Tag Archives: Christchurch

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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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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Making a difference….one person at a time

In the days following the February earthquake I sat at my friends’ house for hours at a time transfixed by the images fed to me via the TV and internet.  I cried at what I saw.  And I cried for all the people affected.  And I wanted to help.  So I cried because I was sitting there, not helping.  But, after the September earthquake I wanted to help too….so I rang and emailed places to find out what I could do using my skills.  And no one was interested.  Turns out that so many people did the same thing that there was no way to co-ordinate all the offers of help.

So I sat and watched instead. Mostly feeling numb.  And sometimes feeling completely useless that I wasn’t doing anything.

And I’m sure that all over the city, thousands of people felt the same. I know lots of people signed up for the Student Volunteer Army again – and did a fantastic job.  I didn’t.  For whatever reason.

I did have the opportunity to spend some time at the Pioneer Welfare Centre with the Emergency Relief Therapists, doing massage for the evacuees and the medical staff and volunteers there. And then I organised an afternoon at the New Brighton Volunteer Fire Station. A team of us provided massage therapy to the fire fighters and the families of those who were not able to stay at home and were sleeping at the station. The highlight of my day was seeing the daughter of one of the fire fighters take over my massage chair and give others massage.

Then, an opportunity came up, via my friend Dan, to work with Telecom and help their staff.  I’d like to say that I think the support that Telecom have provided to their staff across the city has been amazing.  I’ve seen it first hand and it’s genuine caring. Continue reading

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Laugh, cry, shout, hug

It’s over a week since the massive earthquake here in Christchurch.  No need to remind you of that.

And as the people of this beautiful city try to adapt to the new normal, there is more danger lurking.

Stress.

Stress is necessary for your survival and is in fact beneficial in moderate amounts.  However what happened in our city on September 4 and February 22 have put many of us into stress overload.  Your normal coping mechanisms are overwhelmed and the stress can start to have a negative effect on our lives – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Stress manifests itself in so many ways.  Check through the list below.  If you or those close to you can tick more than 5 of these symptoms, it’s likely the stress is starting to get to you:

  • disturbed sleep
  • feeling helpless
  • lack of appetite
  • headaches
  • lack of motivation
  • irritability Continue reading

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Counting myself very lucky

I was at the gym when the earthquake hit, it was terrifying – the noise was like a huge train going past, the sprinkler system burst, glass doors and windows exploded, concrete support pillars cracked, TVs fell, heavy weights were tossed around like toys. I wasn’t concerned for my own safety as much as those around me who were panicking and distraught. I ended up crouched over one of the guys in my gym class, protecting him from any falling debris – he was huddled, cowering, trembling and I felt it was the least I could do to help him.

We were quickly evacuated and as I came down the front stairs, I could see dust rising from across the CBD – I knew it wasn’t good.  I could hear a girl crying hysterically down in front of me, but I couldn’t reach her to comfort her.

For those of you outside of Christchurch, I’m sure you’ve seen all the TV coverage of the devastation – I saw just the tiniest of that first hand, as the gym is on Moorhouse Ave and away from many of the CBD buildings that were destroyed. I did however get the Moorhouse Ave/Colombo St overbridge closed as I could see cracks in one of the main supports and the road separating with each aftershock. I did see people being rescued from a building – alive and well. And I saw the full length of Moorhouse Ave full of silt and water from liquefaction. Luckily my new place is only 30mins walk from the CBD – so I walked home, with nothing but the clothes I wore to the gym. It wasn’t til I got home and saw on TV the extent of the damage, that I realised how bad it really was, and how lucky I was to come out unscathed. Continue reading

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