It’s not always fair.

Last night I had a particularly gruelling shift at Youthline. Listening to people in pain is never pleasant, but some nights I feel more personally affected than others. Last night I only took two calls, but they were long and intense. Some people have to put up with more in their lives than many of us ever imagine. Sometimes it seems that individual people really do get more than their fair share of grief.

I don't really have much more to say in this post. I guess I just hope that it makes a few of you stop and take stock of the good things that you have going for you. I am not for a moment discounting the fact that some of you may have terrible things that you have to deal with – for you I am terribly sorry, but for those of you who don't – never take your happiness for granted.

Happiness is a gift.

I love everything.

Yup. Everything.

Ever have one of those days when you are in a great mood for no reason? For me they are usually the last day of work before a holiday, or something along those lines. Today I am having one for absolutely no reason. I'm just in a great mood. It's fantastic.

It started yesterday evening. We were on our way to some friends' house for a bbq when I announced that I was feeling happy. It just came out. And it was true. I stayed happy all night and I was pretty stoked when I woke up with it this morning. It's not that I'm not generally happy – I definitely am, but this happiness is greater than the average happiness.

I guess if I really think about it, I'm pretty happy with my life in general at the moment. I have things under control. I'm not wanting for anything. It's a nice way to feel. I'm standing in perpetual sunshine.

If I could share it around I could. I guess that's what smiles are for.

Wake up and smell the coffee

I'm being really naughty lately.

It's not actually as exciting as it sounds. I have been breaking all these rules that I've lived by for a long time. One of them is eating breakfast. I am definitely a subscriber to the you-have-to-eat-breakfast rule. It kick-starts your metabolism and sets you up for the day.

Lately (since my wedding I guess) I haven't been eating breakfast at all. Aside from a team breakfast meeting last Friday, I can't remember the last time I had it. I don't even have a reason. It's weird. Even weirder is that I have started drinking coffee instead. I was never really a big coffee drinker. Maybe once a week. If I needed caffeine I had Red Bull.

I have porcelain caps on my teeth (the result of a drunken university accident) which get easily stained. Hence the no coffee. Now I have two cups a morning followed by lots of water swilling. I'm turning into a weirdo.

I guess the fact that I get up before 6am and do an hours workout probably makes up for the metabolism thing, but deep down I know that coffee really doesn't count for breakfast.

Although I do add milk for protein.

It’s just not natural.

I was having a debate (admittedly, a drunken one) with a friend in the weekend about single-sex vs co-ed schools. She went to the former, and I, the latter.

We both only really had one point each to argue. Hers was that single-sex schools generally get better academic results. That is a fact that can't be refuted. Mine was that it just isn't natural. It is a false environment. I believe that school is about a whole lot more than academics.

I finished school at 17 and left home to go to university in another city. I stayed in a hostel for my first year. You could go out for an evening with a group of people and pretty accurately stand there and pick which of them went to single sex schools. They went absolutely crazy. They didn't know how to behave. They hadn't been integrated into a social environment like those of us from co-ed schools.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is really. I guess it's been on my mind. Maybe I felt as if she was implying my inferiority in some way (which I know she wasn't doing deliberately as we both know that I blitzed her in bursary). There it is I guess. The fact that I made that last comment implies that I feel I have something to be defensive about!

The debate didn't really go anywhere. I think it ended when I told her that maybe we could bring in single-sex workplaces too, if it's such a good idea.

Or is it something people would prefer to inflict only on their children?

The end of the golden weather.

Today was one of those Monday mornings that really lived up to it's reputation. I think I read somewhere once that there is actually a scientific reason for Monday mornings to feel worse than others. Daylight savings finished last weekend and that is always a sign of the impending winter. I don't really get winter depression like some people do, but I do feel a bit of sadness when I realise that the long evenings on the deck are over. They'll be replaced by evenings in front of the fireplace though, so that's gotta be good.

Anyway, this morning was raining. There has been a hurricane in Australia over the last few days and we are getting some mild side effects from it. Nothing that serious – just some high (for Auckland) winds and the rain. It made it hard to get out of bed though. What is strange is that it is still really hot. I was lying in bed, listening to the storm, sweating like a b*stard.

So autumn is here. It gets dark about 7pm now. That's ok though. Every day I'm getting closer to next summer.

The sun’s back out.

I guess yesterday’s post has helped me get things into perspective. I often go on about not moaning, and of stopping to think how much worse things could be – but sometimes there really is nothing like a good blowout.

And now I’m good.

I had a work binge and got everything finished. I churned out pages and pages of stuff for my biggest new client and they loved it, so now I feel like skiting. I guess I also feel pretty relieved.

It will go off to the printers this afternoon and I’ll see it posted all around the city next week. That is going to feel GREAT. And I feel about 20 kgs lighter now I’ve thrown that monkey off my back.

Now I have to tackle Visual Studio 2005 and Master Pages. Why is it that something that has been created to make life easier can be so damn difficult at times?

Still – that’s life. And I love it.

The sound of a Hawk crying.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

I am feeling stressed. I am trying to do too much. It is completely my own fault but I am having trouble keeping it in check.

As a general rule, I am a laid back person. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I lecture others on the same. But occasionally I forget my own mantra, and now is one of those times.

I decided a while back that I don’t want to do this job for the rest of my life. I love the learning, but I’ve been here for almost 10 years and it’s time for something new. I need work that I can do from home when I have children. I decided to design wedding stationery. After our wedding last month, when people realised that the invitations were my own, I started getting a bit of interest. I decided I had better create a brand and start to get my head around things a bit more formally.

So I started talking to people about it. My mother suggested that at the moment big weddings are fashionable, but that is not always the case, so I need to have a sideline for when times are slow. I decided to do some graphic design. Corporate branding and that sort of thing. I told a couple of people.

That was a week ago.

Now I have so much work I can’t do it all. It is ridiculous. Hence the stress. I have made it worse by filling up absolutely every evening with committments. Someone will suggest catching up for dinner. I’ll check my diary and see that Wednesday is free next week. Rather than thinking “Wednesday is my only free night next week, I’ll probably need it to relax”, I open my mouth and say “Next Wednesday is free, does that suit you?”. The next person that rings is going to have to wait three weeks for a free night. Seriously. (Admittedly I have a Youthline shift once a week). I am playing in a touch rugby team at lunchtime because I can’t afford to lose an evening.

In fact, things are so out of control that I didn’t blog yesterday!

Like I said – completely my own fault, but I needed the whinge. Now I’m good.

Our purpose in life

If you are religious you may be offended by this post. I hope not. It is not my intention – I respect your right to believe what you do.

I was talking to a friend in the weekend about our purpose in life and where we think we will go when we die. I admit that it is a bit heavier than my usual weekend conversations, but I have become fascinated in people’s reaction to my beliefs.

I don’t believe in any kind of God. I don’t believe there is something bigger out there that makes things happen, or watches over us, or has a plan for us. I find it kind of hard to understand the logic behind it. I just don’t really get why anyone would believe something that there is absolutely no proof of. It is not that I was born into a non-religious family. Both my parents go to church once a month or so. They like how peaceful it is there. As a child I went to Sunday School. I understand christian philosphies – I just don’t believe them.

I certainly don’t mean to sound like I am putting down the beliefs of others. I 100% respect that other people probably think that I am some sort of idiot. They may even think I am going to go to hell (or some equivalent) when I die.

The friend that I was having the discussion with was amazed that I am not concerned about what will happen after this life. I believe that I will just stop. I think I will just end up nowhere and I am fine with that.

She said that she isn’t egotistical enough to believe that she is here in this life to do what she wants without there being a higher purpose. That confounded me. I am not egotistical enough to think that there is any purpose for me whatsoever!

We talked about how these beliefs affect how we live our lives. The conversation started because she wondered why it is that I always seem so content. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I think it is because I am completely happy with the fact that I make my own choices and live with them. I am making sure that I enjoy every second that I am alive because when I die, there will be nothing else. I feel as if some people spend this life thinking too much about what comes next. They deprive themselves of things in case it means they don’t go to heaven. What if there is no heaven? Then they’ve wasted this life for nothing.

After talking about this for a while we came to a conclusion. One of us is going to be hugely disappointed when we die. She will either just go nowhere (and may therefore have wasted some of this life), or I will watch her go to heaven and get left behind.

I’m happy to take that risk.

You’re a star.

Today is my mum’s birthday. She is 59 and she is one of my best friends.

As a general rule I never think about ageing. It is something that happens to everyone, and as long as you are enjoying your life, it shouldn’t really matter. But lately I have noticed changes in my parents and it worries me a bit. They forget things more than they used to. They go on about the same things over and over. They still look young to me, but then so did my 22 year old cat just before it died. It had lost most of it’s coat and could hardly walk. I think my vision was somewhat rose tinted.

Anyway, my mother still works up to 80 hours a week. It is ridiculous. She can’t say no to anyone. She is very highly sought after in her field, so rather than slowing down and approaching retirement, she is working harder than ever. I am proud of her, but some days I just want to tell her that she is being silly.

Anyway, the purpose of this post was not to moan about my mother’s bad habits, it was to say that she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is caring, generous, intelligent, driven and non-judgemental.

Mum once asked me if there is anything I will do differently to her when I am a mother. I was able to look her in the eye and honestly say no. She is the perfect mother.

Happy birthday Mama – you’re a star.

Humbled

It may seem strange that I haven’t really blogged about my wedding day. I have been sitting back absorbing all that happened, and sorting out my emotions. People always say that it will go so fast that you won’t remember it, and it’s the truth. I remember bits and pieces, but I don’t seem to have more than 15 consecutive minutes concreted in my head.

The thing that hit me the hardest was how amazing it felt to have 130 people there simply for us. It was truly the most humbling experience of my life to date. We stood in front of a tree that had been there for over 200 years and spoke of our love. People just started crying. I knew I would cry, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the celebrant to.

The speeches were similar. I chose to speak last so that I would have right of reply. I expected everyone to tease me relentlessly. People just spoke of the things that they loved. (Like how I love a good party and other important things like that!) It blew me away.

The day itself was amazing. The weather was faultless. Shaun had 4 best men. I had 2 bridesmaids and 2 bridesmen. Somehow, despite all the emotional energy that was expended, I managed to party until 4:30am. It was the best day of my life.

I am truly blessed.

Me and Shaun On the stairs

Me Me and Shaun again

Kiss

wedding

Bridal party