Random Thursday Night Adventure

I was sitting at home the other night, minding my own business when a text message flashed in on my intra-planetary communicator:

“I’m coming to pick you up. I’ll be there at 9:50pm. Pack a toothbrush”

Well, okay then.

(Secretly? I adore these kind of spontaneous adventures.)

On the agenda? Sitting in an outdoor jacuzzi half the night; a glass or two of red wine; catching up on old times; watching the lights from the ships coasting in and out of the harbour:

This was the jacuzzi view.. except, you know, black. Night time, see.

We eventually crashed about 4ish. Then up at 8 for breakfast in bed (bacon & mushroom omelette, toast, camomile tea) and a quick drive into town.

I suspect the breakfast was to buy me off so I could drive my mate to an appointment. He went to that, and since it was a super gorgeous day I grabbed a coffee and walked along the beach.

Beach! (well, obviously) Also: City.

As isolated as New Zealand is from the rest of the world, it really is one incredibly picturesque place. As the song goes, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.

the local marina (was looking for a friend's exquisitely restored 1800s boat, but couldn't find it)

As I was wandering around, i got to thinking about mistakes. Now, I have (historically) been something of a type-A personality. Hard charging, ambitious, etc. The upside is, you get a lot done. The downside is you tend to be a pain in the ass to be around, but that’s a whole other conversation. Oh, also, there’s the ever-so-slight issue of perfectionism and the attendant self-criticism.

Now, as an example: I know I look good when I have about two days of beard growth. Now, I don’t think of this as attractive. No, I think of it as “optimally hairy.”

In other words, except for about 6 hours two days in, my facial hair is permanently sub-optimal. Wow, self-criticism much? *laugh*

Walking in the sun, I suddenly realised that I haven’t been making mistakes my whole life (or having sub-optimal facial hair, now we’re on the subject). What I’m really doing is experiencing previous karma. In other words, there’s no way, at any given time and place with the knowledge and experience I had then, that I could have chosen otherwise. This is stuff I have had to get wrong, so I could learn from it.

Of course, we do dumb shit, suffer the consequences & thus (hopefully) grow, heal, unwind that karma. That is how we progress through life.

The key point is this: We may have to experience the same “mistakes” over and over and over. This isn’t because we keep making them. It’s because we have to keep growing, until such time as everything is in place, and we’re finally ready to learn the whole lesson, not just the obvious, surface stuff.

The mistake is in looking too closely at any given action. “Oh, I went out with the same kind of shitbag again.” What we’re missing is that we’re learning a ton of other things, and we’re just working our way down through the layers, little by little, at a pace which is right for us.

Things are always perfect, even when they suck. All we’ve gotta do is just keep paying attention. Keep learning when we can, and keep loving ourselves.

Why? Because giving ourselves a hard time just adds to our misery. It doesn’t help us learn, or grow, or heal. As much as our ego might like to convince us otherwise, it also doesn’t prevent us making the same mistake in the future. Healing, learning and growing does that, not self-flagellation.

When we’ve truly grown past it, the opportunities for that mistake generally won’t even appear. The shitbags disappear (of their own volition) out of our lives. And trust me, I’ve seen this, ohhh, many times.

So, you know, mini-satoris like this are always nice, but I still had more heavy duty walking around to get done!

Also, mental note: Buy a beard trimmer.

Because I’m such a raging narcissist, I simply had to take a self pic.

Self portrait, with boatsheds (note the Very Important Peace Sign)

I learned everything I need to know about posing for photographs from the Japanese tourists who used to endlessly harass us when I was training Aikido in Melbourne. (You have never seen such polite & deferential harassment in your life.)

For reference, these are the best swings (that I know of) in central Wellington. Look at the view from the top – wow!

I spent a LOT of time on these swings when I was last in town

I didn’t get a chance to have a play – but that’s ok, cute blondes take precedence, and anyway, I had to hurry along.

I also saw a perfect family outing:

Mum with the baby, daughter, dad

How cool is that? Dad’s on a long board (kinda like a skateboard, but super long and very flexible). Note also his beanie: Official Hat of Wellington.

Oh, and if you were curious just how far my home is from here? (ie, looking in the other direction for once):

land of the long white cloud...

See those clouds, right off in the distance there? I’m staying juuuuust to the right of centre, right back there. Wouldn’t want to swim there – for a start, the last 25kms is over solid ground. Luckily there’s a motorway.

After that, I picked my mate up, and we went for a picnic in the gardens of Isengard (you remember them, right?)

Picnic. Not shown: food.

Those are my boots. I’m being utterly shameless today, I know.

Oh, and how could I possibly go past this?

Flying fox! FLYING FOX!!!!

This scared the living crap out of me when I first went on it (age: maybe 8 or 9).

It’s quite vigorous when it hits the end.  Ok, ok, so these days I take a running jump off the platform to get maximum speed up, but still! It’s definitely an activity that stands the test of time. I.e., still awesome. I love it!

I also saw a bunch of fantails, skipping around and being all fantaily (as is their wont)

Three guesses why it has the name it does...

They’re an Australasian peculiarity, although this type is only found here in NZ. They’re super cute, very flighty, and about the size of a sparrow. One came up to within a foot of us eating. Pretty amazing.

Bet you never thought you’d learn about birds coming here, now did you? Do I make you ‘orni, baby?

And on that note, something utterly ridiculous. This is a local stationery company:

Seriously guys, buy a dictionary. Please.

It’s like the company was named by someone who’d never used a writing implement before (*cough*illiterate*cough*). The. Mind. Boggles.

All in all, quite a delightful Thursday night/Friday morning adventure. A+++ would run delightedly out of the house clutching my toothbrush again.