Let Go, Move On

#MoveOn2018

Last year, I created a hashtag that I referenced in a lot of my personal social media – #RiseIn2017. I created meaning for it within myself over the course of the year and used it to hold myself accountable to my goals and plans for the year. I also allowed it to be a reminder that things would not always go the way I expected them to, but I must continue to rise past it and push forward, to become the person that I needed to be for myself and those around me.

When I wrote my first post, Goodnight 2016, I was sitting on the spare bed at my grandmother’s house in Victoria. I wrote from a place of reflection – analysing what I had experienced in 2016 and what I wanted to achieve in the new year. At the end, I wrote a bio for myself as of December 2017 and what I wanted my life to be. By writing this bio, I concreted in my own mind who I wanted to be and what I wanted to achieve, and I’m very glad I did because a lot of it came to be! I did end up moving to Melbourne and studying further. I did lose the 15kg that I wanted to (admittedly, I’ve put some of it back on again, whoops!) and I have begun to build my financial position to one that will grant me a lot more freedom in the future. There were a few things that came up along the way that I didn’t expect too, like my deeper involvement in the Salesforce world and finding my niche in the broad IT industry. However, there were some things that weren’t so pleasant that I did not plan for 2017. My beautiful puppy of over 11 years passed away in October, and it threw my mind into a darker place than I’ve ever found myself before.

This is the last photo I took of Cindi, a mere 12 before she passed away.

I’ve been following Shay Carl’s family vlogs on YouTube for years, and this Christmas was the first in a long time that they did not publish a video. You see, in February of 2017 Shay suffered a relapse of his alcoholism and made a personal decision to focus on rehabilitation and stay away from the internet for the foreseeable future after years of being a public figure.  Recently, his wife Colette posted her first video in a long time and she said some things that resonated with me.

She talks about a section of a book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie that talks about accepting the things that are. The reality of the world around us. We may or may not have control over these things, but this is the way things are. Colette points out that we need to learn to accept difficult realities and push past denial so that we can stand confidently in our own truth and receive freedom within ourselves, and this line struck a chord for me:

“Sometimes, in order to accept what is, we have to allow a dream to die.”

I have dreams that I hold onto so tightly to the point that they begin to burn a metaphorical hole in my chest. There are things that I have been fighting so hard for even though I knew nothing would ever happen. My problem is I will completely ignore the signs and continue holding on, giving more, and sacrificing myself for the dreams that will never come to fruition.

In 2017, I think my greatest lesson was to learn that I can’t control everything around me and that I need to learn to simply accept what is. Not only is everything as it should be, but it is as it must necessarily be. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to wrap my arms around everything in my life and make it the way I wanted it to be. However, toward the end of this year, I’ve learned that letting go of everything and allowing reality to be as it is and must be grants greater peace than I’ve ever known in my life. I won’t go into too much detail on causal determinism in this post, but it’s something I strongly recommend you read up on.

In summary, my 2018 will be a continuation of my current journey; the only difference being that I am taking my first steps into the new year with a new perspective – I will make an effort to learn the difference between the things I should be trying to control, and the things that I need to let go of and allow reality to proceed as it must. I have decided to let go of things that I’ve held onto for years – I have let go of anger towards those who I felt wronged me in the past and made amends, I have let go of some traditional thinking that was holding me back in life,  and I have let go of a dream that I held closely and thought the outcome was entirely in my hands. I have made the decision within myself to accept 2018 however it comes and be at peace throughout it, peace which will hopefully overflow and make an impact on those I come into contact with.

I leave you with a traditional Taoist parable that got me thinking when I first heard it a few months back.

Who Knows What is Good and What is Bad?

When an old farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a country show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The next day, some thieves come and steal his valuable animal. His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

A few days pass and the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before.

The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” 

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

The Importance of Rest

I’ve set myself the goal of posting three times a week to this site, and I enjoy being able to share great content and encourage others. I’ve had some fantastic feedback from many people saying they’ve been inspired to make life changing decisions, and that makes me so happy.

This is the reason why I will never post for the sake of posting. I understand the responsibility of putting content out for others to read, and I don’t take that lightly. You can rest assured that my work will be quality and as  meaningful as possible.

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything last Friday. The reason for this, to be 100% honest, was that I needed to rest. We all need to rest sometimes, and that’s not a bad thing. As much as we always want to be going and going (insert Energizer bunny here) and never stop, rest is beneficial.

Resting ensures that we have time to recover physically. It also gives us time to rest and recover mentally, which can lead to many great things. The first of these is that we won’t burn out. This is pretty important if we want to achieve greatness and reach our personal success. Another great thing that comes out of rest is new ideas, new perspective, and a fresh outlook. It is so important to realise that the world does not consist entirely of the thing that we’re focusing on; there’s a lot more out there than our small world even though it may feel like this is not the case.

This brings me to the reason that I didn’t post last Friday: I was tired. I needed rest. And I needed to recover. Unfortunately I was bedridden yesterday due to stress and not taking care of myself well enough. I’ve had the weekend off and am starting to feel a bit better. In this rest time I’ve had some brilliant new ideas and have started working on great new things. This exciting new stuff came from taking a break, how cool is that?!

Rest is wonderfully important for many reasons.

  1. You need it.
    Like I said, your body and your mind need some time to recover and rebuild. Allow yourself the time to do so.
  2. It can help refocus you.
    Often we can get sidetracked, or lose focus on why we started doing what we’re doing in the first place. Resting can help to clear out what is unimportant and realign our goals.
  3. It can help generate great ideas!
    New ideas come when you take yourself out of the mundane and repetitive, which can often mean when you take a break.
  4. You can spend time with those who matter.
    When we’re constantly pushing for our goals, we can sometimes neglect those closest to us. Remember – we have one life. Everyone has one life. And that life is short in the long run. Make the most of it, spend time with family and friends.

I hope you understand the importance of rest, and why from time to time I may take a break from posting. I encourage you to take a rest and refuel yourself!

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Making a Difference in the Professional World

Those who have worked professionally with me more recently would know that I am a massive fan of Salesforce. In fact, those who know me personally have probably heard about my passion for Salesforce. To those people – I’m not sorry. You should love them too!

Now why on earth would I be encouraging people to fall in love with a CRM platform? That’s ridiculous, only certain people love data the way I do! This is true, but Salesforce is much more than a CRM platform. In fact they’re much more than a cloud based software company too.

Salesforce Ohana

Those who know Salesforce have likely heard of Salesforce Ohana. I’ll give you a little backstory! Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, decided to go to Hawaii to take a little time for himself. While on this trip he learnt about the Hawaiian concept of Ohana. Ohana is the concept of family (whether it’s blood, or other) and how everyone in the family is responsible for each other and cares for each other. When he came back and founded Salesforce in 1999, he made sure that this was a big part of the company. Today we see Salesforce engaging in more than professional cloud based services. We see them taking CSR very seriously with their 1-1-1 model, their stance on diversity and equality, and their commitment to sustainability.

This is just one small example of a big company making a difference in the world. Personally, I believe all business should be more than making sales. Anyone who is part of an influential business has the incredible opportunity to brighten someone’s day. Everyone has the chance to change the world for the better. I believe it is our responsibility as professionals to do so.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

How I Make Tough Decisions

I’m not going to lie to you, life has been tough for me recently. But I know that life does indeed get tough sometimes, it’s normal. As I’ve said previously, it helps to surround yourself with good people and to build up a positive lifestyle around you. Sometimes, you are faced with making decisions that don’t feel great at all. You may feel like there is no good path to take. These are incredibly tough decisions to make.

Here’s how I tackle these decisions. I’ve borrowed a lot from Richard Branson’s method , please give it a read as well.

    1. Understand WHY you’re making this decision
      There will be a good reason that you’re faced with this decision, and a good reason why it’s not so easy. Remember to keep these things in mind when analysing and deciding.
    2. Analyse the Pros and Cons thoroughly, involve others if necessary
      Be as detailed as possible in noting down the good and bad sides of each option that you have. Keeping the first point in mind, analyse each option and how it will effect your end goal in a good and a bad way. This is how to fully understand the repercussions of your decision.
    3. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment
      This is critical. At times, you may think a decision is right in the heat of the moment and later realise that it was actually only right because your emotions had control of your mind at the time. Sit on a decision. Wait overnight, or think about it over the weekend. Allow your mind to be cleared before settling on a decision.

 

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Today is Friday. I am writing this at 8:39am in the morning, and I think today will be a day that I look back on.

I have made a decision today and will take action on Monday. Unfortunately I can’t go into detail about this decision until I’ve taken action, but for now here are my ramblings on why I made this decision. It is an important decision for my personal and professional life.

Here’s my biggest mistake from the last few years. Recently for me, success has looked like things. Like buying the newest iPhone every year, keeping my car clean, and making sure I’ve got money to spend on silly things. This isn’t right for me. Writing this blog over the last few weeks has helped me to realise this.

The Actually Important Things

I want to encourage you to take a step back and look at your life. Look at your relationships, your finances, and how you feel on a day to day basis. Take all of these things and dwell on them for a minute. Then I want you to imagine you got hit by a car tonight. Your life up to this moment is all you’ll ever have.

Are you really happy? Are you really achieving your personal success?

I am willing to bet that there are a large number of you who would not be happy with your life if it ended today. Good! Remember what you’re feeling right now, and make some changes.

If you’re having a problem with a friend, make amends. If you’re not spending enough time with a family member, make time. If you’re not as healthy as you want to be, find some people who will encourage you and make some lifestyle changes.

Build your life. Make it yours again. Own yourself.

 

I took on a motto: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. This reminded me, and continues to remind me, to follow what I truly want from life regardless of what the outside world may think is a good idea.

I could not encourage you more to do the same. You only have one life, and one day, you’re going to die. Let that push you to achieve the goals you have in life and let nothing stand in you way.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Who Are You?

Who am I?

Duh, I’m Tim. I work a full time job as a Salesforce Consultant and I am extremely passionate about technology.

Great answer! Unfortunately, that’s not what the question was really about.

“Who are you?” As simple a question as this seems, it’s actually quite complex.

At your core there is a dream that you’ve always had. There’s something you’ve always wanted that you may or may not be pushing for. This post will be short, but will pack a punch.

Follow our dreams. It is the ONLY way to achieve what your heart truly wants and to be happily successful.

Success is not something that you can find by looking at others. You may look at a billionaire as success. You may see fame as success. That’s the problem! Success cannot be found my looking outside, but looking within. Listen to what your heart is telling you. Listen to what it wants. Listen to your dreams and aspirations.

Be successful.

 

What are your dreams? What does your heart truly desire for your life?

I’d like to encourage you to comment below.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Positivity Mindset | The Not-So-Secret Superpower

How many times have you woken up and it’s been too cold, or you’ve not had enough sleep? How does it make you feel at that moment? You feel bad. You feel tired. You’re in a negative frame of mind. How difficult is it then to get out of bed, get ready, and get yourself set up for a successful day? Not so easy. Other days you’ll wake up with an extra spring in your step! It’s Friday, or pay day, or the day of a concert. Your day, from beginning to end, seems to be much better, almost as though the event that you’re excited for has power over the rest of your day. I have news, it does! Your day is effected not by the event itself, but your outlook on it. It’s about your mindset. Everything is about your mindset.

The Power of Excitement

I went to sleep at probably 11pm the night before WWDC this year, I was super excited! This means I got three hours sleep before I was wide awake and watching Apple’s presentation. Three hours of sleep, normally, would lead to a grumpy Tim. How had I gotten up so easily and with such little sleep? Excitement. The day Apple announces a new product or service is like my Christmas. The warm fuzziness, the ‘rumour season’, all of it. So good!
The only thing is that by 7am when the event is over and I have to start preparing for work, my mood is down… not! I am still super excited! It tends to stay with me for the entire day, often many days! This is an example of how your mind can effect your life in a very powerful way. A single good mood can stick for days on end if you allow it. Alternatively a bad mood can do the very same. This is why it’s so important to be in control of what you think and what you feel.

The Negative Power of Darkness

A few years back I experienced a very dark period of my life, the worst so far. I was in a terrible mental place. I had alienated myself from my family and friends, and allowed myself to be manipulated and lied to. I had no self respect, and no sense of ambition whatsoever. This brought with it a very bad mindset, and I won’t go into full detail. I’ll just say I was in a very dangerously bad frame of mind. Looking back, this is something I could have avoided. Now that I understand that everything that happens to me in life is secondary and that the way I act and think is what truly matters, this period of my life is a blessing more so than a burden.

Positivity in the Face of Hopelessness

We’ve all had bad days. Some of us have suffered terrible tragedies. Others have woken up and wished they hadn’t, or wondered how they were going to survive the day. This is tough, I get that. I really do. Sometimes it feels like there’s no point to going on, and it’s unbearably difficult to get out of bed or even breathe. The best way you can combat this is by setting yourself up for when dark times come, because they will. You cannot immunise yourself against bad things, that’s not how this works. You need to learn how to deal with these bad days.

Five Closest Friends

It is critical to surround yourself with positive people and influences. I’ve spoken about this before, but I will reiterate because this is so important. Jim Rohn famously said that “you are the average of your five closest friends”. This statement is powerful, and true. You need to deliberately choose who to spend your time around because they will influence your life in a much more powerful way than you realise.

Mindfulness

I’ve always known (and unfortunately ignored) the mental benefits of healthy eating and frequent exercise. Building these habits will be immeasurably valuable for your mental wellbeing and help you to achieve your success. There is a third element that I’ve learnt about recently – mindfulness. For me personally, I first learnt about mindfulness when watchOS 3 was announced last year for Apple Watch at WWDC 2016. They included a new app called Breath that would remind you to do a minute of intentional breathing every few hours. I’ve since started learning about the WIM HOF Method – a mixture of conscious breathing, cold therapy, and commitment. I’m not yet taking ice baths, but I practise conscious breathing every day, and found that it helps me keep my mind in check.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Creating and Maintaining Your Lifestyle

I’ve been questioned and often criticised about my excessive spending on technology, specifically at Apple. People wonder how someone who is saving for a house can afford to buy just about every new product that they put on the shelves. It’s very simple, this is the lifestyle I have chosen. These are my passions, these are the things that I want in life, and I am sure to balance my Apple passion with restrictions in other areas.

We’ve all got our passions, and that’s fantastic. It could be technology, fitness, cars, or something else, and that’s the beauty of humanity – we’re all different, and our different passions and interests do their little bit to build and influence the world. For me, I’m passionate about technology.

Budget

The biggest thing to me this year is my budget. I set the goals that I want and then build my budget around that. It’s really that simple. Let’S do some math:

My Annual Income is 100%. My Annual Savings Goal is 40%. Upgrading the Apple tech that I want every year costs me 10%. I’m always sure to add another 5% for other technology. So far, that’s only 43% of my annual income… as much as it seems a lot, it’s really not. I still have 45% of my income to spend on other things like bills (20%), food/rent (20%), and ‘miscellaneous’ purchases (or, spending money – 5%) . Done! It seems tight, and realistically I could spend a little less or save a little less, but that’s not the way I want to do it.

Work

Duh. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to write the part, but I’m here! And again, I don’t want to backspace.

Work hard. Working brings an income. Everyone knows this, but there’s a lot more to it than just money. Working not only brings an income, but builds your work ethic and builds a reputation. Take opportunity when you are given it. When you’re not given opportunity, make it for yourself. Nothing valuable in life will be handed to you on a silver platter. No great opportunity will wait for you. You have to run, you have to be vigilant for these opportunities, and you have to focus.

Sacrifice

I don’t often go to the cinemas. I rarely buy clothes. I spend the bare minimum on my car. I haven’t travelled overseas for years, and I limit my travel across Australia to seeing family. I sacrifice a lot of things to make sure I can maintain the lifestyle that I’ve designed around me. This goes back to the whole ‘$20 smashed avocado and toast’ concept. I understand what Tim Gurner was trying to say in this controversial interview, and I think it may have been misconstrued. What he was trying to point out is that you can’t have everything. If you want to buy that new car, you may have to avoid spending $5 a day on coffee. If you need a new phone, perhaps avoid spending money on new clothes every second week. If you want a house, stop spending $20 on smas- anyway, you get the point. You can’t have it all, but you can have what you want. It’s about finding your passions, sacrificing the luxuries you may not be as passionate about, and focusing on these goals and this lifestyle.

Focus

This is where it all comes together. It’s one thing to stick to a savings goal or to pay the bills you have to pay, but it’s another entirely to maintain the lifestyle you want and hold yourself not only to what is required but what you want. It’s one thing to go to work and earn your keep, it’s another to go to work from 9-5 and build your side hustle from 6-2 every day until you make it. 9-5 is the bare minimum, but it will not likely build your life and turn it from a good life to a great life.

Your Bubble

One final point, and I think I’d like to go deeper into this in another post, is in regards to your personal bubble. Remember back in primary school how teachers would refer to your personal bubble as the foot of space around your body? Similar concept. Your personal bubble are the people, activities, or influences that you keep close to you in your life. These things will effect how you live your life, spend your time, and deal with your money. It’s very important to surround yourself with people and things that build you up and encourage you to achieve your goals, not spend time with people who will bring you down. Love your friends, I’m not trying to say to ditch them entirely, I’m just saying to deliberately make friends – think about why you like certain people and what they do to benefit your life. Think then about what you can do to return the favour. Don’t leach from successful people, or you may find that they’re no longer around you as much  as they used to be.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.
Determination

What Drives Me To Success

I’ll give you a little background  about me. I am currently twenty years old and four years out of high school. I failed high school, I didn’t go to uni, but I am not letting these milestones pass without taking a lesson from them.

Life Happens, Regardless

Life happens, and some things will happen that we don’t have control over. We’ve also done things that have rippled through our timelines and effected our futures. We need to keep this in mind, and make the best decisions for the long run. Keeping this in mind, we also need to learn to move on from things that have happened in the past.

One thing that drives me to be successful is remembering who I used to be. I compare who I was to who I want to be, and then act on it. This is what got me past some of the worst points of my life and on track to achieving great success early in life, and I’m only just beginning.

Mindset and Reminders 

It’s all mindset, you’ve heard this before and will again. Determination and discipline are what I live by now. I remind myself everywhere of what I want all the time so I don’t forget: Red 2017 Tesla is my iPhone wallpaper, I subscribed to RealEstate emails, etc. It’s like when you go bowling and put up the gates to keep the ball on track, but in your head.

Environmental Factors

Finally, and I think this is the most important thing, your environment is everything. If you surround yourself with people who crave success like you do, the chances are that you will follow suit and be successful. You’ll also challenge them to do more. If you surround yourself with people who are always complaining and never make headway in their own lives, you’ll soon start to find that you haven’t been spoon-fed enough in life either. You’ll want more, and you’ll do less. It’s harsh, but simple.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.
Cindi

Unconditional Love – The Story of a Dog

Taz

One of my earliest memories was of three year old me looking into the boot of my parents’ Fairlane and saying goodbye to my dog, Taz. She was a beautiful German Shepherd. Fortunately for me, my father was into videography so I am able to relive some memories of her by watching videos, as I was too young to remember much when she passed.

She was such a docile and caring dog by nature, so the videos and stories go. Mum once caught me outside brushing her hair… with a rake. She didn’t mind. I wonder if she could sense the care and love that three-year-old Timmy had for her.

Losing Hope

Many years went by after Taz and I always wanted a dog. My friends had dogs, beautiful dogs, and they would tell stories about their family and their pet. My dream was always to walk my dog along the sands of the canal we used to live on. When we moved north to Brisbane I packed up my life, and left family, friends, and that dream behind.

A few years passed and we’d moved from our temporary rental place to a property that my parents purchased a short drive from the school, and close to the highway so dad could get to work quicker by skipping the suburban traffic. We lived on one and a quarter acres in an older house, but had a beautiful yard. Sadly, this beautiful yard required quite a bit of maintenance. We often spent weekends doing yard work, cleaning, cutting back, renovating, or running trips to collect gear. As kids, my sisters and I often didn’t know the full plan. We’d just follow along and do as we were asked.

The Long Drive

I recall one day we were told we’d be going for a drive to collect some materials for the garden. After a drive that felt like forever (especially while Saturday Disney was on!), we pulled up outside a produce store, or so it seemed. There was garden equipment and a big sign that said “horse supplies”. We were told to wait in the car while mum and dad went in to get some things. After arguing about if my leg should be on this side or that side of the seam of the car seat, a very important argument between my 11 year old self and my younger sisters, we looked out the window to see mum and dad walking towards the car with the biggest smiles on their faces, and a dog with a coat of gold.

Excitedly, we scrambled to get out of the car and meet our new friend. Her soft fur radiated gold like the sun, and her mouth was permanently in the shape of a smile like the ones on every face in my family. My sisters and I had the most exciting car ride home. It must have been for the dog as well; if my memory serves me right she hurled on the car ride home. Must’ve been excitement!

Cindi

One thing I don’t remember very well is the conversation that decided her name. The only thing I do remember is that she shared a name with my mother’s dog from her youth. Cindi. It fit somehow, and she wears it well to this day. We got home and excitedly started playing with her. When we’d decided to have a rest, she decided we were wrong. She lifted her paw and put it on my knee almost as if to call me back into game. Who could say no?! I don’t know where she picked that move up, but it has continued to serve her well for the past ten years.

The Bird

Cindi knew her name. You could call from one end of the property and she would come bolting over to you and roll over for a pat. Actually, she was more reliable than that! I used to ride my pushbike home late from work occasionally, trying to sneak in… like hell I could get in without her greeting me excitedly from the gate to the end of the street! She was sharp in her youth! You can imagine the concern when my sister was calling her for a good ten minutes one day and couldn’t find her. She kept searching until she decided to check behind the shed. Sure enough, there she sees Cindi lying down beneath and playing with something. She calls the dog again, who turns her head around and reveals a small baby bird that has fallen out of a nest. Now, I don’t claim the next bit to be entirely accurate, but I’ll continue with the story my sister has told to this day. After calling the dog one more time and telling her to come back to the house, Cindi promptly scoops the baby bird into her mouth and swallows whole. My sister, in shock, claims that she could hear the bird chirping in her stomach.

Again, not sure how accurate this is… but I’ll let my sister Jo argue that!

The Gate

Years ago, before working at the bakery or the video store, I was under the age of 14 and looking for a job. I discovered that I could bundle and deliver newspapers for about $35 a week (which, looking back, I was way too excited about). I didn’t end up going for it, but it was at a similar time that I discovered someone else was doing the same thing, only far more efficient than I could have. Instead of walking or riding a push bike, they had a team of two people delivering by LandCruiser: one was driving, the other was hanging off the side of the car by standing on the step and tossing the papers out. Very cool. How did I not think of this? Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought this was cool.

Something I should have mentioned at the start (and I still could, this is a textual blog… oh well) was that the property we were on had steel gates on them. Quite nice, and very solid. We had them put on after getting the dog as she was quite an adventurer and decided that one and a quarter acres was ridiculously small for a big dog like her. With these gates on, she was safe.

That is until one day when the LandCruiser Delivery Dream Team drove passed and tossed a newspaper while my family were preoccupied. Now, I understand that a delivery crew could easily be mistaken for a dangerous intruder, so Cindi jumped into action. Barking and running at the car as it drove past, she didn’t seem to notice the steel gates that had been there for as long as we’d had her. CRASH! We all turned around to see a stunned and wobbly Cindi up next to the now open gate. We didn’t have a chance to catch her before she came to and pursued the dangerous newspaper attackers. Poor thing, not sure how she didn’t receive a concussion!

The Truck

From December 2015 to the beginning of January 2017 I lived in a rebuilt truck out the back of my father’s property. This was a defining chapter in my success journey, but a story for another time. The first night I slept out in the truck, I left the mosquito doors closed but the wooden doors open to help get some breeze. Within a few minutes of shutting off the lights, I heard someone’s paws walk towards the truck. I kept quiet, thinking she’d go back to the comfort of her bed at dad’s house. What I didn’t expect was that she would curl up in the garden and perch there until I checked on her about half an hour later. Crazy dog! I let her in, and she was far too excited to sleep. I lay asleep on the bed and she pawed me like she had from the day we got her, she rest her head next to mine and took a sympathetic sigh. And another one. And more. Right into my face. You ever tried to sleep when a dog is breathing in your face? Yeah… nah. It took a bit of training but she finally learnt to sleep with me up in the truck. I bought her her own bed too. It was a little small, but she loves to curl up in it. Below is a photo of her doing just that a few days ago.

Cindi in her bed.
Cindi curling up in her too-small bed. She loved to be curled up in it though, taking it over a larger bed.

The Phone Call

The last line of the previous paragraph unfortunately leads me to the phone call, and the reason I decided to write about Cindi today. I went to work on Monday and was having a good day, so decided to try dad’s phone. My father, god love him, is notorious for not answering his mobile phone. He leaves it inside. Like a landline. Yet argues with me that he adopts technology better than me…. Aaaaaanyway. I gave him a ring, expecting to leave a voicemail and call someone else but instead was greeted with his voice. Shocked, I started bantering with him and telling him about the new iOS 11 beta feature that I’d just discovered. I could tell that he sounded less bored than usual when I spoke about this, and more distracted. I asked him what was wrong. He told me that he’d come outside and had been watching Cindi for the last few minutes. She’d take a few slow steps forward and then a few slow steps backward, and repeat this time and time again. I asked him to keep an eye on her and take her to the vet if she kept it up.

I gave him a ring back as soon as I’d finished work and heard some news that completely shattered me. He’d taken her to the vet because she was behaving quite lethargically, and the vet was running scans. They’d given her an ultrasound and thought they’d seen a tumour. My heart sunk. I’d grown up with this dog and she’d been a huge part of my life, and I’d just moved interstate away from her a month before. How could this be happening? I thought it wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be. Dad said that they were yet to run the blood tests that would confirm it, which relieved me a little bit. But I couldn’t not be worried. I couldn’t.

I gave him a call when I arrived home and he confirmed it. The tests had shown that her organs were functional, but that it was likely she had a tumour inside of her. Writing this now, I still have no words. This was four days ago almost to the minute, which is why I am now sitting in an airport and writing about her. I booked some flights so that I could go and spend some time with my mate this weekend. I missed her dearly, and I am very concerned for her wellbeing.

The Memories

Unfortunately, Cindi is about to reach the part of her life that every other living thing in history has and will reach: the end. It is the destiny that we all face, and not one single person has ever escaped it. It is sad. It is extremely sad. It’s turned my life from “Hey, everything is great, I am going to start writing blogs again to share this greatness with those I am not in range of anymore” to “My best friend is in pain and soon she won’t be here anymore, and I’ve probably got less than a week’s worth of hours with her”. The first night I had to go for a drive. I couldn’t stay home, and I couldn’t be around anyone. I was in agony, and I cried for a long time.

The pain is still there, but I’ve decided not to focus on the sadness that is coming. Instead, I’ve decided to reminisce and share the love that she taught me and the happiness that she shared with me and those who met her. She was my best friend when I was struggling socially through middle school, and she was the company in my year of solitude in the truck. She turned basketball practise at home into keepings off. She provided laughs and joy. And she still does.

And she always will.

I am on a personal journey of discovery. I love all things technology and science and am excited by progression. I enjoy engaging with and sharing knowledge and experience with others.