Always planning and preparing is a fine way to live

Mon 17 – Sun 23 Oct 2022

Two things about me. First, I respect the concept of mindfulness but I prefer having a focus on the future in my life – having stuff to look forward to even when things currently are not good.

Second, I like history but I don’t want to live in it. Rather it is there to help us realise ‘what went wrong’ and how we can make things better for the future.

In light of both of these things, I think there is nothing wrong in spending time planning and preparing for the way you want your perfect life to be.

Envisaging the future and how to get there

That is what has been happening a lot of the week just gone. I am setting things up for what I know is coming in the near and for a good future in general. Indeed, if you can vision your better (or even ideal) life then you can start doing everything to make sure it happens. Surely that is a far more useful way to live than going over the past, despairing about the present, or even thinking the future is going to be crap.

Living in instability

It’s certainly been a crazily bad week in the UK again. Our very short-lived Prime Minister has resigned. She was an amazing example of someone who had supreme confidence in their own inability. And she can go off to enjoy spending her guaranteed annual ‘redundancy’ income of £115,000! Meanwhile, there is the circus of whether disgraced ex-Prime Minister Boris will come back.

But above all this, the underlying problems of the UK sit there unaddressed due to such silly distractions – ‘look over there’ (not over here). Our economy has fundamental problems with poverty and inequality rising. While the rest of the world sees us as a joke and Chinese, Russian and Trump fascism threatens all of our peaceful futures. How much better if as a country we were really planning and preparing for a nicer future.

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

Virginia Woolf

Work Life Balance

Last week was my final working week before I go on holiday for nearly 3 weeks. And I have been ensuring everything will be well with me being ‘out of the office’ for that time.

With a wider angle, I have also been planning and preparing for my semi-retirement when I leave my current role; ensuring a good handover to the next person so they can build on the foundations I have established.

The importance of listening to and understanding alternative views

One of the big things last week was having a salient and instructive meeting with an important external partner. I was nervous but it really gave me food for thought. It was that classic situation of listening and not just trying to persuade people of your way of thinking. By listening, you hear about different perspectives and ideas which are good to take away and compare them to your own thoughts.

Holidays are coming

I wrote in my previous blog (read it here) that the ‘Life’ bit of ‘Work Life Balance’ is more important than the ‘Work’ bit. So last week I started thinking what I need to take away with me to my big break in Torremolinos. It will be great to have a good chunk of time away from everything.

Though I will check out my work emails to stay on top of stuff but I won’t be responding to any. Some people say don’t look at your work emails at all on holiday but then I hate coming back to spend several days wading through them.

Living through very hot weather

Health and Efficiency

Gym

Brilliant to report that I did 3 gym sessions last week and I loved everyone of them. My mate Philip in Torremolinos should be able to get me in to use his gym whilst on holiday so hopefully I can keep up my strengthening exercise routine.

73 gym sessions since the start of the year divided by the annual membership = just under £7 per session.

Dumbells

My future fitness plan

In my mind I am also planning and preparing for a time when I am no longer working and can fulfil my ‘perfect’ exercise routine. I could actually quite happily go to the gym everyday but I would benefit from other forms of exercise.

In particular, I am going to get back to swimming and jogging. They are going to come when I have more time though I think I’m going to have to start from scratch with the jogging probably doing a ‘couch to 5K’ routine.

Weight – the best is yet to come

A good week until a Friday blowout. But my planning and preparing strategy also comes into play here. In the future, I won’t be working, be semi-retired, and have less stress which means I can control my eating more easily.

My holiday may actually be a bit of a dress rehearsal in that I can try to control my food intake though I expect to drink far more alcohol than I would do in the UK.

weight

Books and Reading

Only one book completed last week and I am still trekking on with ‘Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence will transform everything’. This non-fiction book suggests how our future may pan out. It’s also a fascinating analysis of how we learn things. Might get it finished before I go away.

‘The Fifth Season’ by N K Jemisin

This is award winning book I finished last week. It is a mature and science-based but accessible fantasy novel that really comes together as it hurtles towards its completion. It is based on an Earth type planet where humanoid civilisations have come and gone primarily as the planet is very unstable seismically. It’s a great suggestion of how vulnerable planets can be.

In this world, there are a group of people who can control seismic activity. But there are also other groups who can control and challenge this group. It’s a fascinating story of the fragility of life and internecine struggles we are involved in across all areas of our lives. Well worth a read and first book of ‘The Broken Earth’ trilogy; I very much look forward to reading the other two books.

Holiday reading

One of the things I love doing on holiday is to get through a big pile of reading. So I am getting together a list of books to enjoy. There are some chunky classic sci-fi ones I have put aside whilst I will also be checking out what is on my kindle that will give me pleasure.

I’ve actually started a new book on my this: ‘Nighthawking’ by Russ Thomas. Contemporary crime thrillers are not normally my thing but this is the follow-up to ‘Firewatching’ which I really enjoyed.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Sustainability

Getting ready for climate change

Ideally we should all be planning and preparing for a golden future although ultimately we all die and become dust. But planning and preparing is also about making the best of a bad situation. This is the case with climate change.

We know temperatures are going to rise by at least 2 degrees with terrible results. But we can take action to try to keep that temperature rise down to the minimum and we can seek to ameliorate the lifestyle that climate change will force on us.

My limits on flying

I’ve been doing my usual stuff to try to help the planet: not buying stuff in general or buying secondhand, walking to places as much as possible, eating less red meat, etc. But I will be flying to Spain next week and I feel a bit guilty about that. In the future when I have more time, I hope to be able to travel across Europe by train and bus.

For the time being I am trying to limit myself to just two return flights per year. Mine and Dave’s Gran Can holiday at the start of the year was cancelled and we did one to Berlin in the summer so this will be the second flight.

Plane flying

Personal Development

A future of constant learning

Didn’t get any tech learning done last week but did carry on with my daily Spanish lesson(s) on Duolingo. I intend to carry on doing these daily sessions whilst on holiday and having that reinforced by being immersed in Spain.

But I am also planning and preparing for the future when I will be doing a lot more personal development especially around languages and tech.

The Week Ahead

  • Obviously the big event will be when I go on Thursday to Torremolinos. Be great to experience Halloween in Spain again – it’s a big social event there with lots of imaginative dressing up.
  • Planning and preparing for my holiday: sorting everything I need to do before I go, packing, and arranging what I will be doing in Spain
  • Might get some art and culture on my holiday particularly if I can motivate myself to visit Malaga
  • Two medical things to be sorted before I go. Tuesday is INR check – not sure what we will do if it suggests a blood clotting problem. Wednesday is the 6 month catch-up with my HIV hospital consultant.
  • Mum’s not been well and her window hasn’t been repaired despite me chasing the Housing Association. My brother and Dave will keep an eye on her whilst I am away.
  • Haven’t mentioned QPR recently. But they are going great guns (top of the Championship!) and our manager has committed himself to ‘the project’ despite attempts to lure him away by Premiership teams.

And Finally…

Our awful ex Prime Minister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.