Ageing

A bad metaphor.

A bad metaphor. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A bad metaphor. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have a new laptop. Well, it was a new laptop…but I would no longer call it new.

The reason?

The screen has greasy finger marks and unexplainable splotches all over it.

When it was new it was completely clean.

I loved it being new…but also there was something too pristine about it.

It’s like ageing I suppose.

Something is both lost and gained as I get older.

That’s a pretty bad metaphor.

I think that is probably the worst metaphor I’ve ever written.

Blah.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,375

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Older.

Older. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Older. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m noticing myself getting older.

I keep seeing a metaphor of an old chipped tea pot.

Well loved, functional, stained full of memories, comforting.

There is no getting around time.

I’m not sure if I ever thought there was.

As I get older it becomes clearer that enjoying the spoils of lived life…well what other choice do I have?

To fight is futile. Isn’t it?

The risk of all this “acceptance” is that I subconsciously begin to accept other people’s ideas about what getting older means.

The world has a lot of ideas about all of this that hold no interest for me. But it is easy to start thinking in those frames when they are communicated so clearly and with such strength.

(I know I’m not ‘old’, I know I’m ‘in the middle’, I’m saying older…we all get older every day)

The remedy to all of this is being in this moment.

I am this being, right here, right now.

I can do and say and think the things I can do and say and think right now.

That’s it.

That’s all of it.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,346

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Just outside my reach.

Just outside my reach. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Just outside my reach. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Something is going on that is just outside my reach.

I feel sad. I feel totally fine. I feel grateful for my life. I feel inspired by the choices I have. I feel overwhelmed by the choices I have. I feel uncertain. I feel unclear. I feel stuck. I feel weighted down. I feel worried. I feel in the middle. I feel surprisingly inspired by things that don’t usually inspire me. I feel confused.

Perhaps it is just ‘transition’ that I am experiencing?

But from what?

And to where?

When did it start? How far through it am I? When will it end?

All the answers are sitting ‘just there’…but I can’t quite grasp them.

I think I need to keep moving on anything I can keep moving on and then be patient.

That’s the best I’ve got.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,167

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Delicate recovery.

Delicate recovery. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Delicate recovery. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Delicate recovery.

Kindness.

Slowly creeping closer to awake.

Revived.

Tip toe.

Step by step.

Alive.

Listening.

Growing towards the light.

Gentle, gentle, gentle.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,156

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Keep moving, gently.

Keep moving, gently. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Keep moving, gently. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

All the muscles in my back are very sore.

Spasming even.

Not an extreme, I can’t move, I’ve done some real damage kind of spasm.

More…a bit tight, and then…oh – I’ve cricked my neck damn it…kind of spasm.

Obviously, this is me responding to my new adventures in moving again. For the last few years I have been reasonably fit, but it has been a weightlifting at the gym kind of fit. Not a move through three-dimensional space kind of fit.

My instant response though is to assume there is some big problem. I’m worried that if my body responds like this maybe I am too old to move in this way? To be clear…I haven’t been doing anything extreme…for a dancer – but given I haven’t danced full time for quite some time, I suppose the range of movement, even if done gently, is going to stir things up.

Anyway, I was all worried. And then I remembered one of the first professional jobs I had as a dancer. I worked for a dance theatre company in Brisbane that used ballet as its foundation technique (which I had never done).

I remember waking up every day and running a super-hot bath and easing myself into it to try and get my back muscles to release. They were so tight and sore!

I was very young at the time.

So, I think this might be one of those things that happen when you get moving again. The solution at the time was to keep moving.

I think that’s the message here.

Keep moving, gently.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,152

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When I slow down.

When I slow down. Drawing Luke Hockley.

When I slow down. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

When I slow down and start listening to myself it can be surprising how tired I actually am.

I’m worried if I do too much of this deep listening that all I will want to do is curl up in a ball and rest.

My Alexander teacher Chris calls it ‘finding your tired’. The tiredness is there all along you just aren’t listening to it. My experience is that on the other side of finding and listening to this tired is much more energy, focus and creativity.

I just have to accept the tired bit first.

But, what about ‘exercise’?

I feel like consistency is really important with keeping myself at a base level of fitness. And I often, in the first few weeks of getting back to exercising, don’t feel like doing it – but afterwards feel great.

How does all that work?

I think it’s important to keep moving, but not so important how far I run or how much weight I lift or how many repetitions I do of something…just keep moving.

Does that all make sense?

Hmmm.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,129


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Twenty years.

Twenty years. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Twenty years. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Last night I saw someone I hadn’t seen for a long time. Twenty years ago, the last time I saw them, they had had a baby.

Thing is, now their baby is twenty years old.

Time is so weird.

So much has happened, I’ve changed immeasurably in that time…and I also feel like I am exactly the same person, that nothing has changed.

How can that be?

I suppose it is because I carry myself with me every day…so the changes, both physical and emotional, just slide on by. They get absorbed into the ‘norm’.

When you don’t see someone for twenty years…well you notice the physical changes at least…but the essence is still there. But when you don’t see a baby for twenty years, well, that’s like meeting a whole new person. Because the physical and emotional changes are just so grand.

Twenty years.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 881

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I’m going to live.

I'm going to live. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I'm going to live. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m going to live.

Who knows how long for…but I’m going to live.

I watched a Ted Talk yesterday that said relationships and social interconnectedness are two of the most important predictors of longevity.

Essentially it is saying that both long term, deep relationships and the lighter touch “hey, how are you doing” to the barista you see every day, are both important factors in predicting how long you will live.

A couple of years ago, I realised I have always had good people around me…but that I didn’t feel like I was making enough of an effort to connect with them regularly.

Also, I saw, that many of them were in cities other than Melbourne.

So, I went about changing that. I decided to spend more time with my family, made an effort to connect with my friends (far and near), I started Campfire and joined The Weekly Service

How did all that go?

Well, when I saw that Ted Talk…I had an unusual feeling. I didn’t feel panicked. I didn’t feel like I had to run out and start ‘connecting’ with people in order to live longer. Usually these social media things make me feel like I had better go and ‘fix’ something about my life in order to “live forever”, “be smarter”, “be happier”…or whatever.

I kind of intuitively knew this one and had already been doing something about it.

Maybe it won’t make a shred of difference to how long I live, it has certainly helped me get more joy out of the journey.

Love

Luke

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Day 795

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I’m going to die.

I'm going to die. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I'm going to die. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m going to die.

Someday, I don’t know when, like every other living thing, I’m going to die.

I am really uncomfortable with this.

I really would rather not. But if it is going to happen, I’d rather it happens when I’m very old, in my sleep, you know, that kind of thing.

I had a great conversation yesterday with a friend about how living a life filled with meaning is actually less about the big goals we set for ourselves and more about the way we go about achieving those goals.

The big goal is important, if I want to save the whales that is quite different to wanting to make as much money as possible…sure. But the way I approach saving the whales, the quality of the interactions I have with people as I save the whales, the tone of my internal conversations…all of that is what shapes my actual life. It is what people will remember about me just as much, perhaps more, than the whales that I wanted to save.

How am I going with all that?

Am I living each day in a way that reflects the quality of life I want to live?

That is certainly my intention, but I think this is a timely reminder.

With the finite amount of time I have I would like to focus on the quality of the time not just its trajectory.

Love

Luke.

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Day 794
 

A messy place.

A messy place. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A messy place. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Things are almost clear…but not quite.

That’s a very messy place to be for me.

I almost feel like I can see the next pathway to forge along…but I am questioning it still which means I don’t quite commit which means I become indecisive which means I keep going around in circles which means I don't know how to even finish a simple sentence…

What have I learnt about myself and this phase of creating?

Just pick something and commit to it.

Anything will do. I just need some traction to stop my wheels spinning in the mud.

There is nothing a few solid deadlines won’t fix.

Love

Luke

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