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Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 25 June 2020


“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.”
– Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

 

Did you know that an event is neither positive or negative and that it is through our perception that we assign feelings to it?

It’s a powerful concept, because it is extremely easy to hear of a break-in and to make an assumption about the perpetrator.

But imagine if you knew of the extreme hardship that perpetrator came from; that they were resorting to what they thought was the only way to provide for the young children in their care or if you knew of the mental health difficulties, abuse or trauma they themselves had suffered?

What better time to choose to re-frame our narrative than a time when we’re surrounded by negativity?

Yes there are some extremely sad stories out there right now, but I like to think that things happen for a reason.

Because I’ve also heard some incredibly uplifting ones; people who have discovered their passion and created successful businesses from redundancy; those who have become aware of their health and embarked on a new fitness regime; and those who have simply become more empathetic and got to know their neighbours.

Sometimes we just need to remember that regardless of whether the glass is half full or half empty, the fact is, it’s refillable. And if you’re after some more uplifting content, the pages ahead are jam-packed!


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 11 June 2020


“Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always” Anonymous

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

There’s a kindness epidemic that has been spreading throughout our community.

From conversations between neighbouring teddy bears in house windows and Kiwis providing food boxes, to businesses chipping in and NGOs helping communities in need, Kiwis have turned a threat to our health and happiness into acts of solidarity and hope.

New Zealanders have shown time and time again their capacity to care for one another.

But now that the immediate threat is over and life for many of us is getting back to normal, it’s important that we don’t lose the momentum of kindness, because for many of us, life isn’t back to normal.

These are trying times and many are being forced to adjust to a new normal.

“We will get through this,” Jacinda Ardern said in her address to the nation on 21 March to outline the structure the government put in place to handle the crisis.

“We know how to rally and we know how to look after one another; and what could be more important than that? Be strong, be kind and unite against Covid-19.”

We stayed strong; we stayed home and we stayed safe. Now it’s time to stay kind.


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 28 May 2020


While medical experts have been encouraging physical distancing for the past three months, mental health experts have been encouraging us to stay more connected than ever before.

 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

 

Social connection is understood to be a fundamental human need; as crucial for mental development as it is for physical development.

The subject of human connection is even more poignant for the Metropol team, as we compile our annual bridal issue.

It hasn’t been without its challenges, as we put together what is one of our favourite renditions of our fortnightly pilgrimage to showcase the very best of what Canterbury has to offer, as our team operates remotely, around our bubble families, both young and old.

It’s also a poignant reminder of the weddings that have been postponed and the plans that have changed.

We think also of those for whom border control measures will prevent from sharing those special times with us physically and especially those of us we have lost, but who will be with us in both mind and spirit.

We are reminded too at this time of the sweet sentiment that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and such is how we feel as we count down to all the big days that are in the works both now and in the future as life slowly, but surely, gets back to some degree of normalcy.

Soon we will once again be able to share those special moments with our loved ones, mentally, spiritually and physically, and these special times we’re sure will be that much sweeter after the wait.

From our bubble to yours, we bring you all the inspiration for your special day.

With love,
Metropol


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 21 May 2020


In New Zealand, a small business is a big deal. There is, after all, more than 500,000 of them. Those 500,000 small businesses employ upwards of 600,000 people and contribute 28 percent to our gross domestic product (GDP), so that makes them a big deal, to all of us!

 

Editor: Melinda Collins

 

And they need us right now. We can all play a small part in getting Canterbury back on its feet.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between small business and community – an important one! Local businesses are the backbone of a strong and vibrant community; both need each other to survive.

The most effective way to help local businesses survive is, quite simply, by supporting them in any way you can.

So why should you? There are plenty of reasons!

For every $100 of local spend, $68 will stay local.

That’s because local businesses stock local products and use local services.

Small local businesses are also big local employers and, with a smaller footprint, it’s also the sustainable option.

Now’s the time to spend every dollar we can locally, but it’s not just opening your wallet that can support our small local businesses; we can shout their names from the rooftops – virtually or literally, if you have the lung capacity.

Follow them on social media, share their posts, tell your friends about them… better yet, take your friends to them – when it’s safe to, of course!

If you can’t visit a local favourite now, but know you’ll want to later, buy a gift voucher!

Got an event planned with local businesses that can’t go ahead right now?

Why not work out how you can reschedule instead of cancel?

And always consider a local option before you hit ‘buy now’ on that website.

After all, you may not be able to buy happiness, but you can buy local and for
that local businessowner, that’s kind of the same thing.


 

Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 19 March 2020


“Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be” —Sonia Ricotti

 

New Zealand could become a “lifeboat to save humanity from extinction” if there was a catastrophic pandemic, according to an Otago University report pre-dating COVID-19, just a few short months ago.

Although it was a fictional genetically-engineered pandemic threatening human survival that formed the basis of the report, the World Health Organisation has officially declared COVID-19 as a ‘pandemic’ and global panic surrounding the spread of the virus has since reached epic proportions.

Although it makes absolute sense for countries to take urgent and aggressive action on border control to contain its spread, it is equally important that we adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach when it comes to our domestic activities; our economy relies on it.

COVID-19 has spread from biological to financial and economic parts of our lives.

But it’s in our hands how this affects our domestic trade. It’s not time to stop going out for dinner, to stop heading to the movies, or to stop spending time with friends; it’s time to support our local businesses, while following the Ministry of Health’s hygiene guidelines of course.

It’s an unprecedented time in the travel industry and we’re in uncharted waters; airlines have cancelled routes, cruise companies have postponed trips and countries have closed their borders.

But at the time of print, New Zealand has had no community spread of COVID-19.

While it might be time to reconsider long haul travel, maybe this is the opportunity to realise just what we have in our own backyard.

Why not head into your local travel agent and get planning your Bay of Islands escape, a Queenstown vacay, or perhaps this is some extra time to plan a bigger, better overseas sojourn… for next year!

In the meantime, our younger generations are watching us and learning about how to respond to stress and uncertainty. Let’s wire our kids for resilience, not panic.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 20 February 2020


I’ve long been a ‘project person’. While this makes me highly efficient when it comes to getting things done, it means I’m not very good at relaxing.

 

Even my housework is broken up into ‘sections’ so rather than feeling overwhelming, it becomes heaps of little ‘goals’ that result in a mammoth job getting done.

But when those projects start to take over the weekend and more projects than fun is getting done, that’s when I know something has to change.

In my defence, we have been smack bang in the middle of selling a house and building a new one, which is particularly challenging when you throw three dogs and three kids in the mix, but nevertheless, I’m ready for something to give in the all work no play continuum.

The world is currently suffering from a global rest deficit; we crave rest and relaxation, but then feel anxious that we’re being lazy when we attempt even 10 minutes for a cuppa.

Whether this rest deficit is real or perceived, it’s damaging. We’ve long recognised the harmful effects of sleep deficit but, until now, it seems we’ve underestimated the effects of not resting.

Yet research tells us that spending time relaxing not only helps our decision-making abilities and lowers our risk of depression, but it also boosts both our memory making abilities and our immune system response.

Whether it’s a cup of tea and a copy of Metropol, some diaphragmic breathing and mindful meditation, powering it around the block with some headphones on, or curling up on the coach for a Netflix marathon, there’s a way to relax that will be just for you.

No matter what it is, it needs to be scheduled, after all, rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 06 February 2020


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.”

Frederick Keonig

 

 

It’s long been said that money doesn’t buy happiness and I’m sure that no truer saying has been said.

After all, some of the world’s most financially-rich are also some of the world’s most happiness-poor.

I think it’s easy for us to forget that happiness isn’t something that is handed to some people and not to others because, as the Dalai Lama once said,

“Happiness is not something ready-made; it comes from your own actions”.

Happiness results, not from circumstance, but how we react to circumstance and the beauty of that is the knowledge and appreciation that our reactions to circumstance are completely within our control.

So in 2020, my challenge to you is, smell the roses, use the good tea set, have the second glass of wine and accept the compliment.

And remember, no act of kindness, no hint of compassion, no good deed – however small – is ever wasted; 2020 is the year of happiness but let’s also make it the year of kindness.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 23 January 2020


“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie

 

 

When a New Year dawns it is already a great year – we’ve yet again been blessed with an opportunity to live and love.

And, although it seems rather cliché to say, it really is a time of year that is capable of inciting profound transformative change to mind, body and soul.

Of course while some changes in life work, others may not, but the whole point is about giving something new a go.

After all, as Einstein so wisely and poignantly pointed out, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.

So whether the changes you are contemplating in your lives this year are great or small – whether it is simply to turn your talented hand to a new hobby, curling your tongue around a new language, changing jobs or taking an entrepreneurial punt on a new venture – go hard!

It’s time to give it your best shot and don’t worry if it doesn’t work out entirely as you had planned, you will no doubt be richer for the experience.

The Metropol team is excited to embark on yet another adventurous chapter in 2020 and look forward to you joining us on this journey.


 

Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 12 December 2019


While you’re looking after friends and family this festive season, it’s important you don’t forget to look after ‘you’.

Wellbeing Specialist Sarah McGuinness shares her top tips for keeping well over Christmas.

1. Be right here, right now: Practicing mindfulness is probably the last thing you’d think to add to your festive to-do list, but it can be a helpful calming tool.

2. Know that good enough is great: There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year, especially when hosting or staying with family and/or friends.

Be clear about what you can control and what you can’t, and what’s important and what’s not.

3. Be with people who love you in all your glory: There’s almost nothing better than spending time with people who love you for who you are and can make you laugh until your sides hurt.

Find time to be with those people and find ways to help each other take care.

4. Celebrate the goodness: When you get a chance, write down a list of all the good moments from 2019. It might be a list of big things, small things or both.

The idea is to come up with 10 to 20 things that make you smile and feel buoyant.

5. Support the community: There are many families that go without in some way at this time of year.

Consider donating your time or items to organisations that support families or individuals in need.

From the Metropol team, take care, stay safe and have a very merry Christmas. Metropol will be back with you on 23 January, ready to embrace all of the wonders that await in 2020.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 21 November 2019


“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Gore Vidal

 

 

Looking down the line-up of The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Best Dressed Best Dressed finalists at Addington this year, I was struck by just how magnificent fashion is.

It was Rachel Zoe that once said, ‘Fashion is a way to say who you are without having to speak’ and I’m not sure a truer word has ever been said on the topic.

This year’s Best Dressed Lady sash was draped over Nikki Pagen’s white, red and blue ensemble; which was simple in aesthetic and yet impeccable in its execution. In a bright and brilliant contrast, runner-up Stephanie Murray was in sunny yellow from head-to-toe. Meanwhile, for the Best Dressed Man Matt Anderson, cobalt blue was the name of the fashion game, with a hand-stitched checked jacket that he paired with bright white pants.

Despite – or perhaps because of – fashion’s increasingly casual constitution, the opportunity to welcome a much more traditional aesthetic is a welcome one. And yet, irrespective of the conservative nature of the day, we still manage to have fun with fashion, with hats, shoes and fascinators that are as colourful and creative as the jockeys’ silks.

But what caught my attention the most was the fact that every attendee – and there were 20,000 of them – was having a ball.