This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I have started (or re-started?) this blog.

Why did I stop?

Boredom I guess. Boredom from writing long winded posts about stuff that I think will interest people but actually doesn’t interest me. I’ve been doing it off and on since 2016 and we are now in 2023 (as I write this) and the shine, if ever there was one, about seeing my musings online has most definitely worn off.

Since I started, TikTok has become the ‘goto’ for most people under the age of 25 and even those older than that, like myself, look at it on a regular basis because, well, it’s just easy isn’t it?

Just 60 seconds of my undivided attention. This used to be 60 seconds of trivial nonsense…An Air Fryer recipe, a silly dance or two, a funny cat video, etc.

Now it’s 3 minutes of the Left and Right political factions just shouting abuse at each other. One religion blaming another. Fighting. War. Bullying. Hatred. Poverty. Nasty comments.

What a horrible place it has become and I just avoid it now as it saps my energy.

So I’m back.

If people read this blog then that is great. If they don’t then it is not going to change my life either.

Why I’m back

To share my thoughts on how to live more simply and as stress free as you can and to only share positive thoughts and actions that have changed my life for the better. If people think it’s all a bit too ‘happy clappy’ then fine, you can vote with your feet. Or your mouse.

I am the Director of a financial services firm here in the UK and it’s fair to say I have to deal with elevated stress on a daily basis.

Staff problems, clients, lack of business and perversely, at times, too much business. Not enough profit. Reporting to the Board of Directors on profitability, revenue, cashflow and business projections.

I am also a father, a grandfather and a cancer survivor so I feel I am well placed to talk with some authority about these issues.

So the one thing I have learnt over time is how to manage my stress levels. I am acutely aware of how my actions effect my staff and the one thing I decided when I launched my business 3 years ago was that I would never have any member of staff feel bullied, threatened, uncomfortable or awkward in any way.

I made it my goal that no one who worked with me would ever get that horrible Sunday-night-before-School-on-Monday feeling. I don’t think it will ever get to the point that people will skip into work with screams of delight that they are back at their desk sitting in front of two monitors but at the same time, I want it to be a place that they really don’t mind coming into.

I have also changed my lifestyle to deal with stress and stressful situations.

Some are small changes such as de-cluttering (I hate clutter and it makes me anxious) and other are making a to-do list every night before bed in classic bullet journal mode.

I have also reduced and streamlined my clothing choices for work as the choice was becoming too much for me to be able to make a quick decision on what to wear each day. I’m in my 50’s so I have accumulated a lot. More on this in another post.

I have also learned to let go.

Let go of the detritusĀ of my life. The relationships that just caused me pain, both professionally and personally. Avoid social media. Limit my screen time (phone, tablet, laptop, etc) and block it completely on Sundays. Again, I will talk about how I did this in other posts.

In summary, it’s taken a while but I have finally learned how to love myself (or at the very least, like myself) and how to live a fairly stress free life.

If it helps just one person, then that is good enough for me.

bookmark_borderChristmas changes

As I write this, it is 5 days before Christmas day. Wednesday 20th to be precise so just today and two other working days left.

I am at my desk in my office as I am at 7.30 every weekday.

I have my blind on my window down and I can see people scurrying past, bustling and walking briskly, probably to get to their desks too, or maybe even a bakery or coffee shop or wherever they work.

It got me thinking.

We are on this treadmill of life and I live for the weekends.

I put in a serous shift at work every day, a minimum of 10 hours and quite often, 12 and I rarely leave my office to go for lunch now, I just eat at my desk like millions of other people do.

What a horrible state of affairs this has become. How did I arrive at this juncture in my life where work is all encompassing and my personal life/time is almost a side show?

It’s easy.

It’s my fault.

I have allowed myself to become like this. Perhaps through a work ethic that I have always had. Perhaps because I am scared that if I don’t work this hard then I will lose my job.

Either way, this is not the right way to live and the famous work/life balance we all hear about is so out of whack with my life that the time has come for me to make changes because if I don’t, I am certain I will end up in an early grave or worse still, just spend the rest of my sad existence dribbling into my tea and wondering ‘what might have been’.

Change is within our grasp.

I am not just talking about big lifestyle changes but small things can make a huge difference.

Leaving the office on time. Going for a walk for at least one hour and/or completing at 2 miles every lunchtime. Getting into work at 8.15am rather than 7.30am. Leaving at 5pm.

Rather than do this on the 1st January like we all say we will do. I am starting this today, randomly on the 20th December 2023.

I am already in the office so I can’t change that but I will go for a 2 mile walk and I will be leaving at 5pm.

Tiny changes but from small acorns…

Progress update in a couple of days.