1. Joy and sorrow, and lots of things in-between

    I’ve felt the rumblings of the need to change for a quite a while.  One of the sources of inspiration was David O’Russell’s film ‘Joy‘ starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  It was released during Christmas 2015, and one of our traditions is to go to the cinema on Boxing Day.  I can’t remember if ‘the girls’ went to see this then whilst ‘the boys’ went to watch the local football team, but I certainly watched it pretty early on after it was released.  I’d enjoyed ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ and was a fan of both the lead actors.  I didn’t realise how much it would have an impact on me.  I walked out of the cinema feeling I wanted to make something of my life, though true to form, I then returned to work and another year went by.  I’ve since discovered I’m an Obliger in Gretchen Rubin’s new framework ‘The Four Tendencies‘ and need external accountability to help me to get things done for myself.  The link above is to the quiz so have a look and see what tendency you are.

    In Joy, it was the bit about cicadas that really got to me.  The story itself is about a woman who makes good.  Joy was reading a story about cicadas to her daughter discovering they stayed buried underground for up to seventeen years.  It’s symbolic of Joy who transforms into a matriarch and billionaire ultimately.  I’m not looking for that, though it might be nice (it also might not!), I am searching for something to make me happier.  Something to align to my values, beliefs and interests.

    Life is short.  We want to make the most of it, though sometimes there are other pressures and responsibilities to be taken care of first as Joy found.  I recently discovered a website which tells you how long you’ve been alive in various metrics.  You can enter your birth date (and even time of birth) and are then confronted with lots of numbers.  We are all aware of our age, but the other stats are quite interesting.  However, it’s probably more important to think about where you are now and how long you might have left.  We, of course, never know that part which is where mindfulness has become so popular.  The focus should be on the present moment as that is all you have, however you do also need to have an eye on the medium and longer-term.

    With that in mind, as I recuperated from the jet lag from my recent trip to Singapore, my next task was to prepare for an interview for what could on paper be my ideal job.  I’d been contacted whilst I was away with the news and pulled together a presentation to deliver at the interview.  I was actually appreciative of the jet lag as it made me quite single-minded.  I would study a little each day and then go to bed pretty early.  I’m currently ‘in-process’ for the role, but the mind can imagine and visualise different outcomes if you let it.

    I tend to be quite anxious and so like to give myself as much time to prepare as possible. I feel that the more you practice and prepare for these things, the better the outcome.  With the role I’ve just interviewed for, it is likely to be very competitive and you think about all the ‘boxes’ it ticks on your own list.  You reflect on what you did and didn’t say, and how you might have been perceived.  It’s good to do this to some extent as you can learn for the next steps either in that process or in another one.  However, it’s also easy to keep going over things in your mind, when you can’t change it.

    I don’t know about you, but I’d often go into an exam (nervous of course, but as prepared as I could be) and then go home, check through the study notes and think ‘yep I put that’ or ‘nope I forgot that’.  However, it was often the results which surprised me, I’d get higher marks in the ones I thought I’d done worse in and vice versa.  Going to interviews and applying for roles does feel a little like the examination process as you are putting yourself out there to be judged.  I’m currently refreshing my emails just as I did waiting for my CIMA results.

    I’m hopeful that the right thing will come along and this will tick a lot of the boxes for me.  Sometimes, what you think is the best thing for you might not be of course and you won’t know until you try and are living it.

    I’ll write soon about my thoughts and feelings since I’ve left work, but for now…

    Enjoy today.

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