The Art of Positive Drifting

Mon 25 Sept – Sun 1 Oct 2023

TLDR

The main points of my blog:

  • I am in a period of positive drifting. Moving onwards without making too much effort but feeling good about it. A challenge to the ‘work gives your life meaning’ orthodoxy.
  • Progress on exercise (my achievement in front-crawl is especially pleasing), looking after mum, reading, and learning languages – all things that matter to me.
  • Dave has been away seeing his mum but I’ve been catching up with a former work colleague and going to the cinema.
  • A review of another excellent book, ‘Old God’s Time’ by Sebastian Barry

What is ‘Positive Drifting’?

In my previous blog (here) I relayed how caring and not caring are key factors in my current everyday existence. I also see myself on a journey positively drifting through life at the moment. I use these words deliberately as I don’t feel stressed. And I am moving in a direction that feels like forward. Plus I feel in control of things so it is fair to say that this is positive movement.

This positive drifting flows into many parts of my life. It has both a physical and mental dimension to it. And it is something I try to reach when I am exercising and reading.

It could be claimed that I am in a negative phase of my life with no job and no clear end point. But it doesn’t feel like that to me and that’s a very old-fashioned way of looking at how life should be. Is there anything more tedious than being asked ‘What do you do?’ As though all that defines you is your paid work. And, invariably, anything is looked down on that doesn’t bring in tons of wonga.

It feels that I am in a very good place. Like being caught in a slipstream and going forward without making too much effort. Where does it end? Don’t know. We all die in the end and I may well work again in the future. But, at the moment, I am making good impact and progress around the things that matter to me.

Do nothing cat

Health and Efficiency

Gym: Onwards, ever onwards

3 good sessions on my normal days. I’m doing around an hour and fifteen minutes each time I am in the gym. I get into a good place in my body and my head. Yep positive drift in that I am progressing forward but it doesn’t feel like effort though, obviously, I am having to work at it physically.

Ankle / Achilles is still fragile and I don’t think it’s just in my head. So I am continuing with a focus on upper body and core as well as doing some leg exercises that (hopefully) aren’t taxing my lower legs too much.

99 gym sessions since the start of 2023 divided by the annual membership = £5 per session.

Curls

Swim: Learning to breath on both sides

Two good swims on Thursday and Sunday mornings. With particular pleasure coming from doing more front-crawl. And being able to breath by turning my head to the left as well as to the right. It feels so comfortable, like I’m physically and mentally drifting which is the sort of nice feeling you want when you exercise. Indeed, back-stroke now feels like hard work in comparison. But that might be a good reason not to give up this stroke as I can feel my body working.

Weight and diabetes

A small weight increase of three-quarters of a pound. I’m not too worried that between 12 stone, 11 and 12 pounds is where I seem to be hovering. Definitely no sign of drifting upwards which is good.

Went for blood tests on Tuesday and GP phoned me to say that the results (reinforced by hereditary patterns) suggested I was moving into becoming diabetic. Ho hum. I am being referred to the diabetes prevention service. I’ve lost a good amount of weight since December and regularly exercise. So the only thing left is to change my diet and reduce my consumption of carbohydrates. Now that is going to be difficult and depressing.

Carbs

Books and Reading

‘Old God’s Time’ by Sebastian Barry

Only one book finished last week and another very good one. Sebastian Barry is a strong writer and I have read a couple of his books. I definitely want to read more.

This is the story of a retired policeman in Ireland. As the story progresses, we hear about his tragic family story. And we are drawn into new developments interrupting his retirement. But then it becomes less clear what is true and what is imagined. The book feels to me like a study of a man struck by tragedy and one also dealing with declining mental health as well as possible dementia.

But there’s also an element of the ‘normal’ ageing process here and the way our minds start drifting. It’s so easy to spend time and energy remembering and picking apart events in the past as we get older. To run over when things went badly and how we could have done things differently. But also to start thinking of things that didn’t happen especially those we really wished had taken place. Ultimately the line between what did and didn’t happen can become blurred in our head. I know I certainly experience this.

Overall, a deep and sad novel that makes you think about how we look at and remember our lives.

Dying but still beautiful flower

Family and Friends

Positive drifting with Mum including lots of health stuff

Me and mum are definitely positively drifting along together. I’m not sure what much more you can do when looking after your elderly parents. You have to take it day by day and remember that your time together is limited. So it’s better just to go with the flow and not get wound up about anything.

Also when you get old, the GP surgery and hospital seem to become your second home. Me and mum both had our Covid boosters done last week which was simple and routine. Plus mum had to go to the dentist to have some work done on her teeth. Doesn’t sound a lot but it totally exhausted her. Apart from that, a nothing special week though with me spending plenty of time with her to check all is OK.

Dave took his mum to Blackpool

Dave went off to Blackpool on Thursday to spend the weekend with his mum who was delighted to be seeing the illuminations and fireworks. They also went to the theatre on Friday and had a great time. She’s increasingly dependent on her wheelchair which is so sad as she used to be very active including regularly cycling.

Catching up with my old work colleague

Met up with my former work colleague Jeantine on Thursday for a coffee after I had been to the swimming pool. So nice to see her after about 9 months. There really is something lovely about meeting up again with a work colleague you operated closely with; finding out how you have both progressed in life.

Art and Culture

Hellraiser

A cinema visit on Monday with Dave to see this classic horror movie from 1987 – read about it here. I had never seen it and remember people reporting how scary it was when first released. Indeed, Dave could remember someone throwing up in the cinema because it was so disturbing.

So what was it like? Well, it really wasn’t that scary (horror cannot be beaten by the real-life film of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp). The special effects felt old-fashioned (think plasticine and lots of make-up) and it reeked of the Eighties in terms of fashion. To a certain extent it felt like the routine horror of the times typified by other films such as ‘The Evil Dead’. It certainly reminded me of ‘The Hunger’ but that had far more style.

A decent length at only an hour and a half. And very entertaining if you like classic horror and reminders of what the UK in the 1980s was like. An important thing to remember is that this is a film made nearly 40 years ago. So in many ways it was like watching a black and white film from the 1940s in the 1980s. To be fair, a big gap.

red demon head with horns

QPR: Negative drifting

In so many aspects of my life I aspire to this feeling of positive drifting. But everything has an opposite and it is easy to see negative drifting in various places. How many of us have had negative drifting in our careers or relationships where we are just moving but without purpose or benefit?

QPR are definitely in a period of negative drifting: inconsistent and directionless. A 3-1 home defeat on Saturday. Our home form is absolutely dire, your home ground should be a fortress. Into the relegation zone where I suspect we will spend a lot of this season. And the question arises of whether a change of manager could make things better?

Man feels sad

Sustainability

Plus negative drifting into a climate disaster

And this is the way we seem to be moving in terms of the environment. We all know global warming is happening and the impact will be disastrous. Plus we know exactly how to stop it. But we are addicted to our lifestyles not wanting to change and so we negatively drift towards disaster.

Plus this week the UK govt encouraged that negative drift by junking its Net Zero policies, giving the go-ahead for the Rosebank oil and gas field, and took on the role of champion for motorists. How future generations will curse them.

Death

The Week Ahead

  • A strange week in that my days are a bit up in the air as we have a 2 day tube strike and my brother may be going to spend time with mum.
  • Hopefully I can get in my usual 3 gym sessions and at least 1 swim. Dependent on if the tube strike limits me or staff in getting to the venues.
  • Time to be spent with mum but may be different to normal because of my brother’s presence i.e. he may take mum shopping rather than me.
  • Should finish my current 2 reading books: ‘Shrines of Gaiety’ by Kate Atkinson and ‘LOTE’ by Shola Von Reinhold. Both very good and the latter is to be discussed at the Velvet Page Book Club I hope to attend on Thursday evening.
  • I suspect more nails in the QPR coffin: Leeds away on Wednesday and at home to Blackburn on Saturday

And Finally…

Nichelle Nichols RIP

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