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

Countdown To Hope …

I can’t believe we have hit December.


More than that, I can’t believe we’ve hit December and I’m still in lockdown … albeit in a totally different country to the one I was in last year.


Given the last 365 days have basically been Groundhog Day, I’m amazed how quick this year has gone.

You’d expect it to have felt slow … but far from it.

For us, it’s been a huge year filled with huge changes – and I’ll be writing a huge post all about it in the next few weeks [don’t roll your eyes, ha] – but before that, we have Otis’ 7th birthday to celebrate and we need to find a way where he can feel the love and attention of his friends and family, as this will be the second year he’ll be experiencing it on his own.

I remember when birthdays were such a big thing.

A sign of growth … independence … power.

Of course, when you’re my age, you tend to look at them as indicators of getting old, irrelevance and impending death [hahahaha!] which leads me to something I read recently from Tom Goodwin.

It was this:

I have to say, it stopped me in my tracks.

Yes, it’s obvious, but when you see it written like that, you tend to re-evaluate what you’ve done and what you still want to do.

I am increasingly becoming aware of my mortality.

I’ve written about it before … but while I am not in a depth of depression, there is a part of me that acknowledges I am approaching the final 1/3rd of my race, despite having the hunger, energy and ambition to go a lot further.

It’s quite unnerving.

You look at everything with fresh eyes.

You ask yourself if you’ve done enough or are doing enough.

I don’t mean in terms of career – though there is a bit of that – I mean in life in general.

I look back on what I’ve done – and I acknowledge, I’ve done a bunch – and sometimes wonder if it was all a dream.

So much of it seems like it belongs to another person’s life.

Or another version of mine.

China. America. Singapore. Australia. Japan. Hong Kong. London.

So many places over such a long period of time.

Each one filled with experiences, stories and memories that defined who I am.

You’d be amazed how often I have to remind myself these happened to me. Seriously.,

The life I’ve lived is beyond anything I could ever have wished for … and while I appreciate my privilege, seeing that quote from Tom made me think about what I’m going to do with what I have left. What I want to do with what I have left.

On one hand I don’t want to sit back … I want to chase after the things that intrigue me with even greater speed and determination. But on the other, I want to make sure I am making time to enjoy and embrace all that’s going on. I don’t know if I’ve been as good at that second bit as I should have.

The problem is, the more you do, the more things you discover you want to do and – as has been the case with me – you find yourself on a track, travelling 100mph without having the ability to really enjoy the journey and the experiences you’ve had because you’ve seen something else you want to investigate.

I guess I’m living proof it’s not just millennials with short attention spans, ha.

That said, I’ve got a lot of expectations for 2022.

I did for 2021, but apart from NZ, that did not work out that way at all.

But now – with vaccinations and a world opening up – there’s a chance things could really change. A chance to embrace and explore what the world has to offer.

And I must admit I can’t wait.

Having been on only one plane in the last 18 months – to get us to NZ – has been very strange. I love travelling and exploring and have spent the last 25 years doing a ton of it. Hell, I did 100 flights in 2019 alone.

So as we enter the last month of 2021, I can look at next year with a different sense of optimism than I’ve had in a long time. A year where I want to learn how to balance ambition with enjoyment … because nothing makes you value the possibilities of the future like the acknowledgement you don’t have as much of it left as you probably would like.

18 Comments so far
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Don’t worry Rob, you age but you don’t grow up.

Comment by Pete

Have you been talking to Jill?

Comment by Rob

No. He worked with you.

Comment by Bazza


Comment by DH

That quote from Goodwin is good. But the decision of how those extra years are used is defined as much by the system people are living within as the will of the individual. It can also be argued those extra years have given people an opportunity to maintain relevance in their society. To have more choice and options than people ever could have before.
I agree there should be a discussion about what quality of life means, but to do that requires an acceptance that it cannot be a uniform answer. The life you lead is proof of that Robert.

Comment by George

I get your point. I don’t think Tom would say it’s wrong either … I suppose the way I read it is that we [or commercialisation] has seen those 30 years as a way to ‘acquire more’ rather than ‘live more’ and that is worthy of discussion.

Of course, the fact marketing has managed to make living more about acquiring more is a big part of the problem. So we end up using those 30 extra years to work in some way to pay for it.

Hence the cycle of repetition continues at the cost of exploration and fulfilment.

Comment by Rob

Final third? If only. There’s no way you’re going to stop your Paula Abdul monologues so soon. You’re probably just entering your second half just to piss people off.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Paula Abdul? This is pure Oprah.

“So as we enter the last month of 2021, I can look at next year with a different sense of optimism than I’ve had in a long time. A year where I want to learn how to balance ambition with enjoyment … because nothing makes you value the possibilities of the future like the acknowledgement you don’t have as much of it left as you probably would like.”

Comment by Bazza

I love you think the only reason I could live a long life is so I can continue to annoy you with my posts. That’s next level egotism. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

That’s all the world needs, Rob getting 30 more years to destroy us. He’s like the end of level boss that won’t go away. Like covid but with opinions.

Comment by Bazza

Like covid with opinions is the sort of insult I actually see as a compliment. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

If the name fits.

Comment by Bazza

guess you wrote this before omicron decided to fuck 2022.

Comment by andy@cynic

A dark cloud in every silver lining.

Comment by DH

I completely resonate with this post Robert. I think anyone who reaches a certain age will. My personal experience has been that limitation of time helps focuses the mind. It is not that you experience less, you simply give more of your energy to what is more important or interesting to you. Though I accept in your case, what matters most is breadth. You will be fine. You are still doing more than people half your age.

Comment by Lee Hill

Is this your way of announcing you’re about to unleash Roberta on an unsuspecting world?

Comment by John

Hahahahahahahahaha. No.

But you got the name right if we were. At least if it was up to me, Ha.

Comment by Rob

So you have been thinking about it

Comment by John

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