Feb 232017
 

I suddenly realise why it is I keep going back to Art of Hookie – it’s for the reminder that jumping off and “living the dream” is a perilous undertaking.

Here is some random dude, supposedly broke, who talks big but, in reality, is struggling with life in general. Just like everyone is. Perhaps more than most is the impression? And yet, he is doggedly pursuing his version of the dream, no appologies, no excuses. That’s inspiring.

It’s a constant reminder to me that it is possible to live a non-mainstream life. Its a reminder to throw yourself at your dreams. It’s also a reminder that if the safety net is not strong (especially the financial one & the health one) life can get pretty miserable, pretty fast.

It’s hard to feel that things aren’t coming to a head at the Big S. What with the old project wounds still fresh and new project politics looming. I’m making ‘friends‘ enemies throughout the global organisation now. Not just locally. Not that I particularly care but, it is unpleasant! And to cap it all I didn’t sleep well. Food poisoning? Stress? Either way, not happy.

The power has been out since shortly after midnight. I write these words to the hissing of my Camping Gaz light. Coffee courtesy of the matching stove. The day ahead is most likely to be filled with friction. Unhappiness over the schedule. Anger about the order cancellation………

I think of the boat, of the Freedom Fund. I’m glad for the upcoming long weekend, a chance to escape for a short while. A chance to clear my thoughts, to potter away on the little tubby yacht that seems to be the only place I’m truly content.

Mar 202015
 

The world is full of “rules”, full of agendas, full of unspoken pressure to conform.

A direct “Do things my way” is typically quite confrontational and so most sheep resort to various other means to try and create conformity. A frown, silence, hints and insinuations. Peer pressure is a well used one, the art of conformity.

We don’t like you behaviour, your hair, your jeans. We all wear corporate black trousers, white collared shirts. You want to fit in here? Well read the signs……

Granted, some people will deny this exists. Some people will be better at dismissing all of this as a pure figment of the imagination but let’s not kid ourselves that it doesn’t exist. You leave the sheep pen at 15h30 while the rest of the flock are still slaving away in endless, uncoordinated panic and very soon you’ll feel the disapproving atmosphere. It’ll seldom be directly communicated but will certainly be clear in pointed comments [apparently made in jest], raised eyebrows and misguided dislike.

Which of all this intangible “feeling” is important is up to the individual to decide. Most comes from low-ranking sheep but the top-dogs are also not disinclined to have a go. Almost all of it is insinuated rather than directly communicated with openness, integrity and honesty.

Some theory advocates that humans have this instinctual need for acceptance in the group, a consequence of our caveman past where [so the theory goes] to be ostracised almost certainly meant death. I’m not too sure I totally agree with that. Just as today you find independent individuals I’m pretty certain you found lone cavemen skilled and adapted to living life on their own terms.

I’m pretty sure there was a caveman or two saying “Stop hounding me! Stop telling me what to do! Stop pushing your party agendas on me! Stop, Stop, STOP!!” And when they wouldn’t I’m pretty sure he left the cave for a better life on his terms. Sometimes you just need to stand up and say “Leave me alone!

You can live your life fearlessly and “free” only by choice. If there’s not enough bravery in the flock to communicate desires directly then why should one even consider that they might exist in the first place?

FREEDOM – INTEGRITY – TRANQUILITY

Jul 092014
 

This has been one of those weeks sent straight from the depths of hell itself.

There has been the usual unpleasantness trying to get the entire crowd into the car.

Sunday night underneath the phsyco-tenant was painful. Abusive noise until the wee hours, all in an attempt to make our stay unbearable.

Monday night was a direct face-to-face, followed by an angry threatening visit. (Got that recorded for future use)

Tuesday night the Isuzu stood alone in Fishoek, unable to start.

Monday and Tuesday were busy, early ’til late, dealing with unhelpful agents, abusive tenants and signing up lawyers at some cost. The legal issues are only starting and the work needed to drive this thing forward is still going to take some time and effort this week.

But the tide seems to be turrning…….

We were lucky to fix the car ourselves for R95 this morning. That made life feel a little better. Last night was also better. At least there was no upstairs evil noise and we managed a full night’s sleep. And finally, five days after we left Jhb, Sands and I finally got a run together, even if only to go and find and fix the car.

It hasn’t been a holiday week and that’s for sure no maybe!

Sometimes it really seems that the universe is totally hell-bent on testing one’s limits. Everything, altogether, always. Never just one manageable problem at a time.

They say it’s how you respond that defines you. I don’t know about that. All I do know is that there’s nobody who will sort things out except yourself. You can sit back, swear, blame the world for being unfair. Or you can just keep slogging away at what needs doing.

Being accountable for your life and your actions is the ultimate freedom. Empowerment. Choose to take responsibility for life. That’s the only way we know how. That’s the only way we respect.

Not hoping to jinx things, but today has been better, more relaxed. Time for a walk on the beach with the pups. Right now, life is better. Let’s hope the rest of the week follows suit.

And sitting here, overlooking a gentle south-easterly rippled ocean, it’s worth the battle. This place is magic. It’s where we long to be. We can ride through the current challenges. This is going to all be worth it.

May 192014
 

The old guy, the invalid, sitting in his wheelchair in the bus stop, piled up high in blankets. He couldn’t have done that himself. That means somebody had abandoned him there? That image is haunting me this morning. So much sorrow and hardship in this world and I have the gall to be dissatisfied with my luxurious royal life.

With so much need in the world, so much need right here on my doorstep, it’s hard to keep up. At every traffic light a beggar. How does one distinguish between the truly needy and the “give-me’s”? The “give-Me’s”. My word, I dislike the “Give Me’s”.

The tragedy and suffering touches even Brad, at the level of his friends. Broken families who have walked out on their teenage kids, leaving them to fend for themselves. Every now and again he notices and acknowledges the good life we live, the good life he lives.

But living in Jhb is making me cynical, hard and bitter. no, it already has. “City of Johannesburg, a world class African Shitty” !! Where everyone is on their own mission to enrich themselves and to hell with the impact on those around them. The neighbour’s gardener: “Eish. Sorrreee. I deedint know these was a house” while he’s taking a chance and dumping rubbish over the fence. The state hospital that is Jhb Gen. What a crock of shit. The missing manhole covers that have been that way for years. The ruling class and their million rand Range Rovers……!

And in the midst of all this it is possible to live a good life, but at what cost? It’s pretty much worn me out and, no matter the financial sacrifices needed, a move is on the cards and imminent.

But in the meantime it’s important to remain compassionate and charitable. The need on the streets is real and overwhelming. One can’t change the world overnight but you certainly can make a difference in one person’s life today.

 

Apr 182014
 

I’m astounded by people giving me advice about sailing and yachting. Not that I couldn’t use a bit of advice and guidance now and again mind you. But nevertheless positively astounded.

Why you may ask?

Well, the advice generally comes third- or fourth-hand, on hearsay, from people who don’t sail nor care for and maintain a yacht.

You must go and live there because that’s the only place in South Africa where your house and your yacht can be in the same location“. “You must keep the boat there“. “You must [or must not] sail here“. “The wind in the cape is too strong so you must keep your boat in Durban“. And so it goes. Anecdotal re-telling of other people’s adventures and mishaps.

I don’t mind the retelling of the stores so much as the fact that they often seem to carry more weight in the mind of the re-teller than my actual South Atlantic experience. It’s one thing to listen to someone and form an opinion  based on the telling. It’s quite another to actually put yourself out there and live the actual experience. So give some credit for that world.

Does it bug me, this ‘not being heard’? Not so much any more. Well sometimes just a little bit, sometimes, when it’s a subject close to my heart.

Main thing is; be careful whose advice you take on board. When someone says you absolutely must do this or that or the other all they are really doing is voicing their own values and beliefs. Listen to them by all means but live your own convictions.

 

Mar 162014
 

“Billionaires share advice”
“Liveaboards become experts”
“Extremists like Riaan Manser are touted as hero’s”

why?

They, in their areas of extremism, speak to parts of us that aspire to that – money success, sailing lifestyle, adventure.

Elon Musk – RSA boytjie – Paypal, Tesla etc
“Musk has described himself as a workaholic who routinely invests [works] 100 hours per week running Tesla Motors and SpaceX ”
” Musk met his first wife………announced their separation in September 2008. ………. recently ended a four-year relationship with his second wife  ”

Sound’s like he is really successful on all fronts!!

When the Wooly Masses say “Success” they really mean only mean “Money” !

Feb 192014
 

Complaining begets more complaints. Anger begets more anger. And optimism begets more optimism. – Sinek

And hard work, dedication and competence are rewarded financially [in my experience] if you are savvy enough understanding the rules and constraints of the corporate and it’s people. Well-timed career moves are vital to put your earnings at market levels, but too many well-timed moves will set you back and give you a reputation as a flight risk.

Bottom line is “Don’t just quit when the going gets rough”. You need to give anything enough time and effort to work through the inevitable teething pain. Once you have learned the organisation, the systems, the people and after a year or two still cannot get your head around them then, by all means move on.

But realise this – the grass next door is never greener or if it is it’s probably because of the large amount of manure there. If you aren’t happy where you are chances are good you will not be happy where you are going.

So, be 100% clear on why you are leaving and what you are moving toward. Then step out in faith !

So, that said, I can honestly say I gave the current gig a good push. But there were certainly 2 insurmountable issues that could not / would not change. One was a person, undermining my efforts and authority, the other a systems, policy issue that was set to rob me of a substantial portion of my income each month. So the decision was actually very easy once the alternative offer came through. No hesitation whatsoever.

Yet I remain totally clear – corporates are corporates with only one priority – themselves. The new gig will nto be all roses but the more time goes by, the shorter the term of pain that needs to be endured.

Bring on 55 , SR and FI !

Nov 072013
 

That seems to be the overriding philosophy of the human being. Only me matters. If I can get away with it, or at least believe I can, then let’s give it a go.

100_1502 resize and rant

Then, either the previous tenant or the owner or both thought we weren’t getting enough for our money and decided to leave us a little something extra. Sweet of them !

100_1577 resize and rant

And it seems like the rental agents, while saying all the right things about damages deposits etc, have actually refunded all the money. So I’m unsure whether we are going to end up paying or not at this stage.

Only me!! That’s all that matters.

Well, I don’t want to be that way. I want to be a person, that while not a huggy, kissy, wanna-be-your-friend person, still does respect others, considers them as fellow travellers and doesn’t take advantage of them because I think I can.

But. I do wonder if I would feel so charitable if they were in front of me right now?

 

Oct 272013
 

By what I guess you could call “word-of-mouth” [or the internet equivalent of a mention and a link to a site] I stumbled upon a blog called artofhookie.org and have, with great interest been aimlessly browsing through the content and getting to know the author a little.

To quit, sell up everything and set sail on a new life with a couple of pennies in your pocket? On the one hand it is truly appealing. On the other a scary impossibility.

But I do often wonder how truthful people are. By that I don’t mean telling outright lies, I mean “Do they disclose everything?”. Sure he doesn’t have a job, a car, a house etc. But he has a girlfriend perhaps with those things? Maybe he’s a bank robber on the side, conveniently forgetting to tell us all how he funds his lifestyle.

Everyone has skeletons and not all of us are at the stage where we’re willing to bare all. In a tale such as his not disclosing all is very close to an outright lie if it gives the world a false impression?

Jul 092013
 

“No one cares. So do what you want” – Jonathan Mead of ‘Paid to Exist”

The classic South African “Hello. How are you?” bears this out.

Peoples opinions are irrelevant.

The only perception I care for is:  ‘I am competant, I accept responsibility, I get things done’

Those perceptions, from the important people in my life, matter to me.

Everything else is irrelevant.

The question to you is: “Are you one of the ‘important’ people ?”