… of Old Minds and Old Mindsets

We’re on a bit of a roll and while the roll may be a downhill one, it’s a roll and we should probably continue with it. If we were playing word association and you were to say ‘Old’, my initial response will always be ‘Me’. Sure, this is a self deprecating thing, but it’s also how I feel, and how I’ve always felt. I remember when I was in year three, my teacher commenting to my parents that I seemed to have an old outlook on life. I don’t think she even used the word ‘mature’. Years later I would refer to my adolescence as a ‘mid-life crisis’ as I was convinced I wouldn’t live passed my mid twenties. Growing pains felt like my body failing. The start of a downward spiral. As a pre-teen I was a fairly sporty kid. After school and weekends would be spent playing soccer, and then tee-ball. I wasn’t very good at either of them, but I remember enjoying the activity. As soon as the clock ticked over to 12 years old, that stopped.

This all comes across as being negative, but I don’t see it that way. It’s just how I’ve always felt. And for the record I don’t really mind. My internal voice has always felt old, and I’ve always found myself questioning what’s going on around me. From a very early age I was a ‘why?’ or ‘how come…?’ kid. As I became older this turned into what I would call a healthy cynicism, but often came across as just plain negativity.

Continue reading “… of Old Minds and Old Mindsets”

… of Limitations and Life Lessons

or: The 140 Word Challenge. 

I can’t help but think that limitations would be a good thing for me. I tend to have a habit of thinking ambitiously, which then inevitably leads to over thinking, which in turn becomes overwhelming. And eventually nothing ever gets done. Rather than thinking outside the box, maybe I need to become more comfortable inside the box for a while?

These blog posts come essays about my own failings are all very well, but there’s not a lot of forward momentum in them. If this was therapy, and I was paying for it, at this point I’d probably be asking for my money back. Or a new doctor. Or both.

From here:

  1. Set limitations on what I want to say – crawl, then walk, then run
  2. Try to keep within those limitations
  3. Write no more than 140 FUCK

… on Reflection, This Might’ve Been a Bad Idea.

The challenge was always going to be a challenge. I guess this is why they call it a challenge and not an ‘easy to do thing’, or whatever a nicer sounding word for ‘easy to do thing’ is. In any case, at the half way-ish mark where we are meant to be reflecting on the progress we’ve made, I find myself flicking through yet another list of false starts and frustrations.

Yes, I also see what I did there.

The best laid plans turned into a nicely paved road to hell and all of a sudden at 26 weeks I’m sitting at a count of around 7 blogs. Maths has never been a strength, but if I’m right that works out to be around… fuck all. The dog ate my homework of it all is that of those 19 or so weeks I wasn’t contributing to the challenge, around four of them were spent cleaning homes and moving all of our worldly possessions [1] from just out of the city to almost right within its centre [2]. I could probably write a couple of weeks off to a busy work schedule, and maybe travel (at a stretch), but for the rest of them I will fall back to the usual ‘lack of motivation and/or energy’ we love so much.

Continue reading “… on Reflection, This Might’ve Been a Bad Idea.”

… of Practice making Perfect

We have established in previous weeks that I have ongoing issues with dedication. If one thing has ever made sense with this blog, it’s the title; something that just came to me in a “that’ll do” moment that has managed to define pretty much any project I’ve ever worked on, past, present and I assume future. A folder of draft emails and blog posts illustrates the ‘False Starts’ perfectly. So many half written posts about awesome experiences that should be easy for me to write about, but just refuse to have words form around them. Or at least words that I feel do those experiences justice.

The ‘Frustrations’ are numerous. Frustrations with my lack of dedication, my inability to start and finish a project, and a complete lack of faith in my own ability to do most things. This isn’t phishing, and it may or may not be one of those low self esteem things. It is what it is, which is the culmination of years of evidence that suggests that when I may be good at something, I lack the dedication required to move from may be good at to is actually quite good at. Of course the thing required to move between those two points is practice.

Continue reading “… of Practice making Perfect”

… of Houses and Leaves

I am a bad reader. Which is to say that, I can read – words tend to make sense when strung together, and I can comprehend their meaning ok – I’m just not good at actually getting through an entire book. Which is a much longer way of saying I lack dedication when it comes to reading.

My wife and I have been downsizing, throwing out things that we’ve not used or looked at in years. Last Saturday she found a book in her pile that she wasn’t sure if she’d read or not. It wasn’t a thin book by any means. By the end of the day – a good five or so hours later – she’d read it. The whole thing. Cover to cover. It’s an amazing feat and something that constantly impresses me about her. I once spent a whole day watching her hate-read one of those Twilight books. A thick one too. I knew she was hate reading it, because she spent the whole day staring it down with a look that suggested the book had just walked into our house without knocking and shat on our carpet. She hated it, but she read it all. Every last word.

Continue reading “… of Houses and Leaves”

… of Beautiful and Unique Snowflakes

Not going to lie kids, this has been a hard one for me. Probably less to do with the topic of this week’s #52blogs, and more to do with my mindset. Much like most January projects I start, I seem to have hit a roadblock. Or at least a rocky piece of road.

Continue reading “… of Beautiful and Unique Snowflakes”

… of Adult Decisions and Teenage Dreams

Twenty-third of January, Two Thousand and Thirteen. Confession time; I was pretty late to the Weezer party. And when I say “pretty late” I’d say it was around 10 years late. Which is actually closer to extremely late if you’re attending a party, especially one it seems you were invited to.

Truth is I always liked Weezer. I knew the singles. I’d seen the videos to Undone, Buddy Holy and El Scorcho over and over and over on Rage. My friend Bret had put Say it Ain’t So on a mix to listen to on the way to our first Big Day Out, and I really liked that too. I think I even remember seeing the disastrous interview with Rivers on ABC’s Recovery in 1996 and feeling terrible for Rivers, who clearly did not want to be there. I was always aware of Weezer, and I always loved the songs I’d heard of theirs, but it wasn’t until around 2004 that I realised that I loved Weezer.

Continue reading “… of Adult Decisions and Teenage Dreams”

… of Best Friends and Rescued Companions

The Twenty-Eighth of December, Two Thousand and Two. It’s early afternoon. Not too hot, considering the time of year. We sit in the car park, preparing ourselves. 

“We know what we want, right?”
“And we don’t need to feel bad if what we want isn’t there, right?”
“We’ll just go in, see what’s on offer and if they don’t have any, we’ll just walk away, and not feel guilty, ok?”

Nerves on high, we get out of the car. This is quite possibly one of the biggest decisions we’ve made as a couple, and we’re still not completely sure we’re doing the right thing.

Continue reading “… of Best Friends and Rescued Companions”

… of The Voices in our Head(phone)s

Sometime around the start or middle of 2010 [1] I got heavily into Podcasts [2], and now that I write that at aloud sounds like I had a ‘podcast problem’, which is certainly not the case. I can stop any time I swear. I just don’t want to.

Podcasts then weren’t a new thing at that time by any means. I remember first listening to a lot of Ricky Gervais’s show when that was popular (people often credit him for pushing the format out to the masses), but I never strayed far from there. I remember trying out a few other Podcasts at the time, however most of them failed to live up to the same standard set by Gervais. While the content or the talent would be entertaining enough, they’d usually sounded like they were being recorded in the world’s biggest airplane hanger on a single microphone made out of a toilet roll. You’d spend half of your time straining to hear one presenter, and the rest jumping on the volume-down button for fear of making your neighbours think you were fighting with the other. And I never really took advantage of the ‘Pod’ aspect of the Podcast, instead preferring to listen to them on my laptop, usually when I couldn’t get to sleep. Don’t ask me why but the sound of Gervais’s high pitched giggling at his off-sider Karl Pilkington would help put me to sleep [3].

So while you could say Gervais was my gateway, it wasn’t until 2010 that I dove into a deeper and more dedicated relationship with Podcasts.

Continue reading “… of The Voices in our Head(phone)s”

… of Green Cake and Bubblegum Icing

It would’ve been my 10th or 11th Birthday. Maybe. As I get older, my childhood birthdays tend to blend into each other. Heck, I could be thinking of three separate occasions. In any case, the memory goes something like this:

At this age, my Birthday parties had settled down somewhat. Gone were the days of running around the back yard in a screaming hoard with my friends. We’d grown. Our tastes had refined. Now, we preferred more grown up activities, like eating pizza and watching videos in a dark room. This year, despite my best efforts to convince my parents to rent Child’s Play for us, our night’s viewing included the John Ritter classic, Problem Child, and a new to VHS movie we knew very little about – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And for desert, my birthday cake. A delicacy I’d sampled earlier in the year at my good friend Daniel’s party. I imagine that the good people at Birdseye must have been set a goal to re-engage the youth market, for everything about this cake screamed young boy aged 8 to 12.

Their creation – a green sponge cake with a purple, bubble-gum flavoured icing. It tasted amazing, in that it tasted like a cake made entirely of sugar, caked in a light, sugary frosting, but to the pallet of a 10 or 11 year old, it may have well been made of clouds plucked from heaven by angels that looked like Belinda Carlisle.

I haven’t seen the same mix available on shop shelves for some time, but I think about it often. I can only assume it’s been discontinued due to the severe health risks. Even now I can feel my heart palpitating just thinking about it.