Good advice: ‘Take the time that needs to be taken’

Mon 5 – Sun 11 Oct 2020

For good or bad, I am very aware of time and the importance of not wasting it especially as I get older (and nearer to death). Week 6 just gone after redundancy. My new life continues to take shape. But I’m also seeing the risk of not having work as a means to measure out your time. The risk being that everything blurs into each other and your days just happen.

But I don’t buy the theory that our worth is only measured by the paid work we do. However, I am aware that time is precious and we must use it for useful things or at least things that make us happy – hopefully without causing harm to others.

Personal Development

Time – can it be wasted?

The quotation this blog title comes from a book I have been reading – details below. It is very important that I take the time I need to fashion my new life and decide what I want to do next. I must not feel guilty about doing this.

Clock face showing time

But I suppose the danger is that I don’t use this time as constructively as I should. Although you could argue that in the scheme of the universe is time ever wasted? Perhaps I am being too philosophical LOL. However, for the first time since being made redundant, I’ve started to think about what will happen if I can’t get a new job primarily because of my age. πŸ™

‘A 10-Step Process For Finding Work You Love (And Why That Matters)’

I was directed to this very good article by Robbie Swale here and I am going to do the exercise it proposes. Particularly to be clear of the things that most excite me. This will also be good prep for my career coaching session at the end of the month.

My theory is that by focusing on the things that get me going, this will be the best way for me to deliver the next phases in my career. As opposed to just chasing title and salary level or defining myself simply by what has gone before.

β€œYesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

Lyndon B. Johnson

Languages

My 100 day challenge with the Duolingo language app continues. I’m up to around 70 consecutive days of usage. πŸ™‚ Without a doubt, time well spent. I should consolidate my language learning by watching more free stuff online and using the free Drops app. I am also using the Toucan app which inserts random German words (you can choose the language setting) into the text on websites as you are reading it. πŸ™‚

Out of gaol

The time has arrived when I am out of Twitter gaol. πŸ™‚ Must be more careful next time in using Trump’s own words to criticise him so as not to upset the gods who run social media. I love the ability of social media for us to keep in touch with people and discuss ideas. But it is interesting how flimsy and arbitrary is the overall control of it. πŸ™

Quotation by Camus

Books and Reading

My current reading book

At present I am enjoying reading ‘Underworld’ by Robert Macfarlane. I’ve never come across him before but he is an established nature writer. And I am loving Underworld. It’s a great story of underground spaces and how the climate is changing. Making me feel much more aware of the natural world as I move around London. Should finish it by this time next week and will write a fuller review then.

Art and Culture

Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

tate modern exhibition

The big cultural event last week was visiting this exhibition on Friday morning. TBH, disappointing and I would only give it 2.5 out of 5. πŸ™ Several reasons. From a purely practical angle, it was the busiest event I have visited since the pandemic started. OK everyone was in masks but it was packed and felt unsafe. Thus me and Dave covered the whole thing in 20 minutes (then to a much better socially distanced Union Jack Club for lunch πŸ™‚ )

But apart from the safety angle, it’s actually not a very good exhibition. πŸ™ Clearly Warhol is central to art from the 1960s through till his death in 1987. He moulded this era though he was also moulded by it. His work celebrates fame, commerce, and media. However, it is not great art in its own context (have you seen some of his films…). And it is ubiquitous.

Plus the exhibition is designed as a complete whizz through of his whole life and emphasises him as a gay icon which I’m not sure he is. The whole show really needed a more interesting angle. Dave suggested who ended up buying his art and why. That probably would fit better with the sheer commerciality of who he was, what he produced, and the time he lived in.

Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival

This is an annual film festival based in Wales mainly featuring LGBT+ short films. I love shorts because they are short, easy to watch, and often very original. Feature films are great but they can be hard work and I often need a break while watching them. All the films can be seen on the festival’s site here. Worth exploring though I think all viewings now need to be paid for.

TV

It’s autumn so the nights are drawing in and its colder. Not time to be out and about so much but time to being doing stuff at home. This includes watching TV. Much of it is shit but there is also some that is pure culture though perhaps trashy (Warhol?) culture.

I’ve always enjoyed the soaps – Emmerdale, Coronation St, and Eastenders. At their best, they are pure art. But there’s also been some other quality stuff. I love medical real-life programmes such as 24 Hours in A&E and GPs Behind Closed Doors. Makes you realise how transient life is but also how much human beings are self-centred. And I’ve also been enjoying the feeling of seeing a car crash happen by watching Married at First Sight. πŸ™‚

Music

In another blog I stated how much I particularly enjoy listening to dance music. One of the great things that has happened this week is the launch of Radio 1 Dance on the Sounds app. A new dance radio station with some great DJs including Danny Howard and Pete Tong. Reminds me so much of the good times when I used to go clubbing. πŸ™‚

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run and injuries

Did a shorter jog-run of 3.75 km on Wednesday. One of those mid-morning once my legs had warmed up a bit. Good time and, more importantly, pace of 6.13 mins per km. Had planned to do my normal 5K very early on Sunday morning. But my old right knee problem is recurring so postponing till Monday. Plan is to do another mid-morning short run so as not to exacerbate my knee.

Walking and weight

Lots of walking again – often listening to Big Finish Dr Who adventures πŸ™‚ Indeed, my long walk from mum’s to Dave’s on Friday followed by the walk to, from, and around Tate Modern may well have been what aggravated my knee. But I love my long walks. Especially if this exercise time can also incorporate pleasure in seeing good architecture, people watching, and appreciating nature.

man weighing himself

No good news on my weight. Back up to 13 stone, 9 and a half pounds. I have said it before but I will say it again. If I am serious about losing weight then I need to take action to do so. Have I got the drive to do this?

Details on jog-run times and weight are here.

World Mental Health Day

My own mental health at the current time is fundamentally OK. Though I do think about past mistakes and worry about things as well as the irrational growing fear that I’m not going to work again. But basically I’m OK and so much better than my low point about 15 years ago when I was suicidal and left Brighton. I got through that and I hope that inspires others. This is the basis of the tweet I sent to mark World Mental Health Day.

Family and Friends

Mum

Thankfully my family stays well whilst the numbers testing positive, being admitted to hospital, and dying all increase. Obviously my key worry is mum due to her age. But she’s an adult and she makes her choices on how far she wants to push things. Obviously this is time when we all need to make our own choices about what we are and aren’t willing to risk.

Phyllis and future arrangements

In last week’s blog here, I highlighted how I wanted to have more interaction with friends. Didn’t physically see any friends last week but did have a good phone catch up with Philip (aka Phyllis) who lives in Andalucia. He makes me smile and interesting to hear how life is in Spain outside the pandemic epicentre of Madrid.

And I’ve set up a dinner with two old friends both called Dave. Hopefully will still be allowed under lockdown rules by the time we actually meet.

Sustainability

The importance of planting trees
  • Now I basically don’t have any income coming in and I’m reliant on savings, so I have found a new awareness of how much I spend each day. And less spending is less consuming is less damage to the environment. πŸ™‚
  • I’m particularly becoming more aware of the importance of not wasting food – if you buy it, eat it!
  • Still doing my weekly visit to our favourite charity shop. And I’ve a new rule that each time I visit so I should take at least one item to donate. But I don’t have to buy anything – didn’t on my latest visit.
  • Continue to look after my plants at Dave’s and mum’s. Particularly making sure I don’t over-water and kill with kindness.

The Week Ahead

β€œLove all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

William Shakespeare
  • Time is mine as the week ahead is clear – more time to think πŸ™‚
  • Will carry on with my language learning
  • Should finish the Macfarlane book and start a new one – perhaps time to have a couple on the go at once πŸ™‚
  • Be active on social media
  • Haven’t decided on any specific artistic or cultural events yet – that will come
  • Hopefully one or two jog-runs but definitely some long walks
  • Will my famous diet start…?
  • Time with mum and will be sorting out to meet some friends
  • Annual flu jab on Tuesday πŸ™‚

And Finally…

Covid is serious

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