It’s OK to let your children see you cry

I picked up the title of this post from a randomly stumbled page on personal development, titled “45 life lessons from a 90 year old” – it came in at number 12. I’ll explain the significance of this later, but to fill in some detail, here goes:

My dad’s health is on the decline.

I wrote about this in my last blog post in 2012 and it’s now gotten to the stage where there’s more going against him than for him, physically speaking. He can still hold a conversation and remembers who’s visited, but the sad reality is that the body is failing. No-one knows when the time will come for him to leave us but whilst he’s still here, we’re doing what we can for him.

Today we began the funeral planning process – more to ease our minds as to what’s involved and how things progress once someone passes away and also to make rational decisions without overwhelming emotions clouding our judgement when the time comes. In speaking with our funeral director today I commented that the dearth of ‘funeral plans/funeral insurance’ ads on television are helping people look into these things before they’re needed. It’s going to be an unknown, difficult, emotional journey sometime so getting started and understanding what happens should help make things easier when the time comes.

Some may think it’s not the right time or place to talk about this, but in my world, it is an important topic to talk about. Especially for us men We have a habit of crawling back into our cave(s) at times like this. This is one of the places where I get to share with you how I see things and what’s on my mind. I decided to share this information for 2 reasons: 1) to help me document what’s important/happening in my life right now, and 2) (possibly) to educate others in some small way (this was also a topic of discussion with the funeral director today, about how we can learn from others).

I’ve spoken to my boys (7 & 10, soon to be 8 & 11) about their grandad and whilst I have used the words ‘death’, and ‘dying’ with them during the discussion, it’s been to make sure they are ready to hear those words when others start using them more frequently. In a way it may be an act of priming them to ensure they at least ‘know’ what’s coming – in no way can I guarantee it will help them understand what happens when the time comes. It’s a tough conversation to have but an important and essential one.

So, sometime over the next few days/weeks/months they may yet see us cry – and it’ll be a good thing as we’ve never shied away from it in the past and we’re not about to start now.

My blog is back!

After a number of months in the wilderness (read: viral/malware attacks on my site) and the lack of time I had to spend on writing blog posts meant I have not had much of a communication channel for a while.

Some of you may have noted my twitter conversations dwindled, as well as my interactions on Facebook. I am still regularly posting pictures to Facebook/twitter as I do like sharing the weather from my part of the world and the discussions it’s opened up with various friends, followers, lurkers and stalkers.

So, my blog is back and I want to say I hope to become a part of your lives again 🙂

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!