of knowledge, and went off on many adventures, and those adventures have turned into poems and stories that I hope most New Zealanders get to feel percolate through them, as his life experiences and words are so deliciously human, and quintessentially Kiwi.

 

Sam Hunt gave me a gift for his 70th Birthday this morning.

 

He gave me some poignant phrases and his candor and humor lit a spark inside of me that has been smoldering for some weeks and threatening to go out completely.

 

Sam Hunt, along with the irrepressible Paul Henry, gave me a renewed sense of self, and reminded me that words, to me, are like sunlight or rain. New Zealand is my home. I chose it, it chose me back, and this place contains the majority of my purpose and passion.

 

We are all connected here, intimately. We are a community, diverse yet similar on so many levels. We are the underdog that rises triumphant, time and again. We are temperate and volatile, and sit waiting the next shake-up, as we are perched precariously on the ring of fire. We are humble, we are brave, we are loud, we are quiet, we are busy, we are calm, we are beaches and bush and bathed in brilliant golden sunshine.

Seems to me, Sam Hunt, and thousands of eccentrics before and after him have been labeled a spectacle. He’s spoken up and spoken out about many things, in his art and on a variety of fronts. He personifies a lot of the freedom of thought and speech that we enjoy in New Zealand, and that America has tirelessly fought for and debated.  So thank you for that Sam.

I am also, openly and unashamedly grateful to be in a safe, sleepy island nation where I am free to think and be a part of this society. I can find people who agree, or who disagree, and I never, not for one split second worry about someone pulling out a gun to hurt me or anyone I Love. Not on a motorway, or shop, school or movie theatre.

A nurse can throw a dildo at a politician in protest, get international media attention which seemed to leave both the woman who threw it, and the man at whom she threw it, somewhat better off. He handled the situation with humour and gained international media attention.  This, many have said, left him looking like a pretty decent bloke.

She got her point across to millions and millions of people here and around the world. She also gained a very solid fan base for a while there, and then was given the chance to slip back into relative anonymity. No jail sentence, no talk show circuit, no Chewbacca mom getting paid for autographs carry on for her. Because this is NOT America. Nothing against Chewbacca mom of course, we just do things a bit differently around here it seems.

 

I wish the United States of America peace and enlightenment on this, the day they celebrate their independence.

 

I hope that they put down their guns, and only people who can use them responsibly can pick them back up.

 

I hope they do not vote in Trump.

 

I hope they learn to care for eachother and their own and the rest of the world’s resources a bit better.

 

Wait… I wish that for New Zealand too!!!

 

Anyway. I could go on, but I won’t.

 

Just wishing everyone a very happy 4th of July in America and around the world.

 

Maybe we can all declare independence from some of the things that no longer serve us today, and move forward with confidence and kindness for a safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable planet.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

XXOO

The Best Bits

It is 3:38 am.

The baby woke me up and I can’t get back to sleep and I am just thinking about the bits that I like.

What do I mean?

Well, you know how there’s a bit in a bunch of songs that you like, and that’s your favourite bit? Or a bit in heaps of different movies that you like, or a bit about your kids, or a bit about food, or that bit about whatever activity that you can possibly think of that really makes you feel warm and happy and makes your brain think, ah, I really like that bit!

That is what I mean.

So, I am going to time myself and type freestyle till 4:00am about just some of the bits that I like:

  • That bit in Cat Stevens: “Can’t Keep It In” When he says: Now don’t you run don’t you hide… The whole song is one of my favourite bits from the very first note till the last one, I adore that song so much, but that particular bit is so great.
  • The smell of earl grey tea and the warmth of the cup in my hands as I sip it and feel relaxed and uplifted at the same time… I do like me some tea.  Yes sir-ee.
  • That bit in the Titanic movie when she realizes that wealth and “privilege” is kinda like its own prison, when she looks over and sees the young girl learning table etiquette. I’ve always liked that bit.
  • That bit when I walk in the door and my baby sees me, smiles and gives me massive cuddles.
  • That bit when I go away and someone watches the house for us while we are gone, and we get back, and it is pristinely clean and feels so good to be home.
  • That bit where we get to New York and head to the park to sit under our favourite willow tree by the turtle pond and give our baby their first ice block.
  • Any bit that involves newborn cuddles.
  • That bit when someone I thought didn’t like me says something absolutely complimentary. That’s a great feeling.
  • That bit when someone who I don’t have a great deal of faith in (so someone I don’t like very much) says or does something really awesome and cool and I can’t help but hold them in higher esteem for it. Pleasant surprises are so great when it comes to dealing with people.
  • That bit where I leave Steve in the hotel to watch the baby and I stand in line ALL NIGHT to hold his place in the line for the keynote at WWDC and meet at least five fabulous friends who are glorious geeks and we stay in touch FOREVER!
  • The key change in Woman in Chains, and watching how much all my children enjoy singing and dancing to Tears For Fears songs.
  • That bit where my eldest son delivers a wry/dry and hilariously insightful take on something that leaves me splitting my side laughing and beaming with pride at his comedic timing and ability to deliver some seriously excellent material as a total straight man. He’s been doing that as long as I can remember, basically since he could talk he has been a master of sardonic wit.
  • When my daughter snuggles in and hangs out with me and says “Guess what?… I Love you.” Heaps of times for no reason.
  • When she wins an award or certificate because, although she wins heaps of stuff like that, every single time she is SUPER excited and gracious and beaming with pride.
  • When my 4 year old just about loses his temper and brings it back and controls it and makes awesome decisions to be good and not lash out or lose it. And then he gets praised for displaying fabulous self control and he beams as bright as the sun about it and gives me huge four year old cuddles.
  • That bit when someone you respect says something nice about you behind your back and it gets back to you.
  • That bit when someone who was mean, or dishonest or bullied you turns their life around in some meaningful way and becomes a better human being, and maybe even contacts you to say: Hey, I know I was a jerk, and I am pretty sorry about that” and you can be super proud of how far they have come and you get to feel extra good about letting go of the pain they handed you, because in that moment you TRULY understand that hurt people hurt people, and it is always nice to see someone’s hurt healed up a bit or a bunch.
  • That bit where my husband pulls me into his arms and kisses me passionately in public and the kids are like: You guys are SO gross, everyone can see you!
  • That bit where I wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t get back to sleep, so I listen to my baby and my husband making sleeping sounds (tonight it was a symphony of snoring and James giggling in his sleep)
  • That bit where I look up at the clock and only have a few more seconds until I have to stop writing…

And those are just a small handful of some of the best bits… There are so many more best bits every single day.  And it was really nice to stop and just write some of them down.

The Sudden Death of David Goldberg

It is well after midnight.

Our one-year-old son is in bed between my husband and I as he is both teething and has the sniffles. He’s waking every 20-30 minutes. It will be a long night.

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We discuss the annoying necessity of being politic and diplomatic, which is not really a strong point for either of us. Genuine, enthusiastic, passionate, knowledgeable or engaged we can both pull off effortlessly.

Suffering fools and/or “playing the game” does not, however, come naturally to either of us.

He is crafting messages, responses and presentations. Some of these are for people and entities we admire and trust, and some that make us sigh and roll our eyes, but engage we must, and engage we will.

We discuss the week ahead. It is as full as any we have grown accustomed to lately. That means we will be working from the crack of dawn till hours after the sun retires for the evening.

I ask him for the hundredth time if he has sent off the raw footage for editing or to the partners that hosted us on a recent PR trip up and down the country. He asks me if I have finished my personal bio or written the copy for one of the several websites. The answer to both of these questions (nagging) is no, but the list of things we HAVE accomplished is as vast as an ocean stretching endlessly out around us both.

This is all completely normal stuff for married couples that work together, or even in the same industry as far as we are concerned.

We each act; as sounding board, champions, devil’s advocate, support, hindrance, help, annoyance. Yet, we are a team.

I get to live every day in the knowledge that I have a partner who cares about the same things that I do. He supports me in good times and in bad. He helps to make sure our kids, household and lives keep chugging along.

He is also working vehemently and tirelessly on projects that we both feel, will make the world a better place. This makes me weak in the knees and so proud of him that I worry my heart might beat right out of my chest some days.

Sometimes we drive each other crazy with frustration or poor communication. Sometimes we get to the point we can’t even stand the sight of each other.

Most of the time, however, I can’t imagine a life where we aren’t attacking the same problems, or working towards the same goals, albeit from completely different angles.

We were married in 2004.  Just like they were.  We met in geek circles as did they.  We have eerily similar original last names, as do they.

We have four exceptional and unique children with exceptional and unique needs (all children are exceptional and unique and need exceptionally unique things as far as I am aware, just as an aside). The Sandberg/Goldberg team were sensible enough to have two children who they both nurture and support in equal measure if reports are to be believed. We are blessed with a diverse and amazing group of friends who all have integrity, make us laugh, keep us honest, and do not tolerate douchebaggery. The outpouring of Love and respect I have read lead me to believe they choose to work and play with similarly good and engaging people.

Life makes sense when we are together. I am no longer completely sure where one of us begins and the other one finishes, as we both occupy so much of the each other. Two halves of a whole, but not so much with distinguishable borders, like a coin or the well-known yin and yan symbol. At this point in our lives, I’d say we are more like an alloy. Melded quite inextricably together with heat and pressure.

Enough metaphor.

The reason I am writing this blog is that I am undeniably shaken and heartbroken by the news of the kind, clever, gloriously geeky Dave Goldberg’s passing.

Sheryl Sandberg is firmly in my top twenty, of smart girls to look up to.

These two are, or I guess more accurately now, were, the ultimate Silicon Valley power couple.

Humble, kind, successful, powerful, respected… and torn from each other when he was only 47 years old.

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I am not suggesting Grumpy and I are a power couple, or in any other way anywhere near the league of team Goldberg/Sandberg.  What I am saying, is that I have always found their relationship inspirational and relatable.  Days without my husband are unbearable.  We have seen each other nearly every day for well over a decade now, and that works for us.  I cannot begin to imagine life without this.

We are partners. We are equals.  We are astoundingly different human beings with obviously different personalities and strengths.

The idea of losing the biggest part of me is unfathomable.

The clock ticks well past 1:00am. Phteven is still working. Our four year old has joined us in our bed because he’s had a bad dream. The ten year old was not far behind him.

While I finish off this blog to be handed over for my husband to edit, he gets up to administer a dose of antihistamine to our oldest son so we might all get some much needed sleep.

Tomorrow I will be exhausted and probably pretty grumpy as is often the case these days.

But I will be thankful. I will be thankful for the moments as they occur and as they pass, and I will be thankful for every day I get to be a part of team West.

Rest well David Goldberg.

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Living Life Out Loud and Feeling a Bit Exposed…

I’ve made a very conscious choice to wear faults and failings, as I do my triumphs and adventures, on my sleeve.

Sharing thoughts, experiences and feelings with the world; online and often, is commonplace for me.

LivingOutLoud

At worst, it opens me up to judgment and scrutiny from strangers and haters. At best it opens up my heart and life (and message folder) to people who become great friends and allies in the altogether hectic, painful, beautiful, difficult and wonderful life.

Wow, I started in with the pithy pretty early in this blog.

Hang in there please, this should be good and useful stuff if you manage to shovel through the schmaltz and stick with me until I wrap this up.

So, why am I so open? Am I simply an insecure and needy exhibitionist type? Do I crave acceptance and absolution from strangers and friends and plead my case regularly and publicly in an attempt to win you all over? Am I so arrogant that I think an audience will benefit immeasurably from my experiences?

There’s almost certainly an element to all of these things.

Here’s the thing that I keep coming back to though:

Every person who lives and breaths is amazing, complex, beautiful and we all have some ugliness mixed in in varying degrees at various times.

I sincerely feel that the distance between each and every one of us decreases with candor and sharing. I also believe that the absolute shortest distance between people is shared laughter.

LaughterShortestDistnace

I share stories and very actively toil to add an element of humour when I share thoughts and experiences. Sometimes it is in the form of self-deprecation, sometimes the stories I share are absurd enough that they require no finessing to be funny.

Here’s the thing though; You and everyone else has absolute power to twist anything I share. You can throw confessions or thoughts back in my face. You can alter and contort any of my experiences or stories with simple additions, exclusions, amplifications or exaggerations as you see fit.

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Once I share anything, it is no longer exclusively mine. By virtue of taking the time to read the words I write, you own a bit of real estate in my life, my heart and my head. I give it to you and anyone else who chooses to read my blog or anything I share freely.

Some people put a great deal of effort into building walls and feeding an identity that makes them feel safe or secure. Some people put their best face forward all the time and want to convince themselves and the world that they have their s*** together.

I have no hope of ever convincing anyone that I have my s*** together. I am a hot mess with a big heart and high-ideals. Being as deliciously different as I am means I am privy to hurts and helps far superior to anything I’d ever have imagined I’d feel or know.  I feel like I have the freedom to be myself openly and honestly, and I feel like that makes me a better friend, role model to my children, and generally a happier freer person because I don’t have to worry about people finding out about the real me, as the real me is the me I get to be most of the time.

It also means I see greatness, brokenness, faults and fabulousness in everyone else I see and meet. There’s not as much distance between you and me and everyone else on this planet as some people perceive. We’re all fighting battles, and we’re all learning in varying degrees and with varying speed and success.

I am an observer and a participant in this life, as we all are.

Even after years, or decades, of living life out loud, I am still absolutely devastated when people interpret my kindness for weakness, my vulnerability for feebleness, my quirkiness for foolishness, or my earnest for naivety.

VulnerableSign

I share my learning with people, in the hopes that they will share theirs with me, and we’ll both be better off. My opinions and beliefs are changing all the time based on the stories and opinions people generously share with me.

The absolute best and worst part of my existence is people.

Being naked and vulnerable as I choose to be means there are people who don’t require much encouragement to decide that they are far superior to me in some or many ways.  Sometimes, for whatever reason, people hurt other people in cowardly, backhanded or childish way.  Sometimes our closest friends and staunchest allies break our hearts with words and actions, despite having the absolute best intentions.  Because I choose to let people into my thoughts, and life so actively, people can hurt me without too much effort.  I get that.  And for the most part, I can take the good with the bad.

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Because I openly and honestly share my struggles with ADD, depression, parenting, professional life, friendships, marriage, self-esteem, relationships, power struggles, pain, loss, Love, learning, travel, health, hope, happiness and sadness;  some people dismiss me, or attack me, with my own words. Other people engage with me on a level of trust and Love and friendship that makes this whole life more manageable for both of us I think.  It is a risk we all take when we share a bit or ourselves I suppose.

If you take the time to read or share any of this with me, you get to decide how you relate to me, and my journey. You get to decide if you find my choices and behaviours uplifting or abhorrent. You get to decide if you feel superior, equal, or comforted. You get to decide if you see some of yourself in my observations and experiences. You have total control over how you decide to pick up what I am throwing down as I share these (and any other) words with you.

So, thank you from the very bottom of my heart for sharing the journey with me occasionally, frequently, or closely. Please take it easy on me, and anyone else that has the courage to share a bit of themselves with you.  And you can be as open or as guarded as you want with your life and experiences, and I will go ahead and keep living my life out loud and feeling elated and vulnerable at differing times and to differing degrees.

Guess that’s it for today.

Thank you, especially because this was a long one, for tuning in and sharing the journey with me.

The Friendship Formula. Is There a Formula?

Today, I was chatting with one of my best friends for nearly 20 years.

P and I go back so far we can’t pinpoint when or how we actually met. We’ve been allies and friends through ups and downs. Which is strange to some people as, on the surface, we could not be more different.

She is elegant, thin, organised, has impeccable taste, looks like Audrey Hepburn and is as discerning with her relationships as I am open and willing to connect with EVERYONE. Yet, evidence clearly states, that we work.  We both actively choose to maintain an honest, and significant friendship.  She knows my faults and foibles, and I hers, and we can roll our eyes at each others shortcomings.  If, however, anyone were to say anything untrue or unkind to me about her, I’d take it like a personal attack and go heartily into battle for her.

So this morning’s topics covered included, but were not limited to:

  • Christening my youngest son (her and our friend R’s Godson)
  • Birthday plans (belated and future)
  • Current state of play for both our careers
  • Social calendars
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Marriage
  • Equity Theory: we had to cover that in our undergrad comms degree, here is a picture:

EquityTheory

  • Renovations
  • Pathological overachieving
  • Emancipation from drama and silly people
  • The fact I have FAR too many children (but we Love and like them anyway)

I feel much better, stronger, and more able to deal with my own, and other people’s challenges after this chat. The vast rejuvenation of spirit came about even after just a short opportunity to connect with her over the digital superhighway.

Friendship confounds me. Luckily, it doesn’t elude me.  I’m an active (all-be-it only sporadically available) participant in more functioning and healthy relationships than I could ever have imagined.

Strange and wonderful really. Especially when you consider how lonely, broken, bossy, awkward and ostracized I was (or at least felt) when I was little.

So, as is the case with all the things, I want to know MORE! I want to know WHY!

Science concedes that friendship is an absolutely integral part of our lives. We are social creatures, and our alliances get us through the unimaginable things that get thrown at us from time to time. Friendships also offer us context, clarity, and comfort. The people we spend the most time with can shape our opinions, world-views, political, social and even religious ideals, and even our own self image more than any other factors we are exposed to.

An absolute army of academics has dedicated careers to unraveling the phenomenon of friendship.

So, am I able to Dee-ify this vast body of work in a crude but coherent manner for anyone inclined to read this blog?

I’ll try.

Here goes:

“Good” people make great friends, and therefore attract healthy relationships that help them, and others, to thrive. Good people are not perfect, and they do not expect you to be perfect. Truly good humans are beautifully broken, resilient, kind, open to change, and actively look for the best in themselves and others. People who choose to Love, respect and forgive themselves make and attract the best relationships. They don’t always have the most friends, sometimes they do, but they get to take part in good, healthy, honest and nurturing experiences with other humans. These people fix themselves first, because that is the first step to a fuller, and more rewarding existence.

*Disclaimer: Even people who have their S*** together fall down and mess up. They still suffer, they still hurt, they still make mistakes, and they still have to make it through very difficult life experiences that are completely out of their control. The difference is, they own their faults and learn from them instead of playing the victim or laying blame.

The kind of friend (and the kind of person) you are will naturally affect the kind of friends you choose and the kind of people who choose you.  Givers get, and the way you treat people will directly affect the kind of company you keep.

Sure there’s lots of other factors and influences that dictate who we choose to let into our hearts and homes. But generally, it is as simple as this:

Put out good stuff, and it comes back. Put out crap, you’ll eventually get a smack.

There is an inexhaustible collection of poignant pithy saying to corroborate my considerable claims on cohorts.


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I’ve attached a list of really good scientific and psych articles on this subject if anyone wants to go a little further.

So, in conclusion; be the kind of friend you’d like to have. Be okay with walking away from toxic relationships.  Fix you first.  Love yourself (all of you, even the bad bits) and seek out honest, kind, inspiring people.  And for goodness sake, surround yourself with people who make you laugh.

And here is a handful of Sciency articles on Friendship:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-friendship/0001381

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201212/the-new-science-friendship

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/science-friendship-signs-youre-meant-ffs/851194/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_theory

The Importance of Failure

HoooOOoookay. Today I want to talk to you about failure.

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I’m intimately acquainted with the act and the concept of failure. Seeing as I set myself a rather high bar in most things (except housework… obviously ‘rollseyes’) in life, I am quite familiar with the sting of falling short on expectations.

Truth is, I have felt like a failure most of my life.

Perhaps this feeling has a bit to do with the fact I had identified the concept of white middle class privilege (which is a concept that makes me deeply sad and annoyed as an adult) more or less as a pre-pubescent. When I was about 7 years old I boldly announced to my Granny: “We are actually upper middle class because we have a big house and can afford to travel.”

The weight of this realization meant that in my mind, I had all the ingredients to fast-track myself to a life of fame and fortune. I would even practice my Grammy acceptance speeches in the mirror, talking into a brush in my large pink room adorned with a cute little canopy bed and matching comforter.

Barf.

So the whole time I was formulating a plan for total global domination through talent, kindness and superior intelligence, the main motivation was to give something back. I wanted to adopt all the lonely babies, feed all the hungry people, hug all the sad and lost souls.  As an adult I want people to be judged on their characters, skills, and merit, not their gender, or appearance.  And I’d like everyone to work together to clean up the mighty big mess we in the “developed” world have made on the planet.

Where was I going with this?

OH yeah.

Failure.

Needless to say, as a grown up I have not accomplished many of lofty goals I had set myself as a child.

My multi-platinum selling album of show-tune covers has yet to be released. The Dianna Goertz (that was my maiden name) home for sad puppies, lonely kittens and people who need hugs has yet to be built.

I’ve also had some pretty amazing wins though, and that’s due, in no small part, to my impressive catalogue of hard knocks and failures, and the resilience to keep going.

Now I have children. Four of them.

I adore them, and they are all very different. They blow my mind with their talents and how much better they are at things than I ever was.

I am also impressed with their ability to shake off failure and keep going. Well, a lot of the time. Sometimes they are defeatist little whiners, but that’s to be expected.

So I’ll tell you a quick story about Daniel as I am already over half-way through the word count l like to observe in these blogs.

Camp is next week. Three whole days in a cabin with his cohorts up at Shakespeare regional park. He is pretty excited. We got a letter saying he needs to stay back and get some extra tuition in swimming. Was he mad? Nope. Was he sad? Nope. Is he looking forward to the opportunity to improve his technique? Absolutely. He did not see this as a personal attack, he did not see this as a failure on his part. The kid LOVES to swim. We think he is pretty good at it. Not as good as he is at science or creative writing or video games or rock climbing, but he’s very confident in the water. He also recognizes that he is not even close to being the most popular kid at school. He’s been through bouts of bullying, he’s had no one to play with on the odd occasion. And you know what he says when he has a truly terrible day socially? “That’s okay mum, I don’t want to peak to early. You guys were nerds and look how you turned out.”

Could. Not. Be. Prouder.

So, today, as I try and squeeze out a blog to share after weeks of writers block and a back-catalogue of copy that has been sitting unwritten, I am reminded that a little bit of fail is part of the formula to a full and happy life.

This does not mean I am entitled to sit back and do nothing.

How do you deal with failure? Do you focus on it? Do you use it to gain insight? Do you beat yourself up? Do you make excuses? Do you lay blame? Do you deny it? Do you embrace it and try again?

I don’t have much in this life that I am truly proud of, but the fact I am helping to raise well adjusted little people with empathy, manners and self-esteem is fuel to keep going through these 80-90 hour work weeks recently.

So, if you’ve had a fail lately, be it big or little, keep going. Don’t lay blame or beat yourself up. Learn. Go get some extra training or tuition like Daniel has done with swimming. If there’s something you want to brush up on, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. If it is a project or report that is giving you grief, it is not unheard of to rip it up and start again.

Good luck with whatever you are currently up to, and thanks from the bottom of my heart for bearing with me through my creative drought lately. This too shall pass. XXOO

#SMHS (S*** My Husband Says)

Just wanted to walk you through yet another clanger from the mouth of my less than smooth operator husband.

Soon we will be sharing office/warehousing space so that Grumpy can continue his distinguished career as a mad genius inventor type while I attempt to keep my boutique PR firm growing.

I’ll get the office space while he will be in the warehouse and storage area tinkering with his gloriously geeky EV and engineering mates.

I’m very excited!

My two business partners and I have more or less decided that we’d like to go for a 50’s chic motif in order to align with our ethos of recycling and up cycling and classic and timeless values.  Plus, rummaging through sally army stores and antique furniture places will be a heap of fun and a bonding experience I hope.

So, earlier today, I invited Grumpy to join me for lunch next to a kitchen installation guy I needed to see about the new office kitchen. The place is called Armadillo cafe in Rothesay bay and it is amazing! And the decor is spot on what I want to do at our offices.  I HIGHLY recommend this great little cafe, the food was nice and the decor was lovely!  It is called Armadillo Cafe and it is in Rothesay Bay and it gets an 8/10 from this Hobbit.

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Grumpy of course hated it…

Anyway, I cheekily said to him:

“Well, you don’t have to like it, you just have to pay for it.”

To which he responded:

“Yeah, just like sex.”

And then looked at me, grinning and obviously pleased with his signature wit. He waited for me to laugh.

I did not laugh.

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Grumpy looking at me waiting for me to laugh at his superior wit

What does that even mean?  He still, even after my posting this is moderately proud of his wit, which does make me more than a little bit confused.  Do I demand money and favours in return for coitus?  And is the resulting act regularly dull and unsatisfying? Or is he referring to a secret stash of call girls and mistresses that he manages to entertain in the non-existent hours we spend apart?  Whatever he meant, I found it nauseating, not charming.  Sigh.

So, on the bright side, he had to change a rather massive explody diaper.  As I passed him the baby he said: “I think it is your turn to change the baby!” to which I responded: “I think after that little gem of jerk face nonsense it is now YOUR turn to change the baby and you’d be lucky to ever get laid again as long as you live.”

He will continue to pepper our days with painfully inappropriate and tasteless clangers, and I will continue to roll my eyes and sigh.

If you, like me had to endure a hubby with no filter who says s*** like this, I feel for you. Lucky underneath all that he’s got a heart of gold, and I hope yours does too.

If, like my dear friend who popped in for a coffee on her way home from work tonight, you have a husband who is sweet and would never consider saying things so daft and painful, go and hug that man of yours for being a sweetheart.

Over and out for today.