A future free of worrying and hoarding – that’s the intention

Mon 3 – Sun 9 May 2021

When I look back on this week from a future perspective, worth noting several things. Started on Monday with the May Day Bank Holiday – it was bloody freezing. 🙁 Week 3 in my new job. Finally started to get some rain. Johnson sent 2 navy warships to ‘protect’ Jersey. And we had the local elections + those in Scotland and Wales. In England: good for the Tories and the Greens, dire for Labour and the Lib Dems.

But it’s important to rise above the everyday stuff (remember politicians come and go) and look at things from a more philosophical perspective. Three big things struck me in the week just gone.

  • A great quotation about how we should be really excited about the future
  • My ongoing realisation that I need to stop worrying (and thinking?) so much
  • I am coming to terms with my behaviour in the past which has been based on a hoarding addiction and how I need to let go of that

Future focus

“Love your future more than your past”

Joe Dispenza

Found this quotation online (where else?) during the week and it is one of those that I am in love with. Don’t really know Joe Dispenza but checking him out on the net he doesn’t seem any worse than most inspirational speakers. But the quotation is great. I put so much bloody energy and brain capacity on analysing the past but don’t we all. Whereas all that energy and capacity should be used to look to the future: to plan, to think, to dream, to believe, to hope. I have said it before and I will say it again, ultimately all we really have is the future.

An end to over-thinking

A big part of my problem is that I think about things a lot – it’s in my nature and I’ve been like that since a kid. Something must have happened in my childhood but it’s too late to totally unpick the pieces. However, I know I need to stop over-thinking. Like everyone, I do the best I can. Me worrying and catastrophising will achieve nothing. The future will be go ahead whatever happens. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be marvellous. And in the end, nothing really matters – ultimately everything is dust.

The future - next exit

Stop worrying – things are going well

My new job progresses well

One of my problems is how I define myself in large part by the job I do. It’s a capitalist construct we all suffer from. The first 2 questions we ask someone: what is your name and what do you do? I want my new job to be a big success for me personally and to progress Tech for Good.

Imposter Syndrome

Two words that only appeared within the last 10 years me thinks but something we all understand now. What I need to drill into my head is that there is as much chance (more?) that things will turn out well rather than badly. And others see me and the work I do as the perfect fit.

And if what I do isn’t successful or doesn’t work out as well as hoped then I will still make the best of it. No point in spending your whole life worrying about no safety net or if it will fail when the result is that life has passed you by without you realising it.

Ecosystems, networks, and problem-solving

As outlined in my previous blog (read it here), I continue to build and understand my new work ecosystem as well as build my networks. Though I am concerned that some friends may see me now as some sort of rival. The point is to make the pie bigger for everyone not fight over the size of the slices. And, of course, I continue to problem-solve as we all do in our paid or voluntary work. Indeed, as we do in life in everything we do every single day.

Tech for Good – something exciting is coming 🙂

In particular in my new job, I’m working with a colleague on a very exciting pro-bono/in-kind offer for not-for-profit organisations. This will help them use tech for their advantage and that of the beneficiaries they serve as well as the cause they are focused on. More details about this in the future.

Hoarding (and Sustainability)

Dealing with my hoarding addiction

I’ve confronted addiction problems in the past but it is an invidious disease going well beyond drink, drugs, and cigarettes. Our lives are built on addictions – we search for that high in so many different ways. I have referred to my passion for buying things previously, witness this blog from 3 years ago. In the past I bought a lot of things, I suspect to reward myself and give a sense of security. As if owning things means you can’t fall and will escape the future whether good or bad. Indeed, ultimately you take nothing with you. I also know that what you leave behind is shit that some poor bastard has the problem of sorting and getting rid of. 🙁

How hoarding feels

But I have been an organised hoarder

Not for me stuff piled high everywhere. No I file it and keep it in order spread across my mine and mum’s place as well as Dave’s. Books (alphabetical order), CDs (in release order), comics (date order), DVDs (alphabetical again). This sounds normal but we are talking shelves and shelves of stuff as well as stuff stored (hidden?) in cupboards and drawers. When I think of the money I have wasted in a vain search for security that things will go on forever and all will be guaranteed well. 🙁

Endorsing sustainability as a cure for hoarding

So I have come to terms with the fact that I am a hoarder and it is another reflection of my addiction problems. I have written in recent blogs about how I am getting rid of stuff – either selling it (for stunningly less than I originally paid 🙁 ) or giving it away. It’s painful, gradually letting go of things bit by bit. But it’s good for me and good for the planet. Ultimately I hope to end up as someone carrying less baggage (literally) and more ready to move into the future to deal with whatever comes my way. Plus someone else will get the chance to love those things I did though perhaps they are just hoarding as well? 🙂

The joy that comes from nature

But my commitment to sustainability isn’t just about helping me get over my hoarding addiction. I genuinely care about the future for others and the need to look after the Earth for everyone. Remember, there is no planet B. 🙂 It’s wonderfully relaxing and a great way to come to terms with the world and ourselves just to sit and watch. I love people watching – having a coffee and just watching the world go by, doing no damage.

And I love looking at the birds and plants on Dave’s balcony. He’s got a new blue tit who comes who looks quite big, old, and scruffy. Looks like a real loner – normally they always seem to come in pairs. And some of the tulips Dave has planted look fantastic – see the picture below. How can you not help smiling when you see something as beautiful and simple as this? 🙂

Beautiful tulips

Friends and Family

Friends: Dilhani, Irene, Dom, and Richard

A nice catch up with two former work colleagues last week. Dilhani my old job-share and Irene who was a key part of my Influence team at Comic Relief. Great to speak to them both.

Big catch up on Saturday night with my old mates Dom and Richard. We were all there to celebrate our birthdays, poor old Dave my partner was the only one present nowhere near his birthday. Had to eat outside because of the pandemic regulations. It’s been a cold April and early May hasn’t been much better. But the rain had left off and we were sat next to a heater. A lovely evening – the restaurant was off the beaten track but still very busy though 90% young people. Not a late night but so nice to return to Dave’s and feel like we had really been out. 🙂

Mum

Great to see mum during the week, she’s a bit better than when I was with her the previous weekend. But she’s getting older and it’s important to make the most of being with your parents whilst they are still around. Couldn’t see her at the weekend as had to be over Dave’s to meet up with Dom and Rich. Will make up for it by spending extra time with her next week. Thanks again to my brother who tries to spend extra time with mum when I’m not able to. 🙂

Books and Reading

‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell

Finished this book on my kindle. And it is absolutely beautiful, one I would highly recommend. The story of the death of Shakespeare’s son and how his family deals with the loss whilst looking to their future. But also covering the courtship of William and his wife in their earlier years. Generally it’s a story told from the perspective of the women and children in the family. So well written and wonderful characterisation. Evocative of life during that time with a big nod to nature and you genuinely feel for the pain of the people. 🙂

Memories of Stratford-upon-Avon

One of the lovely things about reading is the way it can evoke memories and feelings. Hamnet is all about the life of Shakespeare and his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. It makes me think of the lovely few days me and Dave spent there very much indulging in the Shakepeare experience. Well before the pandemic – perhaps pre-blog when I used to just keep a handwritten diary? We visited all the places associated with Shakespeare and watched a performance of ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by the RSC. Amusing when a guide asked where we came from, we said ‘London’ to which his eyes lit up and he said ‘Theatreland!’ 🙂

‘The Last Protector’ by Andrew Taylor

My book to read bit by bit each night in bed before I go to sleep. Not as good as Hamnet but still very engaging. It’s the 4th adventure featuring ‘star-crossed lovers’ James Marwood and Cat Lovett. A political intrigue with a fair amount of liberty taken with history. Richard Cromwell, the son of Oliver and former Protector of England for a short period, returns to London and our duo get caught up in the machinations featuring him and members of Charles II’s court. Engaging historical fun. 🙂

No Velvet Page but a trip to Waterstone’s

Skipped the Velvet Page book club on Thurs night, simple lack of time and other stuff to do. Sure I will go back to it at some point in the future. But on Saturday morning I did take a trip to the big Waterstone’s in Piccadilly where we normally meet. My first time there in at least 6 months. So nice just to wander round and look at all the books. Did part spend a book token Dave had given me. And really lovely to catch up Chris who works there. He’s the person who set up the Velvet Page. 🙂

Velvet page book club

Health and Efficiency

  • My gym/spa is recruiting new staff! So hopefully they will be reopening in the near future 🙂
  • Only real exercise was my long walk between Dave’s and mum’s
  • Thank God for my standing desk or I would be on my fat arse all day when working
  • Weight sits on a nice plateau as can be seen here
  • Sleep is good in that I am not waking in the middle of the night with my head churning. But I am waking earlier and earlier. The other day I woke up at 5.15 ! 🙁

Personal Development

A key part of future focus

PD is all about getting ready for a different future, for moving on from where you are. Not a brilliant week on this front but OK. Language learning carries on via the brilliant Duolingo. I love playing with Russian, Greek, German and Spanish. 🙂 Unfortunately, not doing as much learning around coding as I would like. But my job is back to tech for good and I am learning new stuff about tech without the details of coding. After all, I am not a developer and I really can’t see me being one in the future.

Art and Culture

The escapism of TV soaps

Not a great week for culture. I haven’t watched any more ‘Survivors’ from the 1970s but will catch up on that again in the future. ‘Line of Duty’ has gone and nothing has replaced it in my TV viewing. Though I continue to watch the soaps. ‘Coronation Street’ in particular was very good last week with the assault on Nina and Seb leading to the surprise death of the latter. A great drama is set up for the future whilst we wait for Cory and Kelly to get their comeuppance and Asha to realise the error of her ways in protecting Cory. Pure Shakespeare. 🙂

‘Hidden’ – good memories

Have been catching up on the French film, watching little bits on my phone when I can grab the time. Pretty sure I saw it at the ICA originally. I can remember the feelings of dread and isolation sitting in the dark as the couple’s home is being watched by an unknown person.

The Week Ahead

  • Going to get my second jab on Tues 🙂
  • And getting my INR (blood clotting test) done on Thurs – have been chased about this by my GP for several weeks
  • Carry on with orientating my thinking and outlook to the future through things like doing my job well, catching up with friends, focusing on personal development. 🙂
  • Also try to train my mind to stop worrying so much and continue offloading stuff to tackle my hoarding addiction
  • Some very useful conversations to be had internally and externally with my new job – pushing the tech for good agenda 🙂
  • Gonna spend some more time with mum and this will lead to lots more walks to and from hers and Dave’s. This combined with some semi-fasting, should keep my weight on track. 🙂
  • Looking forward to starting new books and finishing watching ‘Hidden’

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