“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.”
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.
“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.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
Remember that dress? It became a viral internet sensation on 26 February 2015, when viewers disagreed over whether the dress pictured was coloured blue and black, or white and gold. There were more than 10 million tweets mentioning the dress within a week of it surfacing.
While it was eventually proven that the dress was in fact blue and black (though I still have my doubts!), it also lends power to the idea that perception is everything.
I’m currently reading It’s Not You, It’s Me, by Camilla Sacre-Dallerup, who was the head judge on Dancing with the Stars NZ and is a bestselling author. She was recently in Christchurch to promote the book.
She’s a big believer in ‘reframing’ what we see as negative; seeing something in a new way, in a new context or with a new ‘frame’ around it. It’s life-changing stuff.
After all, Lou Holtz once said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it” and, if perception is reality, then you’ve got the ultimate power.
“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.
“Health is a crown that the healthy wear but only the sick can see it.” – Imam Shafi’ee
You hear about broken hearts all the time. What you don’t hear so much of are stories of broken pancreases.
The pancreas plays a pretty important role in the body, producing insulin which keeps blood glucose levels in check. November is Diabetes Action Month and Shaun Wallace, the Dark Destroyer himself, is heading to the city to lend his support to this very worthy cause (page 28).
Two of the most common forms of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. For Type 2 diabetics – the most common type – their bodies don’t effectively utilise insulin. For Type 1 diabetics, their bodies no longer produce insulin. An autoimmune condition that has resulted from one’s immune system over-compensating its attack on a virus, Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, for which there is no cure. And, from first-hand experience, I can tell you this makes for one crazy rollercoaster ride!
I have some pretty clever gadgets which make the journey a more palatable one, including a continuous glucose metre (CGM) that reads my blood sugars 24/7 and this is connected to an insulin pump, both are attached to my stomach at all times.
They’re a bit like having an accountant do your taxes; you still need to feed the accountant the right numbers or you will end up in a world of hurt, but they take the pain out of the job – quite literally when it comes to blood testing!
So, while you hear about people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, now you can say you know of someone who wears their pancreas on their hip.
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s long been said that laughter is the best medicine and, although the sentiment behind this age-old adage is by its very nature rather sweet, the science on laughter actually stacks up.
Not only does laughter decrease stress hormones and increase both immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving your resistance to disease, it also triggers the release of our natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals – endorphins. These handy little hormones promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve pain.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on happiness recently, not because those around me are bouncing off the walls with happiness, but because I have seen the people around me not give way to unhappiness.
You see, happiness isn’t just about the external manifestation of what we consider as ‘happy’, it also enables us to get through some of the most trying situations without allowing them to break us.
According to the Dalai Lama, relying on external forces to determine your mood is a sure-fire way to failure if it’s sustainable, long term happiness you’re after. And, since we can’t control the weather, others’ actions or toddlers (yes, I have two of them!), it might be time to take charge of what we can control – how we react to all of the above.
After all, as Gabriel García Márquez once said, “No medicine cures what happiness cannot” and I can’t think of a life philosophy I’d rather live by.
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel
Elite horse racing and fashion have long gone hand-in-hand and, while Cup Day is evidently an opportunity to honour a more traditional aesthetic, it equally represents the opportunity to add some colour and creativity to your hats, shoes and dresses.
We’ve got all the stylish secrets ahead to make it a dazzling one, from six-time Fashion on the Field judge Jackie O’Fee’s tips to blitz the competition, to a list of the hottest Cup Week breakfasts and after parties. We’ve checked out some of the region’s best places to put your ensemble together and we’ve even looked at the mammoth effort that goes on behind the scenes to pull Cup Day together.
Whether it’s the thrill of watching exceptional equine champions compete for glory, the rush as your horse bags a win, or getting a piece of the sartorial action, there’s no shortage of reasons to get in behind the hottest day on Canterbury’s social calendar. So, what’s yours?
“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and, above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl
With more than 250 million book sales under is authorial belt, The Times placed Roald Dahl 16th on their 2008 list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.
Yet rewind to his school years and his teacher wrote, “I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended,” in his school report. “He seems incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper!”
It was the made up bedtime stories he told his five children that sparked his passion for writing. He went at it full speed, embraced it with both arms and, from an old wooden shed in the back garden, with a wingbacked armchair, a sleeping bag to keep out the cold, an old suitcase to prop his feet on and always, always six yellow pencils at his hand, Dahl created the worlds of The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many, many more.
So live passionately, live purposefully and don’t let the words of others stand between you and what you want to do.
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.” – Anonymous
I’m a fixer upperer. I’m not sure where this desire for improving things stems from, but I seem to get a greater satisfaction from renovating something existing, than from building from scratch. Whether it’s a house or a life problem, I love nothing more than getting stuck into a project.
So with my latest project being my health, I’m a little hindered by my lack of a medical degree; which is why Dr Libby Weaver is my new best friend.
In our 29 August issue of Metropol, Dr Libby talked about her latest book – The Invisible Load. A guide to overcoming stress and overwhelm, it covers the mental side of stress; how much of what we perceive as stress (such as that overflowing email inbox!), isn’t actually stressful (unless it really is life-threatening) and that the inner turmoil that we experience as a result of letting these things get to you is one of the greatest health crises facing the modern woman.
I don’t do life by halves; something my three kids, three dogs and the full time job that I passionately live and breathe, will attest to. I love every single one of these areas of my life, but it is a lot of love to juggle.
I’ve now got my hands on a copy of The Invisible Load, so it is perhaps ironic that the only problem I now have left to solve is how to find the time to start reading it.