Posts Tagged family
This week’s Sunday Column has been written a bit in a rush to be honest. I have been at a whisky show in Saturday, enjoying a few drams. Sunday I first went to the park with the boys and then to a 4th birthday party where it was very sunny. I really enjoyed family time today.
I have been reflecting on this blog a bit. It is going for 6 years and I have changed direction, style, columns and regular features. This blog is an outlet for my thoughts and interests. The close friend will notice when I am unhappier and when I am happier but the general public might not notice. And this hasn’t always to do with work, we all have mood swings for various reasons. However I like to think of me being balanced and calm, not a shouting or loud person. I like talking about life and the blog is an outlet.
Since I got a bit more time flexibility at the moment, I noticed by writing a book that it helps me to process things. I enjoy writing and voicing my opinion, never aiming to offend anyone.
This quote is very true and kind of matches my situation. I have this nagging voice saying to find a job whilst there is another voice in my head saying, now is your chance to do something by yourself. What has life in store for me? I trust the universe and things to fall into place. I believe things happen for a reason and also believe in Karma. However, I don’t rely on it. I am not sitting at home waiting for things to happen. I am proactive, make use of my time and work on concepts and plans to pursue. And maybe the big job is around the corner or if not, I might do my own thing or some interim work. I am 3 weeks out of my job and every day I discover new opportunities of different kinds. It is amazing and one needs to focus on the right ones, having a lot of patience. You don’t have one interview and a job, in my line of work and position a row of interviews are essential from both sides.
Patience: I am practising. Passion I got. Drive to succeed, learning how a product works, understanding the space I am operating in. I want and will succeed in whatever I do because I give 110%. I am passionate about work. That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes or know everything.
Of course I am selling myself here (why wouldn’t I?) – but the bottom line is that you will always have a challenge in any part of a job you haven’t had before. I want to learn more and I am passionate about management. That’s what my book is about. But after almost 10 years in the job, having an MBA and a fast track career, I still need to learn. The next 10 years will be very exciting for me. I cannot quite grasp the path ahead of me, but I am excited about it already.
As the picture says. I put in the work. And even my grandmother used to say: “Volker you are going to be ok. You work hard and you get along with people.” I will never forgot that. A mantra.
And just to update the folks, the kids are great and we look forward to Colin’s birthday and the holidays. And they enjoy me being around more although I have been very busy. To bath them. And to mend the train tracks, and to mend the toys. All clouds have a silver lining
Love and Kindness to you all,
PS: I didn’t touch on my philosophy Buddhism but all thoughts are pre written. I might change that column to something else this summer. We shall see. Writing a blog can be work too but I love it.
I often start with how quickly a week went. This one did. I went to a meeting on Monday despite the bank holiday and worked in the morning on some Central Europe related business. No rest for the wicked.
Tuesday and Wednesday were busy with working on a project that finishes early June and Thursday I spent in town in meetings. This resulted in a late night, and a slow Friday finishing off what I had to do and attend to the family.
Life is great if you are flexible to work but it also puts a lot of pressure on to get money in and feed the family. I have been discussing this with a few self employed people and came to the conclusion that it will be best to go back into full time employment soon. We shall see what the next few weeks bring. It seems that a few avenues open up and opportunities show themselves. I guess that only happens when you have time to let this happen. It doesn’t happen if you are tied down in the daily grind.
My MIL (mother in law) arrived much to the joy of the kids. They just love having their grandparents around to play, read, spoil them and show them things. It is fantastic to see that and the bond they are building. It makes you almost wish for a big family get together, like at our wedding. I am always thinking of having one for my 40th birthday but maybe we don’t need an excuse. Why not set a date and celebrate life and family. We need to think about that one.
I actually do think we don’t celebrate life enough. I am so astonished at life most days at the moment because I see my four year old discovering things. The blackbirds that pick the worms out of the ground and the snails going into their house. The bean stock that grows to heaven etc. This independent, clean and simplistic view of life that we lost. Naivety, curiosity and eagerness to learn. How many of us wouldn’t like to be childish again and jump in muddy puddles? Of course we would and I tell you: just do it.
There is nothing wrong with letting go and having fun. Of course there is a time and a place for it but regaining this childish feeling for just 5 minutes is amazing. Anyone who has kids is aware of it. Or should be anyway
I need to moan as well. After I finally got over my 6 weeks ordeal of colds, I started cycling and running again to find myself getting another cold last week. I don’t understand it. Not sure if my vitamins aren’t working or if my immune system is so down or if I am just relaxing and properly unwind to have another cold. Cough and snotty nose. Nice ey. But of course I will get over that as well and soon I am back to normal strength.
My new daily routine includes writing an hour in the morning on a potential book, so that’s is slowly coming along. I actually use a Bluetooth connected keyboard for my iPad to speed up the process. Writing in the clouds allows for editing on the go. You gotta love technology.
At the weekend we took the kids to a day out with Thomas the tank engine. We went to Tunbridge Wells were we met the fat controller, Thomas and Diesel. We then went on a 25 minute journey, got off, and they changed the engine around. We then made the same journey back the kids absolutely loved it. It is great to do those things at weekends. And the weather was good too, sunny and dry. Looks like it won’t stay like that.
We washed the car too. C and me went to the car wash and he rather enjoyed it. I used to cry going through the car wash as a child but not my boy, he cannot wait to go back and take his brother along. Other than that we struggle to get a good night sleep but hopefully teething finishes soon and we get our sleep back.
So yes, another quick week. Balancing work life working and living at home seems more complicated and challenging than anticipated. A lot of change but for the better at the moment. Let’s see how long it lasts
Have a great week,
Another fantastic week is behind me. Why fantastic?
It was my birthday! If you haven’t congratulated me, you better do so now Just kidding, actually I don’t really care about my birthday. And, to be honest, why should I celebrate? Due to a restructure at work I took redundancy. This was a bit unexpected, so not the nicest birthday present. But, as I am a very positive person, this change gives me plenty of time for the family and on the other hand it is a great time to get stuck in all of those pet projects that have been neglected for far too long. So watch this space on some developments.
So what am I up to now?
Honestly, I am doing quite a few things. I started working on this book I wanted to write for ages. So if I continue with this pace I might be able to finish it by….Christmas maybe. Just kidding, hopefully a lot sooner. Then I do some freelance consulting work, including some event stuff. I have been working freelance for a long time but have neglected my cb consulting project for far too long. So I am back pitching myself as digital consultant and performance coach. Whilst doing that I scan the daily job board for any news and see whether there is a full time position to go back to. Latter is most probably what I am going to do in the long term, but for now I enjoy the freedom and flexibility I have. With the weather getting better, I enjoy the time with the boys. Juggling all that isn’t as easy as you might think it is.
Of course I work on my diet and exercise programme too. I now got the time…you might think. Actually the more smaller projects you juggle, the less time you have. On Saturday I even fitted the new kitchen tap. Only took me four hours. I am actually struggling for time to get everything done I want whilst still attend to the family. Also this week I made it to London town for two days to meet people, discuss projects and see how things are. Catching up with friends is good and it is often neglected whilst being in full time work.
So as you can see it is the new me. I am a lot more positive and full of energy than I have been for a long time. And I truly believe things happen for a reason. People you meet, you don’t meet, you miss, you hear from etc. at those moments you realise how amazing life actually is. And who your real friends are. The weather is getting better and I connect a lot more with the kids, playing and just being there when they are around. Listening to the birds, watching nature, explaining things. Perfect harmony. Could we wish for anything more in life?
I know this won’t last forever and the daily grind will (hopefully) soon catch up with me again. But wouldn’t it be nice looking back in a few months saying I got a lot of quality family time out of this break, made new friends, got lots of my todos done and lived the moment? No it’s not always the easiest to enjoy it but I surely try.
In that sense I will chill out tonight. I got a lot of plans for next week.
Have a great one.
Stop at the next flower you see, take a deep breath in, smell life and think about if you enjoy life. Take two minutes to remind yourself you are alive. Remind yourself that you are here for a reason. And that in the end everything is going to be ok. If things are not ok, it isn’t the end yet. So stay positive, live in the now and enjoy what you have!
Love and kindness,
This week has been an interesting one. I finally got over (most of) the viral infections and felt a lot better. It has been warmer also with some patches of rain but lots of garden time for the kids already. All that is great. Sunshine in Eastbourne and open windows at night. Spring is in the air. Coffees outside.
On Monday, as normal these days, I spend the whole day in internal meetings catching up on everything. On Tuesday I attended a conference in Eastbourne, speaking, meeting and discussing top level as well as granular digital strategies and trends. I met a lot of cool, interesting, useful, inspiring and helpful people. The only issue is that you normally drink too much and by the time you are home on Wednesday, you just try to frantically catch up with two days of work. All well worth it.
I kept my Thursday as clear as possible but had to prepare a speaking engagement for next week. Whilst I love doing this, presenting and being at conferences, I never get too much sales done like I used to. Deep down I am a sales person, the hunter and go-getter. However, over the past 3-5 years I transformed more into the senior person, manager, country manager who coaches, develops successful high performance teams, joins high level meetings and talks to the CEOs and MDs. I like it. Yet, when you built a company and have done every job from connecting servers or putting cables down robbing on your knees, you are so more connected to the overall progress and guts of the company. Hands on I would write in a CV, and above reads a bit like one. But it is true. As many people in our industry you get approached and reflect on what you have, and I love the company I am working for. I would say that of course but we came a long way and will go a long way too. I love RTB
As you can see this week was very work dominated. On Thursday I met an old uni friend I haven’t seen for at least four or five years. Time flies. You know when you pick up a conversation after so many years and think you just spoke to the person yesterday? That is what it is like with Mr. N. What a good catch up. What a great friend. He also might move down to London. This would be very nice.
On the overall side of life, it is a bit of rock’n roll at the moment. Some things falling apart, some things being pulled back together. Weird stuff happening. But life is good. Some cycling, soon I go running again, a massage and chilling out. Playing times with the boys and cuddles at night. Good movies, dirty food, and sunsets. What else can you wish for sometimes. It is on bad days, comparing it to my friend I spoke to this weekend, like you are at home and hiding in your rabbit hole, just cuddling with the boys and doing family stuff. You forget about everything and anything and then you are back out there during the week. I guess that’s normal. So many dads do it. I still find it complicated to understand and live.
Anyway, no place like sunset whilst you are on the train home seeing the Ouse Valley Viaduct throwing a shadow across an English valley with oak trees. That is when I know I get closer to home and when I know it is time to chill out and relax (in my rabbit hole). That is home, that is the reason I commute. I love this peace and quiet, the peace I couldn’t get in London. A bit like the shire.
At the weekend we had friends from Essex visiting who we haven’t seen in ages. Again, the busier you get with family, work, growing up and daily business, the more you loose touch to the important friends. So good to see we make it an annual or bi-annual occasion to catch up with our friends. Maybe my 40th will get all of our friends together. From all walks of life, across the globe. A long way to go of course
Next week is another busy schedule. I look forward to it. But hopefully I’ll be home before midnight on Friday. I hate travelling Friday night. I really like being home for bed time one day a week. And that is normally Fridays. Never mind, there are always exceptions.
That’s probably all folks.
Colin got his bike. So tha’s another job done.
Have a good one.
I am starting this post whilst sitting in bed. 8 pm on Wednesday. No, I am not ill but tired. Last night I had a good night out with a friend who I haven’t seen for a long time, came home for half 10 and thanks to an ill boy and another unsettled boy, I spent half the night awake. I was so shattered I worked from home on Wednesday. I am lucky I can do that, although I recently found out there is a legislative for it too, e.g. giving employees time for family and family matters. Anyhow, whilst writing I just took R into our bed, with temperature and a cough he wouldn’t settle by himself. Three sentences on and he is more or less asleep. Bliss.
Our weeks have been like that lately, I had the man flu, the kids are ill, musical beds….the joys of family. On Monday I was so tired I couldn’t even sleep. Needless to say I have done no exercise, no healthy eating, and haven’t had my weekly fast day either.
But I love the boys and I am glad I can be with them. Support the wife and when I am away from home I miss them. C is so sweet saying things like “I take your car down to the garden centre and buy blue flowers” or “mummy I like this bike, I must tell daddy to get it for my birthday”. This is so sweet, I get lots of attention and cuddles. However, if they just would sleep or let me sleep
As always I am not too bothered. Anything that doesn’t kill us makes us harder. That is what the motivational quotes keep saying too. I have the feeling that a lot of people don’t understand me as they either don’t have kids or seem to ignore it more. I am just a bit touchy feeling, cry at sad movies and like people to understand. Even as a manager I am very open, as sales very honest. Trust, openness and integrity is key to my personality as well as my way of doing business. I think that is good. I am trying to make an effort to listen, understand and constantly improve myself. I am a winner…..at least I like to think so Nevertheless I am only at the beginning of a long journey.
Anyway. Swiftly moving on
Another big revelation was the government’s budget this week. More cuts. I normally don’t follow politics very closely but boy am I mad. They cut child benefits, they start cutting more stuff and the BBC’s calculator suggests I will be £1,700 worse off this year, making it almost 8K I have to earn more to have the same amount of money I had 2 years ago (this takes all cuts into consideration). No, my base salary hasn’t gone up by 8K and in a recession commission doesn’t seem to flow as frequently either. I don’t even want to mention inflation. Of course it is all my fault, but hey, this is crazy. I might compensate with commission working in sales, other people don’t. Any more cuts and I go crazy. Really, someone needs to stop those guys. And not as if the economy has gotten any better! Rant over!
2015. That’s the year of the next general election. Labour I say. Torries seem to stay in power for 5 years, ruin everything, then Labour got 15 years to turn it around again, and to improve it. Same pattern, different generation. 12 years in the UK taught me a lot. And then everyone (including myself in 2010) get fed up of Labour. Want Torries. Then….you know history. Isn’t that all crazy? I contacted the council to get residential parking in our street. Their response was that Hassocks is on the list of towns to review and they will be dealing with it but cannot give me a time line. Contact your local MP they suggest. I will.
What else could I rant about Nothing, lots of positive things happened this week. I work closely with an app development team to save my sanity. What I mean is that I abandon my work phone and moved everything back to my private iPhone. However, an app called divide helps me separating work and life by opening up a system in a system, a screen with an interface for my work email, calendar etc. The app is a bit buggy, so I constantly provide the guys feedback. Actually loving it a bit geeky, I know.
We got a motion sensor on the front door light. It annoys me coming home at night and the wife forgot to put the light on, or us forgetting to turn it off at night. So another job done. Then the landscape gardener came to get the patio laid but comes back post Easter to finalise it. Another big job done. The washing line will be up, and hopefully my man flu completely disappears in order for me to go back running. I am missing it.
It is a bit of a bug bear to have this cold for almost three weeks now. No running. No test ride for my bike. The kids are worse. No sleep. Means I am in this vicious circle with no sleep I can’t get healthy, can’t get fit, build up my immune system to have less colds. The boys seem to get better at he weekend but again are far from “normal”. Fingers crossed we will be all fit for Easter.
What an eventful week. Tired I am. Exhausted. Very tired. But happy. Content.
Have a good week,
What a busy week. Not only did I have a lot of meetings, including lunches and a function, I had to sort a lot of stuff out. GTD, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, helps a lot to stay on top of emails and everyday business. But hey, I guess that’s what I get paid for.
I have also been tired this week. But before I have a long moan, look at the weather. It is spring, still a bit cold, but spring is in the air. Of course I am tired. Slowly back on the treadmill, spring air and busy schedules make you tired. On the other hand I decided what kind of Mountain Bike I am going to get. Still looking for bargains but got a back up plan to be executed by Easter latest. Progress on all ends.
Or maybe not on all ends. Not sure if you have seen Mary & Martha on BBC iPlayer but I watched it on Monday. Not the greatest or most innovative story, it pointed out two essential points:
- we have a lot of money in the developed world and by giving very little we can improve the lives of many more in the developing world
- family, love for your family and happiness is by far more important than anything else in life, no matter what you think; we often don’t realise it
I don’t want to sound dramatic. Nevertheless, I started thinking, way before that movie, to do more on the charity side of thing. I probably can make a decision next week on that, latest by Easter. I also made the decision to live and eat healthier, that is where my fast and exercise routine comes in.
I haven’t given up on my career or work plans, because I enjoy what I am doing. And I am making progress. Opinion pieces, conference speaking engagement, networking events etc. I am moving in the right direction, keeping the end in mind. Enjoying it.
It throws up a lot of questions of course. Whether you take a few steps towards your goal each week, if you have a goal and whether it is the right one. And of course it would. Some people don’t have a goal, are not sure whether they move in the right direction and whether they enjoy what they are doing. Maybe I am just making this up. Maybe I just think I know. But even if, I still move in the right direction and make progress, because as long as I make progress it is the right direction. If I looked back, then I would look in the direction I am NOT going to. What’s the point?
Progress on the treadmill slowed down at the end of the week. I felt more exhausted and tired, thinking I am coming down with something. I didn’t drink all week until Thursday, when I went to a networking event. It was ok but not amazing. You were forced to drink a lot, e.g. they started boozing you up from 1 pm to better network. I wasn’t too convinced and didn’t drink as much as some others, but met some interesting and relevant people. Just the whole concept of forced “easiness” doesn’t work for me.
So this week has been the busiest this year so far. Lots of positive things happening and new developments. Good progress with my extracurricular activities, and whilst I still like to meet one group, I do believe I made up my mind. Never mind.
At the weekend I took Rohan swimming. Same as I took Colin swimming last weekend, I had daddy time with Rohan this week. Fantastic. Also, we went over to friends’ for a great afternoon on Saturday. And we had a dog.
No, not our dog but we were babysitting a Collie over the weekend because friends of ours went away. It took some time for the boys to get used to it but overall it encouraged me to definitely get a dog for the family. We will be looking into one I guess C is rather afraid as the Collie is too big and has big teeth. R absolutely loved him. So maybe another year, maximum of two. We all like having one but it is a huge commitment compared to a cat.
That kind of sums up the week. Busy but good, exhausted but happy.
Have a great week,
What an eventful week. We still trying to get our little “terrors” to give us enough sleep. We utterly failed Sunday night but Monday night was one of the best sleeps in ages. Could be due to me having a successful fast day again. I am still trying to not eat on Mondays but the past two weeks I was busy with things. Never mind.
Sleep. Eating. Exercise. I managed a few running sessions by taping my shins so that the pain is relieved. It worked quite well. Eating wise I am still, for many years, trying to find the right mix and balance. The summer is easier as fresh salad is nicer and more widely available. With varying home times and evening events, I don’t seem to get a routine. Lunches are usually healthy yet media lunches are still on every now and then. Guess that and my love for wine doesn’t help. Overall I drink a lot less than I used to but due to my size I easily overindulge without noticing. Change4life, the government awareness scheme, points out nicely that it is not about being drunk but the sheer volume of booze you put through your systems or attack your organs with. At least my fruit salad regime in the morning seems to work well
The house. You know when buying a house that you have to do some work. You don’t expect the heating to stop 5 months after having it “redone”, at the same time to replace the fridge and hoover? Luckily we don’t need a new boiler but a leaking pipe and low pressure in the system called for another plumber’s job. Despite the kitchen tap and some other small things that need done, we cannot complain. Just always happens at the same time. Never mind. I guess that is what savings are for but they only last a while
I made another trip to Africa…at least on TV. This time for a documentary on the legendary race from Paris to Dakar. As a young boy I dreamt of crossing the Sahara or Russia with a motor bike. It never came to fruition and now my wife opposes me getting a motor bike. Might get a mountain bike though. Anyway, the competitors said that once you go to Africa it gets under your skin. You cannot forget it or ignore it. I wonder if that is about the birth place mankind will always feel connected to? I don’t know, but the rally sparked my intend again to get the Land Rover, mountain bike and get out there to adventure the world. Soon followed by my two boys. Camping, hiking, biking, outdoors. I want to feel alive because I am.
Regarding feeling alive, I watched a BBC Four documentary about a person that survived the Holocaust and his children researched his last step after his death. I will probably write more about that, but if you haven’t seen it, check it out. Six Million and One on BBC iPlayer. It had me in tears several times, maybe not so much because of the Holocaust but because of the way they interacted with it and the love they shared amongst the siblings. Definitely one to watch.
I am planning to write another extensive Germany post. I haven’t written one for a while. I think I found closure in my love-hate relationship with Germany at my last trip. This is very nice. I also got a reply from a friend who I sent a card a while back to find closure. It is nice to see that things are working.
Work was quite busy this week. I enjoy it being like that, and find that working from home is more productive as you get less interruption. So maybe Ms. Mayer Yahoo! needs to rethink her statements. My new commitment for a club looks promising also. I will join another one in 2 weeks to make a final decision, but I am convinced I found what I was looking for. It is an extra time commitment but also a very rewarding work. Final decision in 2 weeks, so watch this space.
My wife had her birthday this week, so we managed a few take aways and she went out with the girls. I spend Saturday morning running errands with Colin and going swimming. Proper me-Colin time. I enjoyed it a lot. At the weekend we had some good friends over for the famous Ballueder cheese fondue. What a great time.
Time overall seems to fly. February went with the blink of an eye and before we know it, it will be Easter. Then my birthday, half term, summer. Time. One of the few things we never get back, one of the few things we really need to use. Carpe Diem.
I seem to write about that each week how I keep getting this urge to get things done. At work. At home. At extra curricular activities. When I am old and grey I want to look back to a life and say “I made something out of it”, I managed to help people achieve things and along the way I had a good life. And two boys that by then will have their own kids.
Wouldn’t that be the ultimate fulfillment?
Have a great week,
The first week back at work after being off for two weeks seems to be always hard. I eased my pain with my new “man chair” which arrived early this week.
Child benefits got cut. We opted out, despite the fact that I believe it isn’t fair. I understand that if one has above a certain earning that benefits are cut, but the way the rule works there are couples having a similar income to myself or higher (!) between them, however they still qualify for the benefits. Not fair I’d say. On top of that travel tickets to London went up b 5% whilst inflation went up b 3%. Means in my profession I just have to sell more to make up for things I suppose. Sell, sell, sell is the motto for 2013. Life is really getting more expensive by the day.
With the cold weather quite a few colleagues have been off sick. I didn’t feel too great during the week and only went running on three mornings. Got a nice massage on Saturday which helped me getting into shape. I am getting fit. I am getting somewhere. Given the awful wet weather it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people are sick and I started feeling under the weather over the weekend. Fingers crossed I can shake it off quickly and go back to my exercise routine mid week.
R himself finally got chickenpox. So C probably gets it soon. I am glad that we finally go through it. About time as often as they have been exposed to chickenpox before Luckily R doesn’t seem to be too bothered, so all good.
Another fish I bought last week disappeared in my fish tank. Probably dead but I am surprised we didn’t find any remains, it was just gone from one day to another. Shame, a nice bulldog pleco. I think we will keep the amount of fish as they are for a while before adding more. Our barbs are growing to a nice size, so that’s a bit worrying Every time we go to SeaLife in Brighton we get reminded that some ex home fish tank fish are in this special tank – and they are big. What I am saying is that some fish just grow above and beyond the size of your home tank. So you better watch it.
Despite the illnesses, changes and stress at work, I am generally very positive for 2013. My energy is increasing and with every training session I gain more energy, feeling better. I have a good feeling for 2013. The break helped me a lot to focus on family and helped me bonding with the boys. So if I see them at the weekend or sometimes at night I am getting a lot more cuddles. Nice. Particularly this weekend, I managed to cuddle with Colin in my chair and take a nap whilst he watched TV. So that is what I call both symbiosis and productivity LOL.
On Saturday my wife cooked me a really nice meal: lamb. I love when she is spoiling me, and just what I needed after the full on week back. So it is my turn next week and with the slow cooker ordered I think I might try pulled pork or burnt ends….latter might be a bit tricky but we shall see.
Maybe one last note in respect to 2012. I found some closure with people by sending them Emails/ letter to put things from years ago behind me. I hope it answered a few open questions they might have had. They are not apologies but acknowledgements. I read “Chasing Daylight” a few years ago which gave me the inspiration to always have all open ends closed as you never know when you leave this earth and how much time you have when you do. Often people come into your life for a reason. Some never stay, others hang around for a while and some stay forever. There are reasons for that, and for loosing touch. Not sure if Facebook helps in that matter really. But I stopped being friends with everyone and anyone just because I know them. But when you look back to the good old school times, who you were friends with and who you weren’t friends with, and for how long, you realise quickly that you met some people just to help you through a phase, a problem or a period of your life. And you would be the same for other people. Life is fascinating in that respect. I probably could write one post just about that.
Guess that is all for now. A nice weekend with the family. We visited Nymans Gardens which is less than 30 minutes in the car from us, making good use of our National Trust membership already. Now back to the grindstone. Give me until mid February to settle into the running routine and starting a few new projects I keep you posted!
I won. Maybe I was lucky. There was a phase last Sunday and Monday when I thought I would be sick. However, I never felt ill. Maybe the 90 minute nap or my day fast on Monday helped. You never know. So I was sitting on a time bomb that never went off.
So off I went to Boston on Tuesday. I actually started writing this post on the way over. I won’t have many flights next year with my UK centric role but anticipate to do a few long haul ones. You never know. It was my first long haul one for about four years. Not only do I like British Airways, I also like their coffee, service and the overall experience. It was worth it to spend 2.5 hours travelling to Heathrow.
One of those things about flying in big aircrafts is that you never notice the take off. You just sit down and relax and if you are lucky and keep yourself entertained, you will be at your destination in no time.
When packing I realised I haven’t got a suit that fits me, so next weekend or weekend after I need to go shopping to get myself a new suit, or a blazer and alternate an old suit to on the one hand be ready in my new job (within my company) which might require this outfit and on the other hand my dad’s 70th birthday next year.
I wanted to make a few silly remarks. But maybe someone understands me. I watched The Expandables 2, a movie about a group of outsiders under the leadership of Sylvester Stallones. Ok, there are a few actors in the movie that make it less believable, like Arnie, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude van Damme and Bruce Willis, but I personally enjoy the story. It might come back to my thought I had when I was 18: I either wanted the career, house and family or I wanted to be the lonely wolf, maybe a shepherd in Australia.
Being part of a reliable group. Having comrades. Having clear leadership. Taking risks. Reaping rewards. That is what life is all about. At least for me. And those values, in a different way, are portrayed in this movie. There is no reason you cannot have all of those values ticked in a job. Maybe with a little less blood shed and action, but if you find the right challenge, no one stops you from making it the best gig in your life. I guess I had a lot of those values ticked when I studied amongst my fraternity brothers in Germany. Honour. Reliability. Aiming to be better than the best.
However, sometimes you are missing a big chunk: love and happiness. You know what I mean. You cannot sacrifice yourself. I know friends who lived out of suitcases, one in NewYork, another one in London. No flat for two years but a career. The family came later. Of course you can do it. I couldn’t imagine a life without my wife or boys. Living in the countryside and being “disconnected” at weekends is fantastic. I enjoy it. I want it all, and of course I need to compromise. So whilst I don’t see the children during the week I try to be home every night. That might be less often due to travel, but I wouldn’t want that for the rest of my life. Maybe now and then or for a limited time only. For the foreseeable future I am going to be UK based anyway.
My thoughts were going wild there. You have a lot of time on a plane It comes down to identify the values and situations that give you inner satisfaction, I guess. You gotta find and live them. Seeing my boys growing up and coming up with the oddest things, questions about life and ideas makes you wonder how empty life must be without any. Having a place to come home to where it is warm, where a glass of wine and maybe a hug is waiting for you is unbeatable. And, this could be the smallest house or the worst wine. It is what you call home.
Ok, I now made it home from the trip and adjusted to my normal time zone again. I enjoyed my trip despite the hanging gnome at our Xmas party The only difficulty is to adjust to 5 hours difference in 3 days. So when we got offered $1,300 to take an overnight flight back, I refused and just wanted to get home. Maybe silly but I really wanted to see the boys and my wife of course.
I love America though. The water is too soft and I drank more coffee, coke and Mountain Dew than in total last year, but they got space, a great attitude, are business minded, motivational and natural leaders. At least most of the guys I met. I love working for an American company!
I enjoy being away but also coming home. I spent a fab weekend with the boys. We got an alarm installed, went to a Christmas party where we met many nice people and just had a good time. Happy days. Work seems far away, I am relaxed and look forward to the last week before Christmas. Lots of lunches, dinners, parties….so cannot wait for the weekend All good though.
Go with the flow. I haven’t really realised yet that we are that close to the end of the year. Christmas is for the kids. My MIL arrives this week. Soon I got my hat on and sing Silent Night.