PROCRASTINATING on writing this column means some bonus Twitter time and Sheryl Sandberg speaks to me: "Done is better than perfect."
Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer and the founder of www.leanin.org, gets me started with a push.
Then a random viral tweet from @Birkalicious makes me smile: "Don't forget drink water and get some sunlight because you're basically a house plant with more complicated emotions."
I wanted to write something deep and meaningful about the death of Professor Stephen Hawking ... about how he might reflect on his own life, as a father, an activist, an author and a renowned physicist.
What would he look back on and treasure or regret? How was his life experience different from the rest of us? What was important to him in his final days?
In a tribute, his children quoted him as saying: "It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love."
In the end, I suspect it's all the same, whether you're the guy credited with describing the origin of the universe, or whether your claim to fame is the world's best homemade bread.
Last weekend, I had a wonderful stay with friends at Horopito, who make that very bread. They have their life balance in a good place, so are lovely and relaxing to be around. They remind me of the importance of slowing down, which I'm making progress on.
I haven't quite sorted my social media over-use out yet (as the Twitter quotes attest), but I am starting to get real about my other over-commitments.
I've had a wonderful year getting more involved in our amazing community, whether being the local face of the Green Party, or helping the Whanganui Women in Business network restart, or getting involved in the Women's Network as part of the new board, or chasing my passion for social enterprise with the recent Thrive Expo.
The reality is I've loved being part of all these things, but it's not sustainable to keep operating at that pace, so I'm stepping back from a few activities to allow more focus - and a bit of blob out time, too.
As a public service announcement, the second season of perhaps my all-time favourite Netflix series, Occupied, has just been released. I will attempt to savour that instead of binge-watching over one weekend, tempting though that is.
I'm in awe of those people who sustain a lifetime of community commitments - those people who are part of redeveloping the fabric of Whanganui. We're growing a fresh reputation as a place of quirky style, heritage buildings, a diverse arts scene, a river with its own identity and incredible sporting prowess and participation, plus friendly locals and fabulous cafes.
Welcome to the people visiting our region, here today for the start of one of our annual highlights, the Artists Open Studios. Must-see places on my list are Space Gallery, Bedford House, Catherine Macdonald, Bricksticks, Rayner Brothers, The Nest, Craig Winton, Tree, Flying Dog, Frances Stachl, Renata's Framing, and the best little bookshop in New Zealand, Paiges.
Phew, listing a couple is clearly impossible - check out www. openstudios.co.nz for the rest.
We've come to the end of the biggest La Fiesta ever, organised by the indomitable Carla Donson of the Women's Network - another incredible programme creating connections in Whanganui and beyond. She has overseen more than 90 events in the past month, with support.
It's mind-blowing how she does it every year, and is already making plans for the Network's Winter Wonderfest.
There are many to thank who make La Fiesta happen, but the team at Dewhirst Law is worth highlighting. Their ongoing sponsorship is a reliable strand that helps weave it together.
If you want to be part of the next one, please get in touch - after all, it's the 125th anniversary of suffrage, so no better time to lean in and support Whanganui women and the wider community.
■Nicola Patrick is a Horizons regional councillor, works for Te Kaahui o Rauru, and is part of the social enterprise hub, Thrive Whanganui. A mother of two boys, she has a science degree and is a Green Party member.