Quarterly report

It’s November!  How did that happen?!  The first three months of this year have zoomed by (just to confuse the newcomers, I count the year as beginning in August. Which makes it almost Spring – funny weather we’re having for March).  Time for a quarterly report!

Reporting quarter:  First

Personnel responsible: notplanning

Primary Annual Objectives for this year (inclusive, and not limited to):

1. Regaining lost perspective
2. Spending time with the family
3. Reminding self of important things in life
4. Possibly branching out in new directions

(And a late entry, in at five) thwarting the ever-present threat from the middle-aged woman who seems to be trying to take up residence in my life, mostly around my bum.

Progress during this reporting quarter:

1. Perspective – definitely more of.  I think it’s safe to say that, for a minute there, I had a bit of a mid-life crisis (good to know I’ll live to 82) and had come to feel quite trapped by the daily grind.  While I know the daily grind is going to happen again soon enough, and I’m at peace with that, I hope not to find myself quite so, well, ground by it in future.  An actual, positive strategy to help avoid this is a hoped-for outcome this year.

2.  This has been a bit of a result so far.  Having the time and energy to be around for my parents when they need it, and to see things like the niece and nephew wet themselves (well, almost) with glee during halloween games, have been a spectacular pay-off: lush, luxurious and self-indulgent and something I really don’t want to compromise on in future.

3.  See #2.  Further, I’m not sure if, or how, being chilled out and slow leads to an awareness of the important things in life, but I’m very aware at the minute of how little is needed for a contented day.  A measure of relaxed time at home; some usefulness, either in the form of necessary chores or in lending someone a hand; a bit of facetime with good folk; the occasional bout of physical activity, whether it be walking, cycling, or wigging out in the kitchen to one of the four tunes I still own since my laptop irretrievably packed up on me.  At the risk of sounding like some woolly guru off daytime telly, this seems to be something of a formula for happy days, for me anyway, and for the moment at least.

4.  I made this up.  I didn’t start the year expecting to have changed much by the end of it, and I know that normal working service will be resumed eventually. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by things like finding I have a modest talent for copywriting, something I could never have anticipated.  I’m also dipping the tiniest of my toes into a bit of translation work, which I find inordinately thrilling (not having translated a word for around twenty years, I’m not claiming it’ll, like, make sense or anything.  Let’s not get carried away, now).   And let’s not forget my wee blog!  Which has been a source of real fun and satisfaction.  I’m realistic enough to know these developments aren’t life-changing, and I’m still on target to retire not a day after my 89th birthday, but it’s pleasing at this stage in life to find a new string on an otherwise well-worn and, frankly, flabby bow.

5.  I didn’t take a year off to lose weight or get in shape.  But having a relaxed routine and time to properly shop, and prepare food, and eat calmly, and go for a walk now again, makes me aware of how bad working is for the waistline.  Busy days spent chasing your tail mean eating takes place in a hurry, out of necessity and often at inappropriate times.  A 10 hour day is entirely unconducive to eating well, so it appears to be an unintended but welcome consequence of the year off is that I feel in better shape than I have in a long time.

Additional comments: In conclusion, the first quarter of this twelve month experiment in wait-and-see has been very positive and bodes well for the remaining time.  And now I must off and plant me daffs.

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