everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Hello again

So, it’s been a while. I just checked and the last post that I made was on 3 September last year, when I was in Washington DC. I really hope no one was waiting on this blog to give travel tips for an imminent US holiday, or as proof of life, or as inspiration for being. Although if you were, then I’m sorry, and I do hope that you found other sources of support.

Hope you’ve been well. I’m all good, thanks. I am a bit (ok, a lot) of a fair weather friend to this blog, only really making the time to write when I feel like I have a lot of spare time. Which, when you’re in the thick of work and family and life, with all of the things that take up time on evenings and weekends, doesn’t happen that often. Usually when I’m on holidays (see 3 September post from Washington DC here). Or when I’m not working as much, as is the case now.

I’ve just finished up in the rollercoaster-ride of a job that I’d been in for the past couple of years. NB, I wasn’t actually working on a roller coaster, although I do note that the ride at Luna Park in Melbourne does have an attendant standing or sitting in the middle of the carts on each ride, so don’t rule that out as a potential career option.

Image from lunapark.com.au

FYI, the person in the middle of this gaggle is the Attendant standing up on The Great Scenic Railway ride at Luna Park in St Kilda. I don’t know what they ever get called on to do during the ride, but it’s a real job. [image from lunapark.com.au]

I’m also moved and am now technically living between two cities (Sydney and Melbourne), which has been lots of fun. I have been very lucky to have finally moved to Melbourne – a city that I have loved for a very long time, even looking for graduate roles down here back in the 90’s. I’ve spent a bit of time down here with a number of jobs, but when the opportunity came up to move earlier this year, I took it. And then a month or so later, I resigned. That sounds bad, but please don’t think that I tricked my employer into paying for my relocation (they didn’t), or that I found another gig shortly after moving (I didn’t).

It was just a case of bad timing – the work rollercoaster had been on the up and up for what felt like such a long time, and I was in the front cart waving and laughing and screaming and enjoying the whole amazing experience. Best ride EVER. Then the rapid and steep descent started around January and that left me grimacing and holding onto the bars too tight and the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach wouldn’t go away, and so I decided to get off the ride before it put me off amusement parks for life.

silly-serpent-hero1

Not such a silly idea. [image from lunapark.com.au]

Sure, I guess most sensible people wouldn’t get off the rollercoaster until they’d found their next ride – the Silly Serpent (see above) maybe, or the exotic sounding Arabian Merry. Instead, I am going to hang out for a while and see what ride to go on next. I feel as though I’ll know the right one when I see it, and hope that I’m tall enough to get on. In the meantime, I’ll read some books and walk around and do some people-watching while I wait. And hopefully get back to this blog, sharing my particular brand of nonsense with you. Maybe while snacking on the carnival foods that the Luna Park website offers (“Fairy-floss, pop-corn, snow-cones and hot-dogs”). All of the hyphenated goodness.

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Wake Up Sydney!

Wake Up Sydney! That’s not an order, it’s the name of a kind of movement that Sydneysider Jono Fisher started in 2008 after he quit his corporate job, became a manny (not as in Handy Manny the cartoon character, but as in a male-nanny manny) and generally took his life on a different path. Jono was burnt out, exhausted and his successful business career no longer held the appeal that it once had – in his words, it all just felt wrong. (I hear ya, Jono Fisher.)

So Jono started Wake Up Sydney – “a community of 12,000 people celebrating kindness and courage”. Jono’s goal is for Sydney to become the “kindness capital of the world”, encouraging us to be kinder to each other and build a stronger sense of community and connection in this super busy city. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but like this idea a lot. And to help people get started, the website has a heap of info and suggestions for being kinder to ourselves and others.

KindIdeas

You can even request a pack of free “kindness cards”, which you can then use to accompany random acts of kindness, encouraging the recipient to pay it forward and do the same.

I read a story somewhere once that has stuck with me and seems to me to be a great example of this kind of thing: a couple and their young kids were having dinner at a restaurant and when they went up to pay, their bill had already been sorted by an older couple who had been dining near them. The older couple had left a message to compliment them on what a lovely family they were and what a great job they were doing raising their children. Apparently, this same thing had happened to the older couple way back when they were younger and they wanted to share that kindness and warm, fuzzy feeling with these young parents.

It might be sappy, but I think that is pretty awesome.

KindCard

 

KindCardBack

I really like the kindness cards – I have just received some and will get them out and about working their magic soon. If you’re interested, the Wake Up Sydney website (where you Sydneysiders can order some cards too) is here. And if you’re not in Sydney, I’m sure you can still do this and be kind, wherever you are!

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EverydaySparks, CEO Idea #53.

I have previously written about some of the art that will be on the walls of EverydaySparks Inc (here, if you missed it). And now I can share some more office features that will keep the EverydaySparkians happy, energised and, of course, highly productive. Just what they’ll be doing is yet to be confirmed, but be assured they will be doing it well.

Leveraging synergies, stepping up to the plate, getting all your ducks in a row, thinking outside of the square, having skin in the game. Surviving the jargon of the corporate jungle can be exhausting (especially if you spend energy trying to work out what people actually mean by all that gibberish). You need to be fit and healthy to keep up…and what better way to do that than with an exercise bike built in to your desk? The Elliptical Machine Office Desk is designed to be pedaled at slower cadences that won’t break one’s concentration (or cause one to break a sweat), an average user can burn about 4,000 calories in a typical workweek. Uh huh.

On the flipside, we know that it’s important to get enough rest. Enter the Power Nap Capsule, a space-age looking piece of furniture inspired by NASA studies demonstrating that napping can improve reaction time by 16% and concentration by 34%. Apparently, this capsule features a sleeping (sorry, napping) area that is longer than a king size mattress – a spacious, semi-enclosed sleeping environment ideal for recharging the mind and body. And it’s only semi-enclosed, so anyone that dozes for too long will have cold water thrown in on them as a rejuvenating hydration therapy technique. (That part was developed by EverydaySparks Inc, not based on NASA studies.)

I know car-pooling is good for the environment, and I’ve always been a public-transport-to-work kinda gal myself anyway, but when I am transformed into EverydaySparks CEO, I will need a vehicle that befits my lofty status. I don’t want it to be so big or attractive to others that I end up driving every clown in town with me wherever I go though – a CEO of an organisation like EverydaySparks Inc obviously needs quiet time to dream and plan… So I’ve found my company car. It’s electric and it only holds one person. It actually looks eerily similar to that Power Nap Capsule, just with doors and wheels and some other bits. Or something that one of the Mr Men characters would drive. Apparently, this electric, highway-legal, three-wheeled, single passenger vehicle combines the functionality of an electric car with the maneuverability and scale of a motorcycle. And it uses less than half the energy of today’s most efficient hybrid vehicles. And, like all good handbags or lollies or fireworks, it is available in Red, Teal, Orange, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Magenta, White, Coral, Dark Aqua, Green, Lime Green, Lilac and Aqua.

Oh, and my briefcase? It’ll be this one. Sure, it looks boring enough – but wait. Here it is again. Yep, it’s the Brazilian Barbecue Briefcase that converts into a charcoal grill with motorized spits for grilling authentic Brazilian churrasco. The briefcase sets up on its four removable legs and a motor inside its lid automatically rotates the four included spits over a charcoal tray in the base, producing meat with crisp, golden-brown exteriors and succulent interiors–the hallmarks of churrasco. I’m not even a churrasco fan, but it seems more exciting than a normal briefcase.

All of these items are available from that amazing superstore Hammacher Schlemmer – as long as you are not planning to compete with EverydaySparks Inc for the best employer awards, you can check them out here.

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