Kia ora e hoa mā,
Welcome to 2019. Note to self: there is now zero tolerance for anyone writing 2018 in the date field. It’s truly been and gone.
I know, we’re already nearly 70 days into the year, this is a late welcome. But for me, mid-February is when the new year feels real. Until then, it’s kind of still an excited toddler learning to walk.
The shock of being back at work is long-forgotten, and if you know about it, you’re looking forward to those couple of whispered-about-weeks in April where you can take 4 days annual leave and get 10 days off work.
If you made New Years resolutions, I hope this isn’t the first thought you’ve given them in 2019. I hope you’ve made steps towards whatever changes you thought were worth making at that one point in the year when we all remember how important self-reflection and growth are. But what about your March resolutions? Or next week’s do-differents? If you know you can do something better, don’t limit your growth to an annual event.
If you did set New Years resolutions and didn’t stick to them, why not? Were the goals not right, or did you not follow through like you thought you would?
If holding yourself accountable on your own isn’t working, try the accountability partner idea (here), I’ve done this with mates and it can work well.
Letter Worth Sharing – Making The Most Of The Moments
Dear Huhana and Kāhu,
I’m writing this sitting on the mattress at our marae, Whakarongotai, back against the wall, laptop on my knees. Huhana, you’re top-and-tailing on the other side of the whare with your cousin Amalia. Our cousin Vicky passed away on Monday, and tonight as we shared our memories and stories while she lay in her casket, a woman who was new to the whanau stood. She didn’t have a memory to pass around the room, but after hearing ours, she wanted us to know how lucky we were to have had someone as beautiful as Vicky in our lives.
The cool bits about being awarded the NZ Local Hero of the year award by Kiwibank
I don’t especially love recognition and/or being celebrated, but there were (at least) three really cool things about being given this at the New Zealander of the Year Awards. Aside from the privilege of being there on behalf of the thousands of hands and whānau across the country who bring the magic of our project to life, my three highlights of this kinda crazy situation were:
1. Remembering we live in a country where companies spend money to support, enable, and give a platform to initiatives that do
Mike King: the 2019 New Zealander of the year for his work as a mental health advocate, dedicating his loud (and crack-up) voice to the topics of suicide, depression and substance abuse.
Ian Taylor: Innovator of the Year for his work as the founder of Animation Research Ltd. He also helped design a Virtual Reality system to help prison inmates to read.
Kendall Flutey: Young New Zealander of the year for co-founding Banqer, an app to help young people learn financial literacy.
Pillars: Community of the Year. They work to break the intergenerational cycle of offending, by supporting children of prisoners.
Dr. Bill Glass: Senior New Zealander of the Year. ’The Godfather of occupational health in NZ’ – spending over 60 years working on education around substance exposure in the workplace.
And these are just the winners, there were 2000 nominations in the NZer of the Year category alone, and every semifinalist and finalist that gets talked
2. The second highlight was what Ian Taylor pointed out as he picked up his award for Innovator of the year: of the 15 finalists across the 5 individual categories (not including the Community of the Year), 8 were Māori. That’s 53%. We only make up 15% of the population, and we sit disproportionately high across so many other statistics which we’re not proud of. So my chest puffed up at that one.
3. The third highlight was a bit more specific and a lot more personal. Firstly, Lisa King and Dr. Marewa Glover were the other finalists for NZer of the Year. I
Shoebox Christmas update
I’ve started talking to the schools we’ll be working with this year in Wellington, as well as some of the schools the team has suggested I reach out to. My goal this year is for all school deliveries to be handled by the team, except for the Women’s Refuge gifts (thanks DHL), and for that process to run smooth. I also want the team to be able to talk with the schools for more of their questions as they come up (if relevant to the school, that is). I’m hoping those changes will free up enough head space to improve the stationery starter packs project and give
I’m heading to Christchurch soon to chat with a couple of schools about how the first year of the project will run there. It’ll be a small start, using the self-delivery model we’ve started using in Wellington. We’ll build up in a controlled way so nobody loses their hair or sanity earlier than expected.
The re-build of the app is going well, I always feel gushingly lucky to know smart women and men like Joachim, Cece, and David who are helping out with the tech. They’re putting in place some of the suggestions and feedback from the team on how the app could work better.
Ways to make a difference
Pillars is a charity focused on children who have parents in prison. The impact of parenting on a child’s life is obvious, and those of us who are parents try to do the best for our kids. But what happens when one of those (or both) parents are in jail? Not only is a piece of the parenting unit not there, but these children also have to answer the world when it asks why their mum or dad isn’t there – this might be self-talk or
Having a parent in jail makes a child 7 times more likely to end up in jail themselves.
Pillars have some great programmes including a mentorship volunteer opportunity. It’s a great way to help out a group of kids who start off life facing challenges a lot of their classmates might be entirely unaware of. Check out their website here.
Books worth reading
I’ve just finished reading Anne Lamott’s Hope: Notes on Almost Everything. She’s written a lot of books, but this is the only one I’ve read.
She reflects on hope, love, and faith (in an open-minded way that’s not overly centred around her own Christian beliefs), and each chapter is her interpretation of one of life’s truths.
I enjoyed most the chapters where she talks about hope in the sometimes scary face of death. She recounts helping others come to grips with their own shortened mortality before they pass on.
“When all is said and done, we’re all just walking each other home.” – Anne Lamott
These resonated with me and my attempts to acknowledge how finite life is. The chapters were another reminder to use that annoying little fact to enjoy every big day I get. It’s a good, lightly philosophical and reasonably funny read. Because nearly every chapter is
Worth a read.
Video worth watching
Random thing worth sharing – Logitech K480 Bluetooth keyboard
The random comments about this when I’m on the train or at a cafe writing make me think it’s worth sharing. It’s a keyboard for your smartphone, not a new idea by any means, but obviously still something not everyone knows about. If you don’t want to take your laptop with you but have typing/writing of any kind to do, these are gold. While our opposable thumbs might have been a massive advantage gripping wood and stone tools after the cradle of
They’re about $90 from Harvey Normans etc. and if you spend more than 15 minutes typing on your phone, or put off the writing until you’re in front of a computer, they’re worth checking out.
Quote worth repeating
“There is almost nothingAnne Lamott
outsideyou that will help in any kind of lasting way.”
And those are the random things I thought worth my time sharing, and your time reading.
For the first half of the year, before Shoebox Christmas really picks up I have the luxurious ability to read AND reply to emails, so if you’ve got any questions or comments, just drop me an email (even if it’s just to let me know that that actually, I’m wrong – none of that was worth your time reading!)