Joy in the shared table

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is not so much a hierarchy as a two tiered sponge cake …

The physiological needs – food, water, shelter – on which all other needs rely; the base and always the thicker twin of any cut sponge.

Self-actualisation; the top and invariably the more fragile, threatening to break until safely set in place.

And then the middle cream and jam; with time and ambient temperature, a fruit-punctuated mousse – those deficiency needs of Maslow’s: safety (personal, financial and health), love/belonging (friendship, family and intimacy) and esteem (respect from others and self).

New theories sensing that none are more, or less, important, that the other.

And as I was looking down at the needs – whether offered as the traditional pyramid or the less-traditional sponge – I was reminded of the value of a shared table; how a shared table could meet all of these needs, or assist in the meeting if all of these needs.

Food is such a large part of my life – but the majority of my meals are eaten alone …

… what, then, the impacts?




LTLpsh … supporting the very small voice


I am the kind of person who needs a little push.

I need someone inviting me, poking me, or something that prods me, into the first step.

I would¬†love to be the person who sees the opportunity – the potential fun to be had in the unknown or undiarised … who is energised by the mere thought of doing something.

I know those people – you know those people. They are the ones that are surrounded by a group, who are always ‘out’ … they seem very light, carefree … the human equivalent of a Van Gogh wind.

The odd element in my life – I am the person who gets energy from both the unknown and the undiarised … when I’m doing them.

It’s just the first step that needs to be taken … by me … that offers the obstacle.

I was at home yesterday … a Friday … a sunny Friday … a Friday where I should have felt compelled, at the very least, to step outside.

I know that ‘should’ indicates a whole host of other issues … but I ‘should’ have because I knew that I would feel better if I did. I knew that I would feel more connected to the world and with that, my energy levels would rise and with that, I would be more inclined to step out a little further and with that … who knows …

… and yet … I couldn’t drag myself from the dark that had become my apartment (I had closed the blackout blinds at 6am after deciding not to go to the gym) until 4pm and a yin yoga class.

Even then, if truth be told, as well as the enticing idea of a class that I generally can’t get to and that required only a passive-me, I needed the little push of the imminent arrival of house guests and conversation that my brain was not prepared for …

So I stepped out of the house.

And the class was delicious – smile-inducing. And it allowed me to work out my plans for the evening and have those plans fully formed when I returned to houseguests who are also good friends. And, when I returned to good friends, I was mentally prepared and genuinely happy to see them which, in turn made them comfortable, which, in turn, made me happy …

And it started with a first step – out of the house.


Humans of New York : 11 August 2011

I have kept this post in my head for rather a while (over six years apparently) … and I think …. what if I took more first steps more often and what if I made this motto mine …

And then it makes me think – how do I put the idea that ‘I should’ into an action that I do.

… insert emoji thinking face here …

… and then a voice in my brain, rolling its eyes (I anthropomorphise regularly) : “What’s the point? What’s the real chance of ‘wonderful’? Nothing’s going to change” …

… and if there’s no point …. then why do …?

And then a very small voice, soul-piquingly disheartened by the immediacy of the negative response, attempts a very small coup …

How to support the very small voice?

… another insertion … another emoji thinking face …

What is the most joyful language in the world?

I have just come from an osteopathic appointment where I spoke French for an hour … for me, French allows me to lose myself; it’s as if the wide, low, three-rail farm gates leading to an expanse of my brain not used in the everyday have swung open on oiled hinges.

To speak French is satisfying; chocolate cake-level satisfaction for me …

It is a beautiful language; poetic, fluid, melodic, elegant …

… but it is not necessarily a joyful language.

What is the most joyful language in the world? What is the most joyful culture in the world?

What do I think that ‘joy’ even is?



Acquaintances are low-fat yoghurt

… well, not literally – more figuratively … stay with me – I’ll explain …

So last year, I moved – house, neighbourhood and state, job and sector … no point in doing things by eighths, quarters or halves …

It has involved lots of ‘new’, and lots of ‘change’. While I crave change … need it … the thought of it makes me uncomfortable in precisely equal measure.

Which means that when I do plunge, it is belly-flop sized as opposed to pin drop … and the scope is partly in retaliation for too long a period without change.

So – 2017 : new people, new places, new headspace, new ‘normal’ …

And – 2018 : a clear understanding that, my world with just me is functional; my world with people with whom I can be myself is atom-level satisfying.

And that’s the clear takeaway from the weekend past. At the moment, I have


acquaintances in Melbourne. Acquaintances are like low-fat yoghurt – technically they sustain but sometimes they serve to highlight that which is missing.

Because friends ask those questions that they already know the part-answer to. They prod and poke and scratch the surface …

And I know that all¬†friendship takes time and I know that my friendships are ones that are few but lasting … but after having a weekend of friends, I am concluding that :

> friends that ask ‘how are you’ and wait for the response that they’ve already half-discerned = farm-fresh yoghurt with live cultures.


So – happiness will be partially dependent on friends.

So – I need to make friends ….

How does one go about making friends at the age of 39???