Time to stop caring about everything

Mon 14 – Sun 20 Feb 2022

The theme of this week’s blog is that I think I have reached the time in my life when I know I should stop caring. That doesn’t mean being heartless, arrogant nor indifferent. More it means staying conscientious but giving up worrying about how everything may end up. Basically if you carry on worrying about everything then it becomes a burden that stops you living a life where you can be happy.

It’s partly an age thing. I am getting older and there is less time for me to make the difference I want; to achieve the better world I always hoped for. Plus things will happen after I have gone that will be out of my control. And you can only worry about so many things before you are hit by a sense of despair and despondency. Indeed, a stop caring attitude may be one of the key ways for me to overcome some of my depression issues.

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.”

Søren Kierkegaard

So it would be easy to dwell on the fact that me and Dave should have started our holiday in Gran Can last week which had to be cancelled due to both our work commitments. But what is the point of torturing ourselves on this? Stop caring – it has not happened but, hopefully, we will be back in our beloved Gran Can around this time next year.

Gran Canaria Hotel Neptuno

What happened last week?

So what is worth remembering from last week when I look back on this blog in the future?

  • Valentine’s Day. Two cards – one from Dave and one from my sponsored donkey LOL
  • The dreary Winter Olympics finished. Main issue was about Russian drug cheating and the mistreatment of a 15 year old girl. I stopped caring ages ago about any nationalistic angle of ‘how many medals have we won?’
  • Friday saw the arrival of Storm Eunice. Winds of about 80 miles per hour. I was indoors for most of it but ventured out later. Windy and some debris about but not too bad in London. Definitely more impactful in non-urban areas.
  • The threat of Russia invading Ukraine continues. I think Biden is playing it well. He’s basically saying to Putin ‘I stop caring about your ego; invade and see the devastating economic consequences’. Great to see a bully and his bluff being called.

Tech for Good

Moving towards semi-retirement

chilling

The need to stop caring is important when it comes to work. Yes – do the best job possible. But when you’ve done that then don’t constantly worry what comes next. Important for me as I have already said that I moving towards my semi-retirement in other blogs.

I am achieving in my current role and learning things that could be so useful in other settings. Things like the importance of ‘tech@core’ (organisations without tech as their heart don’t have a future), product over project (the total opposite for how most non-profit orgs and their funders think), and working in a flat structure (more empowering, and less bureaucratic than traditional hierarchies).

But I probably ain’t going to change the world as I once hoped and I am clear I don’t want to work full-time again; I physically don’t feel I have the energy. Therefore, what do I do next? But I need to stop caring as I am not bothered about climbing the career ladder. And I will survive whatever happens. Opportunities are always there.

‘Tomorrow’s wind blows tomorrow’

Japanese proverb

Pushing forward the Tech For Good agenda

Key things that happened last week where I managed to push forward the Tech for Good agenda at Thoughtworks:

  • Support for our big ongoing delivery project at Citizens Advice, a fantastic non-profit org
  • Getting everything in place so we can do a short period of pro-bono tech support for BMMRO We are basically updating the previous digitalisation work we did – more details here.
  • Viewing some of the sessions at our internal Social Change Festival and our DEISSC (Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, Sustainability, and Social Change) ‘Global Town Hall’ – a chance for all staff across the world to find out more about what we are doing as a company in these areas.
  • Doing the ‘cultural alignment’ interview for a potential new member of staff and also running the social change session of the induction for new staff. Tis good to work for a company that has a strong internal culture and wants to ensure people understand it.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Albert Einstein

Personal Development

My beautiful new pooter

Big exciting thing last week was treating myself to a new laptop. Sometimes you have to stop caring about the expense and treat yourself. I have had my old laptop for about 3 years. It’s still OK but it has got more clunky and slow over time. So ordered new laptop on Sunday and it arrived on Monday. It’s lovely – fast and clean, a beautiful piece of hardware. Sure this will help me when I go back to investigating No Code in the future.

Coffee computer pen+paper

Spanish

Meanwhile, I continue to continue my daily Duolingo Spanish lessons. Did miss one day last week but I’ve learnt to stop caring when you miss the odd day or two – it happens. Life isn’t about giving yourself a hard time and overall progress is better than no progress at all. I really look forward to a time in the future when I can go back to my love of learning various new languages.

Family and Friends

Bit less time with mum last week as my brother stayed over one night during the week to take her to get her hair permed the next day. Getting her hair done on a regular basis is one of the most important things to her. Spent the weekend with her – Dave went clubbing… In general, my mum remains fine as does Dave’s.

Phyllis

My former Comic Relief colleague Philip was back in London for a visit. And on Tuesday we met in Soho for lunch after I had finished at the gym. It was a rainy day and made me wonder why he would want to leave the warmth of the Costa Del Sol. So nice to chew the cud together over a nice relaxed lunch before he went off to see his brother.

Sona

Then on Thurs evening I used the brilliance of social media to keep up with another old work colleague. My friend Sona who lives with her partner on a farm in France. Remember before Brexit when you could just up sticks and go to live in another part of Europe? Sona is doing well and we had a good catch-up about life particularly her various animals.

Be happy and grateful about nice things

Art and Culture

Mirror, Mirror

No visits to great cultural centres to report on – alas. But an important cultural experience. Friday evening, completely by chance, I came across a channel showing my favourite ever episode of Star Trek (the original series). It’s called ‘Mirror, Mirror’ and it’s about when Kirk and a landing party get transferred by accident to another dimension. One where their Federation is a cruel Empire and the starship Enterprise’s crew are a violent lot with control based on violence and fear.

Alternate realities

This episode actually created a whole genre within the Star Trek franchise of alternative realities and dimenstons. And it influenced other sci-fi genres. Indeed this is central to my idea of ‘stop caring’. I have railed against the danger of indulging in too many ‘what ifs’. What would my life be like if something had happened or not happened? Pointless in that it wastes energy and creates resentment. Thus do whatever you think is right and do not dwell on what might have been if you had done differently.

Health and Efficiency

This theme normally features at the top of my blogs. And that may suggest I am too concerned with it. ‘Stop caring’ in relation to this area is that I need to give up any idea I am still harbouring about becoming an Adonis with a washboard stomach. Sounds obvious but it’s hard in a world cursed with a culture dominated by youth, beauty, thinness, and muscles. Such that that the vast majority of us are always going to be unhappy unless we stop caring. But that doesn’t mean let myself go completely in a physical sense.

Gym, exercise and weight

Happy to get to the gym twice last week. Always makes me feel good and being there reinforces my need to stop caring about everything and chill. Plus concentrating on leg exercises and time in the sauna / jacuzzi does seem to be helping me overcome the osteoarthritis and pain in my knees. So 10 sessions now since I re-started at the gym which equals £50 per session.

Curls

Also some long purposeful walks to and from the gym as well as over the weekend. Latest weight suggests I have gone up a pound and a half – see details here. Oh well, I won’t let myself balloon but I am going to stop caring about the fact that I ain’t ever gonna stop being a bit overweight.

Sustainability

I am certainly not going to stop caring in the sense that I will stop worrying about the damage I am doing to the Earth and passing onto future generations. Rather I am going to stick with doing the very best I can to help stop the headlong rush to climate disaster. But once I have done my best then I must stop letting despair overtake me.

Spider plant

Cutting consumption

Apart from not having children nor a car, my other big contributions to stopping the climate emergency is to simply consume less. So only buying if I really need things like waiting until the last moment to get a new laptop. Ideally I would like a new phone as the current one is about 3 years old but it still functions.

Meanwhile, I continue to offload stuff in my life like the mass of books and DVDs I have bought over the years (why?). And I eat less meat. I’m currently planning to only fly two times in the coming year.

Birds

And I continue to love just watching the birds potter about on Dave’s balcony. The pigeons are getting more and more desperate to get to the food put out for the small birds. He has created a series of barriers to put them off but they keep on trying. Some of them have actually become quite well known to us. Poor Dave, he wants parakeets but gets pigeons LOL.

Books and Reading

One of my main ways to stop caring and find peace is to lose myself in a good book. A busy week last week (when are they not – see my previous blog here about a week that was both quiet and busy) such that I didn’t finish reading any books.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Dads are always hard work

I am finally nearing the end of ‘Memorial’, a very good novel by Bryan Washington. A lot of it is about how difficult it is for gay men to relate to their father. So true for me, I struggle to think of one single thing I have in common with my dad bar shared DNA. 🙁

Nautical life

And I am loving the latest Patrick O’Brian installment about the nineteenth century naval adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin. This book is about their tracking of an American ship attacking British whalers. Don’t always get all the nautical details but O’Brian creates a fascinating world totally different from the one we exist in today.

Stop caring – you will die anyway

Stop caring, death is inevitable

Definitely the message of the only book I started last week. One I’ve been meaning to read for ages – ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ by Sogyal Rinpoche. It shows how far our modern thinking has changed. Written in 1992, much of its thinking is totally mainstream and normal now. Basically the message is stop caring about death – it’s inevitable. Rather accept it, never forget it, and live a good as life as possible.

The Week Ahead

  • Gonna try to carry on my ‘stop caring’ attitude. Dealing with life on a day to day basis, doing the best I can, and not getting uptight or worried about things.
  • Blessed normal routine of 3 days at work and 2 days off so I can get to the gym on both of those days
  • Should finish the books by Washington and O’Brian then have the thrill of starting a new book or books 🙂

And Finally…

Only 3 things

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