Frightening to see young emulating the old when they should be out finding themselves

I don't think I learned anything last week. I managed to waste a whole week gallivanting and carousing and not do a single constructive thing, pretty much.

But I guess it's okay because my house is worth more than I could have earned if I had been tigerishly productive. Of course, I know this is rubbish for many sound reasons, including the fact it is not an investment but somewhere to live and if I didn't live here I would have to pay to live somewhere else, but isn't that the way we roll in Auckland?

I am predicting as a result of our property obsession we will have a whole generation of young middle-class people being primed for a crashing, bruising, slap yourself in the forehead with a dead fish type of mid-life crisis.

Young bourgeois people - at least the ones I seem to come across, university-educated, tidily if not psychotically ambitious - seem to me to be much too restrained and sensible much too young. They are all obsessed with getting on the property ladder at a time when they should be experimenting and taking risks and working out who they are, rather than living lives of unremitting virtue.


When I was a student I had the luxury of not really caring which damp flat I lived in, I could study philosophy and be impulsive and crazy and curious. The last thing I was thinking about was trying to get a white-picket fence, German kitchen appliances or God forbid, settling down like my parents.

Whereas many of the grown-up children of my friends seem to look at their parents' lives and wish they could emulate them, right now. Earnest 20-somethings are pursuing long-term goals and seem fearful of the future and deeply conformist. On the one hand I admire their focus and commitment, on the other I think they are all a bit dull.

I could not bring myself to watch The Block. I also wonder what happens in a decade or two when these bright young things have got their house, have a serious professional job and are trapped in a suburban life of drudgery, repression and boring sex.

Will they then wonder "Now what?" and decide to give it all up to find themselves? I wouldn't blame them. I want my children to feel free to find out who they are, not just feel obliged to fit into some property owning paradigm where the highest achievement anyone can seem to conceive is to own a house in Ponsonby. Think bigger, young swines! There is a whole world of different ways to live out there that are not about houses. Yes, I realise my kids may not thank me later. Mum, why didn't you make me go to law school?

Less telling and more showing

Yes, let's talk about sex. But let's be realistic about what talking can achieve. New guidelines are going to be released within weeks after an 18-month inquiry found "fragmented and uneven programmes" which may contribute to a high teenage pregnancy rate. Good stuff.

The solid psychological data confirms something many schools would prefer to ignore: we don't learn from what we are told, we learn from modelling our behaviour on what we see and observe around us.

So the best way to get young people to have non-revolting, Kim Kardashian oiled-butt attitudes to relationships and sex is to focus on setting an example of treating oneself and others with respect on a boring, day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis.

Still, that's so much harder than saying, "Do what I say, not what I do".


Active body, healthy mind

You get better by doing, not by thinking. So I have been trying to think less and do more.

I went on a hydroslide. I thought I was going to be sick. Felt quite buzzy afterwards.

I had my first session of a type of therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). It is a "doing something" sort of therapy designed to alleviate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but is also used to treat other conditions.

I downloaded a meditation app on my phone called iRelax, a 20-minute guided meditation. I liked it.

I went to lunch with a famous friend at a fancy restaurant called Antoines. I walked home. Afterwards I got a call from the police to ask if my car was parked outside the restaurant. I had to move it for an important guest (Angela Merkel?). I walked to pick up my car in my bare feet and said I couldn't drive because I had had a few wines, so a nice policeman with tattoos drove it home for me.