Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm a graduate (again!)

Time feels like it is slipping through my fingers.  I say this because of what seems like an ever increasing speed at which my life is moving forward.  Days seem to pass by very quickly, as do the weeks and even the months.  I now seem to experience the terrifying days where I find myself incredibly busy and the day is over without me even fully realising that anything has happened.  There is a repetition that kills the uniqueness of each day, that turns it into something more akin to the rotation of gears than an actual individual moment of beauty it should be.

I think back to when I was a child and how even the thought of having to wait a single hour for anything would be tantamount to torture.  Yet now, I seem to want the opposite.  I want to slow the time, I want to turn the water through my fingers into molasses, yet with no success.  This is concerning to me as I constantly wonder and fret over whether I am doing enough with my life.  I question whether or not I am actually taking hold of the moments I have been blessed with and using them for something worthwhile.  Yet even this has its challenges as I am forced to decide between the investments for the future and acting for the present.

I now found myself in one of those situations where I was once again questioning whether I had made the correct decision in how I had used my time.

I was graduating from university again.

I now had a Masters of Law from the University of New South Wales.

I had enjoyed the opportunity to study again, but it had not been easy.  There had been significant sacrifices that had been made to ensure that I was able to undertake both the studying and the work to a successful degree without negatively impacting the other.  I had found myself locked in study labs and in front of computers working when others were out enjoying themselves.  I had been forced to concentrate in isolation as others were enjoying the company of friends and family.  I could even clearly remember the times when my housemates tried to convince me to the go to the beach and I was forced to turn them down so that I could read journal articles instead.

The sense of achievement was definitely still there.  It was the cliched feeling of reaching the end of a journey, but with more finality.  I had never expected to have completed my masters (and definitely not so quickly), so there was also satisfaction in knowing that I had hit another milestone unexpectedly.  The only problem was the continued nagging thought in my head of whether this was the "correct" milestone to be hitting.  Had I had made the right decision?  Had I sprinted in the right direction or had I merely placed myself even further from the destination that I ultimately wanted to arrive at?

Sitting in the audience, I was lucky enough to find that the guest speaker was George Williams.  The famous George Williams who wrote the constitutional law textbooks that filled me with pain and terror during my undergraduate years.  He was not what I expected at all.  He was not the old and grey professor I had imagined, but was instead an open minded progressive.  Who would have thought it?

As I sat and listened to Prof Williams speak, I found myself actually being interested by what he was saying (another shocking surprise I did not expect from my graduation).  He spoke of failure.  He spoke of the need to fail and how often he had failed in life.  He spoke about how it was only through the constant failure that he had eventually succeeded.  I contemplated this message silently in my seat.  Failure was truly inescapable, but it was still more difficult to rationalise it when I struggled to decide what I considered to be success.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And now for something completely different

I am a dedicated fan of Aussie Rules Football.  It is something that I have grown up with.  My upbringing is so ingrained with Aussie Rules that it almost seems to be a part of my personality (and I'm sure that many people would attest to that fact).

There are few other sports that interest me and there are many others that I look down on with disdain and contempt.

One of those sports is Rugby League.

I have never understood the attraction of this sport that seems to me to be so two dimensional.  The two lines of men running at each other with the constant repetition did not create any drama or tension for me.  Instead of trying to embrace it, I actively railed against it.  Being a Victorian transplant, stuck in the middle of NSW/ACT, my love of Aussie Rules and disdain for Rugby League became like a badge for me.  It was a constant reminder that no matter how much time went by, I would never fully integrate.

This all left me in an awkward position when I was asked by a friend at work to attend a Rugby League game.

I really didn't want to go.

However, I also knew that as this was something I had never tried before, it was a new experience I shouldn't be passing up.

I agreed to go.

On a Monday night (yes, a MONDAY NIGHT) after work, we all set off on the train to the middle of Sydney to watch the Canterbury Bulldogs play the Cronulla Sharks.  
The crowd was small, but passionate.

I couldn't help but compare it to the enormous crowds I was used to seeing at the Aussie Rules games.  Still, the atmosphere was good.

What definitely surprised me was that I enjoyed myself.  It was impressive to watch the spectacle of the game and to hear the noise of the tackling.  It was very clear from the sound that these were by no means painless encounters.
I walked away from the game with a different view (which is always important).  I hadn't become a fan of the sport, but I definitely had a new found respect for it that wasn't previously there. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Breakfast of champions

They always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Who "they" are is completely unknown to me.  However, I'm fairly certain that "they" probably wouldn't approve of my standard breakfast of a croissant at my desk as I check my emails.

They probably wouldn't be so happy with Andy's version of a nutritious breakfast either.

On this chosen day, breakfast for Andy consisted of some standards.  He poured himself a cup of orange juice, then he made himself an espresso.

Then he microwaved a plate full of left over pan fried dumplings.
Pork dumplings.  Truly the most nutritious way to start your day.