Ballueder Thinks (13) – Thoughts in times of change

It’s the bank holiday weekend in the UK. Instead of being outside and enjoying another lovely walk and the countryside, we seem to be house bound. That, luckily compared to other countries, isn’t due to Coronavirus but the weather. The best of the British weather, usually rainy at a bank holiday weekend.

Hence I thought I update my followers on my blog. Given I now write a monthly newsletter, this blog seems a bit dated. So this year, I shall decide whether I will continue writing it or not. As my podcast takes a break this summer, I shall re-evaluate my social media outputs.

If you haven’t signed up to my newsletter yet, please do so here: Newsletter

You might be wondering where I write this post, and after my last update, we are now not moving to Edinburgh. A visit up North, a hands—on comparison to where we live, didn’t stand up to the family test. I was, admittedly, a bit gutted to not move. I was looking forward to so many things, including a newly build house, a new beginning.

What’s for you, won’t go by you – that’s what a friend of mine told me afterwards. It’s a Scottish proverb for ‘what meant to be meant to be’. But for me, it sounds just so much nicer.

Now that we are staying, the planning for the next 15-20 years have commenced. Building into the garage, my own office, a utility room, changing rooms for the kids, a different spare bedroom, repairing some pipe work, extending the living room, solar panels, fire pits and so on… never a dull moment as a house owner as you can imagine. We can plan again 🙂

Having had my own office, as it was in the spare bedroom and we didn’t have visitors all year, was a godsend last year. I believe that moving forward, we will only go to the office 2 days a week, and spend the remainder of the week in our home offices. We have shown that it works, that video conferencing is as easy as face to face chats, and that we don’t need to travel for hours just to ‘see’ someone. Work has changes, and life has changed. We have more time to spend at home, with our loved ones, and enjoy our gardens, plants, pets and life in general.

And how is my life changing?
There are lots of things happening. I am very grateful for the amount of work that is coming my way and how my projects are going. I enjoy the variety of working for different companies, being able to spread my knowledge and being able to help. A great portfolio career. Whether that is for my sales consultancy or the leadership consultancy and coaching which incorporates mindfulness. The latter is really in demand, yet still too few companies are committing to help employees wellbeing. At least that is true for things that go beyond the standard offering of subsidised gym memberships and yoga lessons. Not that this is all bad, but I personally cannot say often enough how much we need to incorporate our mental wellbeing into our workplace cultures: mindfulness, regular breaks, down time etc.

If you have spoken to me in the last few months, you would have heard me banging on about it. It’s good to see that some companies doing all the right things. A post I shared about suicide got a lot of traction on LinkedIn the other day. It’s good to see that we can create more awareness, yet suicide always seems like the last resort for the person and such a waste to all of us that are affected.

Talking about mental health, exercise is still important for both physical and mental health. I started my marathon training early, and I am due a half marathon distance next week. I am raising the last bit of my goal for the RNIB – another £1,000 – with this year’s London Marathon. You can sponsor me on the link above, and any amount is gratefully received. I keep saying this is my last marathon. After 10 years I am contemplating of decommissioning the treadmill and return to outside running and gym memberships. I have less of a commute if I work from home, and I can accommodate different exercises in the evening, which also means I could get more of a variety of exercises. Maybe I find a squash partner again. Also, I don’t fancy a treadmill in my office either 😉

As you can see, there is the constant change I was talking about in the last newsletter. Moving or not. Life is full of surprises. You cannot predict things. I have just received my first vaccination, and I am still not sure that we won’t have mother pandemic in the future.

We are healthy. We have food. We have running water and a toilet. We are in the fortunate position to have work, our kids getting a great education, and our closest family is all well too. We are privileged. Anything else is a bonus, and whilst we might have a few bonuses, it’s about being grateful for the things we have.

Have a great rest bank holiday weekend.
Best wishes from my old and new corner of the world.
Volker