Future focus – it’s what life should be all about

Mon 21 – Sun 27 June 2021

So the week when Matt Hancock was caught having it off with his aide and ultimately forced to resign. Meanwhile, I wracked my brains for what the theme for this week’s blog should be. Sometimes it is blindingly obvious. And other times I have to really think what have I learnt this week and what do I want to pass onto others as well as my future self? It’s something I have talked about a lot before but it’s absolutely key: keep your eye on the future and don’t be distracted.

The past is over – you can learn from it but don’t live there. And what is happening now is transient whether easy or difficult. What we really only have to look forward to is the future. Now that could be bad but equally it could be good. As it has not happened so we cannot know what it will be like. The chance of success or failure are equal. So why not plan and prepare for the future to be great and assume that is what will happen?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Blog style

Feedback on my new style blog last week (read it here) was ‘What is new?’ Obviously the change was too subtle which is a lesson for the future. If you are going to do something different, go big or go home. The new thing was primarily the RAG rating that suggests what is good in my life and so should continue. As well as what is not so good and needs to improve. I’m going to carry on with this for a few weeks to see how I feel about it. I think it is helping me in how I plan for the future.

We all want to experience the future

GREEN

Books

Currently reading two books – one good and one quite inspirational. Good one is ‘Out of the Woods: Nature, Sexuality, and Faith in the Forest’ by Luke Turner. The slightly self-indulgent true life story of a man struggling with his mental health, faith, and sexuality within his obsession about forests and Epping Forest in particular. Mind you, I also love forests and find them magical.

Inspirational book is ‘The Obesity Code’ by Dr Jason Fung. This was recommended by my old mate Brian – cheers! It is definitely one to give you food for thought. I haven’t finished it yet but primarily it’s about (I think) how weight gain is linked to hormones particularly insulin. Master this and we can control weight gain. It’s great fun to read an accessible science book and I think it is going to influence my future behaviour.

Tech for Good: Social Change Lab

Focus has stayed on promoting the Social Change Lab – a big pro-bono software advice and development offer for ‘not-for-profits’. This totally fits in with the need for charities, social enterprises, and people wanting to do good needing to think ahead. And to ensure they are real digital organisations as any other type of organisation ain’t going to be around in the future.

That’s also part of the thinking behind the Tech for Good London meet-up. The chance to meet for people in the not-for-profit sector excited about a tech future. Another meeting took place on Thurs on the subject of open source again – basically charities sharing digital products and coding.

Webinar about the Social Change Lab went well on Monday. Though it is strange not being able to see who you are talking to; you can see the names of the people who are there but you are performing to cyber-space. I suppose like many things, it gets easier the more you do it. Certainly true of the 1:1 conversations me and my colleague Jeantine are having with prospective applicants. We’ve refined our explanation of the Lab and have a much better appreciation of the questions that are in people’s heads. πŸ™‚

sci-fi - future focus

Friends: Mark, Tim, Sue

Not quite the amazing number of catch-ups last week compared to the previous week. But still some very good new links and some excellent reconnections. The latter is very linked to me telling people about the Social Change Lab. I suppose you shouldn’t have a reason to talk to friends but it’s not always that simple.

Conversations with someone I first worked together about 20 years in the East Brighton New Deal for Communities initiative. And also a catch up with the man who was my boss about 15 years ago. Both still individuals with a passion for social justice and innovation.

And so nice to talk to my old Comic Relief work colleague Sue. She’s now at a new charity and making her mark. Great to just find out she is doing well and check in on other colleagues we both worked with. We also shared some of our thoughts and plans for the future now we are both progressing in age. πŸ™‚

Personal Development

Moved up from Amber last week because I have rediscovered the Miro app to learn coding. It’s a great app where you can practice coding on our phone. So been dipping in at different times. Also still doing my language learning particularly via Duolingo. Though that was a bit down on the previous week. I have a vision of my future where I can travel more because I speak a variety of languages. πŸ™‚

Ones and zeroes

Family

Dave and me often spend time thinking about what the future holds – we make some brilliant plans. That’s problably one of the most important things a couple can do together. And I still love him even when I stayed at his flat one night last week and the next morning waking up in bed he informed that I had a weepy eye and bad breath!

β€œThe moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”

Martina Navratilova

AMBER

HIV

Consultation on Thurs went OK once I was connected to a doctor. An online consultation, I waited about 35 minutes until someone realised I was there. Apparently they didn’t know I had an appointment even though I had received a text reminder 2 days before. Ended up speaking to a nice doctor but one I don’t know. Have not seen my named HIV doctor for about 2 years now. πŸ™

Weight

Perhaps the lessons from Jason Fung’s book will ensure I hit a definite weight loss trend in the future. But at the moment I am not 100% sure I am losing weight which is what I really need to do to ensure I am healthy in the future with a good quality of life. In theory a loss of a pound last week to just under 13 and a half stones. But time will tell if it is a real trend or just a blip.

Sustainability

All the normal stuff keeps happening. Still bit by bit offloading possessions so I am travelling light for the future. Trying to spend time in nature. Patronising the local charity shops (though attempting to buy only things I really need). Watering the plants. Unfortunately one of the house plants at my flat has got a fly infestation so it has been exiled to the window ledge. πŸ™

Beautiful tulips

RED

Exercise

The usual that on my days off I do lots of walking. But on my work days I am basically on the computer all day. Albeit using my standing desk (what a brilliant purchase that was!) so there must be some boost to my body’s metabolic rate. But, overall, I need to be doing more exercise not least because it helps my mental health as well as doing me good physically.

Art and Culture

Last week on green because of going to see the Noel Coward exhibition. Now in the red simply because I really did not do anything last week. πŸ™ Watched a wee bit more of the 1975 Fassbinder film ‘Fox and his Friends’ plus the wonderful TV soaps though with their messed up schedules due to the football.

Culture from the Saatchi Gallery

The Week Ahead

  • Taking my mum to see Dave’s mum next weekend – it’s the equivalent of being mugged by two little old ladies
  • More pushing of the Social Change Lab especially as we are only a fortnight out from the application deadline on Friday 9 July. Plus conversations with potential applicants. πŸ™‚
  • Taking care of your health is important so got my INR (blood clotting) check again on Tues. And on the same day, up to hospital for bloods to be taken as well as collect anti-retroviral meds and arrange future appointments.
  • Looking forward to me and Dave meeting my old mate Daisy for dinner on Tues evening and coffee with Robert from the Velvet Page book club on Thurs
  • Will carry on reading both books and try to make Velvet Page on Thurs evening – we are talking about a book I read a while ago plus the author is joining our online meeting

And Finally…

We are all being played

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