Thoughts: 2019

Wow. What a year I’ve had.

It started hard. A hard decision made and a significant life-change initiated.

The theme I set myself for 2019 was growth. And I really have grown. I’m quite satisfied with what I’ve achieved – emotionally, financially, work-related things and personal things. I’ve found a balance that is working.

I have Gratitude. Gratitude for the friends that were there for me when I needed them. Whether they were asked for help or not. They knew. A roof over my head. Regular encouragement and support. They had my back and I’m so so grateful for them. I think of M, of R, of S. I think of my colleagues – D and T. Every day I pause and reflect. I look to think on at least one thing I am grateful for. It puts things in perspective.

I’ve focused on Joy. I find joy in pretty much everything. The work I do does take me to dark places and I have found a way to balance it. In the office, I bring joy. I bring fun. At home, I find joy. I do my weird little dances whilst waiting for things to marinade or dough to rise.

I’ve focused on Kindness. Simple rule to live by really – “don’t be a dick”. If it’s not kind, don’t say it. Don’t attack people who have differing opinions. Talk to them. Understand them. Understand their perspective. Treat them with respect and kindness. Everybody has a story that acts as a filter and sometimes you need to take the time to hear it, understand it and truly listen. And sometimes you just need to keep your mouth shut (or fingers off your keyboard)

This year I turned 50. Honestly, I really wasn’t that happy about it. But with the benefit of a few months passing, I’ve realised that the significance of that particular milestone is that I’ve actually lived and closed-out two lifetimes. And now I’m starting a third. The Simon of 2019 is not the Simon of the past. Sure, the core is there, the essence, but the conditioning of others, the expectations of others, the imposed values of others really aren’t an impact any more. I now take these external things into consideration and I discard the things that aren’t helpful, that aren’t kind. Those things that would try to influence me in ways that aren’t me, are identified early and dealt with.

So, a platform has been set. Now to think about 2020 and what I want to be doing in 12 months time.


Thoughts: The Slippery Slope to Christmas

As I sit here, in the last working day before a very well-deserved break, I’m reflecting on the forthcoming Christmas celebrations.

This year will be very different to the last.

I’m spending quality time with my teenagers. I’m not going to be driving 160kms back and forth across Auckland on Christmas Day. I’m not going to be walking in to a Christmas gathering that is already in full flight that I hadn’t been a part of organising. I’ll be spending quality time with people I like. This is a very good thing indeed.

This year I’ve not subscribed to the desperate rush to buy gifts for people unnecessarily. This year I’ve not subscribed to the desperate need to decorate – to buy a tree, to buy baubles, to buy all the red, green, silver and gold things. (Actually I’ll do this next year!)

It’s been freeing.

I do hope that your Christmas experience is all that you want or need it to be. I do hope that if you are isolated and feel a bit off-balance, or alone, that you reach out to the people you like and let them know. Your friends will step up.

All the best everybody!