Well, that was odd. I received all the experience of losing a job – the surprise, the reasoning, the acceptance, the wishing everyone a slow and painful death etc – only then to retain it at the last as the company withdrew their redundancy offer. Need to help the company achieve targets etc. I was effectively made, as my friend and uncle chimed, dundant. And who the hell wants to be dundant?
Other things I appear to have gained is more face. Although in fairness, I don’t think it’s happened just this week. In my aging state, which is a good a place to be as any when confronted with the alternative, the moisturiser (modern man, you see) seems to spend more time outside the cupboard than the hair wax. More face, less hair. Which, when you have a face as pretty as mine, isn’t such a bad thing, right? I know I’ve mentioned before how much of a positive person I am, even I didn’t realise I was quite that positive. When does positivity and delusion collide, I wonder?
I’ve been churning through a few things this week, Dr Chatarjee’s Feel Better in 5 Minutes about gentle exercises to improve mind and body (great for those with little will-power) and more interestingly The Art of Resilience - Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body by Ross Edgley. There’s a common saying within start-up companies that every overnight success is ten years in the making, and Ross is the embodiment of that. Ross travelled the world meeting far-flung tribes to understand stress and endurance, before setting himself the challenge of circumnavigating 1,780 miles of Great Britain by water without anything but his body, willpower and vast amounts of cake. Let’s say it all didn’t go swimmingly (arf!), but he writes engagingly and has one hell of a story to tell. An incredible read.
I’ve spent the weekend up in the bush again, enjoying the peaceful surrounds of country victory. This morning I thought I’d take in the quiet solitude with a cup of tea and a tranquil sunrise, for all the world believing I was the last human. But then that’s the problem with the wild, it’s packed full of wildlife. With the creeping light came the shrieking of the galahs and cockatoo’s, the swooping yet shy rosellas (twats), the squawking magpies, the crowing . . . ermm, crows, a sodding cacophony of birdsong. The gall!! F‘sake! I am trying to enjoy nature, here!
I sat in a café, drinking tea. No phone. No book. No newspaper. Just me, and tea. You know, like a psychopath. Everyone else was on their phone: the constantly moving waiter with incredible spatial awareness; the two friends sharing a bottle of pop; the lady sipping champagne; even the two walk-ins that strategically climbed into opposite corners of the café to obey COVID distance laws. A world of constant distraction. I chatted to some passing neighbours when Italian tennis player Fognini, apparently staying in the apartment block, whistled on by with his entourage. We wished him good luck, and clearly it worked as he trounced some witless Magoo three-zip. Should have kept my luck, wishing it away freely like that. Could have been a damned winning lottery ticket!
Those times without distraction seem so rare: when walking I generally listen to an audiobook or talk on the phone; when I go to the gym or go running, I’m listening to heavy music, grimacing and growling at myself to get a fu**ing move on, made much harder if a track skips from a raucous Alter Bridge number to James Blunt. More grimacing. Even when working I’ll often listen to music. Perhaps that’s why my quiet morning meditation is fast becoming one of my favourite things. Without television, radio, Netflix or video games (are they still called video games?), lockdowns are interesting affairs. I didn’t need another five-day lockdown leaping out of the blue, and nor, I imagine, did anyone else. Then again, how would I know? Maybe there’s an entire Netflix series on people hiding in houses, refusing to acknowledge reality, then voting in the Senate.
Before jumping into another job at the end of March, I’m enjoying the world of possibilities flitting through my little brain. I welcome suggestions! Rachael O’Meara book, Pause, mentioned a course on Emotional Intelligence for Transformational Leadership and Coaching. God know what it all means, but it sounds good. Another avenue may be writing a book on Leadership. I mean, Christ, I’ve worked in global corporations for twenty years, I’ve drank in over sixty books on philosophy, resilience and self-improvement, some of it must have sunk in. This thought, by the way, came on Friday, probably during that cup of tea. I don’t know what they put in that stuff, kerrist! This is why you should always distract yourself, no good ideas come from spending time thinking! Distractions, distractions, distractions, that’s the way to live!
Thank you for your love and kindness, happy valentine’s day to you. May your day be filled with cheese! xx
I did say I’d be losing a lot this year: my company just made me redundant. On the plus side, I’m a 31-inch waist size for the first time in . . . erm, let’s say forever. I celebrated by buying a new pair of jeans, and I liked them so much I became giddy, buying a second pair exactly the same. Am now locked in!* The weekend has started well though: Friday night at the gym; up early Saturday for an 18km hike around the Macedon Ranges with two friends, completing 28,000 steps (and two falls on my ass) in five hours. I am now a broken man, hobbling around the flat nursing a sizeable blister, trying to avoid the sultry glances of chocolates and sweets, calling me like sugary Sirens.
Usually, I try to play tennis on a Sunday but may have to give it a rest, along with walking, unless I can fashion up the ability to levitate in the coming hours. I gingerly made it to the gym though and enjoyed/endured a long morning swim, which felt like my arms were towing a dead body i.e. the legs don’t work yet. I had hoped that I could just summon someone to carry me to the pool, reminiscent of a Roman Emperor/Empress. I’m imagining my courtier, Tarquin, suggesting the odd strategically placed fig leaf to hide my blushes, where I would eventually appear as a waddling hedgerow.
Not too sure what to make of the redundancy. It came as a bit of a surprise. I have survived many rounds up until now, yet this one stung a bit. There’s a little Through the Looking Glass about it: here, we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere, you must run twice as fast as that. I have just started a timely audiobook, Pause, by Rachael O’Meara, espousing making time for introspection. Commonly authors are pulling from the same philosophical threads of Socrates, Epictetus, Epicurus, Marcus Aurelius, Steve Jobs, Jeremy Bentham, Viktor Frankl, Seneca etc to provide simple advice: sleep well; meditate; exercise; eat well; never stop doing; never stop learning; support others; and give yourself a fuc*ing break on occasion. With my countless worldwide adventures, I’ve had more breaks than a prison made of KitKats. Either way, am giving myself some days to mull over my options. Whether I take the redundancy or seek employment somewhere else within the company, I know I’ll be fine. I am an eternal optimist, and things will work out for the best either way. To quote Frankl, as I think it’s officially illegal not to, what is to give light must endure burning. Oh good, a rejection for the book just popped in my gmail. Avanti!
* No seriously, can’t get them off, send help
Writing and writing...