For the past week, my wife and I have been staying in Melbourne.  She has been on training courses whilst I have been either goofing off or working from the hotel room and we’ve had a few days off together. We’ve seen neither Ballerina’s or Bulldozers or have we.


Polar Opposites

The weather has been the polar opposite of the weather back home in Brisbane and I do mean polar! Brisbane has had highs of 30-33c (90-96f) whereas in Melbourne the highs have been 12-14c (54-58f) so you would think being cool or chilled comes with the territory…not so!  In fact, I find being still a very anxiety laden activity and staying warm a priority that chews up energy. When coupled with underlying stressors this increase in anxiety sees my stress levels rise and as a consequence, my fight or flight reaction is never far below the surface.


Fight or Flight…no room for thinking!

Thankfully I am aware of this so my flight or fight reaction rarely cracks the control barrier and takes over nevertheless my wife has noticed a couple of cracks appearing allowing early warning signs to appear and her wisdom serves as a timely reminder that being big, strong and powerful doesn’t necessarily give you strength. Let me paint a picture for you.  I am about 182 cm ( 6’2”) and 110 kg (240 lb) my wife is about 165 cm (5’8”) and 63 kg (138 lb) so I am the Bulldozer and she the Ballerina.  


Know Your Place

When making our way across a busy pedestrian crossing in the middle of Melbourne I suggested to my wife she tuck in behind me and let me carve a path for her through the oncoming hordes. She was horrified!  “You know John that is when you are at your worst! You think just because you can you should!” Whoa! What the??? I was just trying to protect her…or so my story went. On further enquiry, she informed me “I know you’re cold and in a hurry but I can navigate my way around the people and so can you!  Why force them to get out of your way for my benefit. Just because you’re a bulldozer? …No thank you..we’re all cold and want to get out of the weather”.  


Own “it” and Learn

Right hmmm, place firmly pointed out.  Now I could rattle off a dozen excuses for my behaviour but I’d rather openly apologise to those pedestrians who over the years have felt intimidated by me; who have given way because they weren’t given much choice.  Those pedestrians include everyone who has ever felt they have been forced to give way because I decided I was coming through literally or figuratively. Anyone who I used my physical size or powerful energy level to overwhelm instead of convincing logically.  Anyone who I simply choose not to listen to because I didn’t have to!


Ballerina’s not Bulldozers

Lucille really stopped me in my tracks and set me to thinking about the cost of being a Bulldozer and how much stronger Ballerina’s really are.  It is no secret Ballerina’s require real discipline and hard work…it’s not for the faint-hearted. Nor is it a secret Bulldozers get a lot of work done and require skill and aptitude to operate safely and efficiently. But seriously, the skills that come with being a Ballerina are going to serve you much further into the future that those employed to be a Bulldozer.


Time Waits for No Man

The truth is I have yet another birthday approaching and I am no longer a young man.  There are bigger, stronger, louder and more able Bulldozers out there and if I persist in being a Bulldozer it is only a matter of time before I get Bulldozed!  Ageing is an interesting process but it is better than the alternative and offers the compensation of wisdom. Part of that wisdom is gained by learning, part through experience and part simply by the enforced reality of ageing. Maybe this is why wisdom is so rare in the young.


Listen up Guys and Girls

Here is my tip, guys and girls listen to your wives! Seriously if you are smart you will model yourself on being a Ballerina on the stage of life.  Be smart, be nimble, be flexible and beautiful of heart and soul. Being vulnerable and open leads to being kind and gentle. I was brought up to believe it takes a real man to say sorry…sorry. 

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