What have you left behind?

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’ve got to show for the years you’ve invested into your career? I’m not talking about your pay check, but the other tangible and intangible results or outcomes that you can hang your hat on and say with pride…..I did that.

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I guess that’s exactly what I’ve done over the past week whilst packing my office and readying myself to leave the Queensland Government. I’ve been there eleven years, and it’s the longest period I’ve spent with Continue reading

The times they are a changing

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do, is to do nothing. Maintaining the status quo is comfortable. Many years ago, I remember asking Anne, “What’s wrong with easy?”  I still like that question by the way.

take_a_chanceChange is difficult, change is confronting, and change is risky. Change takes you out of your comfort zone, so why would you want to go there if you didn’t have to? If life and work is treating you well, providing the rewards and personal satisfaction you desire, then there is no need for change. You just need to nurture the things you have and embrace them.

P1140500 (2)After returning from our six month adventure, there was no status quo. There was no normal. There could have been though, if we let it happen. It would have been very easy to step back on to the treadmill of work and life as we knew it, and that’s what we did……..well at least initially Continue reading

8 or so weeks on the run…

No sniping ....... yet
No sniping ……. yet

I am enjoying the wonderful absence of urgency and stress. We have had two weeks at home after the trip to New Zealand and there is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done, but nothing seems particularly important.  I love lazy mornings with slow starts, problem is my lazy mornings can easily run into the afternoon.

Make new friends but keep the old

One is silver and the other gold

This old refrain keeps echoing through my mind. These eight weeks have been full of precious new and old friends and family. The intensity of the delight in reconnecting with people has surprised me.

We have had many conversations with friends about how much you need to work at our stage of life.  Could work look differently than it does now? Longer leave periods? Part time? Less stressful jobs? Can you retire too young? How much money do you really need to retire? How do you have Continue reading

And so the adventure begins

Sometimes, despite the planning, things don’t quite go the way you envisaged. Anne and I have been working toward running away for a number of months, and today we set off……on a bus, and 5 hours late.

imageA bus was not part of the plan, but it became a late inclusion when last night Vigin Australia advised us that our 9.15am direct flight to Queenstown today was cancelled…….”but do not fear Steve, we have booked you on a flight from the Gold Coast to Christchurch at 5.45pm, with an overnight stop, continuing through to Queenstown on Thursday morning, arriving at your final destination at 9.50am”

Great I thought – that  means I only miss 18 hours of my holiday, a night out with friends in Queenstown, and the bus to connect with our 4 day Otago Rail trail bike trip.  mmmmmmm take a deep breath.

After a long wait on the phone, we finally saved the Otago Rail Trail bus connection, getting an earlier flight out of Christchurch and arriving in Queenstown at 7.50am – still a long night ahead, but hey – it’s an adventure.

We followed Virgin’s instructions today, and caught a cab to the Brisbane domestic terminal (a little early because that’s how I like it), only to be told…. “sorry Steve, you should have gone to the International terminal…. you were given the incorrect information last night…. here’s a ticket to catch the shuttle bus to the International terminal”. So dutifully, we headed back outside and caught the shuttle. Arriving at the International terminal, where we were met with nothing… the place was deserted!  Still holding things together, we found a cleaner who was very helpful….” go up there” she said. So we did. From up there, we were directed, back “down there”. Gee, this is great. Finally, we found a little Office with a Virgin sign outside, so I knocked. A young lady directed us back “up there…… someone is on their way to assist”. We didn’t find that person,  At 2pm, when the bus was due to depart, we were still lost, when our names were called over the airport public address system……. asking us to hot foot it to level 2, as our bus was waiting. Finally, acknowledgement that we were expected.

imageI’m writing this blog on my iPhone (that’s interesting…. I need my young eyes on for that) sitting on the bus from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to connect with that Christchurch flight, looking forward to a Bloody Mary (our favourite holiday starter).

I’ll see you on the trail…..no doubt starting out with less sleep than we had planned.

If everything else from here on in goes to plan, this is just a hiccup. What’s your worst travel planning story?

 

One Fine Day We’ll Fly Away (and that day is now)

Do you ever have that moment when a song pops into your head and you can’t shake it?

I had that moment last night as I walked in the door at home after my second last day of work before running away. The song was Morcheeba’s “Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day”.

I can’t help think how appropriate the words of the song are for Anne and I.

“You and Me were meant to be, walking free in harmony, one fine day, we’ll fly away, don’t you know that Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Well that fine day to run away is finally here! Its 5pm and we have just walked out the door at work for the very last time in six months.  It feels amazing!

I’m really looking forward to walking free in harmony……… Anne and I were meant to be, so lets go and build Rome together.

I hope you join us.

My Inner Road Rager

I’veP1060765_edited been cycling to work most days for  a year, a round trip of about 15 km, not bad for a 58 year old. It’s been a challenge for me. I’ve never enjoyed exercise but started leisure cycling when we moved to Brisbane  8 years ago. I’d enjoyed riding a bike as a kid so to me it was the least painful way to do some exercise.

On holiday in 2013 I was cycling with a group of women who were in their 70’s and they made it up the hills. I didn’t. This challenged me Continue reading

Honouring the Psychologist’s Chair


photo (2)It’s an unassuming chair. It’s a bit dirty and the grey fabric is the sort chosen by manufacturers when they know that a chair will get plenty of use and limited care. It’s not particularly comfortable and it doesn’t invite you to linger or rest, but it is functional. For the last six years this chair has been my constant companion, and it has steadfastly held my clients as they have wept, grieved, fumed, hoped, planned, dreamed and laughed. Never once did it falter.

As I look at the empty chair, waiting patiently for the next client, I am reminded of the courage it takes to sit in that chair.  Of my brave clients who come to meet a stranger,  sit, share what hurts most and what they hold most precious. Then they to come back and do it again and again until the focus becomes the future, plans are made, change happens and laughter bubbles.

Thank you chair, I will miss you and your twin that I sit on.