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Time’s a Ticking

Audio version

 

Tick tock, tick tock,
The clock is ticking,
Is it not?

Seconds become minutes,
Hours stretch to days,
Days turn to weeks and months,
A year soon drifts away.

1967 morphs
to 2019,
What-the-willow have I done,
With all the time between?

Yes, I went to school,
And then I studied a bit more,
Did it make me smarter,
Than what I was before?

Probably, but possibly not,
I did learn a few facts,
But have I still retained them,
I can’t be sure of that!

Some days I can’t remember,
What I did the day before,
Let alone what I learned,
In 1984!

I guess what I am saying is,
My mind has holes in it,
One for every hangover,
And cigarette I lit

Now where was I, I forgot,
The purpose of these lines,
Ah, that’s right, they started,
With the tick tocking of time.

Fifty thousand hours,
I have worked to earn the bread,
Fifty more I’ve slept,
Snuggled warmly in my bed.

As for all the other,
Fifty thousand hours,
They seem a lot, till they’re not,
I’ve used them all, but how?

I’ve watched a bit of Netflix,
Kept on top of Facebook feeds,
Read my daily emails,
Candy Crushed myself to sleep.

YouTube videos
Have kept me entertained,
I’ve mastered Stars Wars Battlefront
And other X-Box games.

Podcasts educate me
In between reading the news,
Talkback hosts bombard me,
With random people’s views

Google is responsible,
For thieving many days,
Amazon and EBay surely
Sucking up my pay.

Actually I’ve done quite a lot,
Now it’s written down,
Just look at all these things I’ve done,
I’m feeling pretty proud.

I must begin to mark them off,
Tickity tick tick tick,
But wait on, none of these to-do’s
Feature on my list!

What am I to do?
I’m fifty thousand hours down,
Don’t know how many more I have,
And too afraid to count!

Tick tock, tick tock,
My time’s not over yet,
Though I might just get a move on
And step up for what is left.

© Lisa Nimmo 20/05/2019

Global Warrior

Audio version

 

Five foot five and fifteen,
Doll-faced and blue eyed,
She wanders in the lecture hall,
To open up her mind

She looks like any other,
Teenage girl off to the park,
But behind the denim dungarees,
Lies a brave, warrior heart.

Swinging her bag down on the desk,
She reveals her weapons of choice,
Notepad, pen and highlighters,
Tools to discover her voice.

Fossil fuels, carbon zero,
Ocean acidification,
To build a better world she knows,
It starts with education.

Gathering facts and knowledge,
From many different sources,
Our warrior shapes her own ideas,
Begins to make some choices:

Less meat on the dinner table
Take the bus and train
Say ‘No’ to plastic on the shelves
Ask friends to do the same
Beeswax wraps each day for lunch
Build compost in the yard
Boil the Wa cup once a month
These changes aren’t that hard

The challenges of the future,
Aren’t so big they can’t be solved,
With focused daily action,
And commitment to get involved.

I’m proud of my young warrior,
And her climate dedication,
At five foot five and fifteen,
She’s an inspiration.

© Lisa Nimmo 19/05/19

Poppies

Audio version

 

The ritual starts at 3pm,
She bursts through the door, home from war,
Of battles fought with ‘so called’ friends.

How dare they bruise my young girls heart,
With arrowed words, like poisoned darts,
For simply trying to do her best,
Win the race, pass the test.

Don’t talk to Bex, they snigger and snort,
She thinks she’s too good, at art and sport,
Don’t let that flower grow too tall,

Let’s cut her down and watch her fall.

Poppies must be kept at bay,
Except of course on Anzac day,
From Turkish coves to playground swings,
And thirteen-year-old suffering,
On battle or the soccer field,
The daggers hurt, the dread is real.

At home she cries, I bathe her wounds,
With a cameo cream and love to the moon,
What shall I do Mum? she asks me straight,
If I don’t make the team, will they stop, go away?

I pause for a bit, to avoid disgrace,
I’d like her to punch them in the face,
Poppies are meant to grow strong and tall,
Not hunker down, behind school walls,
They should reach for the glorious warmth of the sun,
Through battles fought, to battles won.

It’s up to you I reply to Bex,
Knowing I should be, politically correct,
You could be less, than you want to be,
And give those girls their victory,
Or you can win everything, be proud, have a ball,
Succeed with grace, and fuck them all.

© Lisa Nimmo 2017

Shine

This is my moment,
To have, to hold,
To take risks, be brave,
Creative and bold.

This is my moment,
To stand up and be seen,
Open my heart,
And give all of me.

This is my chance,
To change the world,
Release the genuine,
Natural Pearl.

This is my time,
To swing from the vine,
To leap and to climb,
My moment to shine.

© Lisa Nimmo 2017

Laugh your face off in one minute

Laugh your face off in one minute

Last week I sent a txt to my teenage daughter and (even though she was probably in maths at the time) she replied immediately.

“Mum did you really just send me a txt with OMG in it”
“Yeah, so?”
“You’re soooo funny”
“Why?” (confused emoji)
“My friends are all laughing so hard (lol emoji)”
“Why? What’s so funny!”
No reply

Clearly I’m a few steps behind in the latest txt speak and I’m not the only one in our family on the receiving end of teenage mockery. My husband’s usual quips and one-liners have recently become ‘Dad jokes’. Admittedly (and I’m sure he agrees) they’re not always what you’d call ‘award-winning material’, but we’ve still laughed. Now it seems, our kids have moved on from laughing with us, to at us.

However there’s one game we’ve played since they were small that still gets us all laughing together, and at no one’s expense. Afterwards we feel energised, uplifted and we head out into the world with huge smiles on our faces.

If you haven’t played it before, get the clan or your workmates together and give it a go – you won’t regret it.

The Laughing Game
Players required: 2 or more (must be fully committed)
Time required: 1 minute

How to play:

  1. Players stand facing each other, or in a circle facing inwards
  2. Appoint a timekeeper and set the timer to go off in one minute
  3. The timekeepers starts the clock and says ‘Go!’
  4. All players must immediately begin fake laughing as hard as they possibly can and they must not stop for the entire minute. This requires commitment, and a willingness to look rather foolish. There will be an initial few seconds of discomfort but players must push through this initial stage, forcing out the fake laughter. Do whatever’s required – shake your belly and pretend to be Santa, slap your hands on your knees or your neighbour’s back, drop and roll around on the floor, go as hard as you possibly can for the full minute duration until the timer calls ‘Stop’.
  5. After the first awkward seconds you will notice a shift, where the fake laughing starts to become real. Everyone (yourself included) will look so ridiculous you simply won’t be able to help it. But, don’t allow this genuine laughter to slow you down, keep forcing the belly laughter until the full minute is up.

The result
When the game is over you’ll feel a total energy shift in the room and everyone around you will be grinning from ear to ear, looking alive and invigorated. (In our house, the only one left looking a little startled is the dog!)

Life can get pretty serious sometimes and the health and wellbeing benefits of laughter are undisputed – reduction in stress, lowering of blood pressure, boost to immune function and an increased sense of energy.

I hope you give The Laughing Game a go, and that it gets your kids (and maybe even your workmates) laughing with you rather than at you.

 

Until next time,

Lisa x

 

Have you given The Laughing Game a try? If so, I’d love to hear how it went. Enter your comment below (you don’t need to enter your name and email address details – just ignore those fields if you prefer.) Or, you can email me your feedback here.

Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com

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Pic's peanut butter

What peanut butter taught me about life

Recently I was at a conference where I heard peanut butter guy, Pic Picot speak.  As he told his story, from making his first jar of peanut butter using his mum’s recipe, to becoming a peanut butter mogul, manufacturing 20,000 jars of Pic’s Peanut Butter every day, I couldn’t help but feel inspired.

But it wasn’t the number of units he’s sold, or the fact that Pic’s delicious delights can now be found in stores all over the world that inspired me. Nor was it the fact that Pic achieved all this whilst coping with eyesight condition macular degeneration. As he stood on the stage with a beaming smile, sharing his peanut buttery adventures, the source of my inspiration was oozing from his every pore..

Passion.

I’ve never heard anyone be that passionate about peanut butter. Actually, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone be that passionate about anything. Pic sold the first jars of his delicious zero-sugar peanut butter down at the local markets in Nelson, most likely giving away as much in free samples as he sold, because he loves the stuff so much and just wants us to try it. When he speaks about peanut butter and the empire he and his team have created, it’s like watching a kid in a sandpit, joyfully up to his elbows, mixing and building, excited about what he might create next.

The passion is contagious, extending out to his team. After his talk, when I mentioned to Pic’s distribution manager that my local New World didn’t have Pic’s almond butter on the shelf she was immediately on the case. ‘We can’t have that’ she said. ‘We don’t want anyone missing out!’

All of this passion got me thinking. What am I that passionate about? Anything?  Certainly there was a time in my life when I was passionate about singing, and that passion enabled me to achieve a whole lot more than I thought I was capable of (more on that here).

But what now?  I’ve never really been a believer in the ‘find your passion’ cliche, but surely there’s something out there for me that I can be really excited about.  I want that ‘Pic’ feeling too, digging happily in the sandpit, creating new worlds and adventures.

However, I’m not panicking.  Pic was 55 when he sold his first jar of peanut butter – living proof that dreams are there for the taking at any age.  I’m pretty sure my next adventure is just around the corner. And I bet yours is too.

Until next time,

Lisa x

PS:  If you haven’t tried Pic’s Peanut Butter yet, you’re missing out … it’s REALLY delicious – made out of roasted peanuts and salt -and that’s it!  Check it out here or grab some at your local supermarket.

Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com

To receive more blogs like these direct to your inbox sign up here:  https://lisanimmo.com/opt-in/ 

Words too beautiful not to share…

I happened to come across these words in The Dom last week, buried at the bottom of an article about Stephen Hawking not believing in God. Whatever his spiritual beliefs, I was knocked out by his simple but profound final thoughts, that were broadcast at the end of his funeral as an emotional address to younger generations. In case you missed them the first time around, here they are. Enjoy x

“Remember to look up at the stars
and 
not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see,
and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious,
and however difficult life may seem
there is 
always something you can do and succeed at. 
It matters that you don’t give up. 
Unleash your imagination. 
Shape the future.”

Stephen Hawking

PS: Stephen Hawking’s funeral was held on the 1st of April …. isn’t that ironic.

Who the heck am I?

Couch-dwelling, pizza-eating mum fights back!

I vividly remember the day, seven years ago, when I walked into my son Ollie’s classroom and saw something shocking, that made me rethink the type of mother (and person) I wanted to be.

He was six at the time and dragged me excitedly through the scattered chairs and desks toward his latest masterpiece—a brightly painted stick figure portrait of his Dad.

“Wow Ollie” I said, admiring Chris’ giant orange head and long spindly arms with amusement. Underneath the painting was a neatly typed caption that read:

“My Dad loves football, playing the piano, Star Wars and drawing cool pictures.”

“Well done buddy,” I praised. “You’ve captured Dad really well.”

“Thanks! And look Mum, here’s yours!” he beamed, proudly gesturing to a bright yellow stick figure with black hair, bright red lips and huge blue eyes (my eyes are actually brown, but never mind).

“Gosh, don’t I look glamorous!” I said happily. Then my gaze fell to the caption underneath. As I read the words, staring at myself through my son’s eyes, I was dumbfounded:

“My Mum works for money, lies on the couch and eats pizza.”

I let the words sink in. Really? I don’t even like pizza! And when do I ever have time to lie on the bloody couch!

“Do you love it Mum?” he asked, his aquamarine eyes searching for approval.

“Oh yes!” I faked, wondering what his teacher had thought when she typed those words, and how many other teachers and parents had seen it.

I hugged my boy, kissed his pink cheeks and bolted home feeling mortified. How could he know so much about his father and so little about me?

Throughout eight years of motherhood I’d given my kids everything I had, but amidst all of that loving, nurturing and machine-like juggling of work and family commitments, I’d shared nothing of the real me. In my son’s eyes I was the money making, couch dwelling, pizza eater. He and my daughter Becky had no clue who I was as a person. And in truth, neither did I.

I realised, by becoming a mother I’d gained two children and lost myself.

That was when I started to write – and over time writing became my way back—an outlet to amuse, inspire and re-discover who I am.

Over the following years I made an effort to ensure my kids got to see the real me. When I wasn’t working or hanging out with them, I was writing, making art for the walls, jogging with my friends or pottering in the garden. I felt that if I could model for them an authentic, balanced life then one day they’d go out into the world and create their own.

Well, that was the plan anyway…

Fast forward seven years and I’m curious about whether the effort I’ve made to share more of myself has given Ollie and Becky, now 13 and 14, a better understanding of me than the ‘couch dwelling pizza eater.’  So the other day I decided to ask them:

Me:  “If someone asked you to describe your mum (a.k.a. me), what would you say? What’s my personality like? What interests do I have? How do I like to spend my time?”

Here’s how they replied:

Becky:  “I really don’t think anyone cares enough to ask that question, Mum.”
Ollie:   “You like sitting on the couch and eating pizza … same as always.”

The moral of the story? If you choose to add a little more balance to your life, make sure you do it for yourself, not your kids. Chances are they probably won’t even notice or care! Eventually, when they leave home we’ll be left with whatever life we created for ourselves when we chose to be something other than their parent. So go for it!

Until next time,

Lisa x

 

Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com

To receive more blogs like these direct to your inbox sign up here:  https://lisanimmo.com/opt-in/ 

The dirty, life-changing art of sales

Sales, as an occupation has a terrible reputation – most likely a result of the dubious characters we’ve all encountered at some point, particularly when buying homes, cars or insurance.

However, the art of selling is one of the most valuable skills we can learn—in business and in life.

Those of us who know how to sell have a distinct advantage over those who don’t (or won’t). We’re able to find and secure opportunities, make connections, earn whatever income we choose and basically create whatever life we want. That’s an advantage I definitely want my kids to have when they go out into the world.

The success I achieved in my music career, that led to me working with artists like Elton John and Eric Clapton was not because I was the greatest guitar player or singer in the world. It was because I was an experienced salesperson. I knew how to pick up the phone, make the calls and ask for the opportunities that many people are either too scared or don’t have the skills to ask for.

Selling is underrated. These days we don’t even like using the word ‘sales.’ Instead we choose to wrap it up in fancier terms like ‘business development,’ ‘account management’ or ‘marketing’ because saying we work in ‘sales’ makes us somehow feel dirty or sleazy, like we’re ‘after’ something. It takes us back to memories of the shiny-suited guy on the doorstep, flogging his vacuum cleaners or encyclopedias, with his briefcase strategically placed in the doorway so Mum or Dad couldn’t close it in his face.

Today there’s still a part of us that perceives selling as the pushing of products, negotiating of deals and the use of charm and manipulation to persuade people to buy things they don’t really want or need.

But sales in its simplest form (and done well), is actually about solving problems and helping people. Someone has a problem and you offer a helpful solution in the form of a product or service to fix it. Like helping someone find the perfect new car that’s small, convenient to park but offers enough boot space to throw the golf clubs in the back. Now what’s so sleazy about that?

Once we realise that sales is about solving problems, it becomes easier to put ourselves out there, because instead of ‘forcing ourselves upon someone’, we’re merely offering to help. It’s a small but significant mindset shift that marks the difference between success and failure for many business owners.

I’ve been a sales person for 25 years and I’ve never ‘sold’ anything in my life. But I have listened to people, learnt as much as I can about their business challenges and worked hard to develop solutions that help them overcome problems. I’ve never forced anyone into buying something they don’t need. Instead, I present an opportunity to solve a problem and my customer decides whether they want it or not. Perhaps this makes me not the best sales person in the world, but I seem to have done okay as a problem solver.

Around the dinner table I often ask my kids ‘what problems did you solve today?’ I’ll sometimes get a blank look, but occasionally they’ll offer a story about an obstacle that was overcome during the day. Regardless of the answer, by asking the question I’m planting a seed that much of life is about identifying and solving problems.

I want my kids to learn how to make the phone calls, clearly articulate their thoughts and ideas and identify opportunities where they can offer their unique skills and talents to add value in the world.   This is the art of selling – not a dirty word or something to be ashamed of, but a life changing valuable skill.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Is selling a skill you’d like kids to learn? Do you think they learn it at school? If not, would you like them to? Please leave a comment below or hit ‘reply’ and share your thoughts with me.

Until next time,
Lisa x

 

Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and proud salesperson based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com

To receive more blogs like these direct to your inbox sign up here:  https://lisanimmo.com/opt-in/

 

focus and get the job done

How to focus and finish fast!

If there’s one thing I’ve proved throughout my years of creative pursuits it’s that nothing happens without focus. Laser sharp focus is the difference between starting something and finishing it, wanting something and having it.

If you look around at the people you admire in your field you’ll see they have one thing in common and that’s their ability to zero in on their desired outcome and keep it dead in their sights.

In a world where unlimited content is available at our fingertips, focus is increasingly difficult.  We see it with our kids as they effortlessly multi-task between devices, homework and asking us ‘what’s for dinner.’ For them, distraction is the norm and focusing on one thing at a time is a totally foreign concept.  Focus is even more difficult for creative people, as a fresh idea always feels more fun to us than knuckling down and completing that half-finished song, dress or design project.

However, there is one guaranteed way to keep your focus razor sharp and ensure you get that creative project done – set a deadline.

I don’t mean a self-imposed deadline – they don’t work, as it’s too easy to bail on ourselves and justify the reasons why later.

A deadline is a commitment we make to ANOTHER PERSON where we have to deliver or achieve something by a certain date.

What if your creative project doesn’t have a deadline?

Make one.

When I was first starting out as a musician I wanted to get a repertoire of songs together so I could start playing live gigs, but it was taking me forever to learn enough material. I decided to go ahead and book a gig with a local bar, which meant I had only 6 weeks to learn to sing and play 30 songs. It was hard work but I did it, and I achieved it way faster than if I hadn’t had a booked gig (and the prospect of pubic humiliation) looming ahead.

Can you use your creative genius to come up with an external deadline that will commit you to finishing your project or achieving your goal? Be BOLD, but not totally unrealistic. I promise you, if you commit to a date you will definitely deliver and you’ll amaze yourself with how much progress you make in a miraculously short amount of time.

Here are a few examples to get you started – can you:

  • Send out BBQ invites to celebrate your (yet to be) finished garden landscaping
  • Set a meeting date with a client to present your solution (that you haven’t thought of yet)
  • Ask a friend if they’d like you to make them a dress/cake/painting for their upcoming birthday gift
  • Enter into a competition that has a reasonably tight deadline
  • Take part in a time-bound challenge like NANOWRIMO (for writers)
  • Book a date for an exhibition/gig/presentation that you can’t back out of

As soon as you make this commitment you’ll have focus. There’s nothing like a clear and specific goal with a deadline to make you knuckle down, get organised and make time to get the job done.

Enforcing a deadline does not stifle your creativity. If anything, it sharpens it.

When I was struggling to finish the first draft of my book I decided to enter a manuscript competition, which meant I had to submit the completed first draft in just one months time. It was tight, but rather than stifling me, the enforced deadline freed me.  I didn’t have time to procrastinate or doubt myself, I just had to focus, get those last few chapters down on the page and get the thing done. I didn’t win the competition, but entering it had done its job. The confidence I gained from completing that first draft gave me the boost I needed to start working on the second.

When you next find yourself procrastinating over a creative project be BOLD and commit to a deadline. You might feel a little under the pump, but I promise you’ll make rapid progress, achieve more than you ever imagined and with that sense of achievement you’ll feel the confidence of a rock star!

Until next time
Lisa x

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