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  • Writer's pictureCharisma Rangipunga

Tai Timu, Tai Tari

It is a weird week for me. I am in the office. It’s a luxury and I am making the most of doing menial clean-up chores on my computer that have been on my to-do list for a very long time. Sorting my files. Cleaning up the inbox. Getting my timesheets up to date. Catching up with the team. If I was at home the equivalent would be the dusting, sorting out the pile of things that have amassed in the garage, and cleaning out the linen cupboard. The type of things that you know you should do but that keep getting dropped to the bottom of the to-do list.

Charisma sits at her desk looking at her computer screen

There is something to be said for the good feelings one gets from having a clean and orderly space, digital or otherwise. It helps me think more clearly and manage the busyness of my world more calmly. Managing a business, supporting our clients, getting the kids to and from, feeding the whānau, being an attentive partner, baking for wānanga, trying to get to the gym, coffee chit chats with mum...there is a lot going on. Lots of our mahi requires us to travel around the motu and time away from both home and the office has become my norm. Usually, it’s a couple of days at home and then I bounce away again somewhere else. A full week at home, with a light schedule, is not something I am used to and I do not take for granted the space it creates to breathe, to relax and to create order.

Ka whati te tai, ka pao te tōrea. When the tide ebbs, the oystercatcher strikes. 

I feel like the tōrea in this moment. The break in the tide has allowed me to feed myself, to take stock and to check in with those that matter most. Conversations with others lately have made me realise that ‘busyness’ is an issue. There were once times of year that were considered ‘wind down’ times, followed by times when we were just ‘settling back in and gearing up’. These days, more often than not I hear friends, whānau and colleagues talk about being ‘go, go, go’ all the time instead, where we charge through all year round.

This is not a natural cycle. It’s not a healthy cycle. Everything in the natural world has phases of growth, phases of busyness, phases of slowness, phases of quiet. It’s about balance and it helps ensure that we persevere, that we play the long game. Tai timu, tai pari – a flowing tide, an ebbing tide. Ngā kaupeka o te tau, kōanga, raumati, ngahuru, hōtoke – our seasons, spring, summer, autumn, winter. Te ao, te pō – day and night, transitions between light and darkness. And our tuākana, the plants and animals all work to these natural rhythms, patterns that allow for balance. For recharging. For exerting energy. For resetting again. Our tīpuna were plugged into these cycles but we have become disconnected from the rhythms of the natural world.  

And so, I welcome the quiet. I welcome staying put. I welcome being in the office. I welcome being able to check in on myself, on my team, on my whānau and on those chores that have been waiting on the bottom of

the to-do list. Because times of quiet, weird as they may be, are a necessary part of staying healthy, and ultimately, of being successful. Nau mai te hōtoke!

Nā Charisma Rangipunga

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