NYE and Snakes and Ladders


snakes and ladders

So 2016 awaits.  I tend to find NYE a bit scary, I worry about the year ahead.  I feel a bit differently this year as 2015 wasn’t great and I do really want to be more optimistic about this next one.  The old game of snakes and ladders came to mind today when I was driving thinking about nothing in particular.  I reckon the person who invented that was quite the philosopher because life really is like that.  Hoping for ‘the best year ever’ seems rather naïve to me now, no year can be completely free from the snakes, we just hope for a few more ladders to be thrown in at the right time.  So I hope for more ladders, or maybe to be better at spotting the ladders to climb up.

When I think back to my posts of last year, I seem to have done an awful lot of reflecting on life and whilst I’m a great believer in reflection, I think there is also a time to think less, and for me that time is now.  I will admit to being quite low for a lot of this year and whilst the reflections helped it’s time to try and move past the reflective stage and get on with things.

So I’m not intending to change the world in 2016.  I’m going to try not to be too hard on myself or spend too much time trying to figure out the meaning of life.   I haven’t figured out my potential changes for 2016 but I will do and they will be active, fun and new – new stuff is good, very good. Bring in the new.

So I drink a toast to ladders in 2016.

Onwards from January


sunset jan 19 (1)

Created with Nokia Smart Camjan 19 bird in tree h head cold8 jan pm walkies on groyne

Well – January has gone rather quickly. Is this the rapid increase in time perception that happens once you’re over 50?  If so please can it slow down in February because this time passing quickly malarkey is quite scary.

I have been trying hard to love the winter and I will admit that I’ve really enjoyed aspects of January, especially the crisp cold mornings and beautiful early sunsets.  Making myself take photos has made me stop and look around far more than usual on my walks and it’s also made me try a few different walks – (with some reluctance from the dog)  – so that I’m not taking photos of the same view all the time.  So on the whole the engaging with nature strategy has worked really well and on some days it has certainly helped my mood.  Of course there have been days where it’s been grey and miserable – me and the weather – but on the whole, I’m almost sad that January is over so quickly.

Of course we’re now about to embark on February which is a bit of a bland month – it doesn’t have the fresh start of January and neither does it have the real promise of springtime that March brings, so I think it needs a bit of a pick up to get through in an engaging way.  I like the idea of planning in February – when the new year enthusiasm has worn off and life has settled back to its usual routine.   One of my highlights in January happened a couple of days ago when I attended the School of Life Live event on New Year Resolutions.  This was all about changing your perceptions for life, not just for January or 2015.  About embracing risk, shaking up the routine and tools for thinking more clearly and creatively – all very thought provoking topics. (School of Life Live) 

My mid-life crisis is definitely making me more reflective, which I think is good.  But whilst reflection is great, there needs to be some DOING, getting on with stuff.   So in February I shall get on with something and let you know.  But for sure I will definitely be taking more photos.

Boredom, resolutions and middle age



Bleak viewI will admit that I’m often a bit bored – to be honest, I’m often very bored and that feels quite bleak.  I know you don’t have to be middle aged to be bored but I reckon it’s a fair bet that most middle agers will admit to being bored with some aspect of their lives.  I mean, by the time you hit 50+ you’ve probably been doing some things for a very long time, the same line of work, the same journey to work, the same routines, the same partner, house, street, habits, etc…..

Before you worry that my whole life is a round of tedium – there are many aspects that I thoroughly enjoy, my fitness, sports and social life are great.   I’ve discovered new hobbies this year (sea swimming and hot yoga) and even went on a proper holiday.  But my work life – well that is the source of all boredom and I find that because work is such a defining feature of who I am – it is casting a dark shadow over everything else.

I’ve been in the same business since 1989 and for many of those years I’ve been pretty chirpy about my work.  10 years ago I became self-employed which was a peak of excitement, and I do get the occasional days where I still quite like my work. But more and more frequently I find that I have days where I am bored beyond belief with what I do and this in turn impacts on the rest of my life and I will admit it can bring about a malaise of slothfulness and despair.

I don’t like this, I don’t like feeling this, particular with my new anxiety about making the most of my years now I’ve hit the big 50, being bored does not match my search for the zest of middle aged life.

I’m not writing this to get a barrage of advice about retraining, finding a new business idea, mindfulness etc. etc.  – I’m just writing this as a fact of life – doing the same thing for a long time can be boring – period.  There must be many middle agers out there who secretly admit to boredom. So as I notice my increasing boredom with my working life I can feel a change a coming. The end of year and the prospect of a new year is usually a good time to reflect and I accept that I am in the middle of a major midlife panic which I am attempting to address.  I am also trying to be realistic – limited resources (mortgage, no savings) obviously place some limitations on possible solutions.  Also a fundamental question might be ‘is it possible to NOT be bored of some aspect of your life?’  Can we really lead a life at any age where we are never bored of any part of it?

My quest has already partly begun due to finding the wonderful The School of Life . In the past few months I’ve attended a few of their courses on Writing for Therapy, Being Creative and How to change the World.  And their Toolkit for Life books are amazing.  These have all helped to spark some element of hope and renewal and have certainly encouraged me start thinking more broadly about my current state of boredom in my working life and ideas for change.

So onwards to 2015 and resolutions of change.  If I am to be the middle aged role model I hope to be and to make a difference in my world then I need to resolve to nip this boredom in the bud. No one wants a role model who is bored of their own life!

So I hereby state my BIG resolution for 2015 – To Stop the Boredom – any takers out there?