Category Archives: TV

The Stoic’s Guide to 2017

Starting a New Year is filled with anticipatory anxiety. Who will die this year?  Will I lose the weight this year? Will I find the perfect lover? Will I clear out the junk drawer?

So many expectations and yet so many surprises come and smash us in the face year after year and we’re in shock. This wasn’t on the “To-Do list,” we moan. Of course, it wasn’t on any list, no one writes down:

  • Bury Dad
  • Find lump
  • Attempt suicide
  • Have car crash
  • Get robbed.

I find standard goal setting is futile in an uncertain world. My 2016 was better because I had no idea what my year would look like, instead, I just worked hard on myself and stayed open to opportunities,  and I certainly didn’t have any presumptions about what the year was supposed to bring me.  I am not #blessed, as some like to write on Instagram. As though they were chosen above all other to have such bliss enter their life. I am not blessed. And for the record neither are you.

I have experienced two years of drama, and every time another blow came, I just shook it off and kept going. Not because I am so amazing but because I didn’t have a choice.

So, if I have learned anything from my two years of cataclysm and calamity, it is simply that you cannot predict an outcome, you can only control your role in the process and nothing more.

This week, I spoke to a friend whose child is undergoing serious and potentially life ending treatment for cancer.

“Stoicism wins the day. You can control your part of the process in your son’s life but nothing more. Stay centered and process driven. 🏹🏆”

Now here is my list on how to set goals like a Stoic and be a process driven machine.

  1. Write down what you want to do.
  2. Assess the current state of your situation.
  3. Where are your weaknesses?
  4. Where do you need to improve?
  5. What can you do to turn the weaknesses into strengths?
  6. How will your life have to change?
  7. What will you do when people question or even mock you?
  8. And finally, how will achieving this goal push you towards being the person you want to be?

Let’s look at this in relation to  a real goal.

Perhaps your goal is to have a book published.

If you are setting stoic goals, the goal would be not to be published but instead, the noble goal of bringing you closer to your fated self.  To write something that you are proud of,  that you hope will help people or bring enjoyment to others.

To write something that is the result of you pushing yourself to become a better writer with each draft, to assess your writing, and your process and see where it can improve.

Take a writing course, read more, make more time to do both of these, so perhaps you have to give up watching television two nights of the week. Will your loved ones support you in this? Will they step up to help you reach the goals of becoming a focused, principled, learned writer?

Get it?

And will this bring you to the initial, naive goal of being published? Who knows? If the Fates allow, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is- make the goal noble, make the process stringent, and change your life to support this. The rest is up to destiny, and after the clusterfuck of 2016 we have learned that life turns on a dime and the best we can do is just make progress however we can, with harm to none and the hope that we will be closer to our true selves by the end of 2017.

Peace to you and may 2017 bring you to your best self.








Here’s my take on blogging.


My lovely friend Pip, over at Meet Me At Mikes, posted a question about blogging, monetising, and generic content, which got me thinking about my own blog.

I have blogged since 2007. Eight years of my inner mind on display. Through those years, I have seen my sister face serious injury and a cancer diagnosis, bought a house, battled illness, changed careers, written twelve books, sold a house, supported my brother through cancer treatment and watched my father die.

I have always written as honestly as possible, and even though it made me an arsehole in the eyes of some, I am no longer dependent on the approval of others. If you don’t like what someone writes, then don’t read it, fairly simple advice that many seem to ignore.

I never thought I could make money from my blog because I am lazy and it seemed like a lot of work for a small reward. It’s similar to YouTube videos. If your video gets 1 million hits, you will earn approx. $2000.

That’s great if you upload a funny video of a cat in a box scaring people as they walk past. It cost you nothing to make and the cat isn’t asking for rollover fees (unlike dogs, they always have a bone to pick with rollovers).

Some videos are exhausting to watch. My 18-year old daughter used to watch Zoella and some other girls, showing off their fishtail braids and their ‘haul’ as they call the sponsored goods they get paid to talk about. Now she watches Netflix. She does not read blogs, especially not mine.

Has blogging become old fashioned?

(Am I Carrie Bradshaw? I always thought Carrie started the blogging craze, with her rhetorical questions typed onto the screen, Doogie Houser style, overlayed with her sexy baby voiceover. I digress in this dress.)

I write because I have to clear my cluttered mind. I have always kept a journal, written poetry, thought about characters, been obsessed with names, collecting sentences, and now I write for money, just not on my blog.

I believe, that by not allowing transactions on my blog, other than giving the reader something to think about, or amuse them, and them giving me a nice comment nice in return,  makes me honest. I don’t gloss over the shadows, instead I shine a light on them because they are what makes a person interesting.

There have been blog posts I have written and not posted because of the rawness and hurt in my words at what is going on in my life. There were posts that I was told I shouldn’t have posted because they were too raw and hurtful. There are posts that resonated and went all over the world and ones that sunk like a stone into the Great Internet Lake.

I am always more interested when I read of other people’s vulnerability. Not because of schadenfreude but because I see myself in other’s fragility. Anyone can have a perfect life online, not many have a truthful life.

So in that vein, here is the truth in my life right now.

  • I’m fat, so I am currently seeing an amazing woman who inspires me to not be fat.
  • I am working on a new book which has been horrendous to start, as I am exhausted from the last six months of illness and death.
  • I think I’ve cracked the back of the new book because I was up till 3am writing and woke up thinking about a particular character.
  • I miss my Dad, and him wandering around my house asking what jobs he can do for me.
  • I’m 44 this year. I don’t like 44. When I was crazy I used to see 444 everywhere. The Chinese number of death. I better lose weight or I will be dead.
  • I no longer take a sleeping pill that I took for five years. I feel good about it.
  • The other day I walked down Collins Street listening to cool music, feeling so fly, not realising I had a teabag hanging off my headphones.
  • I have exciting things going on in TV land but I’m not excited because I’ve been down this road before and it’s a long game and I am not considered the MVP.
  • I am reading a lot of poetry at the moment. It’s soothing. Read this one for some goodness and this one for some darkness.
  • I am enjoying cooking for my brother who is in dire need of a weight gain. I am also enjoying the eating which brings me back to my first truth.
  • Yesterday, I spoke to two gorgeous friends on the phone for ages. I am seeing another to break bread with at lunch.
  • I feel lonely most days but for whom or what, I am unsure.

And this is my old fashioned truth. Everything and nothing and probably you have your own truths. Everyone has something good and bad going on, the only way to cope is to see them as entirely equal. Light and dark. We need them both.

Peace out friends.