Things have been quiet on D4D of late. Basically, I’m in a bit of a slump, and at the moment I’m not quite sure how to get out of it.
There’s a lot of reasons behind it, but mainly it’s down to an overbearing feeling of stagnation, or being a bit bogged down. I’m used to having change in my life, and at the moment it’s not really there. Some of that is inertia, some of it is still the final stages from the bankruptcy process and some of it is the current state of things. But it all adds up to an overall sludge – and while I know I want things to change, I also don’t quite know what I want to do next, or where I want to be.
Domestically, I’ve been in this house for seven years. That’s by far the longest I’ve been in any one place since I left the family home. I was looking at moving last year when the tenancy came up, but that was only just after the bankruptcy finished, and I didn’t want to push things while it was still showing up on credit checks and the like. So I’m thinking about it for this year – but there’s also nowhere that’s dragging me, nowhere that I’ve been and thought “OK, this is where I want/need to be”, and it’s all a bit up in the air. There’s still time, though.
Workwise, I’ve been working on the same project for more than three years. (Probably closer to 4, all told) And while we’ve got a lot done, there still feels like no end in sight (things keep on being added in to it, or stuff is more complex than initially expected) which doesn’t help. I like contracting in general for exactly this – that each contract is finite – even though they can (and usually do) get extended, they still have an end date where I can say “Nope, I’m done”. This one is open-ended, and it’s feeling more and more like a proper job and blah blah.
Outside of those two things, there’s so much doubt about what’s going on in the UK – with Brexit being delayed even further, it’s left everything in limbo again, of not knowing what’ll happen with it, and what’ll happen with jobs, economy and so on if and when it happens. I can’t deny, that all contributes to the current sense of stagnation.
I’m not depressed – well, no more than usual – and I’m still getting out and getting other stuff done. It’s just that I’ve not got the time or energy for anything extra. I wish I did, but I don’t.
I’m going to keep on working on it, though. I know I need a couple of new projects to be getting on with – but I also need to find the motivation to get it going. That’s where the stagnation is really hurting – I know I need and want to change, but right now the drive to change things is also being blocked.
I’ll figure it out, I know – I always do, and always have done. And hopefully it won’t take too much longer to turn the corner.
And so, Happy New Year. Another orbit round the sun, and as is the tradition, some thoughts about what’s coming.
As usual, I don’t really do resolutions – particularly not New Year’s ones. I do a list around my birthday, which can be found here, but I’m thinking about some changes this year as part of that as well.
One of the things that will change a bit is that I’m going to put more into sorting out routines for things, rather than necessarily just looking at the goals themselves. There are a couple of bits on my list where it’s about “I want to have done [x]”, and that’s fine. But more of them are about “I want to achieve [y]”, and while I’ve always had the intention, the actuality has evaded me.
Last year I got pointed at this article about creating systems rather than setting goals, and it rang a major bell with me.
All told, I’m in a good place to get started on this stuff.
I’ve just completed version one of a project for another contact, and I’ve done pretty much all I can on it until they get back to me with final information. It’s a working version, although I’ve had to replace some of the functionality/information I’m waiting for with automated processes for the minute. But I’m happy with where it is, and it’s now out of my brain, which is A Good Thing.
Of course, it’s immediately been replaced with another project – this one something that’s important to me as well – which I want to work on sooner rather than later.
So, Happy New Year. Onwards and upwards, etc. etc.
And as one of the Doctors would say, “Allons-y!”
On Friday, the UK introduced a “Sugar Tax” on sweet drinks, purportedly to help reduce childhood obesity. Will it work? Personally, I doubt it.
There’s a few reasons – first and foremost, that a lot of manufacturers have already chosen to reduce the sugar levels in their drinks to put them into lower rates for the sugar tax.
Connected to that, diet and zero-calorie versions of most of those drinks have been available for years. If people haven’t chosen to swap by now, will paying 10p extra make them change? Probably not. There’s not even a really visible price difference – at least two of the shop chains I use regularly have upped the price on all the drinks, not just the sugary ones, which also defeats the object. If there were a visible difference ( “I can buy 500ml of the sugary one for £1.50, or the diet one for £1.35, so I’ll save money”) then it might work, but without that, I don’t see that there’s a real driver to force the change.
Alongside that, I *personally* have a problem with government telling me how to be healthy, and attempting to enforce that. I have the same issue when it comes to smoking, the way government encourages people to stop smoking, while also getting massive amounts of income from the tax and duty on cigarettes. (This also applies for alcohol, telling people to drink less while getting the income from the tax and duty, and so on and so on)
I also suspect that there’s a lot more damage done by the ‘invisibly’ sweet drinks – the bizarre creamy milky super-sweet concoctions from Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Costa et al – which now seem to be far more prevalent than sweet fizzy drinks. I suspect there’s a lot more of the obesity blame that can be laid on the coffee culture now than can be laid at the soft-drinks industry. I’m not even sure that the coffee chains are being hit by the sugar tax – I haven’t seen any mention of it being on anything except the soft-drinks industry.
It’ll be interesting to see the results – although of course the government will always claim it to have been a massive success, even when it’s a clusterfuck of monumental proportions – but I really don’t expect to see it have any positive effects on reducing obesity, whether in children or adults.
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice – the Shortest Day (and, of course, the Longest Night) of 2017.
From here on, for the next six months, the days get longer again. Only by a few seconds per day, but it all adds up.
Honestly, the Winter Solstice is more important to me than the whole of the Festering Season.
So every year I’m happy to see it happen. The dark days are finite, even if they come round again next year.
Yesterday, I got an email from Runkeeper, the app I use for tracking most of my walks.
According to them, in the last year I’ve tracked 803 miles – which isn’t bad, but does still “only” total an average of 2.2 miles per day for the year.
So I did OK (and I’m aware that there’s a lot that Runkeeper doesn’t track, for a number of reasons) but still, I know I can do much better than that…
Come this time next year, it’ll be interesting to see whether I have done more or less than this year’s 803…
Challenge, as they say, accepted.