And so the end is near

Mon 21 – Sun 27 Nov 2022

The penultimate week at my current employer. The end is in sight and it feels sad. It’s times like this you think ‘am I doing the right thing?’ And reflect on all the good things about the job. But it is right because I need to have a break and think about what I really want to do next; I wrote in my previous blog about how I am moving forward (read it here). That sounds very grand but I am getting older and I want to enjoy myself.

I have always said that our lives are made up of little ends that lead up to one big end. It’s the same as talking about ‘little deaths’ and ‘big death’. Whether it’s the end of things like jobs, relationships, friendships, routines, places you like to go to, others’ passing – all of these prepare us for the point where things will change completely. The end of things is a natural occurrence and we just need to go forward with the sadness, regret, and sense of loss that often come with it.

Reflecting and chilling

Work Life Balance

There are always wobbles at the end

I have realised this is the first time I am leaving a job of my own accord for about 14 years. As such, inevitably there will be wobbles. When one chooses to end something, there are always second thoughts but it’s about taking control of your life and living with the consequences for good and bad. Let’s be honest, the thing we always regret about leaving a job is nearly always the great people you have worked with.

“You must lose a fly to catch a trout.”

George Herbert (an English poet)

You have to prepare to leave well

When a job finishes, I always want to make sure that the ending is good. That means doing the preparation work. There will always be stuff not done and it’s a case of covering the bases as much as possible.

So the week gone has largely been about liaising with my colleague Jeantine who will be dealing with things once I’ve left. I sent an email around to the key internal people who I have worked with giving my thanks for their guidance and kindness. The general ‘exit spam’ email to all staff will come next week as well as one to key external contacts.

I’ve also been doing loads of work going through the file manager and my email account to check what needs to be forwarded, saved somewhere else, or deleted. There is too much data in the world – just think how many emails you get included into but don’t need to be. Thus it’s important to make sure the really important stuff is where people can find it without just blitzing them with stuff.

Missed an in-person big work event in order to get this ‘admin’ done. Sad but also quite nice not to have to explain to lots of people individually and face-to-face why I am leaving. It’s simply time to move on.

Using your work allowances

In general, I am not very good at using my work allowances. In particular, I am thinking of those relating to health and learning. I have not used my Personal Development Budget at all and it’s too late now. However, I am determined to use the relevant bits of my health allowance before I go. So I managed to get to the dentist for a check up which turned into the replacement of a missing filling. And a recommendation to visit the hygienist.

Health and Efficiency

Gym

My hope was for 3 gym sessions last week – one on each of my non-work days. In the end, it was only 2 sessions achieved – Monday and Thursday. The reason for one day (Tuesday) not happening is explained below. But 2 good sessions including doing loads of Duolingo Spanish learning in-between reps on Thurs. I always do legs and chest then focus on other various body parts without overdoing it. Just love being at the gym.

The ongoing calculation of the value of my annual gym membership: 81 gym sessions since the start of the year divided by the annual membership = £6.10 per session. The ideal situation is to get this down to £5 by the end of Dec.

Tiredness

Sometimes I feel like I need to just accept that I’m getting old and stop wondering why certain things happen. One of these is tiredness and the need for snoozes. The week just gone it hit me generally and a couple of times in particular.

Tired man asleep or despondent

On Tues, I had planned to go to the gym. I knew there might be disruption getting there due to the visit of the South African president. However, I woke up and just felt absolutely whacked. Perhaps it can be seen as weakness, but I decided to skip a day.

Then on Wed, I was doing one of my long walks over to see Dave. I regularly do this walk. But I don’t think I have ever felt as tired as I did that evening. A couple of tube stops from my final destination and I seriously thought about jumping on public transport. But I resisted the temptation and chugged on.

Diet

Not a brilliant week for food intake in that I had several blowouts. Evenings are my worst time. And I ate too much on Wed night once I got to Dave’s as a compensation for feeling so tired. I crossed the point massively when you take in food just to give you energy. And then on Fri after a busy work admin day. A bit wound up in everything that’s going on with ending at my current job. Such that I got stressed and ate as a response.

man weighing himself

Family and Friends

Mum and the never happening repair

Still no update on mum’s repair. Chased the repair service who said it was still awaiting Housing Association approval. Also spoke directly to the Housing Officer who said she would look into it. What is the end point? Will the repair ever be done or do we have to learn to live with a kitchen window that can’t be opened? Meanwhile mum gets wound up.

Dave is very stressed

My partner has moved from Party Dave to Super Stressed Dave. It’s all to do with him hitting the busiest part of his job for the whole year next week. He’s actually dealing with it very well, being super-organised and so great with people on the phone. But it’s important for me to give him space. He did go for a night out on Wednesday – a corporate hospitality gig on a boat on the Thames. Turned into a bit of a disaster with the boat having to be evacuated.

Remembering a dear friend

Met up with mine and Dave’s close friends Patrick and Frances on Tues afternoon to mark the anniversary of the death of Patrick’s partner. We agreed to meet at a well known hotel in Victoria for a drink. Sad to say that the staff there were rude and dismissive of us saying they had no room. I suspect it was more that they thought we weren’t rich enough. But we ended up at the lovely bar in the nearby Rubens Hotel and had a very nice event marking a very sad anniversary.

Dying but still beautiful flower

Books and Reading

‘Treacle Walker’ by Alan Garner

The author is a renowned writer of children’s novels – his wikipedia page is here. Very good ones that I remember from my childhood. Fantasy classics like The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath, Elidor, and The Owl Service. In his mid 80s, he wrote ‘Treacle Walker’.

It’s a novella and not always an easy read. There is limited story and few characters without much characterisation. It’s not a book for children but centres on the adventures of a child. It’s a very old-fashioned book in that the boy reads comics and uses a catapult. Plus the language draws on old English with lots of local dialect words. If you regard it as a piece of folk art that seeks to rescue and remember old English culture then it makes a lot of sense.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Art and Culture

‘Triangle of Sadness’

My drive to get more art and culture in my life moved on last week with me and Dave going to our favourite cinema (The Garden Cinema in Covent Garden) to see this new release. It’s a dark satirical comedy that won the Palme D’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Find out more about it here.

It’s a strange film, really three films in one. Indeed, it is long going on for well over 2 hours. Generally, I am not a fan of long films (90 mins is perfect for me) and my prostate problems meant I had to have a wee during the movie.

Basically I think it’s a commentary on the stupidity of wealth in the modern world. Vacuous and stupid rich people live silly lives that fall apart when their rich-life support systems are taken away. There are some really funny bits like the posh meal on the boat when it hits a storm and all the guests get violently seasick. It’s definitely a film that takes you out of the everyday world but too much going on for too long a time for me.

The Week Ahead

  • The end of my time at Thoughtworks and I will be going into the office on Friday to return my security pass and laptop. Also a farewell drink with my colleague Jeantine who I have worked so closely with.
  • 3 non-work days and, hopefully, 3 gym sessions
  • Need to take some time to think, prepare, and plan for what I am going to do with my new period of semi-retirement / pre-retirement
  • Taking advantage of my work-related health insurance with a visit to the dental hygienist and the chiropodist
  • Really is the time for me to start to limit my food intake. The stress is decreasing so I should take control of my emotions making me eat.
  • Off to Brighton next Sunday for a few days to catch up with friends which I am really looking forward
  • My current reading list: ‘The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho: A Novel’ by Paterson Joseph, ‘Gloriana’ by Michael Moorcock, and ‘Project Hail Mary’ by Andy Weir
  • Keep on with my efforts to live sustainably, and continue my daily Duolingo language lessons

And Finally…

How awesome the sky is

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