Handwriting

When I was 11 years old, I changed my handwriting in an effort to be cool. I wanted to be more like my friend. He wrote with far more flair than I did. His pages had words that stood out at you. They were all in in neat rows, but they looked artistic and full of purpose. His paragraphs were all in joined up writing and each word was at an angle. His pages looked like they came from someone interesting. Mine just looked like they came from a bog standard 11 year old kid.

I remember clearly deciding to write an assignment in this new style – with my new found flair. The words were all at a painful angle across the page. It took me ages to finish because I was more interested in how it looked than what was written. I put my name on it and handed it in. I felt satisfied and liberated. My new, cooler, more angular identity was emerging.

When the teacher handed our marked papers back, he stopped when he reached me. I got a poor mark. He was disappointed with me, he said. And what on earth was wrong my handwriting? He could barely read it.

I couldn’t hide my blushes as I mumbled some sort of response. I reverted back to myself the very next class.

Happy Sunday chimps. To thine own self be true!

Low tide

We were looking for a beach today. We found a creek at low tide which was so great it reminded me of Kenya.

The sand was soft and golden, the water was cool and the sun baked us warm from above.

Fish were exposed in the shallow water. We tried to catch them in a net and we were joined by a couple of dogs on their walk. It was a dog paradise.

South Africa lacks the tropical humidity and heat of Kenya, but today was close. Low tide was calm, hot and water flowed in as the tide changed.

Life slowed down for a while which is always good.

Time is running out

So what shall we do with our 24 hours?

Today I played golf under the African sun. I then watched the sun go down with my two baby girls. It’s also my wedding anniversary so I bought my wife a present. We have a good marriage. 6 years now.

A day well spent. But the sun still reminds me of passing time.

Tomorrow needs exercise, communication, and creativity. It needs love.

Another one like today will do just fine. A good day.

Man Caves and other middle aged things

They creep up on you, those “middle aged guy” things. Seeping into your life. Maybe examples will help.

  • Coffee addiction
  • Sore lower back
  • Exercising for fitness reasons
  • Listening to jazz or classical music

One massive desire I have is for a room to be used by me as a place to relax and pursue hobbies away from the rest of the family. I want a Man Cave really bad.

With this realisation I concede to middle age. Now excuse me while i spend my day grumbling about what’s on the radio, and discussing the state of politics.

Not really. But my back is sore. And I do want that man cave.

Hospital

Disinfectant, needles, white lights, sickness. As much as we fear and dread going to the hospital, it’s actually a great place to be. A great place to lower the risk of something terrible happening.

My child needs help in the hospital and I’m lucky we have a good one within reach. I’m on my way to see her. Sitting in the Uber putting everything else in perspective.

Hospital hospital hospital – over and over in my head.

Listen and explain

If someone is struggling with a real issue, it will tilt their worldview.

While it is tempting to assume everyone else sees the world as you do, this approach is actually a cop out – an escape from the responsibilities of explanation. Nobody sees the world exactly as you do.

Take the time to listen and to explain. This comes from a father of a 2 year old!

Attitude

A pickup full of men is getting ready to leave the car park of the local grocery. They are ready to go to work. A vehicle that should hold no more than four is crammed to the rim with ten in the back and four in the cabin. Sardines in a tin with no roof, they are pressed up against each other in the back. In the front it is the same, except the roof is on. They are shouting and joking and sipping tea to warm up in the morning before hard labour begins.

A lady with jewels and fine clothing is walking to her luxurious car in the same parking lot. She looks disdainfully at the crammed pickup and mutters something about safety. She is white and the car is all black. She disapproves. The pickup falls silent, movement reduced to steam floating out of the teacups. A negative moment so early in the morning. She definitely will not have to work as hard as the pickup full of men today.

Walking to my own car I saw this unfolding and decided to try to counteract the negative vibes. I lifted my leg over the edge and pretended to launch myself into the pickup – much laughter and the men tried to drag me in with them. After we settled down, I asked them where they were going – a building site down the road. One man from the cabin of the pickup says I should come along. I explained that I had to get home to my daughter.

Less judgement, more interaction, more communication, more positivity. It really made a difference to the situation.

Have a nice day.