• what struggle do you want in your life? I have a friend. Let’s call him Dick. He’s a challenge. But then so am I. But the thing is, the more he’s a challenge, the more I love him. I have to struggle at times to hold his energy, to ride his emotions, to apologise to the waiters that he’s rude to. But the more
  • this is how my Christmas goes (boxing bags and bob-sleds). yours? This week in Sunday Life I anti-Christmas Christmas is like cheap pizza – all cheesy, intoxicating promise, but somehow (so disappointingly!) winds up tasting like cardboard. Actually, correction. Christmas is like cheap pizza to the violently lactose and gluten-intolerant – something everyone else seems to enjoy, while you get…tofu. Why all the bah humbuggery? At more
  • my Sunday Life column comes to an end…to make way for… …Well, a few things. Straight up, I’ll be filing my final Sunday Life column this week. Almost 130 experiments in how to make life better…you’d hope I’d have found an answer, hey?? I kinda have, but that’s for another time. A publisher once said to me, “Never do a column for more than two years. more
  • why the paleo diet works This week in Sunday Life I eat like a caveman Of all the self-imposed guinea pig antics I’ve subjected myself to for this column, this week’s might be regarded as my bravest. For it entailed eating, oh-glory-be-yes, fat. In a fat-fearful world, my no holds barred consumption of chicken skin, the crackling and the 3cm more
  • my interview with Nicholas Sparks on what makes love work This week in Sunday Life I discuss The Notebook If you ever find yourself in the laundry at a party skewered against the tub of stubbies by some eye-glazing, go-nowhere conversation, try this tactic. Ask everyone’s thoughts on The Notebook. In my experience everyone has a take on this 1996 novel, turned into a film more
  • this week in Sunday Life I trust my search function this week in Sunday Life I trust my search function “It’s like we’re programmed to make life hard for ourselves.” The woman in front at the supermarket on Tuesday was apologizing for the complex plans she’d just made with her three boys to call when they got to the skate shop or text if they more
  • to emoticon or not to emoticon? This week in Sunday Life I sign off, sincerely Poor Sreejesh got me so very wrong. During the week the charming and enthusiastic IT specialist from some outpost in India contacted me, trying to win some online business. He was doing well. Until he got to his sign-off. There, it was, alongside his name: “<3333333”. more
  • The surprising joy of hitchhiking This week in Sunday Life I hitchhike My life is often overlaid with a certain degree of mistimed chaos. Which means, from time to time, I’m forced to hitchhike. Take Thursday. I was due at a meeting at 7.30am, but in timing my morning I failed to factor in that I’d sold my car the more
  • a *fresh* technique for working out your life values This week in Sunday Life I find my sweet spot It always surprises me when I come back as a “glass half full” type in aptitude tests because there are few people more down on positive thinking than me. I blame it on vision boards. Seriously, those silly craft projects geared at manifesting husbands and more
  • creating too much chaos in your life? this jonathan fields trick works This week in Sunday Life I drop certainty anchors So lately I’ve become increasingly distrustful of the overly certain. When someone puffs out their chest at the head of a dinner table to emphatically declare climate change isn’t happening or that their son will grow up to follow Collingwood or that the only smoked small more
  • my chat with Deepak Chopra…real deal or frantically caught up? This week my body travels, I stay home Sometimes, in the course of writing this column, I come across a breed of self-helper I can only describe as disenchantingly full of it. Edward de Bono is one such (sorry to be so frank, Lateral Thinking fans). Then there are those who, well, I just can’t more
  • I got rid of comments so I could hear the conversation This week in Sunday Life I remove comments from my blog. Just for a bit. When I’m feeling a tad on the smug side of my life situation, I find a little visit to the comments section of my blog sets me straight. In the main, comments on my blog are helpful sharings of tips more
  • I find what happy women get right This week in Sunday Life I’m unbalanced I believe I’ve found the very latest first-world lament. “I’m so sick of trying to get enough ‘me time’,” my friend Sal shared over the phone during the week. “I think it’s easier just to be overcommitted and be done with it. Know what I mean?” I would’ve more
  • twee: sweet romp or silly? This week in Sunday Life I’m twee To be nostalgic about an era you have to have been fondly engaged in it first time around. Which is why I’m not very nostalgic. I was largely absent from most eras I traversed. We only had one TV channel for much of my childhood, didn’t live near more
  • would you want to “see” into your future, even if it was bad? This week in Sunday Life I visit a witch. Yep, a witch. On long road trips, in the back seat of the family Ford Falcon XB, my five siblings and I played the hypothetical game “how much would you have to be paid to…”. How much would you have to be paid to, say, drink more
  • car sharing is to care… This week in Sunday Life I car share I own a power drill. It has moved house with me – shifting from one shelf under the sink to the next – three times. And you know how many times I’ve used it in our five years together? Twice. Which is normal apparently. The average drill more
  • i’m choicely buggered…you decide! This week I decide less I have two seemingly unrelated theories about life. First, successful people eat boring breakfasts. Crude, but true. Look around the busy exec-y types you know – they eat vegemite on toast, or porridge. Every day. And don’t put any further thought to it. It’s only ratbags like me who deliberate more
  • the peculiar beauty of being forced to *splat*! This week in Sunday Life I simply get stopped During the week there was a moment – a very brief one – in which I was flying through the air, superman-style, and cruising towards a pile of rocks, when it occurred to me, “this is going to be majorly inconvenient”. I landed on all fours, more
  • if you’re stuck creatively, this might help This week in Sunday Life I trust the process   I had dinner with a guy recently who dedicated entrée to telling me that all writers are self-indulged w*nkers. “You all go on about the pain of writing,” he said. “Plumbers don’t write about how hard their work is, you don’t read about ‘plumber’s block’.” more
  • Yes! Louise Hay tells me her #1 healing trick Louise Hay, the world’s biggest self-help publisher and author, is laughing at me. What’s your first thought when you wake up, she asks. “Um, most days it’s, ‘Shit, I have so much to do’. Then I start composing emails and conversations in my head…” I stop and look at Louise’s face. “OK. Correction. I used more
  • how’s this new happiness trick: do the opposite This week in Sunday Life I do the opposite George Costanza is not one of life’s most inspired or bountiful contributors. But there are two things I give him full props for: the under-the-desk nap (I employed it during my newspaper days doing the 4am shift; the trick is to pull the swivel chair in more
  • the “ikea effect” and the up and up of crochet This week in Sunday Life I use my hands (which, admittedly, when coupled with this picture below, reads a little wrong!) As kids, my brothers and I had a ritual. In the school holidays we’d sit on the back step with an ice cream bucket full of kero, a few rags and an old toothbrush more
  • are you too busy to live your life? This week in Sunday Life I break the Catch-22 bind Back when I used to work stupidly long hours in a normal office job I would spy people on my way to meetings sitting at cafes – on a Tuesday, at 11am – and I’d think, “How do they have the time? What have they more
  • Brene Brown: how do you get “deliberate” about your life? This week in Sunday Life I get deliberately vulnerable I love the number three. It’s a thing (as they say on Twitter, preceded by a “hashtag”). When things come in threes – three knock-backs, three mentions of the same person in a week – I’ve learned to take note. And something always comes of it. more
  • Why your arguing is backfiring… This week in Sunday Life I quit arguing If I had my time again I wouldn’t have asked Dad’s permission to see Nightmare on Elm Street 4 when I was 15, thus spending the next five weeks arguing why he was wrong to say no. I would’ve just gone, like my friends did. At a more
  • the scientific reason why smiling works This week in Sunday Life I smile Recently reader Richard wrote to say he didn’t like that in the photos of me as a kid (I believe he’d been Facebook-stalking my family albums) I’m always scowling. Well, thank you Dick for noticing such a detail. And, heck, you’re right! I’ve always hated having my picture more
  • what the Dalai Lama told me… This week in Sunday Life I try “infinite altruism” There’s something special about His Holiness the Dalai Lama, if I can be permitted such an obviousism. Something disarming. It’s the way he answers questions like, Is being gay OK? His response to a journalist once makes me smile: “I will ask ‘What is your companion’s more
  • the genius of not being able to fix the copier This week in Sunday Life I’m strategically incompetent Confession: I get off on productivity porn. I’m only a recreational voyeur, mind.  Late at night, in the lonely privacy of my bedroom, I like to peruse sites like 43Folders and Getting Things Done (GTD) e-courses, you know, to see how other people “File Tax Receipts in more
  • ready to confront your own racism? In Sunday Life this week I confront my racism If you’re not born of a racial minority, are comfortably middle-class and you catch taxis then you might identify with this scenario. On Monday I climbed into a Melbourne taxi. “Airport please.” The Sudanese driver was playing Middle Eastern music and spoke basic English. He grunted more
  • loud chewers, dripping taps: coping with what drives us bananas This week in Sunday Life I make peace with annoyances I’m a very annoy-able person.  A lot of things annoy me. Here’s a small sample: sniffing, loud chewing (the type Americans do in sitcoms when in heated discussions at diners), mid-90s ozonic perfumes, when the person sitting next to me on the plane keeps brushing more
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