Among all the usual stuff, I’ve spent some time this month getting things a bit more organised, and kicking off things that had slipped last year.
So in the last two weeks, I’ve…
- Moved/merged my credit-card crap onto one interest-free balance-transfer card.
It’s not a huge amount, and not something I’m worried about, but it’s good to have it in one place and no interest for the next two years.
- Started playing hunt-the-pensions, seeing if I can find them and merge them into one fund, so I know where the hell things stand.
I’m not expecting much, but again, it’ll be good to know
- Started sorting a new will, as the last one was done while I was still with Herself. So yeah, that *really* needs to be sorted
- Booked in cat-sitting people for all the stuff I’ve currently got lined up (which is more than it should be, but less than it could’ve been)
- Actually also done less – in each of the three weekends so far, I’ve had a day of doing very very little, as per the plan for this year. I don’t know if that’ll keep on happening (in some ways I’m finding it more exhausting than being busy, but I’ll write about that another time) but so far it’s worked out
- Completed another project outside of my usual work, which has already made me more productive than last year
- Oh, and visited my first Michelin-starred restaurant of the year as well (and it was bloody excellent)
It’s been interesting, and eventful – and it’s good to have some of that stuff checked off the list already
It’s been interesting (for no good reason other than that this is a year that ends in a zero) to look back at what was going on this time ten years ago.
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed in that time – albeit none of it recently.
Back then I was still in Norfolk, and working in Bury St Edmunds (and I did keep the promise to stick with the one workplace for the full year of 2010…) I’d just had the first (and still only) accident of my driving career, sliding on ice onto a set of concrete fence posts, which did a blinding job of twatting the front nearside.
So in that ten years, I’ve
- split with Herself, had another shorter-term relationship, and been single now for much longer than either one.
- moved four times – and been in one place (the current one) for far longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived since leaving home
- changed jobs more times than I care to think about (I could work it out, but truly can’t be chuffed) and been doing the current one for far longer than I ever expected
- been through the whole bankruptcy process, and come out the other side
- been to more plays and theatre things than I’d ever have thought I’d have been to
- and the same for restaurants – Michelin-starred and otherwise. This time ten years ago, I’d not been to any Michelin places – that happened in mid-2010, and I wasn’t impressed at the time. Maybe I should go back there, maybe not.
- changed car twice, and rented a bundle of others as needs directed
There’s a lot of other stuff – it’s interesting to see how a lot of the things I wanted to change then that I still want to change now, for example – and I’ll write more about that elsewhere/elsewhen.
It’s a whole new decade out there (and I can’t be arsed with the argument about whether that’s 2020 or 2021, so don’t bother) and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
For your ‘busy’ do you get anxious when the calendar is empty, do you just like having ‘a plan’? Would it work if you planned an afternoon of deliberately doing nothing? (the challenge being to stick to it?)
It’s a bit more – and less – complicated than that.
I don’t need a full plan of “I’ll do [x], then [y], then [z]” for either a day or a weekend. In general I’m happy with an outline idea, even if it’s just “I’ll go to London” or whatever.
However, I do like having at least that idea. A blank space in the calendar is an oddity, and it does leave me feeling uncomfortable.
The other side of it is that my time off is precious to me, my weekends are important. I make sure that I do all my domestic stuff during the week, I refuse to spend half of those important two days doing cleaning, laundry, shopping and so on. They’re my own days, and if I do nothing with them, I feel they’ve been wasted.
So long as I do *something* with them, I’m OK. And even ‘just’ spending a day at the cinema catching up on films counts as “doing something”, so my criteria are quite low on that basis.
It’s that balance I need to find, somewhere between going out – day trips and time away, seeing friends, that kind of thing – and just doing enough to appease my work ethic. I also probably should find a way to be able to class days of doing nothing as also somehow counting as doing something.
It’s not an easy balance to find, and I’m not quite sure how I’ll get it right, but I think it’s time to at least try…
With my plans for 2019-2020, the first key thing (although it’s not really something quantifiable) is to do less.
The last two years have been particularly hyper, with very few days/times where I’ve not been working, or travelling, or doing stuff. I don’t resent it – most of it has been my choice, after all – but it needs to slow down a bit.
I don’t yet quite know how I’m going to do it – some of the problem is my own mindset and work ethic, where I feel I’ve wasted a day if I’ve not done things. In particular, my weekends are precious and important to me, and I don’t like seeing them disappear without something to show for it.
But I also know that I need to not be quite so hyper, to take some down time and space. There’s a balance in there somewhere, and I hope to be able to find it.
I suspect that what will happen is that this will work alongside “be a better friend” and “be better to myself”, and that it’ll involve still travelling to see friends, but also doing so for things that work for me.
Having thought about it way more than originally expected, my plans for the coming year are actually pretty basic. It can all be summed up as :
- Do a bit less
- Write a bit more (both here and elsewhere)
- Be a better friend – see friends more, that kind of thing
- Be better to myself – do some different stuff just for me.
- Consider a new location
So that’s the basic plan and points. I’ll aim to explain them out in a bit more detail over a couple of further posts – which might seem like I’m padding things out, but it’s more about wanting some time and space to figure it out, rather than just brain-dumping right now.
Needless to say, it’s been quiet here for the last month or so.
There’s been a fair amount going on in reality, but primarily it was just about taking a break.
OK, I can’t deny, a lot of this year has been a break on D4D, and that’s something I plan/want to change. (That’ll be another post)
The last month, though, has been an intentional break rather than the accidental ones that’ve been occurring. I wanted to take a break from even feeling like I should be writing stuff on here, and to see whether there’s been any further drive to write anything away from here.
It’s been kind-of successful – I’ve got ideas of things I want to write outside here, but I’ve also had ideas and thoughts for posts here as well, so I’m regarding it as generally a positive thing.
There’ll hopefully be more about those things and thoughts over the next few posts, and we’ll see how things to.
So, I had some plans for the last twelve months, and it’s time for an update. It won’t make for hugely positive reading…
The list from the post a year ago is as follows.
- Keep on working on losing weight.
This one is a long-term thing, and one I’ve written about before. For me, it’s a struggle – I’ve worked with a number of resources this year so far, and feel better-informed than I was, but there’s still a long way to go. If nothing else, this year so far has eliminated a lot of options and bullshit.
RESULT : Absolutely sod-all difference. Which is both positive (I’ve not gained any) and negative (for fuck’s sake, nor have I lost any)
- Keep on improving fitness/health
Linked to losing weight, I’ve had more success with this one over the last 12 months, but there’s still stuff to do and improve.
RESULT : Fitness and strength have continued to improve, with very few visual clues/hints that it’s happened.
- Continue doing the stuff I enjoy
Various bits here – but basically, do stuff I want to. Not as a “fear of missing out” (“FOMO”) thing, but just as in “I really want to see/do [x]” and doing so. (This is, of course, in direct contrast to ‘doing less’ in the list below, so it’s a bit of a balancing act!)
RESULT : This one’s been a success, actually. Although it’s not been a great year in many ways, at least I’ve kept on living my life and generally enjoying it.
- Be more sociable
I’ve realised this year that I’ve been utterly crap with seeing friends – I’ve been doing a lot of stuff, but at the same time it hasn’t been overly sociable, hasn’t involved going to see friends at all. And that needs sorting.
RESULT : And this one’s been a failure. In fairness, it hasn’t got much worse, but it hasn’t got any better either.
I’m getting rid of some of the longer-running goals. They’re still things I want to work on – I’m not giving up on the plans, just on the having them as goals – but it affects me more when I see my ongoing failure to complete/do/start them year on year.
So I’ll note them here as reminders, but they’re not part of the main “What I’m aiming for” list. See if it works better for me as advisories, rather than as targets/goals. And those reminders are…
I want to do more writing – I’ve got the ideas, but it’s finding the time, inclination and drive to get them actually going. I hope to schedule more in – I’ve also invested in some tools that should allow me to do so – but we’ll see.
RESULT : Nope, hasn’t happened. Even more ideas bouncing round in my brain, and an absolute zero on getting them addressed
- Business plans
As with the writing, I’ve got the ideas, but need to allocate time and energy to getting them to work. In some cases I’m frustrated by time, in others by funding for getting them how I want them. We’ll just have to see how things go.
RESULT : Nope, nor this. Ideas are still there, but I’ve done keck-all with them
- Doing Less
This is kind-of related to the above two – if I could sort my brain out so that ‘doing less’ was better, then I’d hopefully have more time to spend on the writing and business ideas.
RESULT : Nope. Still been an idiot all year and kept busy for about 95% of the time
- Plan Better
And the final one, which controls all of the others – make better plans, notes, and be better organised.
RESULT : Again, Nope. Not even close.
So, all things considered, while it’s not been a bad year per se, it’s also not been a good one. Which also goes to sort of explain why I’ve been crap at getting this organised/written, and why I haven’t yet thought about whether I’m doing this for the coming year, or just sacking it off.