Time passes – try to appreciate this

Mon 22 – Sun 28 Feb 2021

I have said many times before that it feels like my own time is ticking away. I am in my fifties and I can’t help but think I’m on countdown. Till my physical body cracks up and perhaps my mind goes and then I die. Dramatic but we all die and the thing is to live as much as possible before the inevitable happens.

It's a crazy time

But it seems so difficult at the moment when it feels like we can only semi-live. How many of us feel despair and like we are trapped or life is on hold? Time feels like it passes slower than normal but all time passes at the same speed and we need to enjoy every single moment. Indeed, I suspect that one day we may look back on this time with fondness as when we had camaraderie and were free of some of the normal stresses of life.

My crazy dream – a normal representation of the time we are living through

Hair peace, bed peace

I don’t put emphasis on dreams. We have them and they mean nothing. I do occasionally have a small event happen in my life and I swear that I have dreamt it. But dreams can’t portend the future. If they could then that would mean our lives are mapped out or already happened.

For me, dreams are more about our mind and our bodies playing tricks on us – perhaps deliberately or out of spite. It’s all sorts of crazy stuff thrown together and the nerves in our brains going haywire while we sleep.

I talk of dreams as many people are having weird ones during this time. And I had a pretty amazing one last week. I was in a restaurant with people I knew. The meal went really badly and the waitress was both clumsy and rude. I got really angry and had a big row. But then everyone disappeared. There were still diners but my friends and the staff had gone. So I looked for my shoes and jacket to leave (no idea why I had taken my shoes off!) but I could not find them. Then I woke up feeling very agitated.

What to take from dreams?

woman lays awake in bed

This dream meant nothing. What makes it so distinctive is that I can remember it and recall how it made me feel. Most dreams I forget straight away. I think this dream is related to the time we are in. We are all feeling so much at the moment – anger, abandonment, loss, and resignation.

But we just have to get through it. We just have to ride these waves until things get better. And they will, perhaps not fully as good as before but with time then things will move to the famous ‘new normal’. We just have to live through this time and make the best of it that we can.

Health and Efficiency

Pleased to report that I have had absolutely no adverse reaction to last week’s vaccination – you can read about it in my previous blog here. About a couple more weeks and the antibodies should have developed in my body. 🙂

Weight; no slow jog-runs but long walks

Basically went down a little in my weight. That’s good – not a massive fall but I’m definitely not on an upward trajectory. 🙂 And another week with no slow jog-run. My knee may be feeling a bit better without this but I miss running. 🙁 However, 4 long, purposeful walks between Dave’s and mum’s (our support bubble) last week – altogether about 6 hours of walking. I do love it, I can read my kindle or listen to a Big Finish Dr Who story and just drift away. 🙂

No gym for a year

range of dumbells

On a different route, it is amazing (and very disheartening) to think that I have not been to my beloved gym for a year. 🙁 And I still don’t know if it will ever re-open. Oh well, can only live in hope – time will tell. Gyms will definitely reopen but I may have to find a new one to attend.

INR

Back to the doc’s again on Monday to get my blood clotting levels checked. Great news – exactly in mid-range. So the very good news is that I don’t have to return for 8 weeks. 🙂 When you are tied down with a chronic health condition to manage, it is lovely to have some time when you don’t have to deal with the medics no matter how nice they are.

The changing fashions in how to apply for jobs

So I have a list of 4 or 5 jobs I intend to apply for over the coming fortnight. And last week I started working on the cover letters for the ones with the soonest closing dates. Amazing that now everything is CV + cover letter (and sometimes scenario questions on Be Applied). Not that long ago this was deemed dramatically unfair and any application was solely based on the application form everyone had to complete and submit. As I get older, I am more and more convinced that everything is circular.

A thumbs-up for Job Centre Plus

Doing an assessment or interview

Last week, I caught up with my new Job Centre Plus support worker as my previous one had retired. I was nervous because you hear horror stories about officialdom and I wondered if she might think I was not doing enough in my job search.

But she was as supportive as my previous worker and assured me I am doing all the right things which will, ultimately, lead to success. 🙂 During a period when it is so hard to find a job it is important to feel people are cheering you on.

Friends

Nissa and Dan

Catch-up time with these two old friends last week. And both fellow Tech For Good practitioners. Great to spend time with them – particularly to pick their brains about a possible job. I love the ability to be really honest with good friends and seriously weigh their advice because you trust and respect them. On a personal level, both are doing OK – very busy with work and family. Two people I really appreciate having in my life and wish I hadn’t left contacting for so long.

Helen

Another catch-up / introduction with someone I didn’t know last week. Helen reached out to talk about my experiences of job-share working. It was really nice to go through my experiences (all positive) and why I felt it was such a positive thing. So the stuff around avoiding burn-out, sharing expertise, and enhanced support systems. 🙂

Personal Development

Languages

One of the ways I am using my time is by continuing to do my online language learning. Focus is on Russian and Greek as outliers. But I am also doing focused work, at least every other day, around German and Spanish. Indeed, for the former I am still in a 90 day challenge. Not quite doing every consecutive day but up to about 35 days. 🙂

Tech

Ones and zeroes

And I am still doing units on Free Code Camp. Had planned to drop into the Inclusion in Tech Festival last week as well as a webinar on digital trends. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time with other stuff to do. 🙁 Oh well, I think I am using my time wisely at the moment so I ain’t going to guilt-trip myself.

Sustainability

I have written before about how I have filled some of the time during lockdown by starting a side hustle of selling stuff online. It’s sustainable and circular economy because it’s not new stuff, it’s simply objects I own that I don’t need any more. And it is giving me some much needed income though we are talking about pocket money – it’s not a way to get rich. 🙁

Reusing and reloving on a bigger scale?

Waiting for answers

What I am realising is that I enjoy identifying things once loved but not needed any more. It’s a blow for capitalism as it means things don’t need to be created rather existing stuff reused. 🙂 Could this be a business idea for the future albeit on a much bigger scale? Enabling things to be reused and reloved without consuming valuable resources to create new stuff.

Enjoy letting go

My recommendation to everyone would be to use this precious time to go through cupboards, drawers, boxes, etc. Enjoy finding stuff you once loved but don’t want any more. Sell it online or give it away – create a bag of stuff for the charity shops when they reopen. It’s very empowering as, ultimately, coming to terms with time passing is also about learning to let go.

Art and Culture

TV – ‘Survivors’

Still watching my beloved soaps and carrying on with the great 70s series ‘Survivors’ – halfway through season 2. A great analysis of time passing after a pandemic and how people try to make sense of their new world. Strange to have Friday arrive and realise there was no ‘It’s a Sin’. 🙁

‘It Happened Here’

Finished watching this film online. From the 60s, it’s a ‘what if?’ around the Nazis occupying England. Grim and shows, quite correctly, how many people would have collaborated. We all like to think we can be heroes standing against the aggressor but most of us just buckle under. That’s why you’ve got to admire some of the people still fighting for freedom against the odds in places like Ukraine, Hong Kong, Russia, Myanmar, Belarus as well as the poor Uighurs.

‘You and the Night’

And I watched this wonderfully arty and surreal film. More lovely European cinema, I don’t think anyone else does movies as art so well. The story of an orgy with renown because of Eric Cantona as one of the actors and a large prosthetic penis! A crazy film made by the director / artist Yann Gonzalez. Not always an easy watch and a bit tongue in cheek. But also a moving commentary on the fragility of life and human beings. Something we are all more aware of than ever at this time. 🙂

Books and Reading

One of those weeks where I didn’t manage to finish a book. 🙁 I have started three new ones. First, on my kindle I am catching up (primarily as I’m doing my long walks) with the much lauded contemporary horror book, ‘Mexican Gothic’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Second, I’m reading a collection of writings by the English author and ‘louche’ Simon Raven. Third, a renowned graphic novel – Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse. I discovered this in one of my big sort-outs. 🙂

The Week Ahead

  • Carry on carrying on but try to enjoy and appreciate this time rather than just see it as something to get through 🙂
  • Several things around job search including an interview to get on a new support programme for over 50s, a second interview, news about an application I am hopeful for, and submission of CV + cover letter for two vacancies.
  • Go through old stuff and get rid of it. I cannot emphasise the joy of letting go and travelling light 🙂
  • Four long purposeful walks between Dave and mum’s. Perhaps a slow jog-run?
  • Really looking forward to viewing some new movies
  • Keep on with my reading and language learning as well as improving my tech skills
  • #BeMoreDigital conference (details here) is online next week 2-4 March, must try and log into some sessions
  • Keep on with my 3 current reading books 🙂
  • Phyllis is 60!

And Finally…

This picture always cheers me up and makes me feel good 🙂

Stunning half naked man - how could you not smile?

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