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Clancy of the Overflow

I was reading about Banjo Paterson today and rediscovered this well-known poem.

Andrew “Banjo” Paterson wrote it during his time as a solicitor, when he took on a brief to chase up a man named Clancy, of the Overflow, for unpaid debts. He penned him a stern letter and received the response, “Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

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centered denise

A Beautiful Year.

Everyone’s been complaining about 2016, but I thought it was good. The bad bits were there, of course, but good stuff always eventually comes from it. Before I plonk myself into the shower to get ready for a NYE’s gathering (where I intend to go dressed as a sanitary pad) I want to share with you some little snippets of awesomosity from the past 12 months – experiences I’ve learnt from and cool stuff I’ve come across.

1. Kinda Quitting Fakebook / Fake People

In 2016 I quit Facebook and instantly felt good about it. It’s a whole lotta talking at people, rather than to them. It has a real ego-driven vibe where people put on their masks and carefully play their part. It just isn’t my world.

I’ve met people who believe my sort of thinking is silly (“oh Denise, you and your social media”). I used to actually listen to them. I thought they were the bearers of all wisdom – but oddly, they were most “created” people of all. It’s as though they built themselves into the person they believe they should be (and isn’t “should” a dangerous word), and secretly fear that if it weren’t for their created self, no part of them would exist.

“And I wind experiences around myself and cover myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself perceptible to myself and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that could only become visible when something visible covered its surface.” – Thomas Merton.

No matter how small the step, it’s lovely to move away from things which constantly don’t sit well with you. I felt Facebook was a big, fake, cesspool of “yuck”. Anything that takes energy – even in small doses – is best left behind. This goes for Facebook and the people I once listened to who are busy wrapping themselves in bandages, in a another world far away from mine.

2. Hi Josh

Alas, there was a dark time in my life (a whole 36 years) where I did not know Josh Hawkins existed. Finally, brighter days are upon me. Did I say I quit Facebook? I lied! I only “sorta-kinda” quit. I need a Facebook account so I can post to my page (Ok, that’s not really important but who cares) and also so I can go on the local Buy, Sell & Swap site and try to sell my junk which so far no-one will buy. The third and the most important reason why I still need a “fake & friendless” Facebook account is so I can stay updated on whatever Josh has posted.

Being without a TV I can thank my lucky stars that Josh will keep me well up to date with tacky shows such as The Bachelorette. I’m not sure if there’s anything more important than people being ridiculous just for the pure joy of it. Otherwise what’s the point? #seriously.

3. Kinda becoming a hermit

So when you kinda quit Fakebook and you work from home you start to think you’re destined to become a crazy old cat lady. As a side note, I actually have pondered getting a cat but I really am not sure I am ready for that level of responsibility.

What I found was you don’t become a full-blown hermit… you just lose the shitty stuff,  and the good stuff (namely the right kind of people) rise to the surface. So instead of having loads of acquaintances, my life consists of me doing whatever the heck I want to do as a happy hermit, with the support of a small number of close friends (Three. I only have three close friends) who were in my life before but I’m now closer to them than ever.

I send them important questions about life, like “Hey, do you ever wake up and look at your legs and go: wow, I’m big. I’m actually a real grown up!?” And they’ll reply something along the lines of: “No. Not since I was 6”.

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Me, looking at the views while pondering how cool it is to have grown-up sized legs.

I have to say that I still get invited places, too. I run into humans at coffee shops and such and get invited out on occasion. And since I am a massive introvert and yet I love humans, it works out perfectly. I ran into a friend at the corner shop last week who invited me to his place for a fancy dress NYE party. Below is a pic of my outfit because I’m certainly not one to go for the whole attention-seeking “bunny ears n’ lingerie” ensemble.

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4. Discovering that no-one knows what the hell they are doing

So I met a few people this year who are many years older than me and have finally realised that age is no determinator of wisdom. No offence to my 45+ friends (not that 45 is old). I’ve come to realise we’re all just floating along, not quite sure what we’re doing.

I’m rewriting the words of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here in my head and changing the lyrics to: “We’re just 7.4 billion lost souls swimming in a fish bowl…” but it doesn’t quite fit. I truly  love that song – it warms the cockles of my heart. Yes, all the cockles.

Let’s listen:

It has been good to learn that in fact I can trust myself for guidance. I can listen to others and take or leave their advice, regardless of age or social status. It’s that easy. Also, you can’t be around people without slowly becoming them – so chose your company carefully. If you don’t want to be like them, don’t be around them.

5. I got to be on a podcast

It’s kinda cool when people care about what you have to say for a solid 35 minutes of your life. On this podcast I spoke about working as an accountant for 10 years before transitioning to freelance writer, and my many so-called “failures” along the way (as if there were such a thing – it’s all just life).

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You can listen to it here, if you like.

It came about from a story I wrote on Leonard Kim, who is good friends with Moving Forward host John Lim.

As an update, since this podcast was recorded I took on employment as a writer to begin in 2017 with a local magazine. It’s funny because I was previously doing contract work for them and it was the highlight of my week, but the idea of being “employed” again still scared the shit out of me. Thankfully, this business knows the importance of empowering people and I have flexible employment – so rather than being stuck behind a desk 8 hours a day they know that I will get the job done wherever I am.

Many organisations would benefit from knowing that 99% of people want to do good work. In letting go of the reins a little, they would have lower turnover and have happier, more productive employees. #justsayin’.

6. Getting back to stupid

I have really enjoyed getting back to my own normality – making up songs, speed walking around the house Kath & Kim style (I used to own a TV, so I do know some stuff). I just could not be bothered being around people who are more concerned with bullshit things like money or appearances over kindness with a dash of stupidity. The importance of both those things is huge!

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via GIPHY

All in all, I think it has been a beautiful year. It’s been 12 months of slowly discovering peace, ease and simplicity, of moving forward and letting go. It’s been the uncovering another layer of myself, rather than adding another bandage.

Happy New Year!

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The Wonderful Realms of Bullshit: News

You know what they say: location, location, location. Most of us pay attention to the physical area in which we reside – but what world have you created for yourself? Where do you actually live? There are 7.4 billion people in the world and 7.4 different worlds lie within each one. Regardless of what we lead ourselves to believe, what is within our world is not completely beyond our control. Continue reading

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A Woman on a List

A Zen master once said, “Everything breaks. Attachment is our unwillingness to face that reality.” Which Zen master? I dunno. Maybe I made it up. But according to Buddhist teachings, attachment is the cause of all suffering. Letting go is the way towards finding our peace and making space for what we truly want in our lives.

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