Getting it down on paper [personal response]

Thoughts & Ramblings

The other day, I read some fantastically probing questions over on Inger Kenobi’s website (click the link to go to the original post – worth reading).

Yesterday, I went along to one of my favourite eateries (Cafe Paris in Howick, which has every inch of wall space covered in art, antiques and other interesting pieces) to sit down and answer these questions.

I expected to find a lot of changes that I’d want to make, but was (pleasantly) surprised at how well my ‘wish lists’ and advice lined up with what I am already doing.

20150630_142319My Eulogy

Writing a eulogy for myself (or at least, the outline of one) helped me remember what’s most important to me: my daily wellness (or happiness), the people I love, and being KIND. These are my priorities.

A letter from the past

My eight-year-old self would have told me to:

  • Not end up like every other grown up, and forget what it’s like to be a child.
  • Not be boring.
  • Work hard.
  • Stick to my guns (well, probably not in those words, but she would have told me to go with I knew, not what other people said)

I liked this one because there wasn’t a lot my eight-year-old self would tell me that I’m not already doing!

A letter from the future

For this task, I thought about the elderly people I know, or have known, and the advice they have given me. What advice would my future self give me? Again, kindness comes up, and just continuing to be courageous and carve my own path.

Another big one is the importance I put on being right. This has been an ongoing ‘weakness’ for me, and something I will do my best to work on more actively.

  • Don’t care so much about what other people think.
  • Don’t let your dreams become regrets – take risks.
  • Being right isn’t that important.
  • Everyone has their own path. Don’t be too quick to judge people.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Ten things I would do if you had more time and money

Okay so I found this one incredibly hard! I’m already doing a lot of the things that I want to do – so what’s left? For the most part, it’s expanding what I’ve got already. It was a wonderful feeling writing this list and realising how well I’ve done (or maybe I’m not dreaming big enough? Hmm…)

  1. Buy a house not in Auckland.
  2. Hire a PA.
  3. Quit the day jobs.
  4. Visit the Louvre.
  5. Hold free workshops.
  6. Support indies more.
  7. Have savings!
  8. Hold an exhibition.
  9. Invest more in my business.
  10. Donate time / money.

Ten things I would do right now if you knew you couldn’t fail

Ooh, this was a hard one! Fear is a significant barrier and it’s interesting that the first two things on my list had nothing to writing or art. A couple are on the previous list as well, so they’re clearly something close to my heart.

Now that I’ve written them down though, and posted them for the whole internet to see, I guess there aren’t any excuses left…

  1. Run a marathon.
  2. Bike instead of drive (I am a terrible cyclist).
  3. Enter the NZ Post Awards.
  4. Illustrate my own picture book.
  5. Dye my hair blue / purple / turquoise.
  6. Quit the day job.
  7. Hold an exhibition.
  8. Live on a farm.
  9. Take a boating sabbatical.
  10. Write more!!

Write down 50 things I am grateful for

This one will make the post WAY too long, so I won’t share it here 🙂

Three things I can start doing today that will set me on the right path

  1. Write and paint without worrying whether it’s good enough or ‘what people will think’.
  2. Quit procrastinating.
  3. Make kindness my priority.

5 thoughts on “Getting it down on paper [personal response]

  1. So fun to read! Many, many years ago, when I did similar exercises, I was distraught to realize that my dream life and my actual life was like night and day. Recently though, I’ve had similar experiences as you describe here: I’m doing what I want to be doing! Which leads to the thought; am I dreaming big enough?
    Taking stock is amazing. You can’t run or hide from yourself. And seeing in black and white that you are already on the right path, what could be more rewarding?


    1. Thank you for the questions! I’ve done a couple of them before, and like you, they did NOT align with my actual life. It’s fantastic to be in a place where my dreams and my real life align – but I’m still not sure what the answer to ‘am I dreaming big enough?’ is. Much food for thought!!


      1. So. I had a bit more of a think about this. My primary goals – to became full-time writer / artist and help other people pursue their passions – are not goals I can ‘reach’. They’re lifestyle goals and there will be milestone goals before and after, as well as new goals along the way. We’re totally dreaming big enough 🙂


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