Friday, 29 December 2017

Yesterday's reflective run

Luton Dunstable Busway, December 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's reflective run, although no PBs were achieved. I hoped it would be one of those runs where there is space to think things through.  Certainly I anticipate this will be the first of a handful of runs where I look back on the year and where I find tremendous solace.

Before I get into reflecting on my thoughts, here's a little scene setting.  It was cold, below freezing and at dusk.  Thankfully the Busway was quiet, only one or two people around.  My pace was a gentle 9:30minutes/mile which is the norm for me nowadays. I ran a little over three miles and this is a typical run during this December.

I thought through some of the highs and lows of my job.  I'm just approaching the second anniversary of moving from my long standing career in Probation across to my local authority.   This second year has been harder than my first and, to be honest, it still feels like a pretty steep learning curve at times. The low point was hitting a particularly stressful patch in the spring time.

When I've been through stressful times in the past, there's always something positive that's come out of it.  Before it has been getting promoted, trading areas of responsibility and indeed making the decision to get fit all those years ago.  I asked myself what has been the positive outcome of this year's stressful episode.  The answer is not yet tangible but I think I know where it's going.  Thankfully we are positioned reasonably well financially and I would like to explore different ways of stepping back from work (easier said than done).  Unfortunately there's no immediate prospect of being made redundant which is rather ironic having dodged it a number of times and now it would be quite welcome!

I thought of my family and my Dad who passed away most unexpectedly on 31 December 2015 (just before I started my new job).  I still look back at that turbulent time, remembering it very well.  My daughters are growing into two young ladies, aged 17 and 19.  They're both very different from each other; one very academic and at university, the other is more practical and at college.  I love them so much.  I think of the challenges of the world they're growing into and the amazing opportunities that lie ahead for them.  I think of Rachel, my wife.  I am so thankful for her always being there, always so faithful and loyal.  Always willing to consider other ways of doing things and always so reassuring.  At times when I've been tempted to quit my job, she's always been there saying our health and well being over the decades ahead is more important than our bank balance and career status.  I am so blessed.

The year ahead

I am sure I'll come back to this in another run, another blog post.  For now I am, as always, optimistic about the year ahead.  None of us know what lies ahead and yet it is so compelling to see the weeks and months unfold.

Thoughts of what I could do as an alternative to my full time job flash across my mind from time to time.  We touch on this issue quite often at home and, for now, there's no clear answer.  Some ingredients are:

  • I like people
  • Like the idea of being self employed
  • I'm quite a good communicator 
  • I fancy doing something completely different
Slightly connected to all this is a blog I follow by Sam Murphy.  It's called The Crazy Thing and, in her own words "Life is a bit routine.  You sense there’s more out there – more to learn, attempt, explore and experience..... The urge to DO something. A Crazy Thing. What Crazy Thing? At first, you don’t know, but you start to talk about it. (All the time)".  Check it out.  At the very least it's an entertaining read.  It's nice to know others are out there with similar dilemmas.

Luton Dunstable Busway, December 2017

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