The End-Decembertide & New Year Roast Toast

Happy New Year! It’s been a while.

And so we begin again for another 12 months into what the optimists call 2018 and what the pessimists are worried might be the final chapter. Whichever way it swings, having some time off has allowed me to look back on running this and other sites for a year and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Not just for you reading, but for me writing, for my lifestyle and general outlook.

Many things happened in 2017 to us all that changed the face of everything for us. Some great, some not so great (depending on your view) which shrouded opinion on whether it beat 2016 or not. But in such a divided crowd, is it worth deciding if 2018 will be the as good, or shall we all take the action as if the next year will be our last. Let’s take on our shoulds and our woulds and coulds and turn them into not just will but do.

Do you want to start a new adventure? get planning and do it. Got something you want to shout about? you draft it out and post it.

Of course I’m not saying blindly dive into something, remember still to look before you leap (after all you don’t want to cause a covfefe ­čśë ) . But after seeing and indeed experiencing many new year’s resolutions failing within the first few hours or days of 2018 as people plan but don’t act, I think this year should be the year of will do for those procrastinators and nervous waiters like me.

So with that said from me, expect good service to resume this month, some with a new twist, some back to normal.

What big plans do you have for 2018? If you want some inspiration, I highly recommend this video of rather sage advice from popular YouTuber jacksepticeye.

31,536,000 seconds and counting down. What’s it going to be? A strive to beat 2017? A continuation of sucess into 2018? Or just the chance to answer the knock of opportunity and make 2018 great from the beginning.

Here’s to a new beginning, Happy New Year everyone!

Mike


Taking Time…

Sometimes in life, you have to wait. Either waiting for a reply, for something to finish or until something can begin, I often find myself waiting around for things. Often it feels like this time was a waste – but does it have to be?

One thing you can take the time to do is to reflect on things passed. What went well, what didn’t go so well? Could you do it differently, should the opportunity come around again? Reflection is often a good basis for development, so if you have the time, build yourself with it for the future.

Speaking of the future, is there anything else coming up you could do with forming a plan on? Grab that spare bit of paper and a pen – or open up a new note on your device whilst you wait and use the time to get those steps down.

Not got anything, or wish you didn’t? If you never feel like there’s enough time for a break, maybe take this opportunity to do a little light meditation or mindfulness. Both are proven to have health benefits and don’t require a lot, perhaps a set of headphones and a device capable of playing audio files if you prefer a guide. A little bit of time to appreciate the sensations in your body and around you, and in the case of meditation, the opportunity to use your mind to explore a different plane of thought rather than what’s going on around you, can really help with your well-being.

Finally, if you have to wait for a long time – maybe take the opportunity to rest. In today’s busy 24/7 world, they say it’s hard to take time to rest, especially with the fear and worry of something you could be doing – something I’m most certainly guilty of. If you can’t negotiate a rest period in-between work and life, maybe use this in-between of things to happen to get your rest on. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sleep if you’re not tired, or if like me a short power nap can do more harm than good, but just sitting or laying down sometimes can allow your muscles and mind to rest and refuel. This also doesn’t just go for physical activity, but for mental activity as well, as it’s proven the brain can only cope with intake of information for so long, and processing it all like you’re a computer at capacity can lead to emotional drainage and possible burnout – so take the heat of now and again to cool down.

However you use your spare minutes, use them wisely as we don’t get them back later on in life. As mentioned in a previous post and in reference to Mark Slavnic – there are 86,400 second in your day – what will you do with the extra ones gifted to you?

Have a great week everyone,

Mike


Blogtober: The Attacks

Today was meant to be a double post. One with the scheduling for this year’s Blogtober posts, the other with a post on the WAVE Media. But after reading the news today, I felt the need to return for a second helping of the Roast and share some thoughts.

The news of Las Vegas and of Marseilles shooting amongst other passings that occur further east every day, shines a raw light the volatile times we live in.

Whilst I can’t say I wasn’t born in straightforward times, with Manchester, New York, Afghanistan and Iraq all being very real events that occurred as I grew up and Egypt, Lybia, Turkey, Syria and the continuing war across Israel and Palestine during my young adult years.

But these days it feels like conflict is around every corner. In the last couple of years, Sousse, Brussels, Paris, London, Manchester, Charlottesville, Marsaille and Las Vegas to name a few have been in the spotlight.

I stand with others and agree, this has to stop. Let’s be honest, what do they achieve? If it’s not mental illness, it’s religion. If it’s not religion it’s to send a message.

Whatever the motive, there are better ways to achieve what you want to say, that don’t involve forcibly removing people from this Earth or taking away their opportunity to enjoy it.

If you suspect you, a family member or a friend are ever being tempted towards a horrific task – get them to help, be it medical, family and friend support, professionals, anything. As a wise man named Albus Dumbledore once said to his students “Every Day, every hour, this very minute perhaps, dark forces attempt to penetrate this castle. But in the end, their greatest weapon, is you. Just something to think about”.

You can talk gun/knife control and paint buckets filled with powder and electronics or nuclear warheads. In the end, the human is the real weapon behind it and the only way to protect each other, is to ensure first we protect ourselves.

Now I realise mere words like this won’t make the problem stop, and they’ll always be people that feel that way. But the more we educate, the more we safeguard and the more we can do to cut extremism from all sides, be it racial wars, interpretations of scripture. radicalisation of all kinds, the more safeguards we can put in place to defend ourselves, without creating fear, the more hope we can make a difference to reducing the terror in the world to the better times we all talk about.

If that doesn’t motivate you enough, here’s two videos that resonate the message with me. One cinematic, one real. Take your pick and if you want to discuss it further feel free to comment below:

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

 

Video from Brotactular on YouTube

To to the people and families of the fallen and injured, my thoughts, condolences and prayers to you all. And to those reading this from everywhere else, stay safe and stay informed tonight.

 

Mike


Blogtober: Returning to the Roast!

So, it’s been a while, again.

I know it seems a common theme of “it’s been busy”, but with a rather turbulent few weeks demanding my attention, my focus needed to be on what I’m paid to do as well as focus on those I love and on a little time for myself.

That time has been spent and I’m back and ready for Blogtober! If you joined me last year, you’ll know this blog is part of a family, so it won’t be posted to everyday per se, but again once a week alongside 6 other posts on the sister sites.

After that I’m thinking of trying something a little different to the standard written post …see what you think when we get there.

Happy Sunday everyone,

Mike


Every Second Counts

Time. A measurement we use everyday. Always going forward consistently, yet it can feel like it changes pace constantly. To make it more interesting, you never know how much time you get in total, nor what might add to or subtract that in the course of it running. So the challenge is with the time you currently have – what do you do with it?

Do you try to race it in the hope you’ll beat it? Do you let it pass by, knowing that it can’t run out┬á (not in your lifetime at least)?

When you’re faced with a deadline of sorts, every second counts. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a scary affair, you just have to focus on what you need to do – prioritise what’s most important first and if possible after that, move the┬á hardest stuff to the end so you have more time to concentrate on an action plan whilst you rocket through the easy stuff. Once you get that under control, you’ll feel things ease off, but don’t rest there as time keeps going, never slowing and before you know it, you’ll be behind it. So plough on and instead put it before you.

Trying to get your head around all this, check out an old favourite of mine by Marko Slavnic, if you have time:

Happy 86,400 everyone.

Mike


A Day of Splendour

This last week has led up to a very kind offer of a ticket to Nottingham’s annual Family Festival, Splendour. Roughly 12 hours of bands across 3 stages, a stage of comedy, a dinosaur exhibit, a silent disco and a circus act – all in Batman’s backyard.

It wasn’t the driest of festivals with several hours of rain washing a few people out, but it really helped test determination. As many crowds left over the hours into the evening, a number stayed on, waiting for that big moment to see Black Grape, Busted, Billy Ocean and finally the Kaiser Chiefs.

It’s determination like this that gives some drive in life. The drive to move forward, to stay focused, to achieve. When the rain comes, it can be very easy to walk to shelter at the risk of seeing the reward you came for. But if you know what can protect you and support you, sometimes it’s easy to bounce that rain off and around you and keep you dry (or drier) until the storm passes. It’s really powerful concept when you think about it and is sometimes the ideal way to motivate you to carry on when when you really don’t feel like you can.

When you can get past that hump and become numb to the things around you, it becomes easier to enjoy the moment and let that infectious joy spread to those around you

Have a great week everyone

Mike


Spinning Plates

Have you ever had that time when you said “yes”, because it sounded interesting? Perhaps bookmarked an article on your feed reader or in a magazine/journal/newspaper? Or signed up to something thinking you’ll be able to do it?

It’s easily done and for a while it works. But what happens when you overload. Your Netflix list is so full, series disappear in the process of you getting to them or halfway through? Or projects pass you buy since you were suddenly called to something else?

It’s easy to let it get out of hand, but always keep in mind of things you are “committed” to so as not to disappoint others. It’s a lesson I’ve learned and in some cases frequently relearn in different contexts (I don’t want to know how many projects I’ve left behind, moved on from or sadly failed to grow to fruition), but it is possible to fight back when things are planned correctly.

If it’s something like a project you’re working on, see if you can break it up into small sections, or perhaps dedicate some protected time into your week to ensure it happens. Always be prepared for when things take over though, such as a life change like starting a family, taking on a new job or taking a big step in life, because once again, it’s really easy to stray off the path too and often have many things to come back to – with the hope you’ll still be able to accomplish it all!

At worst, taking a break can also sometimes help, and particularly prevent any sort of burnout and stress. Just remember to look after you – after all it’s your life to live and you should be able to make the choice you wish (and to seek help if anyone prevents you from doing this in the first place). Just be aware of what you may choose take on, since nothing in life just disappears and with other things often preventing you from making the other choices for a given time, it’s worth working out the right order for you.

Take care this week and I hope your choices help you take the right steps forward.

Mike


Light At The End

And so ends another week – not as crazy but still not out of the woods.

It’s times like this when you stop to reflect on how far you’ve come, what you could have done differently and where to go next.

It’s also important to never give up. Even when it gets tough sometimes as you’ll only forever wonder why.

Hopefully with things moving forward in new directions, both here, in day to day life and possible new exciting adventures to come soon, I can only hope for things not to necessarily to be back to normal, but to take an exciting new direction for a while at least.

Happy Sunday to you all and hope that for any of those going through tunnels at the moment, your light will soon reach you.

 

Mike


And So It Begins

Tomorrow begins a new chapter. Our new tehcinican starts at work. Blogs will begin again on Tuesday and Wednesday (with the FMP post following the week after). I don’t have time to do it (as, yet again I will be worked through lunch and to the husk and possibly beyond my hours) and I’m not sure how it will pan out, but it’ll be done. This silence can’t continue, so service will be resumed.

More details will be revealed on the new plan via an official announcement on the network blog in the next few weeks.

Hope you all have a productive week.

Mike


It’s been a While

Hi guys,

Sorry it’s been silent over the last couple of weeks. It’s been busy. As many of you know I write these posts and the posts on sister blogs as a hobby 8n my free time – something that’s getting shorter on the regular with work commitments on the rise.

Work at the hospitals ┬áhas been in overdrive recently with a huge refurbishment project ‘starting’ tomorrow (that they decided to ┬ástarted early last week) meaning clearing of storage and electronics took up time, office work time was condensed so that’s more intense, we have new people starting so there’s a lot of logistics invovled there and by the time I get home and need to debate with the landlord for all these projects he suddenly wants to do, or dealt with the latest issue, done food and cleaning/laundry, I’m beat, demotivated and saldy have no capability to write quality content (well, quality by my standards!)

Thankfully things seem to be on the way back to normal schedule and with a week of thinking, I’ve got a slightly easier way to get content out to the few that read it to ensure I don’t let you guys down again.

I can only apologise for the radio silence and hope to bring back normal service soon!

Hope you all have a wonderful week all the same though.

Mike