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Of gratitude and hope

I was just driving home with my windows down and my stereo cranked, with the warm spring air ambracing my arm as I hung it out the window. And I almost cried.

I’m so happy right now.  I’m so thankful for what I have and I’m excited at what my future might hold.  So what brought this on?

A combination of lots of things and the realisation that life really is great right now and I just wanted to share it.

We won the Rugby World Cup.  I was 15 years old when I watched David Kirk (who I had a crush on) hold the William Webb Ellis cup aloft.  And I was privileged to be at Eden Park to watch “our Richie” do the same last week. And thanks to Nick and Nathan for celebrating the day/night with me! You guys rock.

The Christchurch CBD is again alive.  I was excited to be one of the thousands of people who visited the new Cashel Container Mall in the weekend.  What a brilliant job by everyone involved.  I, like many, was a little dubious about the concept of containers for a shopping precinct, but it works and looks amazing.  Continue reading

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Cap’n, we have to change course!

Yes, it’s time for more change.

So, I’ve received the payout from the relationship property split. It’s currently sitting int he bank earning a bit of interest while I decide my next step.

Which is not what I thought it would be.  But that’s the way life goes – roll with it baby!

My landlord has put the house that is currently The Phoenix Nest, my place of work and my cat’s home on the market. Yes, there’s a dirty great For Sale sign out the front.  And if you’re interested, there listing is here.

So, my guess is I’ll be moving on soon.

So that money couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’ve got a conditional loan pre-approved with the bank, just need to get the accountant to provide some accounts to my banker and I should be away….and back into the property ownership market a lot sooner than I thought.

Changing course again.  For the better, again. It’s gonna be fun.

Oh and in 2 weeks time I’ll be in Auckland ready for the RWC 2011 final.

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Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?  Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Any parent who has travelled for any distance with an impatient child will know that chant well.

That’s what I’m like at the moment.

Exciting things are happening in my life over the next few weeks and months, and I will be impatiently counting down.

Firstly, any day now there will be a sum of money turning up in my bank. This is the proceeds from the relationship property split. Not as much as it could have been after 15 years of property ownership, as property sales haven’t been that flash, but a fair deal still.  Are we there yet?

Most of this will be squirrelled away for safe keeping. And some will be used for my first overseas holiday for a few years.  I’m spending Christmas in Vietnam. In fact Christmas dinner this year will be on a private boat in the middle of Halong Bay, with a whole bunch of new friends. A tour of Vietnam with a few days in Bangkok. Can’t wait. Are we there yet?

But before that there is the RWC2011 Final roadie. A drive up and back, ferry trips, stopping to see friends and family and watching a very big rugby match. I really hope the All Blacks are playing in said match. It’s going to be an exciting few days for sure and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it. Are we there yet?

And there will be no doubt a sprinkling of tweetups, dinners, Cup & Show Week happenings, birthdays and all manner of other events too.

Are we there yet?  Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

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Shifting the Quake Weight – update #2

It’s been over 2 1/2 months since I updated where I’m at with my Quake Weight challenges I.  (Please check out my previous posts for context “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” and “Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

My exercise has wavered over this time.  I’ve been plagued with a return of back pain, which I’ve let affect me.  When in fact historically, my back pain has been easier to control when I exercise more.  I think a little discomfort can often deter people from exercise, when in fact, it’s what your body actually needs to help itself heal.  Joints that aren’t moved enough can often stiffen up through disuse and that sitffness can creat more pain – it’s like a vicious downward spiral – one that I have to constantly remind myself of.

I also threw my hat in the ring, so-to-speak, to fight in the charity boxing match the Fight for Christchurch. I love boxing.  I used to do a boxing fitness (non-contact) class every week at the gym.  And in fact I was in that class when the 22 February quake hit and subsequently lost my boxing gloves. And I’d do one-on-one training with the boxing trainer or my PT.  Boxing is great all round fitness and I was really hoping I’d be chosen to fight, as the 12 weeks of training would have been awesome, but sadly I wasn’t.  Judging by the women contenders to date I’m not blonde or model-like in looks.  I may still be the back-up fighter, in case one of them gets injured.  We’ll see

So, I’ve kind of used that as an excuse as well. I thought that it would give me some focus.  So, know I have to move on and refocus again.  And yesterday, my dear PT Gareth, decided it was time for me to get the gloves on during my usual weekly session.  I loved it.  But I realised out out of condition I was for punching in the first 90 seconds of the warm up….it left me gasping and my arms aching.  Not a good sign.  However, my brain seemed to remember what I was supposed to do to throw a punch and my body responded.  However, today is another story and I’m in pain greater than what I experienced the last time I broke a rib.  Sneezing reduced me to tears today and I nearly passed out.  I’m now on painkillers and anti-inflammatories.  A lesson in re-conditioning.  But I don’t regret it.  I really missed getting my gloves on and hitting shit.

But, what you’re really here for are the pics.  So, here they are.  I’m wearing the same jeans in all pics.  And you may notice they fit a little differently around the waist.  That’s because my actual waistline has reduced by a whopping 5cm since the beginning of May. Continue reading

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Contrary to my earlier post about change…..

INXS are one of my all time favourite bands.  Back in the 80’s I styled my hair to look like Michael Hutchence.  Sad, but true.  I was gutted when he died.  He was such a talented musician and a charismatic front-man (and in the 80’s I did have a wee crush on him….OK quite a big crush)

But the band have carried on and late last year released a new album “Original Sin” – a compilation of some of their biggest hits, re-recorded in a completely different way with a whole bunch of other vocalists, including Ben Harper and Rob Thomas (who I’d never heard of but he does fantastic version of the single Original Sin)

They also re-recorded a version of “Don’t Change”, which in contrast to my last post, is all about not wanting things to change.  It was one of my favourite songs (here’s more info about it and previous performances of it)  and this version is quite haunting.

Here’s the lyrics… Continue reading

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Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

It’s been a month since I posted about my Quake Weight and the challenges I (and many other Cantabrians) faced with putting on weight post-earthquake.  (If you haven’t read the post “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” – read it first.

It’s been great seeing the post re-tweeted, shared on FB and linked to.  It’s had over 1,000 views. It means that some people have read it, and hopefully some people have taken action.  What’s also been good is the number of people who have asked me how I’m going.  One of the reasons I wanted to go public was to make myself accountable – if other people know what I’ve committed to doing, it’s much harder to hide it.

Now, I haven’t been perfect in following what I said I’d do.  But I’m not beating myself up about it either. But my new gym programme has certainly kicked my ass – quite literally.

I measured my waist today – and I’ve dropped 2cm already.  And I think the change is evident in these pics – less muffin top than a month ago.  So, if you’re still making up excuses for not taking action to improve your fitness/weight/general health – then stop. And just do something!

My stomach 3/5/2011

My stomach 2/6/2011

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Change is good

You live a dynamic life.  The world is constantly moving.  And so you are always faced with change.  Sometimes you control that change, sometimes it is forced upon you, sometimes you can influence it, sometimes you let it take you.

Change can be sad. Because sometimes you lose things you love – people, places, precious things

Change can be frightening.  It takes courage to deal with – and belief in your own strength

Change can be uncertain. The unknown can make you anxious – so turn to others for support

Change can be challenging.  Rise up to meet it – it’s how you grow

Change can be exciting.  Passion is the driver of success – lead with it

Change can be opportunity. It can open up new worlds with new ideas and new ways – the old may not be the best, the new can be different

But regardless, you have to deal with change – it will always happen.  You can’t stop it.  You may be able to stall it for a while, but it is inevitable.

And it is your response to that change that will shape who you are, who you become and what you create around yourself. You can choose to be a victim of change or its master.

Look for inspiration in those around you; in their ideas, their passion, their courage, their love, their support, their strength, their leadership.

And then look inside yourself.

What do you see?

This is your chance to embrace the change and change yourself.  This is your chance to make things better.

Do it now.

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** This post was inspired by recent events in my own life, and others close to me, as well as learnings from the recent TEDxEQChch event “Reimagining Christchurch”

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