Monday, January 31, 2011


I’m finding myself at an age where all my peers are convinced this is as good as it gets. We’re twenty-somethings; and it’s all down hill from here. In fact – it's so down hill you might as well top yourself when you get to sixty.

This is a thought I’m struggling to fathom. Last week I went and visited my ninety year-old Grandfather who has recently been moved into a ‘facility’. My darling Grandpa, or GP as I call him, is in picture perfect health. He looks exactly the same as he did when he was seventy (except for a minor upper-middle-age spread) and he’s still as charming as pie. The problem is that his dementia has advanced to a stage where my family are no longer able to care for him. GP doesn’t understand this, as ‘he’s been looking after himself for the last one hundred years’, but he hasn’t. He’s been under the full-time supervision of my aunt for the last ten, and the part-time supervision of my father and I the five years before that. He doesn’t understand why he is in care, especially in a facility with such ‘nutters’.

This is what's fabulous: my GP is so unaware of his condition, he’s ‘looking after’ the ladies he’s living with. He’s making the most of everyday, and what he forgets... doesn’t hurt him.

I understand why some of my peers may see this as a lack of quality of life – but I think they are wrong.

How truly amazing, to be looked after everyday, and still live a life whereby you feel useful. Besides, isn’t that what we all want? To feel needed?

I work at a local pub, and have the privilege a few times a week of seating a gentleman named ‘Ted’ down for dinner. Ted has been coming to the pub for ‘over forty years’. He always tries something new on the menu.

I assumed Ted was in his sixties, maybe seventies, but I was wrong. One quiet night I had the honour of sitting with Ted as he waited for his meal. Ted is ninety-four years old and lives alone, since his wife passed. He eats out most nights of the week, and has recently taken up photography. He has entered his photos in numerous competitions, and travels the country as a competition winner. When I asked him how enjoyed living alone he told me he was thinking of moving somewhere else, because ‘sometimes, he’s sick of making his own breakfast’.

I believe life is a gift. I believe every day is as precious as the last. And if someday, for some reason we find ourselves unable to make our own breakfast, instead of feeling that it’s all over, perhaps we could celebrate the fact that someone is prepared to make it for us.

Sure, being a twenty-something is great. We have the world at our feet, decisions to make, children (or puppies) to parent. But is this really as good as it gets?

Maybe a slower, more peaceful, more reflective life is one to be yearned for, aspired to, instead of feared. Maybe this isn’t as good as it gets. Maybe, it just keeps getting better. And then you die.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How to turn 26 with grace.

For the first year of my adult life I'm not approaching my birthday with the cliche 'I'm so old' groan.

22... that's SO old.
23... that's SOO old.
24... that's SOOO old.

I think 26 is going to be great. I'm old enough to know that "what am I doing with my life?" really means shit.

do you know what my goals were for my 25th year were when I was 18?
- ride a motorbike
- have made my first million

and my goals for my 18th when I was 15?
- get married
- have kids
- save the world

my goals for this year are simple:
- be happy
- spread happiness

I cringe at the things I thought were important. Money, status, celebrity.
My 25th year was sensational. It humbled me, inspired me, and challenged me.

I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't failed every one of my previous goals. And there's nowhere else I want to be than right here, right now.

- for the record, right here is my gorgeous home in Brunswick I share with 2 of the best friends I have ever had and 2 delicious puppies who wake me up every day with a smile. I'm waiting for my incredible man, James to get ready so we can go to a party with our fabulous friends and typing on my shiny new macbook pro I was able to afford when I started my own business, 6 weeks ago - doesn't sound too shabby, right?

So to all of you out there dreading your next birthday and regret not achieving your so called goals... ask yourself this: Am I happy? If the answer is yes, have a happy birthday. If the answer is not yet, be happy you've got another year to get it right.

and besides, I still get asked for ID.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Raising Shaun

Things I've learned in 2010, courtesy of one young Beagleier
(...and a few others)

1 - Life is better shared with someone you love.
2 - A good diet and lots of exercise makes you happy, healthy and better company.
3 - Sometimes you know what's better for someone than they do (eg. onions).
4 - Sometimes they don't care (eg. cake).
5 - When you love someone, you never give up on them. You never judge them. You're never ashamed of them them. You just want to hug them.
6 - Unconditional love takes you away from work, away from your own problems, and makes you be a better person.
7 - Family is precious and should never be taken for granted, or abused.
8 - It takes quality time to build a special relationship. Time, and a lot of patience.
9 - A new puppy might move in next door and steal your heart for a minute, but true love always finds its way back home.
10 - Life is better shared with someone you love.

Best thing I've learned in 2010? Love. Find the right person (or puppy) and love them with everything you can. Choose love every day. It makes you a better person, and makes the world a better place.

So my New Years Day message is simple: Fall in love in 2011. Fall in love for the first time, or fall in love all over again.

And to the boy who truly changed my life, James, thanks for loving me. You make me better.