Tag Archives: dad

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea 2011

5 May

Cancer.

An ugly disease. It has the power to instill blind fear and insufferable pain.

Cancer also leaves many survivors in its wake. Those who fought and won. Everyday people with amazing stories that deserve to be celebrated.

I have even read reports of people who are thankful to have ‘tussled’ with cancer. Battlers’ whose lives have now become so precious that they live every day with wonder and gratitude.

In my personal experience though, cancer is a thief. It crept into my life without warning and stole my dad years before any of us were ready to say goodbye. Ten months from prognosis to ashes.

Who hasn’t been touched by cancer? I guarantee that if you are reading this, you will know someone whose life has been irrevocably altered by cancer. A family member, friend, or someone you once went to school with. Cancer is everywhere.

Sorry to be a downer guys, but I do admit to possessing a bit of a hate-on for cancer!

This is why I feel truly honoured to have been asked to promote Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea by the NSW Cancer council’s media office.

It’s a way of joining the fight – increasing awareness and helping raise money to fund vital cancer research, prevention, information and support services.

Officially held on May 26, you are invited to switch on the kettle, register now and invite your friends, colleagues and family to join Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea in May and help reduce the impact of cancer in Australia.

Who: Get together friends, family, school mates, work colleagues, or anyone who wants to help beat cancer in your community.

When: The official date is Thursday 26 May, but you can hold a morning tea any time during May (or June).

Where: Anywhere! You can hold your morning tea at home, at work, at school, or in your local town hall. The possibilities are endless!

How: Hosting a morning tea is easy. Register here

On the website, you can also access some yummy recipes from the likes of Callum Hann and Adriano Zumbo

It doesn’t matter how big or small your morning tea is. Invite your friends, family or work-mates and encourage them to donate to the cause.

Finally, if you don’t have time to host a morning tea yourself, you can make a tax deductible donation right here.

Get your cake n cuppa on!

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Is it the pursuit of excellence or the journey that matters most?

12 Apr

Written by Kirri White

When I received my first report of straight A’s at the tender age of eight – I recall my dad reacting with pride and jubilance.  In some way, the diminutive column of letters reflected his own achievement and were unanimous proof that I had been listening to all of his routine pep talks:

“Practice makes perfect.”

“The early bird gets the worm.”

“Whatever the mind can conceive, man can achieve.”

“Never give up.  Embrace the positive.  Whatever you resist will persist.”

“No matter what, you are a survivor.”

These are just some of the quotations that my dad used to regularly impart to me and my three siblings from a very young age. Sometimes they would come off the back of something celebratory such as when my older sister won a school cross-country run and dad firmly decided that she was now a professional athlete in the making.  Occasionally, they would also come when one of us had a less than stellar performance and were in need of assurance or a virtual shove to persevere.

Most of the time, I soaked up these references with the typical adulation of a true daddys’ girl.  As a teen, I occasionally resented them.  Whatever the case, I soon had his favourites firmly committed to memory and used to find it extremely amusing to mimic them back in silly voices (in my head only of course!)

From what I could ascertain, my fathers’ sayings seemed to follow a similar vein.

Life was all about striving to do your best, reaching for the stars, and never ever giving up.  I learned early on, at least in the metaphysical sense that I could excel at just about anything through sheer hard work and determination.

The problem lay with my dad being equally fond of referencing quotes that were fixed at the opposite end of the spectrum

“Life is all about the journey.”

“It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.”

“This is your journey and you will carve your own path.  Just don’t forget to notice the signs and rainbows along the way.”

It all got to be a little bemusing after a while.  I felt like he was telling me to strive for excellence but to also ensure my life was one big yoga retreat!

This philosophical puzzle was further compounded by my reading. Some books would have messages about giving life your all, reaching for the stars and striving to be your best and then others would recommend slowing down to smell the roses and living life purely for the moment.

So which one is it?
Is life, in essence, the dogged pursuit of achievement and self-actualised potential?  Or is it about the meandering trail of memories and special moments that we, as individuals are required to pause and suck up?

Robin Sharma, who speaks on success and leadership refers to ‘“ambidextrous leadership” as a way of explaining the need to effectively balance the sometimes opposing roles of a leader.

For example – A great leader is rational and logical, making sound and sometimes difficult decisions. But a champion leader is also a humanitarian – someone who understands and celebrates the heart of people.

Sharma espouses the same approach to life.

The essence of life lies not in the execution but in the balance.

Now, maybe I’m a bit of a slow learner, but this was my ‘Ya-ha’ moment for the week.

Life is all about balance and the complex symmetry of making it happen with letting it happen.

How do we balance work with family?  How do we strive to afford ourselves and our families the material luxuries in life while also living lives with greater connection and meaning?

How do we be the best that we can be while at the same time appreciating each step on our climb?

How do we counter moments of playfulness and frivolity with the seemingly endless and often burdensome responsibilities of being an adult and a parent?

How about the desire to be a decent and dare I say ‘nice’ person, without being taken advantage of or seen as lesser or weaker than?

My message for today and the advice my dad was trying to instill in me all those years is simple –

Make your plans, strive to achieve all your goals but don’t be so busy striving that you miss out on the climb.  Work hard AND play hard.

Always give it your best shot but don’t forget to capture those precious Kodak moments.

Play your best game and have fun doing it.

Be nice but firm.

Be someone your kids want to hang with but also know how to instill boundaries and make some of the less popular decisions.

Look at your life and aim for balance.  I know, it’s not particularly profound but often the beauty really does lie in the simplicity.

My only wish is that I had the opportunity to tell my dad that I finally get it.

He was a legend.

What valuable lessons have you learned from your parents?

How do you practice achieving balance in your life?

~ Kirri

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