The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Inching Towards Oblivion …
June 10, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment

So on Sunday I turn 46.


I seriously don’t know how that happened.

In some ways, I still feel about 28 … however I realise that for all my immaturity, bad dress sense and obsession with stupid, there are signs that I’m not.

No, I’m not talking about my son.

I’m talking about things like my declining eyesight.

Given it’s always been bad [I have 12% vision in one eye] I’m fast approaching Mr Magoo standards.

Then there’s my stamina. In the old days, I could survive on 4 or 5 hours sleep. No, seriously. However now, when I wake up the first thing I look forward to is being able to go back to sleep that night. Then I rush for copious amounts of coffee to get me through the next 5 minutes.

But it’s not all physical collapse, one other thing that has happened is the realisation that at 45, I don’t have to be so considerate to others anymore.

Now some of you may be wondering what the hell I’m going on about, given I’ve always been one to call a spade a spade. And I have. However there have been occasions in my life where I’ve kept quiet when I should have spoken up. I’m not talking about big issues – I’m perfectly good at dealing with those – I’m talking about those small conversations where things are casually thrown into the mix but you let it pass because you don’t want to look like you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

But here’s the thing, it’s those small things that have the potential to derail you down the line.

It’s those small things that can lead to big things affecting who you are and what you do.

It’s those small things that the people behind them often use to justify their later actions by saying, “I mentioned this to you and you didn’t say anything”.

But now, I don’t feel the need to keep quiet.

I don’t feel it wrong to speak up and elevate that throwaway comment into the real issues being discussed.

And I have to say, it’s kind of liberating.

That doesn’t mean I’m a rude prick when I do it, nor does it mean I want to make any difference of opinion a major issue … it’s just that I’ve realised that if something unsettles me, I have a right to talk about it or challenge it.

I admit there have still been times where I’ve felt myself slipping into my old ways, but now, instead of letting it go, I act on it.

Recently I was in a situation where someone was saying something about a colleague I respect. On face value it seemed relatively small, but the implication of what they were saying was very bad for the person in question.

So I asked for more clarification on their point.

And asked them to help me understand how they came to their conclusion.

Then informed them “this is not how this will go down” and highlighted their perspective was based on opinion not fact so they need to share some of the blame rather than own all of the accusation.

And it felt good.

Not purely because I protected my colleague – though that was nice too – but because I felt I’d been true to myself.

By speaking up at the exact moment it happened – rather than wishing I had or worse, only realising the implication of what had been said a few hours after the event – it made me feel sharp, alert and living in the present. It gave me a sense I was actively looking out for myself which, in a weird way, made me feel like I was more in control of my own life.

Yes, I know this sounds mad but it did.

Plus there was the added benefit that I’d sent out a subtle statement of what I will and will not tolerate to the other party, which can only be a good thing in terms of standards and expectations.

Look, I get I’m making a small thing sound like a big thing … but I’ve allowed too many of those ‘invisible, mini bombs’ to go off in my life and finally being at a stage where I feel completely at ease with dealing with them is a revelation to me. A genuine revelation.

So happy birthday to me. Age might be a bitch physically, but it’s liberating emotionally.

PS: For the record, the photo in this post is the uber-birhtday cake Jill made for me last year. Isn’t it great. It’s even the actual size of the Birkenstocks I wear. Hopefully this year she’ll make me the left foot Birkenstock so I’ll have a pair. 

16 Comments so far
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The good news for you Rob is you sound as argumentative and aggressive as you always were so in one area you’re not aging at all. The good news for me is I’m not in LA. Say hello to the lads when you force them to meet you.

Comment by DH

And HBD for Sunday. I’m sure Jill will have bought you a present you don’t deserve.

Comment by DH

An exercise bike?

Comment by John

dont blame your fucking eyesight on your shit fucking fashion campbell. i know what youre trying to do. fuck, this “speak up” at insanely insignificant and inconsequential points is fun. and there i was thinking it was the sign of being a paranoid little twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

and your fucking undeserved lifestyle is my present to you.
youre fucking welcome.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

I am sure you are having an excellent time catching up with your old friends, but hope you will be home in time to celebrate your day with Jill and Otis. I am sure you do too. Happy birthday Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

Never had a problem making a mountain out of anything i said. Guess that means I was your inspiration.

Comment by Billy Whizz

thats because everyfuckingthing you said was a problem.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy Birthday!

Comment by northern

You can survive on five hours sleep but you can’t operate effectively. The UN condemns sleep deprivation as a form of torture and thus we can see a reason for your taste in music clothes etc.

That’s a reason, not an excuse.

Comment by John

You just gave yourself the best gift: writing the perfect trigger warning to your future students who, being smart ass college kids, will obviously ignore it, to their own detriment and your pleasure.

Happy 46th Rob. Many more in good health!

Comment by Niko

oi campbell, auntie, pete and baz. i know what youre trying to do with your silence and it wont fucking work. none of you fucks can stay awake past 9pm so theres no fucking way youre still out. childish twats.

Comment by andy@cynic

HB Rob.

Comment by Bazza

Happy birthday! 🎉🎉👞

Comment by Valentin

Your progression into a planning version of George Parker continues 😉 good work.

Happy Birthday etc.

Comment by Rob (other one)

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