Tag: 2014

Sunday Column (258)

The week started with Rohan’s 3rd birthday party. It was fantastic. I never realised how much I enjoy kids’ sweets, cleaning up and enjoying to watch a 3 year old unwrapping presents. Their innocence, ignorance, excitement (all in a good sense) is amazing, heart melting. Never before had I more of a desire to pause time and just enjoy a moment forever.

As cheesy as it might sound I really enjoy the boys at their current age. Building and playing hot wheels. It is their main thing and sometimes, when they are still asleep and I am up during the week, I catch myself setting up the course or putting a car through the loop. The remote control car gets more used by me than anyone else πŸ™‚

My life focus has changed. Not so much my commitment to either family or work, but thanks to my coach I enjoy a lot more focus. I am more productive in what I do, either at work or at home. Now I need to get back into a exercise routine, early mornings and the commute. It feels like I haven’t had much routine commuting over the past 10 months. But as a friend just said to me, 2013 was about focusing and getting direction. 2014 is to take off.

I feel the same. I am sitting in my little rocket ready to fly off to explore new space!

picture in our head

I said it before: I have a good feeling about this year. I am confident that when I will be looking back to this year I would have made a few really good decisions. And everything will have worked out and it will just be the beginning of something bigger, better and more stable.

This week I walked a lot through London, including Soho. Some parts have changed. A lot of restaurants I used to know closed, new ones opened. Some places I associate good memories with have gone. Some parts are still as dirty as they were 9 years ago when I last worked in that area. I came a long way since πŸ˜‰

Whilst I enjoy this trip down memory lane, thinking those were the days when we were young, there is nothing replacing what we have in the now. Besides us making our place even more homely over the next few months, there is nothing like coming home. I feel at home, I am home. Life has changed (me) since I arrived in the UK almost 13 years ago.

The train ride I am writing this on is very bumpy, at least not many delays as we are (surprisingly) little affected by the flooding. However, it still beats me how a train can be 15 minutes late on an hour’s journey with it going at decent speed? That is 25% longer than it is supposed to be. Never mind, I stay positive with the train system in the UK. One must.

There are delays expected for tomorrow, flooding causes delays and bus replacement services. Luckily we are on high ground and I feel sorry for the ones affected by flooding.

The weekend was nice: both in terms of weather and relaxation. I sorted my ankle which is causing shin splints out by going to the chiropractor. We went for a nice walk in the woods and explored nature. Yet, we cancelled due to suspected bad weather to meet some friends. A shame but you never know what the weather holds these days.

Overall I am happy. The only things that niggles me is my work laptop. Going back to a Windows machine after having used Apple for almost a year feels clunky and non intuitive. But those are minor details and I might just change that soon πŸ˜‰

Have a good week,
Volker

Sunday Column (251)

Before I have some thoughts on the New Year, let me have another quick look back at the past week as I found things, mainly the weather, a bit fascinating yet crazy. We had a few storms, a few travel disruptions and flooding in this country. We then had the most beautiful day for a walk, cold and sunny, on Boxing Day when the whole family went for a walk at Wakehurst Place, National Trust. Then more rain, travel disruptions, floods. Luckily we stayed put yet both my MIL and my parents had to travel and luckily got safely to their destinations.

I enjoyed Christmas. Not many presents for me really, yet the biggest one of all: Love and Happiness in my childrens’ eyes opening their presents. And then lots of play time with my dad and kids: hot wheels are actually quite cool πŸ™‚ We had a fantastic time as a family, an enjoyable Christmas, too much food and too much booze yet a good time. And, as they say, that is all what matters in our age, Christmas is for the kids. This is so true: Colin was amazed how Santa got all the presents inside the house and looked suspiciously at the carrot we left for the reindeer, and how it was bitten off the next day. Nothing beats a child’s innocence. Bless.

Looking back over the years I can see how much more important others become for me, and this is of course particularly true for my own kids. Something that gives you a different purpose in life, a different outlook of what life is all about.

2014

Going into 2014 I have some hopes and thoughts. I guess one is based on a big present we got recently, allowing us to do some refurbishment on the house. My wife and I are quite excited to sort out some much wanted work downstairs, making it a proper home. It will hopefully be done before Easter. Leading on from that, I think we have done enough work on the house, yet pending one or two other things, we might be lucky enough to do some more work on the house or outside next year. Nothing major, yet it would be nice to get a few more things done. This could go in line with me fulfilling myself a small dream I had for a while, so keep your fingers and toes crossed.

I look forward to finding some inner peace next year. This particularly means one thing for me: time with the family, quality time and me being with them in the moment. Whilst at the same time this means to focus on a physical challenge and make 2014 my best ever “athletic year”. After having lost almost 10 kg this year, suffered from a cold and cough (and still do as of today) for the past 3 months without exercising, I am eager to get going and build up core strength, endurance and sign myself up for a challenge. One I consider is the bike race across the South Downs with the British Heart Foundation. Probably doing the 35 miles and then the 100 miles a year later. I am still a novice biker really.

Plus there are some walking endurance challenges I consider, and maybe we find something as a family or I find a way of pushing myself, training with the kids. Stay tuned as I want this to happen. I am almost desperate to give next year: both my time for charity, with the help of my fitness raising money to make a difference for a charity, and of course being involved in events with Rotary and potentially another charitable organisation.

What else is there to come? I believe I will grow stronger within my job and get more involved in the industry. I have an aspiration to succeed, and this is supported through some coaching sessions I am taking at the moment. I am excited about constantly improving myself to do well: both in a job and being better in my private life too.

Let me wish you all a Happy 2014, success, health, peace, freedom and love.

I finish with Confucius:

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

All the best,
Volker

Sunday Column (245)

This week has been somewhat sentimental. There are few reasons for it. It is hard to describe a man’s feeling needing to go to the train, running late in your own mind, starting to stress when upstairs you hear a “daddy” call. And just this split second to run up the stairs and giving your four year old a hug and a kiss because he hasn’t seen you for two days, makes your day. It makes you run for your train. It makes you sad too. One likes to be with the little ones all the time yet they need to understand that daddy works. They need to understand, and will understand. However, give them a few more years and they couldn’t care less whether you are at home or not.

I really enjoy being a dad. At the weekend we made Pizzateig, mum cooked with them some roast chicken, we went swimming and had lots of fun at bath time and we read lots of bed time stories. I guess my priorities are changing for the better. The clear cut between being in the moment with the kids, and the moment working or doing something else. We are getting there.

Life. I suppose life is just like that. I am reading Ayrton Senna’s biography, and he says in one paragraph that ‘kids fully engage in the moment, don’t think about the next hour, are fully concentrated in the here and now’. How right he is. A very emotional person, a very concentrated person and passionate about what he does. It is true that only children really fully live the moment by nature. Adults have to learn that again. How often do I see me distracted in a short 30 minute meeting even? How often can I not keep my thoughts clear and focused in my head? My head is spinning and I need to calm down, organise myself. Information overload, trying to do too many things at a time. That’s probably true for most people in my generation.

Senna no limit

Today would have been Oma’s birthday – 102 would have been her age. She never wanted to live to a hundred, yet looking at the pictures of her when she was younger, in her 50ies, there is a aura around her. The “Wirtschaftswunder” years, economic wonders would be the literal translation. In the 50/60ies when Germany was rebuilt after the war. She was one of them who through hard work, passion and dedication to her family made things a bit better for the people around her. She was a good person. I like to believe that I inherited some of that from her, yet still trying to refine it. Buddha bless.

It summarises for me two things. Concentrate and get on with your shit. And I am doing exactly that. I am refining a few things with my coach at the moment to then move things forward more concentrated and better than ever before. I am very proud of my wife who has done exactly that: baby photography. She is awesome!

I seemed a lot of calm this week. There are weeks when you just need to withdraw yourself from activities to focus on your wife, yourself, your life. I have been ill with colds and coughs and flu for the past few weeks. Because of that I couldn’t exercise, losing my balance a bit. I am determined to go back to my exercise routine. I miss the balance. Interesting how one notices. There is something missing. 2014 will be the best year ever. How do I know? I just do.

There have to be a few decisions to be made before Xmas. A few things refined and coached. I am ready to change, the next steps. My wife reviewed a personality test I did. She thought it was accurate. I feel like cleaning, tidying up a room, getting rid of old books, picking up a few tools, changing the picture at the wall. Year end I guess.

Maybe I get into my mid life crisis realising how important certain things are over others. And maybe I am willing to stand up for it now. Thanks to a little change on my Linkedin profile I ended up with lots of attention for my book on productivity. You find the link to the right. I am very proud of the achievement and hope it will help a few people. Yet, I already plan my next one. Maybe I can fit that in for 2014 too.

Anyway, I maybe should be stopping here. Enough said. Enough sentimental thoughts shared.
Time to put some thoughts together and set some goals.

Yeah! Let’s go for it.

Have a great week,
Volker