Teach me how to see the way you see me

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who the hell is that looking at me? It’s me? Nooooooo! Surely not.

Look in a mirror, what do we see? We see what we expect to see. First thing in the morning, tired face staring back. Feeling grumpy, we see a grumpier face. How often do we honestly like, no -love, what see? Very seldom I would guess.

So, welcome from a view from the ground floor mirror. As they say, it’s been a while. I’ve always thought that if you have nothing to say, say nothing. So, there you go. But when I’m quiet, I think, maybe too much. It could be called reflecting. Mmmmm, looking into my psychic mirror?

Or, maybe I’ve been looking in the mirror and have been rendered speechless.

Anyone who has read previous blogs will know I like to start with a quote. Maybe, after reflecting in the mirror a change of style is called upon.

Life’s full of changes and, from a personal point of view, I’ve had a few. But, it’s been able to then look at what those changes have done to you and trying to ensure they put you into a better position. One where you look and realise everything happens for a reason.

You’ll probably find, if you make it to the end of the blog, it’s a scatter gun of thoughts. But the theme is my thinking around how we view ourselves and then trying, from a personal point of view, see ourselves through the eyes of someone else. Someone who sees us in their own way.

Making sense? No? Don’t worry, as I said I’m on a bit of a scattering journey of random thinking.

I’ve mentioned a book before which explores the thinking that we are not who we think we are. It’s a fascinating subject and one I kind of subscribe to. In essence, we are who we want to be; the person that we create.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you think about it. The trick is to ensure that the person that you want ‘you’ to be is the best person you can be. Of course, if you’re creating a homicidal manic, that’s not a good thing.

But, who are we? The million euro question. Who are we supposed to be, and would that person be better than the one we have created?

Strangely, I feel that I was put on this planet to be a family man. To care, protect, and help grow my family. But, perhaps the family man is just a person I have created. Regardless, that’s what I am.

I wouldn’t say my role is any different from any good parent. When we are blessed to be parents – be that biological parent or adopting or as a ‘step’ parent – we have a role to follow. To be there for our ‘children’ throughout their lives. Not to control but to nurture, guide, support and, absolutely, to love.

To guess when I look in the mirror, from a parental perspective, I’m happy with what reflects back at me.

But the theme of looking in a mirror is, of course, metaphorical.

“Won’t you teach me how to see. The way you see me.” are words borrowed from a wonderful song by the equally wonderful Talos.

I’d love to see me through the eyes of my loved ones. Just to understand me better and then become the person they see, as in that I feel like I’m the person they see. Is that making any sense at all?

As I’ve said, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved as a parent but I would love just to see me the way I’m seen. For sure, my work colleagues see me as a grumpy, over weight, dower, old man whose mood lifts somewhat on Friday. Is that a disguise? Nah, I’m all of those things and I guess that’s why I’m intrigued to learn the way the likes of Aud, Ben, and Liv see me.

Just imagine if we had the ability to see ourselves through the eyes of others. If we could then take that person and to become it – for ourselves. If we could do that we could then transform our inner being and become that person to everyone that we come into contact with.

I hope I’m making sense. I’m just wrestling with the concept that we could all become better people if we believed we were the person others see – as long as it’s a good person.

So, there you go. The confused ramblings of someone edging towards mid-second half of his 6th decade on the messed up planet. Let’s see what happens in the next few week, as The Trump fights to get his wall; The May fights to get the U.K. out of Europe, whilst staying in Europe without being part of Europe but keeping our European identity. Will a yellow jacket shortage hit France? Will the USA and Canada send some their snow and ice to Australia to help them cool down. Who knows.

I’m going to finish with something I saw on Facebook. A lot of what’s on there is nonsense, but this really struck a cord with me – if an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, then life begins. Great things happen from the inside.

A nice thought.

Take care and believe you can achieve whatever you believe you can achieve.

Jon

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Wake up. It’s just another day

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” – Goran Persson

“A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.”

Welcome to a review from the ground. A brief glance at 2018 before we leap into 2019 with enthusiasm, hope, and new dreams.

I never fail to wonder what the heck New Year’s Resolutions are all about. We’ve all done them. Lose weight is the best, but then there’s to exercise more, eat healthier, be kinder, see someone more often, get a new job, so on and so forth.

We wait until one specific day to make that change which, for the previous 365 days, a whole year, we have been unable to do. Or more often the case, something like 360 days since we realised we couldn’t stick to the resolution made 365 days ago. So, in essence, for 360 days we have considered ourselves a failure.

In reality, we set ourselves a dream which, by classing it as a New Year’s resolution, we already know we’re not going to achieve it. I’ve been as bad as the rest. But, I’m still fat, I still enjoy the wrong food, I do exercise but I should exercise better.

Yes, a new year is just that, the start of another year. In the northern hemisphere, the weather is cold, wet and grey. But, those of us who are lucky enough to wake up should celebrate the chance of living another year. Another year where we should commit to be our best, and to give our best.

We should carry on the good work we have been doing as been a good citizen of our beautiful planet.

We should love with every last bit of energy and give that love without condition and without the believe that by doing so we are a greater person than others.

We should strive to enjoy the moment. To be grateful for that moment. And to have no regrets. Live. Laugh. Love.

We should share our love and to lift those who have fallen and to give them the chance to see the world from the same level as others. Here’s where I accept that if someone is lifted by Audrey, as she is 4ft 11 inches, they won’t see the world at the same height as many others.

We should replace hate with tolerance. We can’t all think the same but that doesn’t mean we should hate the person with the opposing view. Now, I accept in the cases of the likes of Donald Trump and Theresa May, right now, it is difficult to feel any tolerance towards them. But, hopefully you know what I mean.

Let’s hug a lot. A good hug can be transformational. If you’d have said that to be a couple of years ago I’d have done a Forest Gump, but a good hug is magic.

Now, in reality, everything I have said above is not stuff that should be committed to New Year’s Resolutions. This is life stuff. This should just be happening everyday. Think about it.

We wake up on 01 January and it is just another day. It’s another chance to get things right. It’s another chance to be hat person that you want to be. Yes, you could say it’s a new chance. But it’s not a 1 in 365 chance, it’s a 1 in 1 chance.

So, let’s stop limiting ourselves. Every day is another chance to do it.so, just do it. Do it with every bit of energy you can. Do it like you mean it. Do it like you want it. And do t because it matters.

And that my friends is where, for who knows how long, is where I clamber off my soap box and get on with the day.

I do wish you all a truly beautiful 2019. Please keep on believing. Life is good and we are lucky to have it.

Take care!

Jon

The greatest gift

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha

“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” – Brian Tracy

“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.” – Kenneth Branagh

‘‘Tis the season of good cheer. Well, it is for those who celebrate at this time of year. Well, it is for those who celebrate at this time of year and are fortunate enough to celebrate it. Well, it is ………………………

Welcome to a bumper packed eye ball induced collection of grounded words. Thankfully, grounded not due to some stupid person (please note, gender neutral) taking the idea to fly a drone near an airport.

As we gallop like a slightly exhausted reindeer searching for an elusive carrot, this last few weeks feel like the world has truly gone crazy.

In the U.K. we continue to do the Brexit Hokey Cokey. The left leg wants to stay in, the right leg wants to come out. Well, my knees are bent – in despair; my arms are raised in frustration. Rah, rah, bl00dy rah!

And in the USA, everything has gone into close down mode, with thousands of people not being able to attend work whilst The Trump sulks and rolls around in his multimillion dollar presidential residence because he can’t have his money to build his wall.

Whilst all of that is going on, in the UK, the issue of homelessness gets worse and in the USA a greater divide continues to grow.

Oh, and let’s not forget France. Several weekends of yellow jacketed protestors taking to the streets, burning cars and basically reeking havoc as they try and take their message to the French government.

Now, forgive me for a view from the ground but have the above 3 examples got a theme? Government and world leadership driving their agenda of chaos?

Sorry, I’m not been mean spirited or bah humbug but it all feels terribly orchestrated. Almost a distraction from other things. I watch Theresa May with a blend of anger and sympathy. The chaos all started with the bottle-less David Cameron thinking how wonderful it would be to give the country the opportunity to decide whether we wanted to be part of the European Community or not – never realising that the dross trotted out by the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage would be believed. Well 54% of those who voted (note: not 54% of those eligible to vote, a key point forgotten) believed we would have a Greater Britain. At the moment it feels more like a Grate Britain as we get shredded by the continued political jousting.

Oh, oh. I forgot. The Drone Gate scandal of 2018 in the UK. Thousands of people unable to leave or arrive at Gatwick airport as an errant drone caused all flights to stop. How can that be? So say this has been an identified risk for a long time but apparently the 2nd largest airport in the U.K. could do nothing about it? Could they have installed a system to help prevent this? Well, I understand for a sum far less than the money they will have lost, a deterrent is available. So why was this not in place?

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but something stinks here. For just a few days the headlines gave Theresa May and Brexit a break; a distraction. Interesting!

Well, of course, Jeremy Corbyn did try to add to the distraction by throwing a mumbled insult – at Theresa May? At the Cabinet? Who knows but the media was falling over itself to speak to the wise and the wonderful. Mr Corbyn denied it being aimed at Ms May. Really? This was a waste of time, money, energy, and many minutes of many, many people’s lives. Ultimately, we shouldn’t throw an insult which is gender specific. That’s pretty straight forward. Perhaps, we shouldn’t throw an insult. Perhaps, particularly when you are in the glare, you should think before for mumble.

Wow, what a wonderful few weeks at a time when surely we should try and be NICE! We should look in the mirror and try a smile, practice it and get ready to unleash it on a desperate public (I’m actually talking to myself here because, for reasons well known, I’m grumpy. No, my home life is better than it has ever being. Other distractions are, well, not really distractions; just an irritating itch that I’m struggling to scratch. I’ve had the best year ever. So, why grumpy? Well, I’m not really grumpy, it’s been a thin disguise to distract people.

Okay, so, the greatest gift? Nearly 800 words and I’ve just remembered the reason for the blog. And, I hope you have stayed with me to get here. It’s that time of year for many when we can kick back, and join together with family and friends to celebrate. It’s also a time of year when we exchange gifts. Like many, I love to give gifts and to see the expression of the recipient. Not from a self gratification perspective. Nooooo! It’s that oooooooo socks look. Or the embarrassment of opening up underwear in from of everyone.

More than anything though, it’s just nice to be able to give a gift as a thank you for someone special in my life.

I always tease Audrey about not buying tat. But, every gift received is appreciated.

It’s interesting though when you look at the definition of ‘gift’, as they are all horribly pompous. The nearest to what I thought was ‘An act of giving something as a present’.

Not quite where my head was when I thought of the blog, but then it is kind of. You see I am looking at the greatest gift not being a present but being the present. In other words, the gift is The here and now. Who we are; what we are; who we have with us; the love that we give and the love that we receive. The greatest gift, to me, is life.

Buddha sees the greatest gift as health. Well that must be right and good health helps to lead towards a good life.

I’ve heard of 3 people I knew passing away in the last 2 weeks. So sad, particularly when 1 was a similar age to me and another younger. It’s a wake up call to all of us who are gifted another day of life. The greatest gift.

Just think, when you wake up tomorrow. How about making your first two words “thank you”. In fact, just as you close your eyes, try it as well.

It’s just a thought. I’ve had my rant about those charged with running our countries but, ultimately, there’s nothing individually we can do. So, let’s celebrate what we can do and enjoy the greatest gift.

and, so, my friends, another blog draws to a close. Thank you for joining. I’m not sure what form future blogs will take. Obviously, my drive towards completing a book has stalled. The day will come but for now, let’s see what happens.

If you celebrate Christmas, May your celebrations be full of magic.

To everyone, stay safe and please enjoy the greatest gift.

Take care.

Jon

Are you listening?

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

“Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.” – unknown

So, here we are as the masses who recognise Christmas trampled through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Wobbly Wednesday, and Skint Saturday. Every year it’s mayhem. How do we use our learning? We invent more chaos. It’s the only annual celebration – which, let’s face it, is actually to celebrate the birth of Christ (for those whose faith recognises this) – that brings such global madness. Am I being ‘bah humbug‘? I’ll let you decide.

Welcome to another observation from the floor. Floor I hear you say? Well, if you start there you should only then be on an upward trajectory.

And an upward trajectory is what we should all aim for. Onwards and upwards as the expression goes.

So, the nights are cold and wet and, those of us who have the good fortune get the chance to make haste to our warm and friendly homes every night. But, do we see those who can’t do that, as they are huddled under whatever shelter they can find?

In my humble opinion, homelessness seems to be getting worse. I was interested in a situation recently in my wonderful home town of Leeds. The temperature dropped below a certain level and an alert was issued that all of those living on the streets who wanted shelter that night, it would be provided. Brilliant!!!! A great initiative……………….. but, if shelter can be found for that night, why can’t the same shelter be provided more long term. Now, I don’t understand the background here but I just throw it out there as something I noticed.

Christmas. Now there’s a subject. Smile, it’s nearly Christmas i keep hearing. Yep, I get that but the next day it’s not Christmas. How about smiling then as well. How about, and here’s something controversial, smile it’s LIFE!!!! YEY. Just a thought.

Mr Grumpy? I guess so. Maybe it’s age, maybe when I played Scrooge in the school play 40 odd years ago, I decided to live in the spirit of Scrooge. Actually, don’t get me talking about spirit. I’ve got more bottles of gin than I’ve every had. All because I developed a taste for rhubarb and ginger gin.

Spirituality? There’s a subject. Lots written about it. Lots of what’s written is insightful and attention grabbing. It certainly provides focus for us seeking to deliver the greater good and helping our fellow man, woman, and child. It can bring a great sense of worth and vision on what we are hear to do. But, and it is a big but (not butt), some of the stuff on Facebook seems to be written in an inward facing style – I.e. look how good I am and will be rather than look at what good I can do. Or, is it just me. Maybe I’m Mr. Satan.

Brexit? Oh my, oh my. Even The Trump can’t achieve this level of stupidity. I’m embarrassed by the politicians who gather in the name of being MPs. Muppet Pillocks I assume that stands for. The lot of them. I make no bones of it, I wanted to remain in the EU. But people voted out and, after 2 1/2 years of talks we are closer to remaining in the EU than ever. WHAT? Thank god we haven’t wasted billions of pounds. We have? Oh, b0110cks! Or, maybe it’s just me. I’m probably just Mr. Entente Cordiale.

Well, I feel better now. Thank you for reading my rant aka listening to me. And, that’s the point, I am grateful to you for listening to me. Of course l that’s if you’re u got this far in the blog.

How many times do we hear someone going off on a rant, we roll our eyes and think of something far more important that we need to do. Or the phone ring, a name pops up and we decide not to answer because it’s going to be a barrage of ranting. Or we get a text or Facebook message and choose not to read it,and ensure that it doesn’t show the sender that you’ve seen it.

Have you done that? Have you? Have I? What do you think?

But then, think. Is it a rant or is it a cry for help. Someone is down on their knees and they need you to listen and let them feel wanted. Just think a 15 minute conversation, or message exchange could, just could, pull that person back from the brink.

Dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I’m just being Mr Drama Queen. But I worry that so many voices go unheard. So many cries for help get muted and the black dog trots onto the horizon.

We all need someone to listen. I’m lucky, I’ve got many. Sometimes I just forget. Sorry. I actually sometimes choose not to speak rather than letting out. There’s a juxtaposition. Here I am talking about listening and I’m now revealing I sometimes don’t talk. Maybe I’m just Mr. Silent. Maybe I should be just Mr Get A Grip and let those who want to be there for you, be there.

So, in essence, my plea – please listen to that person who needs to to hear and help. And please open to those who are ready, willing and able to listen.

And, so to close another wailing wall of words, written in the main on a crammed train journey out of London. Back to 2 ears, willing to listen to one mouth. Thank god for Ringo! JOKE!!!!!

Thanks for sharing some time with me. I always appreciate your company. Apologies for the numerous typos. As I said, I’m on a train and just writing as I return home. If you spot the mistakes, improvise what you think I meant. It’s probably funnier than the original intention.

Anyway, for now, take care and please, please keep listening.

Jon

The Beautiful Ewe (57 varieties but the inter galactic beings ain’t one)

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“Be stupid, be dumb, be funny, if that’s who you are. Don’t try to be someone that society wants you to be; that’s stupid. So be yourself.” – Christina Grimmie

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve realised, I’m not very good at starting these blogs. How do I make them interesting enough to secure a broader audience. I could go political, but that’s old news. Brexit is broken, but everyone knows that. Trump is an imbecile but opinion is divided and I don’t really have the right to comment. Teresa May is the most ineffective Prime Minister since ……………… her predecessor. But, that is quite clearly because Brexit is broken.

So, the political angle doesn’t work.

I could preach spirituality, but that could lose as many people / person as gain anybody. What do I know about spirituality anyway. Or about ‘special ‘ signs of being a chosen one. I see 14:44 on the clock a lot, but I also see 13:40 as often. I read about the fifth dimension and clearly I am not an ascended grand master flash of the overload brethren from the outer galactic reincarnated version of an angel with a dirty face. I know my mission, it’s written in the bars.

So, a spiritual route might not work. Joking apart, I have a real respect for those who follow a genuine spiritual path for the betterment of themselves and to create a better planet. I understand the place of peace that they create and seek to share to help others.

There’s always music. Now I could write about the joy of music. Regular visitors know my love of music. This year has seen many music related highlights for #TeamDurky. We are lucky. I guess the love of music is part of what makes me the person I am. 

Mmmmmmm, now, is this the start of the plot to the blog? Follow me as we open the lid of my mind and find out.

It’s strange how the blogs have morphed from their starting point of analysing why white feathers are scattered before us as we walk. A moulting bird to you might be a guardian angel to someone else. Who am I to question either perspective? For a while, I deeply wanted to believe a guardian angel was with me but no angel would have walked me into the hell that followed. And, well, now #TeamDurky provide my angelic protection.

The blogs then moved into shamanic journeying and wise words from the big chief. Again, who am I to question people’s desire to believe in such things? I now question my own reasons for following that thinking for a time. Reality or desperation? I like my reality now and the closest I get to sham………… is a shami kebab as part of my Friday Night Dinner. That does mean I disrespect others’ views.

We then went a bit dark and a bit bitter. I make no apologies for some of the anger. At that time in our lives there was good reason for anger. But, that was then and this is now. As easy as ABC. Am I angry now? Hell, yes! Leeds Utd lost yesterday, I’m trying to find money to see AHa when they play Leeds, Leeds Rhinos haven’t made any announcements recently, and the weather looks naff. And, that’s the size of it. Talking about size, my 4 foot 11 inch beautiful partner is humming to Mumford and Sons in the background (as in ‘musically’ – very loose definition – not stinking). That makes me very happy.

And, then, I suddenly got it. I realised I have all I could ever dream about – I have #TeamDurky. I have the foundations to build blogs to, hopefully, share our joy and bring a smile to the face of any reader. To help to show that, I pray, everyone has something to be happy about.

Anger isn’t me. I know I’m a grumpy old git, I have a face like a slapped bottom half the time, and I need to turn that frown upside down. But, I’m not angry. I just need to be me. Be the me that I know I am. I spent so much wasted time trying to ‘fit in’ to a belief system that wasn’t me. The Devine was an 80s singer – in my world, and I know I walk like a man and I certainly think I’m a man. But, I also appreciate the Devine means something to others.

As the song goes, I’m a family man and I love being just that. Family extends beyond the house, family extends so much further. It was awesome to see just that at The Wee (4 11) One’s party in the summer. Such a wonderful day and to see the family in all of its glory. It was a joy to step back and just revel in what we have around us, but to also realise this is me.

And, that’s the point; the reason for these words is to celebrate that we can enjoy just being ourselves, and the need not to try and change into what others want you to be. Or is that what you think they want you to be? 

We are all born to be ewenique. Surely? Maybe it takes time to see the true ewe. Let’s face it, at school we try to blend in. At work we seek to be accepted. As we develop friend groups, we want to be liked. But you are ewe are u are you. That’s got to be cause for celebration.

So are you going to be your unique self? Are you going to say no to following the sheep around the field of life and decide to be the beautiful ewe. 

It’s so good to realise that you can be the bewetiful you, not to be the person you’re being told to be. As Hootie And The Blowfish once sang, ‘Cause they don’t look like you’.

We are all different, after all. It’s good to realise there are 57 varieties – and more – and you don’t have to be any. Be ewe, be you, be u. Be an inter galactic being? That’s your choice. I’m sure there’s space out there if you take that option.

As I’ve said earlier, and in many blogs, I / we in #TeamDurky love music and I want to close with possibly the most powerful lyric I have heard for a long time – “Can you live a life worth dying for?” (Tom Searle / Dan Searle / The Architects). Think about it.

Take care

Jon

Beard – tick; #TeamDurky – tick; Pictures of me and you – tick. Who the hell wants to be a millionaire?

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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” – Satchel Paige

Wealth  – ‘A plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing.’

If you were asked a killer question and your life could change if you got the answer correct would you phone a friend to help you answer it? What if you got it wrong, would you ditch that friend because that promised change won’t happen? What if that change would have made your life worse – but that wasn’t explained when you were asked the question? How bad would you feel for ditching that friend? Would you go grovelling back? Tough one because, let’s face it, you blamed them for getting your question wrong. The question which, as it happens, could have dropped your life right on its head.

Welcome to a phew from the ground – because, hopefully, the above scenario has not happened to you.

However, how many of us are continually striving for that golden ticket, without knowing where that golden ticket will lead you.

As Audrey knows too well, I’m in a very reflective state of mind at the moment. Why? Well, in all honesty, I can’t remember being this happy. Looking back on the last couple of weeks – 3 gigs (Jeff Lynne’s ELO, and The Editors + Talos twice – get on I-Tunes and start downloading – or via other music outlets), and plenty of time with Aud, Ben, Liv and Gaby. Marvellous!

As I’ve talked about in previous blogs I’m lucky and I know I am. And for that I’m grateful. To define lucky would be a blog in itself and, to be fair, everyone’s definition is a personal thing and it’s relative to where your head is and to what your ideal state of happiness is.

If you’d asked me 3 years or so ago to define lucky it would probably have involved winning the lottery, buying a place in Spain and living ‘happily ‘ every after. Probably whilst drinking myself into an early grave. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still dream of spending a lot more time in Spain but the journey to get there  (pardon the pun) won’t involve a bag of cash landing in front of me. And, it won’t involve living like every day is a holiday. It will involve achieving the dream through my own endeavours, and then celebrating every day as a gift. And it will involve new discoveries every day and creating wonderful memories. 

And, so, reflections abound and I’m learning it’s good just to sit back, be in the moment, and take time to tick the list of what’s good in life. 

I’m lucky, I’m surrounded by talkers. Get #TeamDurky around a table and the talking never stops. Of late, a lot of that talk has been around the great things we have experienced in the year. As I’ve said before, it’s good to talk.

As the song goes, all the small things. The small memories, they’re the things of the greater value for me. In this state of reflection, the walks and talks with Ben, the evening meals at the table with Liv, standing in the sea with Aud. the many memories making up a life, as it is right now.

Just think about the food that we are lucky enough to enjoy. But, if you looked back on your best memory of the year, would it be – for want of a better expression – a posh blow out or something like a smorgasbord of cheeses to nibble on with others? My memories are certainly in the latter camp. Cheese and assorted biscuits- tick; family / friends – tick; conversation – tick. Perfect! Aided, of course, by a cheeky red wine or beer.

And that’s the trick, we do strive for the perfect happiness. The level of happiness which is good for our health, and the health of everyone we come into contact with. When we achieve that level of happiness, it bounces out of us to others. It radiates, without going all weird.

But, does achieving that level of happiness have to be gained from winning the lottery or can it be achieved from appreciating what you’ve got? From looking at what you’ve got and realising how rich you are. As I’ve said, wealth is a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing.

Desirable thing? So, if we have the ability to have perfect happiness by appreciating what we have,  surely that means we are wealthy.

I hope that makes sense. 

It’s taken me a long, long time to get to this place of realising what true wealth is. I guess I’ve lived for so many years in that dumb place of believing a stack of money was the source required to be happy – build that extension, get that car, buy that property in Spain, do this and do that, blah, blah, blah. If you can imagine it, you’ll achieve it. Well, what I achieved in that state of mind was abject unhappiness and the opposite of a stack of money!

However, through #TeamDurky (and that includes all of the family and friends who I have mentioned before), I know better and, to paraphrase another song, what a wonderful world.

Thank you for being with me as I’ve reflected like a man in a mirror (another song). Maybe sometimes, to quote one of the best bands around at the moment, “believe enough to lose control” (Slow Readers Club – get downloading, you’ll be glad you did. Incredible band).

Take care,

Jon

What’s my age again aka 56 not out

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“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz 

“It takes a long time to become young.” –  Pablo Picasso

As the song goes, “Now I’ve had the time of my life. No, I never felt like this before.”

No disrespect but, that’s the truth. Living for the day. Living in the present. Living, loving, laughing likes there’s no tomorrow. 

So, here we go on another view from my park bench at the world. The world I live in; the world I watch; and the world I wish it could be. 

Welcome. Thank you for taking a seat with me. I hope you join me in fine form, and that your life is good. I hope you have found your place of peace, happiness, love and that positivity surrounds you. 

As I have said in many blogs before, my reasoning for write these periodic blasts of words is to share a journey that I have been on for over 2 years now. A journey I am lucky enough to travel as part of #TeamDurky.

What is #TeamDurky? Who are #TeamDurky? Well, if you take a wee peak at www.viewfromtheground.co.uk, you’ll learn about us and, if your personal journey has shades of darkness and some sadness and confusion, hopefully the blogs will bring some happiness to you.

In brief, the core is me, Ben (son), Liv (daughter), Audrey (aka The Wee One, partner), Gaby (Ben’s better half), Ringo (dog), Zeekee (cat), and a wonderful cast of family, friends, and other pets. The blog could easily be a roll call of the incredible people who are always there for us and, I hope they know, that we are there for them.

A rather scatter gun start to the blog but then, there’s not real structure to the blogs. I write from the heart and basically the words flow once I get started. And there’s nothing like been in the flow once you get started. 

A blog title is usually plucked out of thin air and I always try and start and finish the blog around the title. However, the bit / or lot in between is whatever springs out of my head.

Over the last 12 months I’ve endeavoured to focus on the positive thoughts rather than those which I guess weighed me down for so long – culminating in, perhaps, some blogs that I look back at and think they could have been …………………………… a whole lot worse had I not had the love of #TeamDurky.

Life’s a blast really, when you peel away the restrictive forces such as the need to work to live. But, thankfully, I work with good people and I’m lucky.

It’s the bit when you’re in your own space that’s the real blast and I am truly lucky that I now get the opportunity to spend that time with people who want me to be me. 

Surely that’s what life should be about? Being the person that you truly are? Not a person that others want you to be? Equally, not a person created in your mind. Just the true good old you.

Thankfully, and that’s a big thankfully, Audrey has ripped the real me out of the shadows and unleashed the middle aged child on the world. Ben and Liv have always encouraged the dafter side of my personality and that has been a wonderful distraction from other stuff.

It’s now truly beautiful to be with Audrey, who is such a good soul. Liv likes to describe Audrey as being pure. I know what she means. Audrey wants to see the good in as much as possible. What a wonderful way to look at things.

Audrey also likes to laugh …………………. at everything. Say ‘cheese’ to her in an unsuspecting moment – hysterics. Random comments with no relevance to anyone else, 5 minutes of laughter.

This just releases that inner child from the old grump (that’s me, by the way. Just in case you were confused).

So, now, that inner child relishes applying spray deodorant just as Audrey walks by. 99 out of 100 contestants would shove a red hot poker from where my sun doesn’t shine. The Wee One? Doubled up laughing!

And, thus we come to the blog title. I keep questioning some of my pranks / tomfoolery as in should I really be doing this at my ripe old age. I’ll let you guess what that is 😀. But, ultimately, why the hell not. Life’s way, way too serious. Now, I know I have a face like a slapped ar5e but, inside, I’m like a human bottle of Moët just waiting to pop …………….. as it were.

The world is a serious place. Every time you look at the news; the 24 / 7 news, it’s bad news. People being killed – natural disasters, genocide, terrorism, you name it. Delusional world leaders – the whole lot of them, Canada excluded. Plenty of stuff to distract us from our life purpose – to enjoy life!

So, the decision is made – with the encouragement of #TeamDurky – unleash that child. Inner child? Probably more the caged child, left in the wilderness through past sadness.

Jump in the sea and splash the sea? It might look daft to some but it’s liberating to me. Hide round the corner at the supermarket and leap out on Aud using my newly acquired air horn app on my phone. Childish? Young at heart and fun to me. There are so many, some a bit personal for a blog but they all just point towards having fun and allowing that young spirit to soar like a liberated bird.

I’d strongly recommend trying this. Although, sorry, Audrey isn’t available as a child unleasher. I need her but I’m sure everyone can find their own way of being able to look in the mirror and say – what’s my age again?

To finish, I saw the following anonymous quote which really resonated- “The smallest light shines in the darkest night”.

I would like to think that the blogs can be a small light on a dark night when you need something to shine.

Take care.

Jon