Friday, July 26, 2013

If you don't like something, change it!

Just look at Kevin Rudd! He was sent packing three years ago when he was shown to micro-manage his staff and the cabinet and make all the decisions without really consulting anyone. What a huge blow to his ego to be sacked by his own ministers who accused him of all sorts of things relating to not being competent and capable of being a leader. His behaviour let him down. Have a look at this video. Its title is "Julia Gillard did not knife Kevin Rudd (he did it to himself)".
Of course, Rudd didn't like not being in the top job, he even wept whilst giving his farewell speech.
So what did he do? He changed it. He spent the next three years destabilising his own party, and therefore the country, so he could be the Prime Minister again. It took three goes, but he did it. He finally worked out how to get rid of Julia Gillard and did it. Take a look at how gracious she was in her speech, compared to the blubbering backstabber above.
I'm no fan of hers, but this is a very good speech. She showed a lot of class.
She didn't like what happened, but she is going to change it by doing something positive. She won't spend three years plotting her revenge, like her predecessor who is also her successor.
I don't like some things either, so I am going to change them. I can remember about 20 years ago when I was a school psychologist I couldn't stand the job any longer so I applied for other jobs and got lots of interviews. A lot of the teachers at the high school where I worked three days per week thought I was a real guru. They all complained about their jobs all the time, but none of them did anything about it. In the end I said to them, "if you don't like it, do something about it". I did, they didn't.
So, a friend and I started a business marketing management consultants, which has now been in operation for 19 years. I can't believe that it has been that long. Anyway, 19 years is a long time and now it is time to move on.
I don't like it anymore, so I am doing something about it. Some people complain all the time that they don't like the way things are going for them, but don't do anything about it. Well, what's going to change if you don't do something different? I am doing something about it. I am looking for a new role in the not-for-profit sector in an organisation that could gain some benefit from my skills.
Another interest that I have always wanted to have an on-line business. It has taken me two-and-a-half years to figure out what that might be, but now I have a fairly good idea of what I am going to do. Stay tuned!
What have you done to fix what you don't like?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Aging Parents

Now that I'm 50 something, my mother is 80 something and we both aren't getting any younger. She took herself off to Dallas, USA, about three years ago all the way from Perth, Western Australia. She is off on an adventure of sorts.
She lived in Bunbury, 160kms (100 miles) south of Perth, for 30 years. Her husband, Doug, was the most delightful man in the world and they used to travel quite a bit. Doug died about four years ago. About 15 years before that he started getting macular degeneration and didn't want to travel much anymore because he couldn't see well enough. My mother went on one or two small trips without him, but it wasn't the same. So now she is making up for lost time!
After Doug died she moved back to her house in Perth, but because she hadn't been living here for 30 years she didn't really have many friends. Also, the house is big with a lot of yard. She said she was lonely all the time - playing bridge online instead of going to a bridge club and playing with real people didn't help. We tried to get her to move to a retirement village, but she views those as 'old people's homes', like we all used to think of them 20 years ago. She was just not even going to think about it.
Cross to Dallas and where do you think she is living? A retirement village of course!
And guess what? She loves it!

Retirement village, Dallas, Texas

I couldn't help myself once when she came back here for a visit - I had to ask her "What's the difference between living in a retirement village in Dallas and a retirement village here?". She had to answer "Nothing". She just needed to get her head around it.

Now, here's the thing. She will be 84 in a couple of weeks and although she is fit and capable right now, it won't be long before she won't be able to do what she wants to do, or to be able to travel. That's right. Travel. She will need to come back here at some stage of the game, but will be have to be able to do it. She is starting to talk about IF she comes back here, and believe it or not, she doesn't want to live in her house. She wants to live in a retirement village. My how the worm turns!

The hard thing for us is do we insist that she comes back while she is able? Do we wait until she needs to be escorted? Do we bring her back in a body bag? None of this she is willing to talk about (not that we've broached the subject) but it is what we need to think about.

What do you think we should do?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What is it with the USA?

Sorry, I haven't been paying attention to my blog as much as I should have done, but I'm back again now. I find I have less and less time to do things and I can't work out if it is because I am 50 something, busier than usual, or it takes me longer to do things. Maybe I'm just lazy!
Every time we hear of some outrageous thing from the USA (think massacres, think abductions, think gun control) I can't help wondering why they have got where they are. Why do people from the Middle East hate them so much? Why would anyone hate anyone else that much?
And then why would they shoot each other? I went to the USA last year and the very first day that I was there was the day of the massacre in the movie theatre. A few days later was the Sheik massacre at one of their temples. There have been a few more since then, the latest being the bombing during the Boston marathon.
We see on the news how some part of the US government is trying to strengthen gun control laws, but other parts don't want to. Then there is the NRA, who says that it's not guns that are the problem, but people. From my point of view, if people didn't have guns, then they couldn't shoot other people, in other words, no guns equals no massacres.
I gather that the NRA is a very powerful organisation and they are fighting for their lives. I came across these videos of a comedian comparing gun control in the USA and in Australia.  Have a look. They are very good.
What do you think about those? I think they say it all! I'd be interested to hear what you think.