Better at Being Grateful (17/21 Gratitude Challenge

Todays Challenge:

Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.

It appears as if the people putting this calendar together got a bit bored today – isn’t this what I have been doing the last 17 days!!!!

So what happened that I am grateful for today?  As I have been concentrating on this the last couple of days, like 17, it is becoming a bit more obvious to me that there are a fair few things to be grateful for each day – the number one, everyday, is that I am still here – lots aren’t!

I think today the thing that I am most grateful for is that I had to pick up too pieces of Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 9.04.35 PMfurniture and at both warehouses they ‘warehouse guy’ was pleasant, efficient and actually appeared to know what they were doing – and most of all acted like serving me was their job as opposed to an inconvenience.  There was this little bonus in that I was worried that both pieces of furniture were too wide for the trailer which would have presented an interesting packing and tie down problem…. but,then slid on with a cigarette paper width to spare… tying them on was a formality as they were packed in perfect and permanent.

I then drove home and unpacked equally as perfectly without damaging anything or dropping anything on myself….

Being grateful during a pretty normal day is hard!!!!

We are trailed by the Merchants of Misery (the Media) to be pissed off or scared about just about everything.  We are supposed to mainly be pissed of about the fact that we don’t have whatever it is that they are selling… and scared because that makes us watch more so we can be scared more…  bearing in mid that a video I shared the other day actually used facts (something the Merchants of Misery don’t appear to give a shit about…) which indicated that we are living in the SAFEST time in human history!2016-02-08 10.42.54

But, thinking about my day, notwithstanding that I had a pretty good morning, I did get to work in my shed most of the afternoon just doing shit….  I think this is the thing that I am most grateful for, because tomorrow I am going back into the shed to do more shit, and I love doing shit in my shed.

Better at Being Grateful (16/21 Gratitude Challenge)

Todays challenge:

Stand in front of the mirror for five minutes and focus on at least five things that you love about yourself. Write them down in your journal.

I was a little concerned that it was only 5 minutes – and I was more concerned that it Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 1.39.36 pmdidn’t actually say naked, but, I took that as a given….

Initially, I couldn’t get a good view as there was some fat old guy standing in front of me.  When I finally managed to peak around the dugong that had beached itself in front of me I discovered I am a pretty attractive man.

I can understand why men want to be me and chicks dig me… they are after all, only human.

One must remember that this is the second day in my gratitude challenge which is focusing on me… I prefer in any period such as this that all days are focused on me, but, as ‘Effi’ in the old TV show Acropolis Now said “beauty is a curse, and I have it!”

So back to me and the mirror – make that mirrors as one was just not enough.. take that as you will!  I thought I should work my way down from my head to my toes – remember that looking at the sun in its entirety can blind you.  I initially tried to use one of those eclipse peep hole cameras but couldn’t get it aligned properly – more about my arse later….

I concentrated on my eyes… I was there for about 20 minutes looking left, and looking right, up, down, trying to catch my eyes moving in the mirror (admit it you have all tried!) before I realised that a lot of the time when I have looked in the mirror (other than in doing the above experiment) you do not actually look at your eyes.  You look where you are shaving, you look at the hair you are combing – but, do you ever stare into your own eyes.  Well, today I did.  It was interesting because you cant look at both of them at the same time – which of course doesn’t matters as when you swap you cant see your eyes moving anyway.  I love my eyes not only for what they see, but because I am grateful I have them and I can see.

In the process of checking our my head, I did notice that my ears are rather prominent.  Something that to those who know me will know – they are like a couple of dinner plates attached to either side of my head.  When I was a baby my Mum once dropped me and I just glided to the ground.  But, as much as I wanted my ears pinned back, I have had then pierced several time (thinking about that now why would I want to adorn my ears with things that would draw peoples attention to them?) and have listened to a lot of shit, heard a lot of sad stories and listened to a myriad of good a bad jokes:  they have taken me through decades of music and now always have that slight buzz from tinnitus…  I am grateful for my ears – I have even learned to love their enormity.

I didn’t dwell on my narrow shoulders, man boob chest, or mono abdominal muscle – I went straight to my arms – well one arm in particular – my right arm, no left, hang on no right…  just above the inside of my elbow is a 2 cm scar, still very prominent with the three stitch holes prominent on each side.  This was an operation that I had when I was about 8 years old to see if I had a hole in my heart.  I was awake and they inserted a tube through this cut in my arm to explore my heart – no hole (other than the one left in my arm).  I like this little, old fashioned scar, I am grateful that it reminds me that I do have a heart and it doesn’t have a hole in it.

My dick – all me love their dicks!

I have a scar on my knee (not from the above loved body part hitting it I might add) from a push bike accident when I was a kid.  It reminds me of how much I loved being a kid.  I am grateful that I had a good childhood and great parents – this little scar reminds me of it all the time – I love it.

So, I wrote them down – the five things that I like about my body.  But, to me this is a silly gratitude challenge.  My body is just something I have.  It is my cover, the walking around bit – looking at it in the mirror and saying what bits you love, is frankly, irrelevant; it is just a continuation of us being grateful for something that doesn’t matter – our looks.







Better Memories of Mum – Better at Being Grateful (14/21 Gratitude Challenge)

Well it has been two weeks since I started this….

Todays challenge is:

Write about how the challenge has changed your perspective thus far.

Well today is a little different.

It is the anniversary of my Mum passing away – it has been three years.

Mum was always grateful.  I took the following list from the eulogy which my wonderful wife read at Mum’s funeral – just note point 7:

On 30/3/2014 Aunty Glor told Ian and I that these were the things she was thankful for:

  • Having a good home
  • Nice people to look after me
  • The doctor comes when I call, and he is nice
  • Someone to do my shopping
  • Having a joke
  • Visits from my family
  • I rarely wake up miserable, I wake up grateful
  • When I smile it makes other people happy, that makes me happy
  • Having a packet of potato chips when I want – sometimes one in the morning and one in the afternoon
  • I love seafood – I wish I could have more
  • Looking at my photographs – especially the ones of Dad and remembering those days
  • I love eggs for breakfast – emphasized love!

I don’t want to write anymore tonight about this (sounded a little forrest Gumpy there!)

I think my previous post of Mum’s eulogy is enough for today.

Better at Accepting Bad News

Dont you hate it when someone, or some news article says ‘more to follow’ and it doesn’t….

So this post is specifically to stop that angst and is related to a previous post (insert link here) – which through the magic of technology I am putting on the internet within milliseconds of each other – it really is magic.

So – how are we better at receiving bad news – the profound truth!!!

We are not – because we are emotional beasts that crave the emotional response that is so much a part of society we don’t notice it.  What is that?  Gratification!  Yes, gratification is the beast that is killing all our emotions – mostly it is killing the moment to understand….  Understand what?  Well, the rest of it.

Unfortunately receiving bad news does not fit into the category of gratification – unless your are really the ultimate sicko – and there are a few of them!.  Bad news fits into the category “That I have suddenly had the illusion that I am special and destined for greatness and I am not a part of the rest of you, suddenly shattered by the realisation that I am” – except that it is not; bad news is not the realisation that you are not special, or talented, or gifted or on the TV.

Bad news is mostly not bad news.

“Oh, but he dropped me, and I loved him more than anything else”


But, I didn’t get that job and I was the best candidate and all the rest were pretenders..”


“But my cat died and I love him”


“I didn’t win the fucking lottery”


The bad news that you lament and bitch and screem about is not bad news… it is just you being a sook, a victim and a product of the NOW generation that thinks all of us can be exceptional and special and destined for success and getting the golden button on X-Factor or whatever that bullshit show is….. or that 30 seconds of fame when you see your name on the bottom of the screen with “Concerned Neighbour” written below it in some  bullshit, yet somehow important, appearing font….

Bad news is personal, and heartfelt and dwindles or lingers – it is not a sound grab on ‘The Project’ or an expose on A Current Affair or a blame game of those who cause you pain…. No, bad news is in the heart.

I have thought about this a lot, and have thought that my life is full of bad news.  Yet, whenever I think back about it, I realise that most bad news, I cant even remember – which is a paradox in itself.

Let’s get this straight, bad news fits into the following categories with the following percentaged.

  • Bullshit Bad News – 95%
  • Kick in the Balls Bad New – 4.5%
  • In the Heart Bad News – .5%a

The bad news that I got today fits into Bullshit Bad News.  Nobody died – and by the way, without jumping ahead, which I just did, that is not even Kick in the Ball Bad News because people die everyday – it is inevitable!!!!

Most (look above 95%) of all your whinging and crying is just bullshit.  Most of it you don’t even remember.  But, at the time you carried on like you were kicked in the balls (see below) but then you saw something shiny and were distracted in another direction – “ooo cry, cry, cry my cat died – but, look here is my new pussy, isn’t she or he or other, cute…”.

Kick in the balls bad news hurts – it is really is like a kick in the balls.  “Sorry we are sacking you because everyone thinks you are a prick”  – Shit! Kick in the balls, as you thought you were an okay type guy (but secretly you knew you were a prick – so you go and get another job, as your ego is actually bigger than your prick and you make a prick of yourself somewhere else… and the cycle continues…).  this is not always the case as sometimes you get a kick in the balls and you don’t deserve it – by the way it doesn’t hurt any less.

And, then, there is ‘In the Heart Bad News”….  I want to make a joke about this, but there isn’t one….

It cripples you (a kick in the balls is a tickle in comparison – actually it’s a tickle with a feather in comparison…)

It gets a little more attention than Bullshit Bad News, it gets a mate holding the ice pack a few minutes more that a Kick in the Balls Bad News…  but it is different….

Man!!!!  It fucking hurts your heart like you didn’t know your heart could be hurt.

It hurts like you could never imagine.

It hurts like you can’t explain – even to all those who say “I know, I know” – really if you knew, you would shut the fuck up….  you just don’t know….

It still hurts – when you least expect it it hurts more.  It is a new you, this hurt.

But, we survive it.


Because only when you know ‘In the Heart Bad News’ do you understand.  Not that it is fair, not that it is unfair, not that it will get better, not that ‘time heals all wounds’…. but, that you have experienced it, like so many before you, the only understanding you get about it, is the understanding of it…..  You don’t have to talk about it, you can, but if someone hasn’t experienced it, then no explanation is possible.

Plus after a while you don’t need to talk to others about it, as you know it, in your heart….,

You mentioning it, and them nodding, is a game of pretending to know;  but, for you it is a time machine, to the instance of that bad news, and you live through it, again…  and you survive again….  it is in your heart, forever.

I can’t explain it to some of you – and to others no explanation is necessary.

Don’t try and understand bad news that is not yours: spare you platitudes, you offers of help, your condolences, your hand patting – don’t look towards me, but, when I really need you, put your back to me, shelter me, and give me your protection to grieve….

Nod as you leave, I’ll nod back – that’s enough.


Better at Being Grateful (13/21 Gratitude Challenge)

Todays Challenge:

Pick three friends or family members you see regularly.  View their actions and gestures through a positive lens, assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.

Oh God!  I read this in the morning and realised that day 13 really is unlucky…  Don’t misunderstand me I love being judgemental (but in a positive way) and assuming goodness and best intentions – Please can you make it harder for today….!!!!!

No only that but as I am writing down my daily challenges, does that mean to follow them through, with the best and most honest intentions I have, single out three friends or family….  What if they don’t want that or more importantly someone else gets miffed because they thought I should have picked them?

Thinking… thinking… thinking…. which I had an entire day to do, prior to writing this.

Okay, I should pick my wife, but, I have three kids and she has two, the maths doesn’t work – someone close to me misses out…  Okay, go to friends.  Do I have a best friend – yes?  But do they know that and what about the others who think they are my best friend?  What if I write about someone who is not my best friend, saying they are my best friend, knowing that my best friend will realise I am doing it to make my not-best friend happy, but they both get confused and come to my house, and a fight starts, and they become best friends against me and beat me up and I have to go into hospital and get a catheter….

Being grateful is very risky.  Plus, I am not a real ‘best of intentions’ ‘ give them the benefit of the doubt’ type guy,  although there is a friend of mine, not my best friend – or maybe he is, who uses the phrase ‘But, there is no malice in the guy…?’  This is a phrase that has often made me look a people quite differently – yes, they may be stupid, misdirected, careless, etc etc… but, without malice there, I think, I can always find  forgiveness or at the very least a measure of understanding.

Perhaps I don’t need to pick any of my friends or family, but just look at things generally by:

  • using a positive lens to look at things
  • assuming goodness
  • witness best intentions

So today has ended and I have not really fulfilled my ‘Gratitude Challenge’ – I have not identified the anointed three…

But, today, I have received a little bit of bad news…. and I have accepted that ….

(I am working on a separate blog post called “Better at Accepting Bad News” but haven’t written it yet so can’t make a link – although if there is a link when you are  reading this I have done it, twice…?)

In consideration of the above, I looked at things today through a positive lens (much to my wife’s surprise!), I assumed that there was a resemblance of goodness in the repercussions of my bad news and… I know we are not sorted yet with my bad news but, I am sure that the best intentions of everyone will ensure a good outcome… somehow….




Better at Being Grateful (12/21 Day Gratitude Challenge)

Todays Challenge:

Today, make the effort to live life with a positive outlook.  Restrain from criticising the people around you.  Dare to see the glass half full.  Listen more than you speak.  Give freely of yourself.  Practice kindness at every opportunity.

Okay, so apparently today I am multitasking by:

  • Being Positive
  • Non critical
  • Having a Full Glass (sorry did that yesterday and I’m still paying! – Pass – AFD!)
  • Listening
  • Giving Freely
  • Being kind

After reading this in the morning I thought the best bet was to lock myself in a cupboard.  But, surely these are things we should be doing everyday?  An interesting part of this gratitude challenge in making ‘observations’ – this is not only of yourself but of those around you.

What is more interesting is the ‘default’ setting that your mind finds itself in when you are making these observations…  usually accompanied by mental phrases such as:2017-12-12 - _0001

“Why me?”
“No, I wont”
“Stop Talking”

Well, maybe not everyone has these ‘default’ settings, or maybe they do but just don’t notice.  Noticing is really the hardest part.

I didn’t venture out much today so was relatively safe from my ‘default’ setting behaviour – but, it is not the behaviour that was troubling me (never really has – which probably is a reasonably good definition of an ‘arsehole’) but it was the thoughts that lead to that behaviour that are just “bang” there.

So a lot of the day I was grateful that I saw that my default settings were not on the above list (the first list) and that by noticing I actually realised I didn’t really think, feel or want that default setting – I wonder how you hard wire that?

I finished the day, pretty grateful and happy with how things had gone – it is usually a pretty dangerous place in my head, and I usually don’t go there alone, but, today I found 2017-12-11 - _0001that a lot of things I thought were carved in stone were in fact just written on my mental white board and can very easily be ignored (like a OHS lecture notes) or rubbed out with a soft cloth
– but, I am sure someone sneaks in during the night and scribbles them back up again with a crudely drawn picture of a penis…..  Maybe it’s me?