Failure and success, it’s a matter of focus.

A Toy Story DVD, a toddler bike seat, aioli and a loaf of sourdough. Simple right? 

What started with a seemingly simple shopping list nearly ended in tears. Ok, so it wasn’t just your average shopping trip. For starters shopping with a two year old is never as easy than shopping alone, but the tears weren’t hers.

With the boxing day sales still in full swing, we spent five minutes circling for a space then another five minutes making our way from that space to the shops, ten minutes taking two year old sized paces from one end of the centre to the other only to told the major DVD stockists had no Toy Story DVD’s in stock.

Toy Story is my daughters favourite movie, she’s only seen it once, yet she’s obsessed. She speaks of Woody and Buzz like lifelong friends and both are amongst the most requested images to be drawn on the blackboard.

Fail.

Ten minutes back to the other end of the centre, this time carrying, my now leg weary two year old daughter. With no DVD, we were in search of the toddler seat. A toddler seat, I had been talking to my daughter about for weeks. Admittedly, I was more excited about going riding together than she was but you can still imagine her reaction when told, “their’s no seats  here”.

Being a large chain department store, I was sure this store was not going to fail me, they had a DVD section.

We searched for what felt like hours through mounds and mounds of DVD’s. In reality it was about fifteen minutes and a couple of display boxes but lets not ruin the story. Regardless, our search bared no fruit.

No toddler seat or Toy Story DVD.

Fail.

My patience was wearing thin, yet surprisingly, my daughters was in good spirits. Playfully throwing her hands in the air, “no toy, no chair … ha ha ha”.

Aioli and sourdough,  … you will not defeat me.

We climbed the stairs to the supermarket. My tired child in my arms, beads of sweat now forming on my forehead (I swear the major retailers are cutting back on costs and switching the A/C off), but confident of achieving the least of my objectives for the day.

Aioli, check. Unfortunatley, with it came a request.

“Me carry basket Daddy”

“Sure, no worries sweetie” I replied. A natural answer of a Dad who’s both, feeling as if he’s failing his daughter and who thinks he’ll simply take one handle of the basket.

She had other ideas. “No help me … Daddy”

So, we continued. Snails passed us, we moved so slow. The basket cam up past her waist, she was dragging it more than carrying it, yet her reply remained the same to each attempt. “No help me!”

Headed down aisle seven to the bakery, we passed the rice crackers. A smile appeared on my face, she loves rice crackers. This will make the trip a success, I thought as I let her choose the flavour.

“I want bickies”. This is all I heard as she painstakingly dragged the basket at sub-snail pace to the bakery.

We arrived at the bakery section five minutes, that felt like forty, later.

“Sorry, no sourdough, no vienna, no pana di casa…”

Fail.

Entirely frustrated and what may has well been, entirely empty handed, we made our way to the car. With a short stop for tears on level three after a dropped cracker and another because of spilt water, we made it.

I could have broken down and sobbed, hunched over the steering wheel, but … a car was honking it’s horn. Obviously in a hurry for my spot. And how can I blame them, it’s only a five minute walk up and down stairs!

The exit to the carpark is a rather ordinary ramp, no big deal to most, but to my daughter, amazing.

“Weeeeee…” she shouted, he smile lighting up the revision mirror.

On the verge of tears, context couldn’t have come soon enough.

Success.

I was focussed on what I wanted to achieve. Yes, two of my three objectives were focussed on the happiness of my child but they were still that, objectives.

We spend to much time trying to control our lives, I fear we forget to enjoy them. Relish the time you spend riding up and down the escalators, cherish the amazing reflections you see in post Christmas baubles still hanging in the shops and never ever, ever, fail to admire the smile of a child.

“Did you have fun sweetie” I asked looking back in the mirror.

“Yes Daddy” she replied, adding claps for extra effect.

While I was focussed on my failure, she was content being with Dad. I think we can all learn something from the kids in our life.

SENSE

Mayan I’m crazy too

The world may end in just over nine hours.

You’ve obviously decided to read on regardless. I must say, I’m surprised. I’d call my writing entertaining at times and possibly even enlightening but never would I suggest my writing to be the last thing on earth I read!

Each key stroke should be urgent, they could very well be amongst my last actions of this earth. But alas, my fingers move effortlessly across the keyboard … without a worry in the world.

Thousands of people are flocking to ancient Mayan sites around the globe, paying tribute to their God’s in anticipation of the end of the world.

I repeat, the end of the world may only now, be hours away.

Again, you’ve chosen to read on. And again I’m surprised, maybe you’re just as crazy as I am!

Not only are those flocking to Mayan sites worshipping their God’s, for some reason, they are expecting contact from aliens.

There’s even been rumours of a spaceship coming to pick up those chosen to survive the apocalypse! Get this though, you’d assume the aliens would be interested in the smartest  strongest or most healthy humans … no, it’s a first in best dressed scenario, crazy right!?

Do people really think some sort of alien life form will appear from the clouds taking on board the people they met forming a group to re populate a new world post apocalypse?

mayan169-408x264They line the shoreline in Byron Bay, hands wide and lifted up … ready to welcome visitors from out of space. This scene will be repeated all round the globe in the coming hours and, as the time of predicted apocalypse draws near, their passion will increase.

If you’re anything like me, your first thought would have been … what a bunch of crazy’s!

Surely, any sane person would reject the teachings of the Mayans and be looking past the 21st of December, by 4 days anyway. It is then they’ll celebrate the birth of their King.

Born of a virgin mother and lived a perfect servant life, only to be killed by those he was meant to lead. This king didn’t fight his death, but welcomed it as a price to save a broken world.

Their king, (aka Jesus) rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to be with his father who sent his spirit to live in us all. One day he will return and once again, bring judgement to this world. Until then, billions of people (including myself) follow his teachings to the best of their ability… the passion of those people, just like the Mayan worshippers is building to a crescendo.

worship_service

Come December 25, churches will be filled with believers joined by folk looking for a hit of Jesus joy or a stamp on their get out of jail free card!

Who’s the crazy one now!?

That’s the thing about faith. It’s belief in what you cannot see. It’s crazy and beyond all explanation … yet amazingly life altering. It’s a force more powerful than any other and one, I am not willing to let go of.

I believe a man was born of a virgin mother and died to save this world. I know it’s crazy that he rose from the dead … but he is the man, who’s life I seek to model.

Meanwhile, the twitterverse, known for it’s craziness is filled with #endoftheworldconfessions including “I let the dogs out” and I “pooped my pants in high school”.

SENSE

We all deserve Love, even Lanza

Before you read this, you must understand. I do not support the recent actions of Adam Lanza at all. I am purely writing based on the events as they’ve been reported to me and they are influenced by my beliefs and outlook on life.

Waking on Saturday morning, I skimmed the headlines.

Massacre in school. Shamefully, I didn’t even flinch when I read the words.

A headline written maybe just to grab my attention or sadly as predictable, yet another American shooting.

The information regarding the tragic events in Newport Connecticut continues to flood in, as authorities carry out their investigations. So to does background information on Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old apparently behind the trigger and his family.

The world has a pure hunger for this information, we demand to know. As humans, we feel we must know why!?

At times like this we cannot expect sense.

Yet we continue waste our time seeking it. Even though we’d be far better spending our time supporting those directly effected.

543339-connecticut-school-shootingThe ink, not yet dried on those first headlines but veiled as “finding sense” we’ve begun to blame. A mother slain portrayed as a gun lover, a socially disconnected son pictured as “strange” but, even as far as President Obama is concerned is fuel for gun control.

Adam Lanza was obviously one troubled soul. Wether, by character or illness, one could never say he was thinking straight. As someone who doesn’t suffer from a mental illness, I am thankful his mind is now at rest but terribly saddened, that his troubles pulled so many others down with him.

The number of hate pages on Facebook dedicated to Adam, only 24 hours after the shooting was evidence enough of our faulty human nature. We immediately want to hate instead of grieve the loss and support those effected.

The fallen human is the real cause here. Evil and it’s existence. We all deserve love, even Adam Lanza. He too, a victim of evil.

Love is the only way to defeat this evil.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” Martin Luther King Jnr, a man before his time. His words, forever remembered.

Apart from “Lanza’s evilness”, America’s long-standing right to arms has been blamed at large, less than an hour before this very shooting Michael Moore tweeted to remind all. “There have been 31 shootings since Columbine”, the school at the centre of his 2002, documentary “Bowling for Columbine”.

I personally, do not see any reason for a person to have a gun in the home aside from animal control on a farm or rural property. Reasons of defence and safety should not require a home be armed. Yet still, ask an American, and you’re questioning their right to freedom.

“Are we prepared to say that such violence visited upon our children year after year is simply the price of our freedom?” Thankfully, even President Obama is starting to publicly question that freedom.

As long as darkness exists, gun control policy is just a limitation, not the required light.

I am praying for the families of the children and teachers that have passed. So too, each and every member of Newport’s small community. I urge you to do the same. And don’t forget the Lanza’s.

Pray that they may all find the love and support they need to survive this situation. 

SENSE

The real “new age” guy

I’m fond of a bbq and a beer and even more of my wife’s form. Despite that, these interests don’t make me that man I am.

Beers, boobs and barbecues. Meet the modern man.

The Australian Bureau of statistics couldn’t supply any data specifically on the characteristics of Australian men so I went to the next most obvious source, men’s mags. Communication pieces collated by marketing geniuses, designed to appeal to the needs and wants of the modern man.

Let’s start with  the cover of Zoo Weekly. April Vaughan dressed, or should I say undressed, in bikini bottoms and a hooded jacket. The accompanying clever subtitle … all good in the hood.

Her perfectly retouched face and whitened teeth seemingly included only because her head is attached to her chest. There, a strategically placed necklace ensures the readers eyes are drawn to the round masses of silicon clearly visible beneath her open jacket.

The silicon mounds weren’t enough to suck you in, the headlines surely will.

Drugs of the future, they’ll make you smarter, stronger and longer … because men are not satisfied with the drugs that ruin their health today. I won’t comment on longer but sitting around on the lounge reading trashy magazines won’t make you smarter or stronger. What’s more, they’re both achievable without drugs.

Lewis Hamilton’s new ride … woah an insanely overpriced car that you’ll never be able to afford. Saying that, it’s owned by a man who wins car races and dates supermodels, an obvious benchmark for all modern men.

In this magazine you’ll also find and article on Australia’s best new beer. A seemingly harmless article written for all those beer connoisseurs out there. Not entirely correct. After rating the taste, texture and price of the beer they compare each beer to a female celebrity. Unsurprisingly, pictured beside the beer near naked.

It’s not only the traditional men’s mags, sports magazines, seem to have succumbed to the desires of modern men too. They interview sportsmen entirely on their career and photograph them, generally while doing their chosen sport. The women however are generally only included if visually appealing and willing to strip to their underwear for a photo shoot.

I recently tore a popular surf magazine in half. Keeping the first, filled with editorials and photos regarding the world surfing tour. And disregarded the other, it’s pages lined with women in various stages of undress. I shouldn’t be too harsh though, they were advertising women bikini’s, an obvious choice in a men’s magazine.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a men’s magazine offering advice on true manhood. Shamefully, our society needs them.

Beers could be replaced with cooking tips, boobs replaced with health tips and barbecues … well there’s actually nothing wrong with bbq’s but they could include articles on family, relationships and community.

SENSE