I was talking to a good friend yesterday about my son’s departure for England today. I went through all the things he had done to prepare and all those who support him have done too. It all sounds logical, rational and for for my son, it’s no doubt very exciting. A great adventure. After a while my friend declared that I simply had separation anxiety. I’m pretty sure he’s right. Bugger, something I can’t just manage though doing things.
My father told me years afterwards, that when I left home at (just) 18 to join the police, he felt much the same. I can remember the leaving, feeling pretty confident, excited and wondering why my parents looked somewhat serious! Now I know. I said my goodbyes and strode to the aeroplane.
Finding your own feet and being responsible for what happens, and dealing with it, is probably the first (and arguably the most important) leadership step.
So as he sets off, it’s a tear in my eye for sure, but those broad shoulders will confidently walk through to immigration and off he’ll be. I’m certain he’ll have a great time. I miss him already and he hasn’t quite gone. Lovely young man he is. But he has to look forward. I did.
It’s the Italian word for jealous. There’s something much more appealing about a jealous Italian love story than the nasty everyday variety. Or may be it’s the disconnection from such an event that makes it sound softer.
I was reading a blog over the weekend on being grateful. It’s a great topic to explore and then to remind ourselves about being grateful for what we have, as opposed to being anxious about what we don’t have, or geloso of others’ things or situations.
If you read the comments on a New Zealand on-line news article, there’s a good chance that the vast majority of contributors have something to complain about. And maybe they do. But I’m sure, like all of us, they also have plenty to be grateful for, despite injustices and unfairness.
So why the complaining? Why the geloso (on occasion)? I’m not sure I know the answer to this any more than anyone else does. But in watching leaders and others I know, those who don’t complain and who aren’t jealous appear more content, more at peace, and happier.
You might say that those that display these characteristics don’t have so much to complain about, and you could be right.
But you could be wrong for yourself. Being grateful in my experience requires less energy, doesn’t require justification, can disarm, and give that most important of gifts to yourself. The freedom to move on without holding something that you most likely can’t change.
Many of the respondents to the blog I read “accused” the author of living a life without challenges. They could be right.
I suggest you try out being grateful next time you’re confronted with something which brings up the unfairness or jealousy gene. Just try it. Even to yourself, but even better out loud to others.
The weekend is a great place to start trying it out. It’s only 4 days away. Now that’s something to be thankful for!
Seemed like as good a day as any to return for a blog. There won’t be another date like this for quite a while. Which is a bit like every day. But some days there are patterns.
I’ve been riding my electric-assist bicycle around a lot lately. Work, friends, even going to the movies. And finding I arrive feeling very alive and, as far as getting to work goes, much much quicker. I’ve also spent quite a lot less on petrol, and using the car has become like a treat.
Riding a bike in the city streets isn’t something I’d do half asleep that’s for sure. It’s full alert, defensive driving (riding) at its height. It’s liberating, fast at peak hour (especially if you find a bus lane as I am fortunate enough to have most of the way into the office) and there’s the added exercise.
I was talking to some colleagues at work today about the shape of one’s career. It’s not like a square paver path where each step is laid out neatly in front, but rather it’s like crazy paving, all over the place and you won’t necessarily know the next step until it’s laid out (credit to the unknown guru on LinkedIn who wrote this recently).
So why do we imagine it should be all laid out? Watch the cyclist. Rhythmic pedalling, and probably appears to the driver, give or take, like they are traveling reasonably direct. But the cyclist knows it’s a far cry from the easy (or hard uphill) journey. It’s watching like a hawk at the parked cars, checking for doors about to be opened, scanning the side roads, checking the traffic behind, watching the road, looking for potholes, avoiding metal plates and so on. It’s tiring without even thinking about the physical effort!
Have you sometimes thought that colleagues careers are all in order, one orderly step after another? And yours is chaotic, lacking direction, even meaning?
It’s partly about perception. On the inside chaos and crazy paving. On the outside, order and direction. I’d say take heart, if as you approach Christmas, and it’s crazy busy, that is just the way it probably is for everyone, and should be for you if you’re making progress in your career. If it’s too smooth and easy, it will be, and won’t be taking you where you want to. And you won’t be nearly as alive as you could be.
So on this day where the date is so ordered, with one number after another and as neat as can be, recognise that it’s a very rare and special event.
I’m living in a kind of post-Paris haze seeking refuge in my photographs, Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, even the cafe with the french name in Sandringham Road (give me a Bonjour please!). To say that I enjoyed my time there is true. I ran the Paris Marathon, my 15th and last (for now – but I’ll be doing some halves), saw some tourist stuff, and thoroughly enjoyed the city. Saint Germain, Cafe de Flore (the movie, the song, now the lunch, fantastic), Hotel Costes (it’s not just the music).
It’s fitting to do the Marathon in Paris, this is not a city that does things by halves, except the cars which are mostly half the size of those we drive, the architecture, the clothes, beautiful people, the jardins, art and cafes. I asked myself when I returned: why wasn’t I born there?
I’ve been really fortunate this year, Ireland first with my son and (now) daughter-in-law’s wedding. When they visited in Paris it was fantastic. Moments to last a lifetime.
Pining yes, but also complete. Traveling has given a satisfying sense of completeness, the reasons why I’m still processing, but it’s positive. I’ve been sceptical in the past on the virtues of travel. Not now, it’s brought a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.