ONE: Refuse to settle for 'small'......

12. Feb, 2016

This tip comes from 'Brooklyn' author Colm Toibin. '....who quotes novelist Henry James.'Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life'. Toibin re-reads constantly, due to 'it's deep opposition to complacency, it's own refusal to settle for anything small'. NICK THE QUOTE AND LIFE THE LIFE:

TWO: BE OVERTAKEN BY RHINOS: while running London's Marathon. Knees went at 6 miles, took too many Nurofen, but I limped to the finish line. Couldn't start a new job the next day, (toe nail trauma and a dodgy stomach). 'You've only had a small internal bleed', said the doc, when we spoke on the 'phone. 'Best to give the painkillers a rest though, eh'. This was a command, not a question. 


Game of Thrones and Hunger Games' Natalie Dormer who's all set for this year's Marathon;  loves 'the quietness of running'. Me too. It's part of my mid life manifesto for keeping my head clear. It does NOT have to be a 26 mile ordeal (with wrist tech) . I do 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. It's not a tranquil turn around the block. Part of the route takes in a busy London highway: buses/fumes/HGV'S; queuing at the lights. BUT, there's a green bit along the way, and my stressed synapses settle down. You might want to give it a go. 

THREE: BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHICH SILICON VALLEY TYCOON YOU TAKE SERIOUSLY. 'Death is the great enemy, says Peter Thiel, Pay Pal co-founder. I stumbled across him in a BA mag profiling Tech Titans. Peter's pretty sure that  I.T skills may defeat the big D. Yours might, but I don't have such confidence in my own 'blog/share/copy/paste/insert hyperlink' gifts.

Instead, Try Mikey Siegel,a robotics engineer turned 'enlightenment seeker and consciousness hacker'. “We are talking about technology breaking open the self-help industry.”  Meditation early adopters all; out West Coast way; Mikey meets regularly with other Silicon scientists to swap 'THYNC' tips. Like Mikey's sentiments, but  I'm leaving the 'Brain Buzzer' on the back seat. and sticking with the meditation bit. Treated with care, this (do NOT punish yourself if you can only do it for 2 minutes to start with), has helped me to  focus on the now, rather than freak out about those final days that Mr. Thiel's wants to delay. 


FOUR: LAUGH...ALOT. With affection. At yourself, at the world, with a mate, with your dog/cat/rabbit. Here's the science, if that's your bag, Am slowly learning to cook. Better late than. Sliced my first Butternut Squash yesterday. Made a veggie type stew thing. Looked like sick, but grated cheese covered the worst. Anyone for parsnips? 

FIVE: ASK A CHILD FOR ADVICE. Their wisdom is worth its weight in, whatever age you are. This pick up tip comes from a 12 yaar old girl I met at a funeral. 'When I feel scared, or I have had a bad day, I get out the toys I liked when i was very little, and I play with them, that really helps me to calm down'. Once home, I dug out the 'Hunca Munca' Beatrix Potter story. She was right

12/2/16 pic:




Resolution Overload? Keep sane without sit ups & self help books. You COULD copy the muscle man..

10. Jan, 2016

..OR go for the looooong list of 'musts, shoulds and oughts'. The one rule we CANNOT break: ' we MUST succeed in all our endeavours, and BE HAPPY'. I'm reaching for the ginger wine (new tipple), NOW. Since when did 'doing more stuff to improve ourselves', become a religious mantra? 'It's making us ill', says Psychotherapist Mark Vernon


There's some choice observations in his review of  The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han. 'We become trapped in cycles of overproductivity, manic communication and hyper-expectation', he says. My two giant carboard lists (they cover half a wall - it's  a small flat), are giving me skin rashes every time I see the wretched things.

Was up the docs yesterday for 'stop the itch on my fingers cream'. That'll be stress eczema due to the typing, whilst sorting the printer, keeping an eye on a leaky washing machine, and de-fleaing the cat. For me, increasingly, less IS more. Doc gave me a 'cream'; sat on it on the sofa. Another bloody mess to clean up. Finger tip eczema up to 8 out of 10. 

Granted, I have a touch of the ADHD Piccadilly Circus head. There's so much going on up there and people/ideas/must do's crossing the synapses IN there, I have to slow DOWN rather than take on more 'must do's'. 


Strangely though, I have made some GOOD choices for myself, well before the New Year's Eve post party panic. NONE come loaded with the ''I will be a better person' mantra. All of them have naturally emerged because they help me to feel better in body, soul and mind. You will/can, no doubt, find your own.  I run 20 minutes 4 times a week; round the beigy bit of grass near my flat (it's called a 'green' - estate agent speak). My head slows, I get a bit of perspective on domestic duties and work deadlines, and it has NOTHING to do with keeping thin or trying to look 25. Before these minor changes, I WAS  making myself ill with that self improvement society 'be better', cocktail. 


I do 20 minutes on the computer and then TAKE A BREAK. I realise that my work is 'good enough' most of the time; it doesn't have to be 'the best'. And if I get just 3 out of the 15 cardboard list jobs sorted, then it's been a good day. And then I give myself a REWARD. Best bit. It's NOT sweets (I know how to party), they were a real passion, but just make my head even busier and then there's a slump. A cup of decent coffee, a bit of sewing (don't laugh, it's very therapeutic and the Primark T shirts I have customised......FASHIONTASTIC), are tiny treat things, but they are MY tiny treat things. 


Mark quotes the thinker and mystic, Carl Jung. 'Before we strive after perfection, we ouught to be able to live the ordinary woman/man without self mutilation'. The muscle man addict in the pic (for whom I have huge compassion, actually), is lifting weights,  fuelled by a large protein shake of wishful thinking.  We may have been there ourselves at some point, we may be there now. 


I feel shattered just looking at him. If there must be a resolution, let this be a year of living our ordinary run of the mill lives, tweaking bits of them occasionally because WE want to, and allowing ourselves to be TIRED sometimes and then STOP to replenish. So simple to write, so counter cultural to carry out. 

10/1/16 image source: 

Latest comments

11.09 | 00:07

Thank you! Reply only 7 years late!

16.08 | 15:34

thank, you love. Apols for late reply. Clare

30.10 | 07:01

"Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site
and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog
posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even

04.08 | 07:34

I remember watching you perform this! You 'played' with army ranks - wasn't there a Major (Scandal? Disaster? Triumph?) and a Colonel in there? Funny and thought provoking- as ever. X

Share this page