On Dream Jobs

What’s your dream job?

I was thinking about this exact thing this morning, but couched as, what would I do if I didn’t have to work for money.

At school I was an academic student. The realities of home life at the time made it hard to get high marks. Despite my unwavering dedication to school and my determination to do well, my scores usually hovered between 80 and 90. In the end, my matriculating mark was 82%. I cried.

Something about that experience seeded in me that part of my identity had become a ‘B’ student, when what I wanted to be was an ‘A’ student. I am a confident person and I have high self-esteem. When I reflect on the inevitability of having low self-esteem while growing up and finding your place, I think this was the one that was central to me.

Since it belongs to another story, I’ll leave this illustration of the foundation behind this ‘B’-ness to another time. But I will talk about its effects.

With my lacklustre marks, I got into my second preference at university. Technically, I didn’t actually get in to my major, but as a freak of enrolment back in the days of paper (wow I am old) I was enrolled in the electives for that major and managed to apply later on and was granted entry. Skin of my teeth.

When I look at back at what the most important drivers of my career has been, of everything that was sacrificed, there appears a common thread: one, to challenge myself and do interesting things, and two, to make money. That is; to cement my own security and independence from anybody else. To be able to escape from relying on anyone who will let me down, which was the feeling that I think drove the ‘B’-ness.

Some of these things I have achieved, some I have let go. I have gained my financial independence. During COVID my fiancee was stood down and we have had no financial stress. I am very proud of this. Getting here from where I was took a really long time. Until recently I had a problem with debt: I had a problem with telling myself the word that I always heard from others: no. I had to resolve that before I could move on.

I have let go of my expectations of others. It’s not that I have low expectations, although from time to time this old protective habit wants to come up again. When it does I receive it, am present with it, unpack it and move on. The feeling gets smaller every time I do this.

So what does this mean for my dream job? Well, when I reflect on how determined I was to be financially independent  in the context of the things I’m dedicating myself to now I wondered why I didn’t choose finance, economics or medicine.

The reason was,  that was for ‘A’ people. In my core I identified as a ‘B’ person. So I chose a ‘B’ life.

Everyone deserves  to work their dream job. I was lucky to have examples to look up to, my dad and my sister are working their vocation. Nobody loves being an Electrician more than my Dad loves being an Electrician. Nobody is more born to be a Nurse than my sister is a Nurse down to her very being.

While I haven’t found my vocation, every job I have had has been incredibly fulfilling and helped build my understanding of the world. So, in a way, I have my dream job.

But when I ask myself, what would I do if I disassociated my career from my need to make money? I wouldn’t be in the hard sciences, in industry, in sales.

I’d do this. I’d write. This is my vocation.

What is your dream job? Do you have it in already? Tell me in the comments.

On Demanding Days

How do you unwind after a demanding day?

A long time ago, for a very long time, I was submerged in depression. Every day the burden of this reality wiped me out.

I didn’t exercise. I didn’t eat well. I didn’t moderate alcohol. I binge-watched television.

Sometimes the things that you think are doing to unwind don’t actually do that at all.

Unwinding is a way to decompress from the intensity of a stressful day. As it stood, the more demanding the day the greater the numbing required until sleep and repeat.

I was working too many hours for too little money; 40+ hours a week, every week. 12+ hour shifts regularly. My ambition and spirit was unafraid to take on responsibility to leave a legacy in the important role I had and despite promises made I was unfairly paid. I achieved my legacy. I was bullied by my boss.

Every day. Sleep and repeat.

It’s hard to think about this now. To be without an advocate, knowing something was wrong but oblivious to the misery and distress that was to come.

Fast forward to now. I have demanding days but not stressful days. In a way I’m grateful when I’ve had a demanding day. I feel invigorated afterwards, like after an intense workout. Since I’m either working from home or out in the field, I relish the null time during the drive to the gym after work to decompress, which I know how to do now. I reflect on the wins of the day, the challenges that were overcome, the difficulties that require more thought and then file them in order of energisers to repeat, skills to keep, and things to deal with tomorrow.

By the time I arrive at the gym I am ready for part 2 of my day: getting the work done.

Many people just want to get their exercise out of the way in the morning, like some kind of shore. I am the opposite, I look forward to it at the end of the day. The memory of the past is never far from my mind of My Alternative Life. My actual life, before I changed course.

No matter how hard my session is in the gym, my time there in the evenings is nothing short of a blessing and I am so grateful just to be there.

During COVID I don’t have the gym; I have to be disciplined as the cold and the wet discourage me from training all exposed on the driveway with my limited equipment. It is hard and I don’t want to be out there in the dark.

Reflecting on this today reminds me of why I train. It is a symbol of the energy I have for my life now. I unwind by being energetic. This energy honours a new truth: I have the power and drive now never to abdicate my right to authority over my own life.

What’s your favourite way to decompress? Tell me in the comments.

On Incremental Change

What’s one small improvement you can make in your life?

“Small drops fill a bucket.” – proverb

When I think about everything I want to achieve in my life, often I feel overwhelmed. The distance between where I am presently and the picture at the end feels so vast that I can’t imagine completing the journey.

For a long time that feeling dominated my life. For reasons that I am still trying to comprehend, I did not set my first goal until my 30’s. Without the ability to set goals, no decisions can be made on which direction you want to go in your life.

Back then, I remember I had only one objective: to escape where I was. Blindly clawing to whatever opportunity arrived in front of me, I had no sense of control over my future, over my life. I didn’t turn anything down because I was not empowered to wait for the right opportunity to take me in the direction I wanted to go. Because I didn’t actually know how to get there.

I didn’t even know how to learn how to get there.

Every day I was overwhelmed. I have always been a very determined person, but without a channel for that massive energy, I imploded. I didn’t know if I had a future at all, because I couldn’t imagine living past 40. When I dared to really think about it, there was no 50 in my future. I was scared.

I haven’t yet comprehended the tipping point from all this. After the initiation though, there was one tactic that magnetised me. It was the power of small improvements. It didn’t matter how tiny the step was, you were moving.

That is what matters. That is how you change the world.

Did you make a change to your life when you were unhappy? What is a mantra that helped guide or give you energy to overcome your inertia? What kept you going? Tell me in the comments.

On Love

Who are all the people you love?

Love is give and take on a bedrock of vulnerability.

Love is expressed when you give of yourself to others. It is said that giving lovingly means that you don’t expect anything in return. But there’s more to it than that. Not all giving is loving even if the intent is well meaning. Behind the giving must exists a vulnerability, that you are giving something of yourself.  To give that without expecting vulnerability in return, that is a loving act. I think that’s what they meant in church when they said that “that he so loved the world he gave…”.

Huh. Who was it that said, “I don’t know what I think about something until I write it down”? Because that just happened.

What was your recent #lifeepiphany about love? Tell me in the comments.

On Health

What do you do to stay healthy?

This is what I’ve learned about getting healthy and staying healthy. The best thing you can do for your health is to be consistent with something. I notice I feel “less” healthy when I am less consistent, compared to when I am more consistent. Even if that means doing less for longer, that is still consistency.

We’re still in COVID isolation, though today more things are opening up.

Things I do for my health consistently: Short, medium and long.


I’m now three weeks into my stretch program. I have developed a four day a week program based around the splits program I completed in 2016 with my mobility training coach, Fanny Tulloch (she hadn’t yet married back then, reminding me of how long I have left this practice to return back to it now).

I’m getting up at 5:30am to stretch in the quiet of the dark morning. I enjoy this time in the pre-dawn quiet more than I expected. It’s a wonderful time of quiet, filled with the prospect of possibility for the day ahead.


I set this subheading and then had nothing to fill it with. Short turns into long when time is applied. That is, Dreams enacted over time lead to earned results. So I guess the medium is time.


Continuing the principles of my “I fixed my life” change that began when I got off the couch in 2015. April just gone was the 5 year anniversary. For a long time I struggled with the thought at the age of 31 that I started so late in health and fitness. Having been on the journey long enough to have my eyes wide open I no longer feel now I started late. I have been fortunate to meet a lot of people on the way, many younger and further along in their fitness journey, many similarly aged (in “training years”). 

Sometimes, when I get down about having taken so long to find my fitness, I justify the time spent in my 20’s as finding my self and my sanity instead. In a way, that is accurate of how I spent my time back then. It’s reflected when my training buddies are moody at a failed lift and I am sanguine. When they channel rage before maxing out and I am calm, excited even, for my attempt. When they are complaining during boring hypertrophy blocks and I am giddy with the privilege to be unracking a barbell.

The group that has helped me most to find perspective are those older than I. They who never took this journey and are now in their later years: peri- and post- menopausal women, mid-life men who’s testosterone is on the decline never to return. They are in pain now. They are so used to their habits and ways that the effort to overcome inertia is compounded. It’s overwhelming.

This is also the group that inspires me the most. For the ones that have the courage to act on the change that they want, they live in an age of information where the possibility is most within reach to achieve their dream. The dream of being content with their physical selves. Finally. To feel in control of their emotional selves. Finally. To have this channel of personal pride that is kept within, for themselves, but shines like a like and that glow is cast out of them to others. Finally.

Who inspires you to stay consistent? Tell me in the comments.