Monthly Archives: February 2012

How’s The Resolutions?

So, (insert your name here), how are your new year’s resolutions going?

Huh, mine? No I asked you first.

Oh, alright. Well I really didn’t set any.

What, I told you I did. Oh, well I guess I have one that I’m working on – but it might take a while … losing weight takes time you know.

Yeah, I know I’m looking remarkably like I did last time I saw you, and if truth be told maybe a little more of me arrived this time!

Sound Familiar?

So have you had this conversation, or similar – insert personal resolution rather than mine.

In fact, I haven’t had this conversation with anyone but me – for though I’ve made some changes to my lifestyle they don’t appear to be impacting yet.

Tell a lie, the changes are impacting – just not as I expected.

I’ve never been fond of new year’s resolutions … they seem to be the non core promises we make to ourselves.

Surely there are exceptions, but it appears most are in the same boat – we start the new year full of ideals and expectations and by mid February find ourselves in a similar mode to December of the year before.

Supposedly a habit takes about 14 days to form so why is it so hard to change – especially for the better!

Anyone else struggling? Or have you implemented lifestyle changes that you stuck to?

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Food, Glorious Food

Last night we celebrated my dad’s birthday. So what better way to do this than share a meal.

I’m sure many have heard of slow cooking or slow food … in an era of fast food, takeaway, prepacked or microwave meals all too often we skip the traditional methods of first principles cooking.

The Sunday Roast

It used to be, certainly in English households, that the mum cooked up the Sunday roast, a nice leg of lamb, sometimes pork, or from what I’ve heard is the preference for the US, a roast beef.

Last night, albeit a Saturday, I cooked up a roast lamb. Two and a bit hours of cooking time devoured in less than 20 minutes!

But there’s something about a slow cooked meal, roasted vegetables, topped with dollops of gravy. Mouth watering, it’s the smells, the aroma that wafts through the house, something you can’t get from a microwave meal.

To sit with a nice glass (or two) of red and share a meal with family or friends truly has to be one of the best ways to spend time.

Slow Food Revolution

I hope that others are caught in the slow food revolution. It’s so worthwhile to eat a well prepared meal. To take time and enjoy a meal at the table with the family, with friends.

For me it’s definitely a roast lamb that does it, even pork with crackling comes a close second – but I can’t quite get around the roast beef … much prefer an eye fillet!

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New Beginnings

Well a theme that’s popped up a bit this year already is speed and the disappearance of time. Generally been caught in a whirlwind as 2012 days get ripped from the calendar.

But reflecting on a different beginning today. A new start for my youngest who went into school this year.

It’s been great to see the excitement on his face as he put on his school uniform, stood proudly with his school bag or bundled off for his first week at school.

I’m sure school has changed significantly since I was there, not that I recall kindergarten anyway. But I do hope that as he begins this journey a wide eyed love of learning is embedded right from the start.

So while my youngest enters kindergarten, my eldest started 3rd grade … and this I do remember. Pretty vividly.

Whether it’s the rapidly winding minutes, the days or the years, I’m realising how fast life gets away from you – that it truly is but a vapour, a whisper that was spoke and finished and seemed no more than but a few breaths.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me who is the biggest fool?

I’ve tried to adopt a new philosophy in my life to be less judgmental of others. Sure the thoughts still come up, but rather than give them light I use them for reflection.

Mirror Image

The mirror on the wall forces you to look at yourself. To see your reflection, how you look on the outside to others.

Surely, that’s only a reflection. It’s but an image, the external view of yourself, not actually you.

But isn’t this how we judge others?

Just a reflection?

We see a situation, an event, a news story, an action, or behaviour and form an opinion based merely on a reflection.

You probably saw the trap coming – yet how often do we jump to a conclusion based on opinion rather than facts?

The Plank or the Speck

So rather than condemn or judge someone else, when I get the thought I look in the reflection.

I ask myself questions like why?

Why do I feel that way towards this person? Why does this evoke such emotions? Why do I judge someone else this way?

Then, I reflect, turn the mirror on me.

There’s a story in the bible which talks about removing the plank from your own eye before picking out the speck from someone else. (Mt 7:1-5)

Judgment should be saved for the mirror, a judgment of my own thoughts, behaviours, actions and outcomes.

Shades of Grey

It’s easy to judge someone else on the outcomes in black and white, yet for ourselves it’s shades of grey.

After all, we know what we intended. We know what we were trying to do.

We judge ourselves by our ideals yet too often others by the outcomes.

For me I’m trying something different. As I come across events or situations that irritate me I reflect first, look at them in the mirror – it’s amazing how it changes your perspective.

Choose to Cheat

For those that know me they expect to hear a phrase: “I was listening to a great podcast the other day and …”

I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts and a recent life changing one was Choose to Cheat by Andy Stanley.

In fact it was two well timed podcasts, the first was a leadership stream and second was a service on the same theme.

Choose to Cheat is the acceptance that managing time means that someone or something will miss out. There are only 24 hours in a day and at best you’ll only function about 18 of them.

Seems like a lot when you think of so many hours, until you break it down.

Living on Borrowed Time

Our lives are becoming increasingly busy, with so much to fit in. After all, think of the many roles you play in life.

For me it’s a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, a boss, an employee, a friend, a squash player, a handyman (albeit an ordinary one), a writer, a reader, a board member, a … It goes on and on – when you consider the many roles you play and the time commitments for each it becomes obvious that not all will be given their required share.

Something’s got to give … whether it’s family, friendships, fitness, the one area that generally isn’t lacking is work.

Choose to cheat asks us to recognise this before the fall rather than be surprised when it happens.

Andy Stanley compares it to holding a rock for an extended time, at some stage physically your body will react and, no matter how mentally tough you are, you will drop it.

Maybe it’s not you that drops the rock, but your wife, your kids.

This podcast was a timely reminder that managing time is a good way of avoiding the real issues of a lack of time in areas you should be investing.

It certainly impacted my life!

Find more about the Choose to cheat or it’s more modern title, When Work and Family Collide.

Getting Into The Swing

Is anyone else caught in limbo?

Has anyone else just noticed January disappeared in a blink?

Has anyone else struggled to get in the swing of things?

I’ve woken up to February! The first month of the year gone and rapidly moving through the second.

Age is a funny thing, obviously perspective changes and time no longer seems constant.

I seriously question the consistency of time – I think it was Einstein who stated time is relative.

While one races through life always in a hurry, another strolls and takes in the view.

Well this season certainly isn’t a stroll – t’s a sprint! Frantic, frenetic, rapid and much more 🙂

Well, to keep up I’ll sign off and rush to the next race!