Life must be about learning to not give a fuck

Mon 21 – Sun 27 Oct 2019

Time is ticking away

Same shit different day

Constant internal conversation with myself that asks ‘why do I give a fuck?’ I feel like life is ticking away. I am too young to retire but suspect I have only about 20 years left to live. So why do I worry about so much with such a strong sense of responsibility? And why don’t I live the life I want to live? If I died tomorrow would I be happy with what I had done and achieved? The answer is almost certainly no. 🙁

Why am I down?

Putin and Trump

That I am thinking this way is probably a sign that I am a bit down. Perhaps to do with the weather. Definitely darker in the mornings though I kid myself that I like walking in darkness. Plus colder and wetter. Then there’s the world: Trump, Johnson, Putin, Xi, Farage, Cummings. Old men who don’t give a fuck they are screwing the planet, destroying democracy, and betraying the next generation.

Books and Reading

‘A big ship at the edge of the universe’ by Alex White

One of the things I do give a fuck about is reading. It’s probably my most favourite activity. Heaven is sitting in a coffee shop with a good book watching people go by. And I finally finished this book last week that I’ve been reading on my kindle over the last few weeks

It’s a racy space adventure. Fairly lightweight in its own right combining a human-type space-travelling species, high tech equipment, and low tech culture. Also a mix of various other sci-fi influences including Star Wars, Blake’s 7, and the very good recent books by Becky Chambers. Easy, silly, enjoyable sci-fi. 🙂

Health and Efficiency

Gym

Work days were re-arranged last week so that I was in the office all day on Tues and Wed. That meant I didn’t work on Thurs afternoon to make up for Tues morning. Knock-on effect that I didn’t get as many gym sessions as might have happened. 🙁 Plus I ‘lost’ a potential gym session by going to the new yoga group on Fri morning – see below.

But I still got to the gym 3 times – the mornings of Mon, Thurs, and Sun. The latter with the benefit of an extra hour in bed as the clocks went back. All good workouts focusing on the main muscle parts. The yoga session focused a lot on being aware of my core (abs, obliques, lower back) and so I have spent time strengthening these.

Jog-run

A really good 10K jog-run on Sat and that was partly because I was in a mood to not give a fuck. My head was empty of other stuff (particularly work) and I just focused on my running. Indeed, there is something quite therapeutic about running through piles of dry autumn leaves in the half-light of the morning. 🙂

A good time of 1 hour, 2 mins, 33 secs. Strange that I did pulsing type km stretches with them alternating slow and fast. Plus my 2nd half 5K time was basically the exact same time as my 1st half 5K – both c.31.30 mins. I’ll take it all as a step forward and look forward to next week. 🙂 All my times can be seen here.

Yoga

Give a fuck - do yoga

Another thing I give a fuck for is yoga. 🙂 I also like pilates. Both of them make me feel I am stretching my muscles as well as strengthening them. Plus I feel more supple afterwards. Massage does a similar sort of thing.

I found out about a community yoga group that is friendly to people with HIV. Attended on Fri morning but I was nervous – it’s good learning to be a newbie every so often. A very nice group though established; most recent member before me joined 3 years ago! Very mixed ability, ages and gender.

Some positions I found hard and some easy. That’s the thing with yoga, it takes into account that all bodies are different. First lesson was free as a trial and I think I will go back next week. Perhaps the long walk to the group and the yoga assisted with my good jog-run time the following day. 🙂

Massage

And yet another thing I do give a fuck about is massage. Nothing sexual or pervy, it just leaves my body feeling worked. Basically I go monthly to THT for one of their massages by volunteer masseurs for people with HIV. There last Mon late afternoon for a massage with the excellent Adrian. He is amazingly firm without the massage becoming painful. As usual, asked him to focus on lower back, glutes, hamstrings, knees, and achilles. 🙂

Art and Culture

Another Royal Festival Hall concert 🙂

Elgar’s ‘Apostles’

Another thing to help my down feeling is culture. And the opportunity came again for cheap tickets to a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Down there on Sat evening with Dave to hear Elgar’s ‘Apostles’. I don’t understand everything I go to but I try to appreciate and enjoy it.

Don’t think I totally got it

I described Elgar’s ‘Apostles’ afterwards as Downton Abbey crossed with Jesus Christ Superstar. Written 1902-3, it is an epic opera-like creation exploring Jesus’ life with a full choir and orchestra. I didn’t realise how religious it would be. 🙂 Very interesting though perhaps not as relaxing as some of the orchestra experiences we’ve attended.

But some interesting people met

Not a great turnout and the RFH does need to think about its diversity and inclusion policy. Average age 65 and 98% white. But we met some fascinating people at the interval. A lovely lady and her husband whose son was in the choir. Plus a very cultured man who was incredibly knowledgeable about classical music.

La La Land

dancing

Sun night with Dave to see ‘La La Land’, part of the BFI season of musicals; not normally my thing but he loves them. However, I think La La Land is brilliant and I never forget the original surprise I had in enjoying a film so much that I had no expectations for (plus Ryan Gosling 🙂 ). A brilliant piece of escapism but ultimately a tragic story of failed love. 🙁

Family

Mum

Mum’s leg continues to give problems and her mobility remains limited. 🙁 This is the sort of thing that matters in life and why one shouldn’t give a fuck about unimportant stuff. Things are a bit easier as my brother is back from holiday, he and his son stayed with mum a couple of nights last week (my nephew is on half-term and working with his dad).

Light in the dark?

Still doing shopping for mum and helping with her laundry. Also just spending time being with her. She’s got an appointment at a special muscular-skeletal service next week so hopefully they may discover what is causing the leg problem.

Social Investment

I am an innovator

I really enjoy developing new initiatives and trying new things. For instance in the past I have led on developing Tech for Good work before it was established within the charitable sector. And I have always had an interest in social enterprise (‘not-for-profit’ businesses) having first worked for a pioneer outfit in this field about 20 years ago.

What is social investment and why is it important?

My current paid work focuses in part on developing ‘new forms of funding’ beyond just giving out grants. This is being done by testing different versions of social investment / repayable finance (noting the risk of not getting all or any money back) including

  • interest-bearing loans
  • interest free loans
  • taking equity
  • investing into established social funds
  • social impact bonds
  • crowdfunding

And so last week I took part in two fascinating discussions. The first on Mon was to explore the focus for a new tranche of social investments to be made. The research has been done by an established social enterprise called Shift. And then on Wed I attended the Association of Charitable Foundation’s (website here) Social Impact Investment Group. The discussion was on the interplay between grants and social investment.

Of course most not-for-profit organisations such as charities and social enterprises want grants. But some can think about different forms of repayable capital / non-grant funding particularly if they aspire to be revenue-generating and self-sufficient. Plus they can work for funders as the return of money enables a circular economy where funding can be ‘re-spent’. 🙂

The Week Ahead…

  • Mixed up paid work days next week again with a full day on Thurs in part to attend training on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’
  • In light of above, aim is for gym 3 times on the mornings of Mon, Tues, & Sun
  • Hopefully jog-run on Sat morning weather permitting and the yoga group on Fri morning
  • Going to be very interesting on Mon evening when I meet up with someone I went to school with
  • Should finish 2 books I am currently reading – one by a transgender man and the other classic sci-fi. Then I must turn to the Velvet Page book to get it read in time.
  • Will spend some time with mum. I’ve pencilled in Fri afternoon as hopefully some quality time together without me being knacked have been at work.
  • Perhaps some culture during an evening or at the weekend – a movie would be nice 🙂
  • Keep trying to improve my language skills with the Duolingo and Drops apps 🙂
  • Ensure that I stay on top of both personal and work emails 🙂

And Finally…

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