Getting ready for what comes next

Mon 14 – Sun 20 March 2022

Previously I have written about how we need to focus and tune energy on what matters – read it here. Linked to this, I have realised how so much of our lives are about ‘getting ready’. It is is a theme that is quite prominent in my life. Plus it links to my value of being future focused – concentrate on what is ahead not behind. Getting ready: it’s about planning and preparing for the next thing which we have to assume will be good.

It could be said that ‘getting ready’ can also be a bad thing. That one should just live in the moment not worrying about what has been or what is to come. But I think it’s great to have hopes and dreams for the future. If you haven’t got that then what do you have? ‘Life is OK now but it’s going to be shit in the future’ really doesn’t inspire me.

Some may also say that we could be getting ready for bad things. Like preparing to die. But that in itself is a positive. Surely it is best to be prepared for the future good or bad so you are not surprised and you have done everything you need to do.

Spring and sport to inspire

It’s definitely been a week in which we have started getting ready for the arrival of Spring. Sunny but chilly days with blossom coming out everywhere. That nice feeling has been boosted by watching the Indoor Athletics Championships from Belgrade – I find it so inspiring; going to start back on jog-runs one day. And the French victory in the Six Nations. I hate nationalism and I’m pleased they have won the Grand Slam for the first time in 12 years. Vive La France!

Spring - trees in blossom

Getting ready for the world after Ukraine

Meanwhile the Ukraine war drags on for those poor people sheltering in cellars and bunkers or running for their lives (and no, voting in a referendum is not the same as our Prime Minister claims). The evil Russian invasion continues but the world starts to lose attention. Give everything 5 days in the news and the world moves on.

Inevitably, the aftermath will come and we need to get ready for it. Hopefully, less dependence on Russian oil and gas. But also an international world order that is different and more like the cold war we once thought had gone for good.

Health and Efficiency

Gym

Not a good week in that I only got 1 of my beloved gym sessions done. Basically my day off on Tuesday became one dealing with health and work stuff. So only got to the gym on Thurs morning. But it was a good one albeit that the sauna wasn’t open afterwards as it was being cleaned. 16 sessions since the start of the year so just over £31 per session.

Weight

Weight was equally bad news. Up again and firmly over 14 stone – see details here. I know I’m not eating well or reducing my food and drink consumption as I need to. But I can do this although it will be hard work. Like many things, losing weight needs a multi-factored approach. Still I am getting ready for the time in the future when I can spend more time at the gym and more time exercising in general as well as living a life both physically and mentally where I can focus on losing weight.

man weighing himself

Getting ready for old age

My body is changing. I can feel it sometimes as with my ongoing knee problems. As well as aches, pains and stiffness in various different places. But there is also things you can’t feel in your body such as cholesterol building up or cancerous cells developing. Tuesday was two lots of blood tests. Hospital in the morning then GP in the afternoon. Latter was INR to check for blood clotting levels (I’m still waiting to hear if I can go on a self-regulating anti-coagulant – this has been going on for years).

bloods taken

Also a talk with the GP pharmacist on the phone about my different meds. Had to be honest to say that the meds for my prostate issues don’t seemed to have solved the problems. Maybe back to the doctor’s for that.

Work Life Balance

“Trying to do it all and expecting it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Getting ready for a workshop

Another busy week despite being me doing just 3 days. A definite theme of getting ready for a big, exciting workshop I am doing to external senior people. Ensuring treading the right line between telling them something new and being stimulating but without making people feel like they are being criticised and putting them on the defensive.

Keeping emails under control

One of my big successes at the moment is keeping my emails under control. For me, this means ensuring all the emails in my inbox are read and there are no more than 50 in it. Honestly, one of the best ways to feel in control at work is simply to have a manageable email inbox. Be ruthless – read, file, delete.

Planning for the future

But overall I am definitely getting ready for the time that my colleague comes back from her sabbatical. It’s going fine but obviously it’s very busy and I want to hand back the areas she knows so much more about. And then down to 2 days pw which should enable me to spend more time at the gym, losing weight, reading, and learning.

Holidays

I’m also getting ready for the future in general by booking some holidays. So nice to look forward to time away in favourite places. But I’m combining it with my personal commitment to try to keep to just 2 flight per year as my contribution to helping the planet. A week in Berlin booked for June. Meanwhile, I’m thinking about Torremolinos in Oct / Nov to see Phyllis and then Gran Can in Jan / Feb 2023. The latter will be the first time for 3 years.

Diving in

Family and Friends

Dave’s mum is in hospital

Spent time with my mum during the week. She’s fine though she’s getting older. She feels the cold and likes to sleep a lot. Though she also has a habit of staying up late watching crap TV (as does Dave). His mum ended up in hospital last week. She’s OK but they need to sort her out before she can return home. This might mean some time in a convalescent home. As with many in her generation, her view is that being in hospital is a bit like a hotel stay with one of the main concerns being the quality of the food.

Dave is feeling down

On top of news about his mum, Dave had some really disappointing news. The charity he supports was up for a significant award. They got to the final interview – indeed part of the reason for scrapping our Gran Can holiday in Feb was for him to attend that. Loads of time spent getting everything ready and then the disappointment of finding out on Friday that they didn’t get it. All the way to the final line and just falling. He’s sad and I need to perk him up.

Books and Reading

Two books completed and three new ones started.

‘Of Men and Angels’ by Michael Arditti

It’s always lovely to be reminded how good an author is. And this is the case with Michael Arditti. He is a fascinating writer who beautifully fuses theology, good story-telling, and issues around sexuality. This book was a pleasure to read being made up of 5 different stories at different points in history but all related to the theme of angels and the destruction of the city of Sodom – always a good justification for homophobia.

‘Ghost Ship’ by Keith Topping

This is a novella, part of a cult book series produced by Telos Publishing in the early 2000s. Basically short novels by established Dr Who writers. And it was a fun little tale. The Doctor arrives on the Queen Mary cruise liner in 1963 to find it awash with ghosts. It’s a very melancholy story that fits his mood. The story is basically him finding out why the ghosts exist and setting them free.

My 3 new reading books

An eclectic and very different selection:

  • ‘Serontonin’ by Michel Houellebecq. A wonderfully controversial modern French novelist whose writing can be extremely graphic. Basically he writes about the emptiness and sense of crisis that so many men feel in modern society.
  • ‘The Magician’ by Colm Toibin. My latest kindle book to read as I am on the move. Toibin is a writer as brilliant as Arditti who also writes on gay themes. Again, every time I read one of his books I realise how great he is. This is the story of the brilliant German writer Thomas Mann.
  • ‘Shadowlands: A journey through lost Britain’ by Matthew Green. A beautiful and much recommended book about deserted and lost villages in the British Isles.
The importance of books

Tech for Good

The highlights of last week for the rest of the world to know about:

  • Continuing our work at Citizens Advice to build a referrals product. Getting ready for our involvement to end soon and handover to the new in-house team. Been a privilege to be involved.
  • The work at BMMRO has completed as the main developer is off on paternity leave. Him and his team have done a great job in dealing with the backlog that developed following on from our creation of a data collection app two years ago.
  • I have a pro-bono team available for April to do a project for a non-profit org. But that’s only 4 weeks with Easter in the middle. So I need to work out what can get done in that time-frame without leaving behind an unfinished (and not very useful) product.
  • Nice to access the activities and resources that made up Charity Digital’s Digital Transformation Week – details here
Tech for Good

Sustainability

As I said earlier, the weather feels like it is getting ready to be Spring. A beautiful time of the year without cold and grey but also without stifling heat. Reinforces that feeling of rebirth that is itself reinforced by Easter. And there is nothing better than going out for a walk and appreciating nature responding to the change in season.

Meanwhile, I continue my attempt to offload shit in my life. Perhaps it is about getting ready for old age and death. That sense of sorting everything out so that you can leave the stage with a clear conscience. More and more I feel the appeal of travelling lightly through life. And less consumption would mean less war.

Extinction Rebellion

Personal Development

One of the main themes in my life over the past couple of weird and unsettling years is my commitment to personal development especially my attempt to do some Spanish learning every day. And that continued last week. All about getting ready for the semi-retirement time when I do more travelling that will include time in Spain and perhaps Central / South America.

The Week Ahead

  • 3 days at work and 2 blessed non-work days. Nothing planned for either of my work days so means I will be able to get to the gym two times next week – that makes me very happy.
  • Carry on reading my 3 new books plus continue dipping into ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ – hopefully I’m not going to need the advice of the latter too soon
  • Mother’s Day next Sunday. Planning to take mum out and treat her to one of her favourites – fish and chips. Dave is going up to spend time with his mum.
  • Got a load of books I have finished reading or won’t be reading so might take them up to the Notting Hill Exchange for some money or vouchers
  • Carry on enjoying the good weather and doing my personal development. Might have a catch-up with Phyllis at some point.

And Finally…

Goering’s words or Putin’s?

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