Will this be on the test?

Why do we learn new concepts? What is the actual aim of learning new material? Be it a new language, an instrument or how to be a barista?

Is it to challenge ourselves in a new area? Is it so we appear smarter to our friends and colleagues? Or is it simply to tick the box to get a job or promotion?

No wrong or right answer but the simple answer to the question is found in any school class when an upcoming test is looming “Will this be on the test”

Dancing in gum boots

rain

Ever wondered what your loved ones would say if you asked them to write down 50 things they really want to do in the next couple of years?

Its actually quite a hard task to come up with 50 right there and then. My guess would be that they will probably come up with 10-15 pretty quickly and the next 35-40 will come over the next couple of days. The aim is to have all 50 bullet points on the left hand side of the page linked with an experience on the right hand side of the page.

You have their list.

Now you make them happen. Even better if you can make them a random surprise for no other reason other than “just because”.

The other day I did it with the kids – with mixed results. The 2 year old said he wanted “200 Kinder Surprise Eggs” and the 5 year old wanted “to dance in the rain”.

A couple of days later the rain was delivered (absolute down pour). What a great time to go and dance in the rain, which is exactly what we did. Still working on getting the 200 Kinder Surprise Eggs to the 2 year old though….. So many giggles to be had….

Hold my hand

Boy holding hand 22 Feb 2016

My little boy likes routine. Like most of us he likes familiarity. There’s comfort in that.

He’s just started “Big School” at the tender age of 5. He’s ready though, just ask him, make no mistake. It’s daunting however…. he’s gone from a playgroup of 20 plus kids to a school with a couple of hundred kids. He’s gone from a small converted house to a huge sprawling collection of buildings. He’s gone from a place where he was one of the older kids to a place where he is the youngest kid and very nearly the smallest….

We are 3 weeks in but the walks to school are still very quite or one way conversations. He’s thinking about the next 10 minutes. He’s unsure what to expect when he walks through the gates. He’s unsure what the rules are in the playground.

For me, the walk to school is the highlight of the day. I get to hold his hand.  Something I hold so very dear. I know one day he won’t want to hold my hand.

He pops his bag on the hook, looking to see if his buddies, Connor, Hiro or George have already hung theirs up. He sees that 2 out of the 3 are in and I suspect it calms him slightly but he doesn’t say anything. We walk to the playground still hand in hand. Sienna, Zinzan and Harry, some older kids that he knows from previous encounters, run over and say hi. Do you want to play they ask. He stands there, holds my hand extra firmly and looks through them, they eventually run off without him.

I sit, he stands very close and looks around. I ask if he wants to play and that I’ll stay right here. He declines and makes sure his leg is touching mine. Then at 9.25am the music starts which signifies the start of school. For him, it must be the most magical sound. A large grin spreads across his face and he throws his arms around me. This is followed by a huge kiss and he runs off to line up in front of his teacher.

He sits cross legged in front of his teacher, all the kids lined up one by one. I make sure I move to the back, behind all the new parents standing around waving at their darling kids, so I can play our little game.  The only way he can see me is by looking through the legs of the other mums and dads. I must impersonate a crouching tiger and get low. When I’m low enough I catch his now big bright sparkling eyes. I mouth to him “May the force be with you” to which he mouths back “And also with you”. He couldn’t be happier.

With that Ms. Black, his larger than life teacher, stands them up and marches them to class. He looks back once and then twice. With a quick smile and a wave he skips off. Not a care in the world. All fears gone. The 9.25am music represented the start of the routine.

My little boy likes routine. Like most of us he likes familiarity. There’s comfort in that.

Unexpected coffee shout

 

blue-eyed-woman-drinking-coffee

A few weeks ago I went to my local coffee shop and ordered my usual. So far so good. A normal day. A million things buzzing around in my head and I’m not really paying attention to anyone or anything. When I went to pay my dues the script changed. Mr Barista informs me that a lady, only 3 minutes before me, had paid for the coffees for the next 5 people who walked through the door!

I suddenly started to pay attention to those around me and saw two people at the counter watching me whilst waiting for their orders. They both sported goofy looking grins. They were waiting to see what my reaction would be. It turned out that I was customer number 3. They were lucky numbers 1 and 2. After 10 secs or so of trying to digest what had happened I joined them, muttered some words that I can’t remember and then put on my best goofy looking grin and watched as lucky number 4 walked in.

This small very kind gesture completely changed my morning. Changed the rest of my day. Changed even my week. I’ve told this story to a few people since and every one of them has said words to the effect of “Wow…. I’m going to do that next time I buy a coffee”.

Why would someone do that is a question for another day but the impact it has is lasting. It jolts them out of their thoughts, their issues, their routine. It makes even the largest issues go away, just for a split second – hopefully longer. It puts a smile on a random face who in turn puts a smile on the person they next happen to lock eyes with.

Give it a go. You will feel the results – even if you don’t see them first hand.

Come jump with me!

Man Jumping 18 Feb 2016

I’ve been reading a lot, listening a lot and conversing a lot. All roads lead to sharing and collaborating.

So many thoughts, so many ideas, so many observations – get them out, let them breath and see where they lead.

A lot has been changing for me the last few months, I’ve started to meditate, religiously attend crossfit, spend more time doing important things (more of that soon) and walk my little man to school.

Come and Jump with me! I’ve no idea where we will land but I promise we’ll have fun.