Category Archives: Life

#1 Lyndal’s Pink Gems

What a fantastic weekend! 60km trek in searing heat (Saturday) and driving rain (Sunday) with a great team of new and old friends who valued the journey over the result, and still came in first by raising over $107,000 for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA.
While there are more pics to follow, this is what our journey looked like:
27kms in…

27kms in

It’s not too late to donate

Cold, Wet and NEVER giving up…

The START and FINISH lines
Start and FInish Line

Post walk bubble
Post walk Moet

It’s not too late to donate

Baby Boomers = The Y Me Generation

I never met my great grandmother: a Russian lady, who fled to the Arts to survive a Revolution.

A woman who had to leave one son in Russia and venture across hostile waters to the far reaches of Australia, and become Italian, when she married (for the third time) motivated by nothing more than convenience, so her two ‘Australian’ charges could have a father.

A woman who sacrificed her religion, when scolded by it’s head, for nurturing two of her three children in such an environment.

Who refused to speak the King’s english, because of what he’d done to ‘Kolya’ and ‘that German woman’.

Who was reported by a neighbour to Paddington Police Station in Sydney, New South Wales. Accused of being Communist, for merely sharing her experience and opinion…

My Grandparent’s survived two World Wars.

Like most WWII survivors, they suffered to ensure their lines survived in the hope their kin would thrive.

Yet, it never fails to amaze me, how quickly we forget.

I remain confounded by how quickly we dismiss their sacrifice, as our right: especially in the case of the Baby Boomers who bemoan the woes of: not enough money for retirement and the drain of Billy, Bob and Yacov.

I never had the privilege to be nursed by my maternal grandfather – who was born German, raised Russian, spoke in native tongues and died because of his war service, as a proud Australian.

A man, my mother remembers as adorable, loving, and kind-hearted.

The same man the war office has listed as a trained assassin – an original member of the ‘Specialist’ Unit, what today they call SAS.

Conversely, my paternal Grandfather, the man I called ‘Pop’ played accordian.

During his time in service, he cooked.

For us, his time in the kitchen was as the ‘Master Maker’ of Russian Pies – a treat to all his closest family and friends.

But it was music that made this industrious factory owner stand tall. His songs of choice? The only ones I ever heard him sing, belonged to his beloved homeland: that of Mother Russia.

An irony lost on those who, like me in my youth, couldn’t fathom his origins.

My paternal and maternal grandfathers shared a life, both here and abroad.

They fought to survive and proudly served their families and both their native and refuge lands.

They embraced religion as a tool of assimilation. Despite having suffered immeasurably because of the deity of men. Over 900 years of tradition wedding them intrinsically to it.

What I respect of these men, is they knew prejudice.

Which is why they didn’t see colour, only the measure of a man as told by the truth communicated through his eyes.

Between the two of them, they’d seen horrors that even Hollywood couldn’t conjour.

How do I know all of this? It’s the stuff of family legend.

It’s also been my deep-seeded and much loved research project of the last 20 years.

Their stories I know, are documented in The Family Archives, here and abroad. Not that I’ve seen them, because for the most part, we don’t speak of it.

We live in fear of what it will reveal, who it will offend and ultimately the hazards it could spread.

While we are all recipients of legacy, how we choose to nurture it, is entirely our own.

I know my religious heritage is a mixed bag comprising: Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Catholic and Anglican.

Either and all ways, I am proud that my ancestors had faith.

Because only those who live with and in faith, can actually be faith-filled.

A social and moral value, too often under valued by those who fail to live in gratitude of their parents and grandparent’s sacrifice.

For instance, I know that I’m alive because my grandparents were either survivors of persecution or were ‘adopted’ and housed by Jews: Kept safe among them as one of their own at a time when they themselves were in peril.

I know my great-grandparents socialised with Muslims.

I’m grateful my ancestors knew the diversity of religion and the joy of many peoples.

Because of the humanity bestowed on my ancestors, their line lives on.

And now we have a choice to continue to share a legacy or hide it as though in fear.

Children should not be punished by the shortcomings of the generations that preceded them.

Neither should they ever forget what it is the generations preceeding enabled for them.

As an adult, mine is a respect for the desire and thirst for knowledge, the commitment to honour, service and a life lived well.

We each have a choice to be the best we can be.

Which we all know, is not always an easy thing.

But the truth of the matter is: you don’t have to be great to try, but you do have to try to be great.

Get On Your Bike

Today I rode…

I hadn’t been on a motorbike in years, but finding my balance was exactly what I needed and that’s exactly what I found.

Visiting all my favourite places: we rode through beaches, bush and suburban streets, absorbing the sights, the smells and coming out invigorated.

Alive, for the first time in what felt like aeons.

When we are thrown an unpleasant, we have a choice: self pity and drama or quiet reflection and nurturing.

Despite my gung ho approach to life in general, when it comes to life matters, my default is always quiet reflection and nurturing.

I’m tough, but I’m fragile: a by-product of my sex, as well as, my experience.

So with a friend we rode, talked, walked, sweated and laughed.

Pure unadulterated therapy. Not surprisingly, it got me thinking…

Why do we ever let drama into our reality unnecessarily?

He gave his view, I expressed mine. We were the Ying and Yang of men and women discussing life’s greatest puzzle: honest and loving relationships.

The result: The feeling of being nothing short of indestructible.

Free to be, do, feel and love openly.

Which is why we should never underestimate the power of sharing life experiences, joy, hopes and especially our failures.


Reflections: The Truth About Love

Pink’s just toured on the premise.

Women of a certain age are accused of being preoccupied by it.

And quite frankly, I’m crap at being in it!

Actually, that’s not entirely true…I’m just crap at editing, so I’m thinking of introducing a selection committee 🙂

Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
If I’m not first and only, I’m one colour all over… and it’s tiring.

Seeing I’m no endurance runner, I default to my life’s motto:

‘Life’s too short to dwell in ‘unsure’ (read: ‘unhappy’). Life is a joy #EmbraceIt

Not surprisingly, I prefer key learnings.

Are We All We Are?
An old high-school friend rang me the other week to tell me she was six months pregnant. I was estatic for her and her partner: a gorgeous Frenchman who adores her, doesn’t let her get away with anything and in doing so brings out the best in her.

That’s special. That’s something worth nurturing.

So What…?
In some circles, where I have the priveledge to dwell, being yourself is celebrated.

Not a modified construct of one contained within the parameters of products past.

Lucky for me, mine is a reality where thinking deeply is celebrated.

As is being woman: All together or barely coherent.

Still a Rockstar
Being true to who I am, still entitles me to thinking of myself as the Rockstar, capable of wooing audiences, embracing life and moving forward.

Follow your Instincts
The construct that is Love can be many a splendid thing,
yet destroyed by one’s construction of it.

For love does weird and wonderful things to ones ability to believe and act upon instinct.

Framing reality to astutely delete some key factors in order to make ‘life’ palatable = The practice of the unfaithful.

I feel great pain when I see this as a habit in others, I prefer to see someone smiling, in love, as evidenced through the shine in their eyes…

But when it is forced, it’s unpalatable. Sad even.

In life, we have choices:

To live in joy, or live pretending we are in search of it.

I choose JOY … and lots of it!

What do you choose…?

Thrive or Survive?

If the aim of life is self-development (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray) then language, behaviour and knowledge are key.

Thoughts = Reality
If you want to live in joy, you have to make the decision to.

Equity for All
If you value equality, you have to practice and promote it.

Conversely, if you label things and people because it makes you feel better, then maybe consider taking a moment to stop, think and listen:

If you think there is nothing disturbing about these schoolyard scenarios, then quite possibly the rest of this post will mean little for you.

If however, you value diversity and the cultural exchange it facilitates, hold tight and consider for a moment:

Developing Society
As animals, we are programmed for survival no matter what the context.

As humans, our context will determine the challenges we will face and ultimately what our lives will look like and subsequently what our overriding motives will be – survive or thrive.

With the acquisition of knowledge, comes social responsibility and the need to do all we can to protect it.

Our freedoms enable us to embrace diversity.

What do you choose?

Man Whores & Emotional Trojans

Man whores follow their urges.

They let whoever is tied financially to them, determine their calendar of events.

And if an EA’s handy – rest assured there is a ready justification for compartmentalising competing priorities by playing the ‘work card’ in keeping all vested and related interests civil.

A friend rang me last night and over a glass of wine (okay, maybe a couple) we unpicked the debacle that can become you when dating a divorced, middle-aged, father.

Keeping in mind, we have known each other for nearly 30 years and having grown up together have very few secrets, she still managed to stun me into silence as she defended her ‘boyfriend’s’ decision to celebrate his upcoming birthday – a party at his place – without her.

As she explained, his former sister-in-law was going to be in attendance and despite the fact his kids had met her, he didn’t want to ‘go there’.

As a mother herself, she totally understood it, although was hurt by the reality of it. As a single woman, I was horrified.

Perhaps, I was too quick to judge, but the idea of being ‘scheduled out’ of official festivities like a dirty little secret, left me nothing short of staggered, if I was to be entirely honest…

Needless to say, my girlfriend and I giggled like we always do at life and then promptly skulled. Repeatedly. All the while wondering out loud, how the hec we ever got to having this conversation!

As someone who had the privilege of growing up as a card carrying member of middle class Australia, since the bubble of ‘marriage is forever, 2.5 kids, a house, dog and two car garage’ was shattered by independent-mindedness, I’m convinced, successful men of a certain stage in life, feel wrapped in the warm embrace of being in relationship with multiple women.

Be it their ex-wives, casual flings, mothers, daughters or work colleagues, when, as and how they determine.

They might play the ‘I’m just a human ATM’ card, but these men are Emotional Trojans.

But first the terminology:

Formerly married men now dating are not ‘boyfriends’.

They are: friends or friends with benefits.

The whole ‘Partner’ thing is an anomaly.

Think about it. They’re bitter and broken (no matter how long it has been since the disintegration) by public failure, unless they are machines.

The harsher the cut, the more mending they’ve got ahead of them. And the last thing they want right now is a life partner!

And if they’ve got daughters… every word you say, well, ‘it’s all so tiring!’… Unless of course you can provide valuable actionable insights that make a difference.

Emotional Trojans go out of their way to make sure you’re feeling special in carefully constructed ‘havens’ of ‘alone time’, free of outside interruptions (ie: texts from ex wives, brothers or children).

They don’t do it to be mean. They do it to feel something.

Their sole purpose stems from their intrinsic search for ‘happy’, a place they remember romantically.

A utopia they’ll never reach until they start with the man in the mirror.

ETs will wine and dine you, introducing other extra curricular activities, if mutually agreeable. But a dedicated space in their world – Forget it!

It’s already an overcrowded space and until they feel truly lonely again, they’re going to stick with what they know – even if it’s not entirely what makes them happy, but provides the prod to reassure them, they’re still alive and kicking.

ETs want to phone home, but they can’t.

They don’t know where that is now and starting a fresh is daunting.

It is also at this time when they are at their most vulnerable… and you can’t protect them.

Look closely and you’ll see their past resurfaces, offering all kinds of promises that even sound palatable, even tempting due to the promised ‘ease’ of it.

If they’re intent on pursuing that path, the fall of the Emotional Trojan to the street smart liaisons past – proponents of the ‘I’ll trick him into what I want’ (what the ET fears most will happen) is ON THE CARDS…

Fast forward. Repeat Cycle.

If it’s your desire to ‘snag’ an eligible ET and the lifestyle he’ll afford you, then at some stage you might consider the only ones you’re really punishing are the next generation.

He deserves whatever he signs up for, but his kids don’t deserve the dramas.

If you’re smart, that’s your cue. You’ll exit gracefully and concentrate on ensuring you’re in peace and standing strong.

Emotional Trojans are no dummies. They’ll engage in the conversations and say all the right things, but they don’t let you too close.

They’ll talk to you about their situation, if you’re really interested in listening. They’ll adopt your advice even somewhat guiltily, but they won’t have a clue what’s happening in your world, beyond the snippets you may divulge in the two standard questions they ask you (about work and your day) whenever you’re together.

The challenge is not to get drawn in by it. By that I mean, don’t cast yourself at the centre of his dilemmas.

If he’d prefer to stay up watching football until the wee hours of the morning, it’s probably a clearer indication of his mental ability and time management capability.

Or if he texts you to say he’s heading out to the country for the night after a lunch with colleagues, it’s probably fair to say, he’s just not interested:

Move on, unless you’re comfortable being a slab of meat served at his dining pleasure.

Middle-aged Man Whores are not interested in progressing forward. Why would they?

They’d have to take some responsibility for their past behaviour and if you’re a woman who has managed to reach your late 30s/ early 40s without being hurled down an aisle, it’s a given you’re not stupid.

Let’s face it, even the butt-ugly dole-bludgers have no problem finding a fella.

And when you find yourself being told you’re imagining things… follow your gut, not his deception. While it may have been a winner for him with the ex, he’s obviously forgotten it had an expiration.

Find joy in YOURSELF and YOUR reality: you’re not fiscally tied to him.

You don’t rely on him for anything and you don’t need to bide your time because of little people.

When all is said and done, Man Whores and Emotional Trojans, despite their flaws, are fabulous people… just as long as you’re not dating them! 😀

A lot of the men I know, fit securely (or in part) into this category, but this is the joy of western democracy and the power of free thinking.

It’s up to women to decide for themselves whether they’re happy to settle for the inherent sacrifices required of being ‘friends with benefits’ to Man Whores and ETs, or whether they have the confidence to acknowledge they deserve a little less drama and something intrinsically rewarding.

A decision reached over time and life experience.

Wasn’t it Einstein that claimed time was just an illusion and that whatever you want in the future already exists…

Motivation enough I’d say, for always using the present tense when speaking of your desires around friendships.

It’s Crass, It’s Controversial and Nothing Short of Brilliant

Don’t like it? Turn it off.

Interested in the topic, but offended by the tone and colourful language? Deal with it.

Domineering is one way to describe the epidemic of women wanting it all.

Which makes me ponder… have we inadvertedly abused the good work of those before us?

By wanting our cake and eating it as well, have we distorted irreversibly the groundbreaking work of 1970s feminists?

Physiologically, men and women are fundamentally different. What us women might categorise as apathetic, disinterest and just plain stupid, our masculine counterparts might define as considered, irrelevant, or something best filed in the past.

Modern man has a new role to play. One that sees him standing up and fighting back. For not only himself, but what is fair in the name of equality.

That’s not to say, us women would welcome the pitching of a 1950s perfect woman being anchored to the home. It does however, encourage a practical articulation of the partnership as it evolves.

A descriptor that does not impeed by designating him a breadwinner, mother’s aid and primary carer for all in fear of fiscal decimation if deemed he has ‘screwed up’.

I suspect this view is neither popular nor widely accepted. I’m fine with that.

I fully anticipate I’ll be pilloried for my thinking, but I can not help ponder, that both sides of the debate and their motivators are worthy of our quiet contemplation and rigorous debate.

A debate claimed by some to be essential. Why?

For no other reason than what Bill Burr discusses. His delivery is crass, his presentation controversial. While the elements he raises for discussion, represent an articulate summary of the differences between process and practice of the sexes, that is nothing short of brilliant.

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