Posts Tagged kids
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,
After a bit of confusion and premature publication on Thursday, I have now got the revised version of my Sunday Column ready
Now this week has been rather interesting. Let me start with my new job role as of first of January. I will no longer look after any international business but solely focus on the UK market. As this has been communicated, I think it is fair to publish it here. There are of course many reasons for it, but the one I am happy to share is the focus for our company in the UK market. Being the most important market in Europe for our industry, we need a strong leader and someone solely dedicated to the market based in London. So come 1st of January, I am 100% back as Managing Director UK.
Then something funny happened. Chatting with someone the other day I was asked “what made you laugh last week”? I was stuck for an answer. Even this week or today I couldn’t tell you. I laugh a lot with the kids and they come up with all sorts of things that are funny, but I don’t really recall anything ad hoc. Work isn’t funny at the moment, however I don’t think there is a bad mood in the office either. Do I focus on the non funny aspects of life, I wonder? Is my map of the world gloomier than I thought it is? I am a very positive person, just remembering laughing at the 2 year old sitting in the bidet. Never mind but this question got me thinking. I don’t take myself too seriously, do I?
Waterstone’s tube ad grabbed my attention. About “the child in the book store”. That made me think. Maybe another gloomy thought but will my kids actually experience book stores or libraries for that matter? Or will it all be digitalised? Will I ever take them to the British Library and walk around all those millions of books and get them fascinated in reading and writing and history and all those things? Or will they be stuck to a touch screen reading off the clouds. We shall see but I am fearful that some of our history will be archived. Will book stores disappear? Whilst I am not the biggest reader, I always enjoyed wandering around book stores, sitting down in a coffee place and read a book for a while. Then another. There is something fascinating about it. Something peaceful.
Maybe I am just getting into the Christmas mood already. Less than four weeks. The Salvation Army playing Silent Night at Victoria Station, Christmas drinks being arranged. I believe I have a Christmas function every night in the last week before Christmas. Crazy but good. I hope anyway. Then we went to the Hassocks street fair and light up of Christmas lights. I love this little community and people we meet. People live in Hassocks for a reason. A good reason. We all have things in common.
I have been back on the treadmill all week. 5 days. 5 km each. I have also done some weights. Upward spiral.
I am aiming high. With the weights I am aiming high enough but I don’t want to overdo it either. Achievement. I am getting stronger, things falling into place. My massage therapist was pleased with my back. Good days.
On Friday when I worked from home to take the kids to the “light up Hassocks”, I spent some good time with the kids. I so enjoy spending time with my two wee ones, I sometimes wonder if I should stay at home. However, the mortgage doesn’t pay for itself. Maybe the lottery will help one day You never know. On Saturday I spent all afternoon with Rohan. Good times.
It got colder now. Winter I suppose. I got my furry hat out. I cleared my Barbour jacket from mould. People give me a smile re my outfit. New fingertip less gloves. My new jumpers keep me warm and overall I am very happy and content. Already in the Christmas mood!
Have a great week, December, here we go.
I was off for a few days early this week. So a quick one really. An action loaded week. Kind of.
Let me start off with Monday. More decorating, more DIY, more quality time with the boys. That plus a Tuesday in Brighton in Sealife where we now have a yearly membership really helped bonding with the boys. I don’t know what it is but probably just being properly off, eg no work, nothing urgent to do and the wife being busy decorating, that those days I were off helped me to bond with them. A truly enjoyable time.
I believe, and that is thanks to my wife, that we concluded most work on the house for the foreseeable future. I enjoyed spending time with her and my parents too. We couldn’t do it without the family support at all.
One thing I picked up from going to Sealife though was the great question of evolution or “grand design”. Or the combination of both: survival of the fittest (Darwin). If an Octopus looks like a spider, are they related? If a turtle lives for 150 years, does that mean it survives anything and everything else. Is that because it is so slow or is it because it is that slow, that it lives that long? Do you know what I mean?
I am still fascinated with those questions and they get triggered each time I go to Sealife or similar. It brings back memories of discussions with my physics and biology teacher when I was an exchange student in the USA 18 years ago. He was a Christian and part time preacher too. Those moments when you start discussing the worlds’ problems. When you start thinking about the meaning of life and how unimportant oneself seems to be in the universe. Crazy, ey?
To tie this over I met my old friend on Thursday who similar to me spend a year as an exchange student at the same school in Kansas. I haven’t seen her for 18 years. Wow. A good conversation, a catch up on life, a meet and greet, as well as a thought on “the times were crazy, the experience shaped our lives, and we are glad that we did it”. What would have been if we hadn’t gone?
In these moments I sometimes like to withdraw myself a bit from the world. To go into the corner, sit in the dark, meditate and think. What if? What had happened if…? How much of a difference does an individual make? Will I be able to be a big cog in the overall clockwork? Will I make the bell ring?
Yes. The simple answer is yes. That is because I like to concentrate on the important things. I have a plan fuelled by actions. I have an idea. I take steps in the right direction. I am back running on my treadmill, my back is getting better and I feel I get traction. Yeah!
I get my energy back. I have plans. I am on track. I went to another networking event, I managed to increase my fellowship on twitter, I got new contacts on LinkedIn, I made a difference in some one else’s life today. Did you?
For some part since I did my back in, and I have been mentioning it here, things almost gave me a gloomy outlook. Ok, it wasn’t all that bad. Life is a lot better than most people’s. However, I seemed to have lost momentum a bit. Not struggling, but going at the speed of sound starting to rotate. A “Baumgartner moment” that lasted a bit longer now it is time to kick ass again. I am ready to fight, be there, get there and smash my goals. I am more motivated than ever for what is there to come!
To relate to the picture on the right. I believe everyone is confronted with this in life. Those moments when you run around the mountain. The moments when your inbox is so empty that you check it very 2 minutes. Doesn’t last long. You need to climb the mountain. Again and again. For you, for your ego.
I will always be a “mountain climber“. A team leader going to the peak. Leading. Managing the team, it’s expectations. Constantly trying to improve performance and productivity to free up more time for new projects. I enjoy that. The higher the peak, the greater the challenge, the better my performance.
Looks like 2013 has a few mountains to climb. I better get ready and get my gear packed.
Have a great week,
The frequent reader will notice that some weeks I have more to say than others. Normal I guess. This week I startled writing this column on my way back from Milan, one of the three Mexad offices I look after. Every time I take off from Malpensa airport in Milan I forget we are literally on the edge of the alps. Nice views, bumpy and windy starts. I got used to it now. My first trip with my Easyjet plus card, which allows me to speedy board, and it makes my life a lot easier. Thanks boss
I should have done that much earlier. Next week Madrid, a week in London, Milan, Germany…the card already paid for itself in 4 weeks. I love it. But do I really? Speaking to a recruiter this week, and I must stress a recruiter working on our side in Italy, one makes the choice in life whether to travel, progress in a career, and potentially travel more and ultimately don’t see one’s children, or if one wants a 9 to 5 job with lots of time for the kids.
I agree. During the week, thanks to my commute, I hardly ever see the kids. The odd day working from home might mean I see them a bit more that day but catch up on work late into the night. The trade off.
With us moving out of town to provide a better life for the family, we made the conscious decision that life is just like that – in return when I am home, weekends in particular, I have to be 120% home and with the kids. I comply. Happily. Best of both worlds. Trade off. I
I couldn’t do it without the wife though, and 1 night away a week on average three times a month is not too bad. Lots of “me time” too. Now this week has been busy. After last week’s mega event dmexco we hat the ad trading summit hosted by exchangewire this week. A fantastic get together of the industry leaders and a networking second to one. Great content around RTB and data with some good discussions. Unfortunately, or luckily, I had to leave early to see the kids and prepare for my 4 am start to Italy. Tiring weeks with shows and events, so I am glad I missed ad:tech in London vs. the trip to Milan. Priorities.
One more remark re family: Rohan was ill at the weekend and early last week. This means getting up almost every hour at night. That is draining, but of course you do. One does’t have a choice but to help an ill child. Tiring and frustrating as one can comfort but not release any pain, this makes having kids worthwhile. Sounds funny? I feel deep affection and satisfaction to be able to comfort anyone, and being able to help in general. Being able to make a miserable child feel better, particular one’s own, is a VERY good feeling. I love them both very much.
One last word still about Lufthansa. I have been praising Easyjet on twitter for excellent customer service, quick response times for both email but also social media (twitter) responses. I kept including Lufthansa and only after 3 weeks they replied very “stiffly” that if I tweeted my reference number for the email contact, they would let me know which place in the queue I had. It just shows that Lufthansa has no idea how to approach clients in social media. Not only did I only sent them the link to my Lufthansa article for info, I also complained on twitter about their apology email they sent 3 weeks after the strike, offering me £15 off my next booking. Ridiculous and rude! I spend close to £500 on the flights, another £150 unplanned on clothes as they didn’t get the luggage sorted, and they offer me next to no money as compensation. F@ off Lufthansa. If you had offered me £100 plus a miles & more card crediting my last flight on it and sent this as a nice letter, then maybe I would have said “wow they care”. This way I don’t.
Why I get so aggravated about it? Because my understanding and standard for customer service is a lot higher! This wouldn’t happen if I was in charge. Imagine I was to fly 4 times with Lufthansa this month instead of Easyjet….but never mind. Let them do it their way, I will try to avoid them like the plague until of course I have no choice. Even British Airways and I fell out a few years and they managed to get it right at the end. And I love BA for that, great customer service and being a true British airline. However, Easyjet for within Europe is the easiest and most convenient airline for me right now. Enough about this.
The weekend was relaxing. Lots of kids time, hugs and cuddles. I love being a dad. The cat got bitten again and much as a surprise we thinking of welcoming a new addition shortly. More about that in the next few weeks At the same time we are debating to give away one of our cats as she just doesn’t seem to settle.
Sunday I was hungover, worst one for 2 years. Plus I come down with the man flu, whilst it was raining cats and dogs…..
Have a good week,
The past 10 days I was alone. My wife and my kids took a trip to Scotland to visit their mother/granny respectively. Now at first sight this sounds great: – sleep – do what you like to do – going out with friends – staying out late – getting drunk.
However, the first weekend was ok. I had been busy making a list of things I needed to do. There is loads to sort out on the house and my wife left me a small list of things to do. Two of my mates and I headed down to Brighton to enjoy ourselves all afternoon, drinking and smoking cigars in the sun. Fantastic. As you imagine on Sunday I felt a bit tired. Not too bad given the state I was in, however still very tired. I still managed to get a lot of things done that day though, preparing a few things I needed to do, did the laundry etc.
Now the next week passed quickly with me going to Germany, Bournemouth and having a lot on at work. But something was missing. I was alone. I didn’t come home to loads of toys on the carpet, a busy house or got woken up in the middle of the night. I did wake up. The bed was empty. The house is empty, and no one cares what happens to your life really, and what you do. This of course is not quite true as thanks to Facetime I saw and spoke to the kids and wife up North.
When I was at university, just before I met my wife, I thought that I could be a bachelor at 35. I thought I would enjoy that. I imagined I had a small flat in central London and met with friends for lunch, breakfast and beers every weekend. And sometimes you wonder what you would do if something happens to your loved ones, or if you were to separate. Not that this is something I think of a lot or would be on the cards but it has of course crossed my mind.
Now I wouldn’t enjoy it. I didn’t even enjoy these ten days. Yes it was great to have lie ins, to spend all day watching movies, to work on some personal projects, but I can do that anyway. What really drives me on and gives my life a purpose are my wife and children. It is about family, passing on values, and having responsibility that makes me a happier person. That is what I enjoy and seek in life. Not a boring bachelor flat. Not something where you define yourself around status, money and friends.
I seek the fulfilment of being there for a person, sharing my life (ups and downs) with my wife. I get great fulfilment of explaining things to my oldest and cuddling with my youngest. I enjoy being a dad, and dreadfully missed my family the past few days. I am happy. I was lonely without my people.
I love you.
Unbelievable how much joy my two boys bring to me.
Rohan who only sleeps at night if he is next to you.
Colin for whom you get up early to play trains and “party”.
Never had I imagined this to happen. Have you ever considered how lucky you are?
Just some thoughts watching kids TV whilst watching the little one to take the living room apart.
Have a great family day!
Love and Happiness from my little corner of the world.
This week passed very quickly. I was in Germany for the Exchangewire Ad Trading Conference. Those events are exhaustive. Not only do you hang around at the airport, then fly and then go out with folk from the industry, but you also don’t sleep long, don’t sleep well and cannot follow your normal routine. Particularly if you only just started running again
Having said that it was a gorgeous day and a great programme. I enjoy hanging around at those events. I met a few new people from ad server to software developers, and caught up with some friends I haven’t seen for a while. It was fantastic.
Being away is great. Time flies, you get to see new places. But you don’t get to see the family. You hear how the boys are missing you and not understanding that “if daddy is up there” he is in a plane and not in the room upstairs. My oldest was disappointed. On the contrary I have two long weekends coming up which is nice. Next week I am travelling and then probably three times in May before we hopefully move at the beginning of June. Fingers crossed. So the time I spend home is now more and more focused on the boys. We go swimming, play with train tracks and have a laugh with the farting monsters
Before I finish I wanted to mention a great online programme (recommended by a good friend): Early to Rise.
In a video series they describe how to have success in life. And, it shows one bit where they talk about building a network of friends, then to tell your network what you want to achieve, then eventually your dreams come true. Only the ones that really know you can help you to achieve excellence. Your mentors, your friends.
Enough for the day.
Another busy week ahead, going to Madrid. The MIL is coming to town too. Life is harder if you don’t have family close by and you aren’t around every night/morning.
Have a good one folks,
speak next week
Let me start with the family this week. Easter was fantastic and with the slow uptake after Easter I got a chance to be home for bath time one night and with fantastic weather we had a great picnic this weekend.
Just yesterday Colin was very sweet. He has some kind of virus infection and isn’t in the best form. However, I jumped in the bath with Rohan and he was waiting for me to get out. So he asked if I need a towel. I said in German that I need a “bath towel”, e.g. Badetuch, rather than the “hand towel” he was pointing at. His answer was “I know daddy”. This is great. We also got some new noise books from Usborne and he couldn’t stop laughing at the farting monster You can have conversations with him now. He tells you about things he has done or he has seen. Things that happened or what he likes. Rohan on the other hand is difficult. Wiggly when being changed, unresponsive when being fed. I cannot wait until they are both over 3 years old but wouldn’t want to miss the current stage in the world.
I never thought I developed into such a family guy. I am glad. I really enjoy it. But I also think that two are enough. We are so lucky having two healthy fantastic boys. I don’t want to chance it, and I don’t want to start all over again. I guess in many respects I am going extreme. With kids I think I am moderate for once.
Facebook: I felt almost awkward asking someone to be “my friend” on Facebook this week. Sounds coy and funny but actually it was a client. When I first started with Facebook I was adding everyone I know but recently applied the rule of people only being my friend on Facebook if I was to invite them to my birthday party. But I am glad, tying in with last week’s comment, that I find friends and mates within the industry.
Now on to something else. Sport, health, fitness, food. My wife insisted on us putting up our treadmill in the living room. So after Easter I started a 3 week programme myself. I even had to get new trainers and hope that I have less problems and pain in my ligaments in my foot/chins. Fingers crossed that by end of May I will be able to run 30 minutes in one go, be more fit and about 5 kg lighter. This all goes in line with better food, less alcohol and more “taking care of my body”.
Last but not least we had an industry networking event this week. Without wanting to drill into detail it was good to get some new industry gossip. And I was thinking back to “Games of Thrones” whilst talking to some folk. There is one elected king, someone / a company that seems to rule the ecosystem. But there is also a king in the background, someone / a company everyone follows and rules without being officially king.
Never mind. Things are odd but good I suppose. I am off to Germany next week, then travelling a whole lot during May. In June I should move and visit a friend’s wedding. And before I know it, it is Christmas
Have a good one,