"Everyone you meet has something to teach you if you listen."
The TOO NICE "Pressed Love Passion Project" serves as a 'shout-out' to colleagues, friends, experts, craftsmen, and brands (from near and afar) that bring their work and dreams to life with PASSION. An artwork is sent to the feature as a thank-you for their inspiration.
This was actually one of the first pressed-love projects I ever made. It's for two very special friends of mine (husband and wife) who are two of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I haven't used their names, (in case I get in trouble hehe), and so as to respect their privacy. But as a man who has served in the Army for many years here and overseas, and as a wife & partner who supports his every move, I am eternally grateful to have them and their strength in my life as a constant source of inspiration.
The way they both (in little and in big ways) support our country, reminds me always that work can be so much more than a paycheck – but also about honour. I know that they, like many service men and women are slightly horrified to be exalted for what they consider to be 'every day work'. And also, I think that because he enjoys his work (or at least some of it!), he somehow feels that any sacrifice is maybe justified or less honourable. Which I do understand.
Even more importantly for me, though (with the honour in their work being obvious [at least to those of us that can barely comprehend what a-day-in-the-life-of-you might be like]) is the way that they honour one-another. The way they both light up when you see each other makes my heart always SO happy.
The way they respect our country and one another is a little bit awe-inspiring, but I think what most makes me happy about them both is the way that respect bubbles over and flows to every aspect of their lives. Like the multiple dogs they have rescued. And the kids I suspect they will adopt (so that one day I'll walk in to their home with a family of ten children and 85 dogs).
I think that in the Armed Forces there can be a lot of waiting. For information to be shared, for announcements to be made, for posts to be over (or begin), and for moves to be made. That ambiguity can easily crush people in other scenarios, but I watch and see that often anyone connected to this world of service finds a patience and a gratitude in small moments of happiness that others don't as easily find. Time shared together is more special.
I have a Kate-ritual where at the start of each day I think of something to be grateful for. And at the end of the day I find one tiny moment of happy that I can reflect on and treasure. Today, I am grateful for every small and large sacrifice our service people and families make. Never have we been more lucky to be in a country that knows only peace. As the sky turned a stark pink at the dawn service this morning at North Bondi, I happily watched a beautiful big chocolate labrador dog walk along the beach with rosemary under his collar. To think that so many families in the world can't keep their loved ones fed or even alive makes me think of how lucky we are to have happy, well-fed pets (let alone to walk our streets every day with no fear of danger or war).
Thank you both, for teaching me that you can CHOOSE happiness and choose respect in every aspect of your life (including as a guide in your work-life), that true love most certainly does exist, and that you can pretty much survive anything if you hit it with the right attitude. I know I don't see you all the time, but you're stuck with me for life.
"HONOUR THE SPACE BETWEEN NO LONGER AND NOT YET". – Nancy Levin
Few flowers played such an important role in religion, mythology, politics, and medicine as the Poppy. The red Poppy is the traditional flower of remembrance for Europe and North America because of its ties to World War I and II, whilst Chinese and Japanese flower experts recommend the Poppy for couples because it means a deep and passionate love between two people.