Reblog: “All Retch and No Vomit”

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

Things are still hanging on by a feverish thread here in the Martin household, with little man peeling away my last layers of patience with his fractious, “Mummy, but..” “Mummy, can we just…” “Mummy, I’m bored / tired / miss Daddy” and “Mummy, I’m hungry…” followed by a refusal to eat anything, on eternal loop.

I  decided to look back twelve months to see if this is normal January/February stuff. It is. We need to holiday somewhere hot in the winter to avoid this annual decimation of the family health and happiness and to preserve my ongoing sanity.

In the meantime, as I have no words, I’ve decided to steal a post from back then, 9th February 2013 to be exact, to keep the blog alive in my absence. The title seemed very fitting, as it describes the coughing noise that’s become the soundtrack to my life! (Sorry, too much info!). Joking aside, the Alan Watts speech resonated with me back then and, listening to it again, now my daughter has started school, it has even more meaning now. This is the original post:

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The Alan Watts video, What if Money Didn’t Matter?, came my way today via Facebook. It’s been around a while so I’m sure most people have seen it. If you haven’t, check it out on YouTube.

My favourite line (describing schooling and how we raise our kids to want the things we want) is

“it’s all retch and no vomit.”

You can’t beat that for an image with impact.

Actually the line that truly resonated was this:

“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

What if Money Didn't Matter?

What if Money Didn’t Matter?

Now I know if you have kids, responsibilities, mortgages and so forth, this is a difficult thing to fit into your life. Many of the less positive comments beneath the video are along the lines of “that’s all well and good but I’m a single mum / I have a mortgage / I have bills to pay, I can’t afford to do what I want.” Or my favourite, “what; do I tell my kids not to bother with their homework?”.

To me that has missed the point. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. We can knuckle down to hard work and try to direct that towards something we will love doing in the future. And if in some ways we are already caught in the trap, stuck in a career that’s more about money than happiness, it doesn’t mean we can’t try and pass a different ethos onto our children.

Yes kids still need to do their homework.

Having aspirations doesn’t mean it won’t take hard work to realise them. I think the message is to find something you love and put it nearer the centre of your career than the need to get rich.

When my husband first watched the video he realised he didn’t know what he would do if he didn’t have to earn money. That’s a sad realisation at forty. He’s given it some thought and come up with some answers but I think it’s important to know what you love doing even if it isn’t possible to do it.

I’m probably rambling making no sense: it’s been a long day on little sleep and too much coughing. I might revisit this topic when I’m feeling more lucid. In the meantime I love the first screenshot I captured, I think it encapsulates the journey Claire is on as she realises life is about more than earning enough money to buy the next must-have designer shoes.

P.S. Why did I never have Claire parascend into a cave? That would have been amazing! One for the sequel maybe…

“All retch and no vomit” – inspiring words and 2013 365 Challenge #40

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

Freedom: From the Alan Watts video

The Alan Watts video, What if Money Didn’t Matter?, came my way today via Facebook. It’s been around a while so I’m sure most people have seen it. If you haven’t, check it out on YouTube.

My favourite line (describing schooling and how we raise our kids to want the things we want) is

“it’s all retch and no vomit.”

You can’t beat that for an image with impact.

Actually the line that truly resonated was this:

“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

Now I know if you have kids, responsibilities, mortgages and so forth, this is a difficult thing to fit into your life. Many of the less positive comments beneath the video are along the lines of “that’s all well and good but I’m a single mum / I have a mortgage / I have bills to pay, I can’t afford to do what I want.” Or my favourite, “what; do I tell my kids not to bother with their homework?”. To me that has missed the point. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. We can knuckle down to hard work and try to direct that towards something we will love doing in the future. And if in some ways we are already caught in the trap, stuck in a career that’s more about money than happiness, it doesn’t mean we can’t try and pass a different ethos onto our children.

Yes kids still need to do their homework.

What if Money Didn't Matter?

What if Money didn’t Matter?

Having aspirations doesn’t mean it won’t take hard work to realise them. I think the message is to find something you love and put it nearer the centre of your career than the need to get rich.

When my husband first watched the video he realised he didn’t know what he would do if he didn’t have to earn money. That’s a sad realisation at forty. He’s given it some thought and come up with some answers but I think it’s important to know what you love doing even if it isn’t possible to do it.

I’m probably rambling making no sense: it’s been a long day on little sleep and too much coughing. I might revisit this topic when I’m feeling more lucid. In the meantime I love the first screenshot I captured, I think it encapsulates the journey Claire is on as she realises life is about more than earning enough money to buy the next must-have designer shoes.

On a more personal/immediate note my Volume 1 book has been approved for the premium catalogue on Smashwords. I wasn’t expecting to get that first go and it just shows it is worth trawling through the style guide and grappling with the finer points of Word Templates. Even though I’m making no money from this book it’s still a great learning curve if I decide to publish Pictures of Love/Baby Blues & Wedding Shoes (whichever title I go with) as an e-book. I wish I could self-publish Dragon Wraiths but the four different fonts I’ve used scupper that idea. Unless I can devise a different way to portray dragons talking internally and externally!

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“Josh?” Claire looked over at the thatch of messy blonde hair; all she could see of her travelling companion as he lounged on the sofa with a paperback raised over his head. She wanted to grill him about his blog. She had tried several times already but each time he seemed to escape the question. Hopefully I’ve got him pinned now.

Josh twisted round to face her, his eyes veiled, almost wary, as if he knew what she wanted to ask.

“Er, can you remember the name of the guy holding the rope this morning?”

Josh’s frown relaxed into a wicked smile that set fire to the amber flecks in his brown eyes. “What, you mean the one who pissed his pants when you threw yourself off a fifty foot cliff without checking he was ready?”

“I checked he was holding the rope. It’s not my fault he was looking the other way and burned his hands. He should have been paying attention.”

“You’d been hovering at the edge like a scaredy cat for nearly twenty minutes; you can’t blame the guy for getting bored.”

Claire flushed at the memory. Who knew I was scared of heights? It had never been an issue before. The highest things in her life prior to starting this assignment were her six inch steel stilettos.

“The name?” Her voice rang with dire consequences if Josh pursued the current conversation. She had heard every joke he knew about being a wimp.

Josh grinned. “Bill. His name was Bill. Poor burnt Bill.”

Claire raised an eyebrow and Josh retreated behind his book, his chuckles drifting across the room like cigarette smoke.

Why does he keep evading enquiries about his blog? Claire stared first at the dirty blonde hair then at her iPad screen. He was the one who told me he wrote a blog. What’s the big secret? She tried to recall exactly what Josh had said. Something about keeping in touch with the folks back home.

She opened her search engine and typed in “Aussie down under,” before realising that was going to return a million results. She typed a few other phrases but they were equally generic and useless. She had no idea how to find out what Josh’s blog was. Or why it was important to her to do so. I guess when you share a room with someone, even if it’s just because it’s more convenient, you want to know something about them. As the words walked through her head Claire realised she didn’t even know Josh’s surname or the part of Australia he was from. It’s as if he doesn’t want anyone to be able to trace him. Yet if he’s really in hiding why is he travelling with me? Surely there are easier ways of getting around and staying invisible.

Claire shook away the thoughts and returned to the tricky task of writing her account of the morning’s abseiling escapade without portraying herself as a complete idiot. The words refused to come, even with the pictures Josh had taken. Ignoring the dozen shots of her bottom framed by the harness she managed to find one or two that stood out. A nice profile shot of her gazing back up the waterfall, one that seemed to say I did that. Another of her with the whole group, everyone beaming. He certainly captured the essence of the moment. I’m impressed. And still Claire couldn’t dislodge the voice of curiosity that kept prompting that unwanted question.

What does Josh blog about. And, more importantly, what is he hiding?

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