1. 40 is the new 30

    40 is the new 30 (or is it 20?)

    So it’s coming.  40 is about to hit me in a few months.  How did it happen? Where has the time gone? It’s hit Garfield already.

    Growing up I loved Garfield and now my niece does.  I think that’s funny.  I’ve just bought both of us the new 40th anniversary book.  When I ordered mine, I also purchased another book, Tribe of Mentors, which had been recommended in a CIMA magazine I had read.

    As I post daily inspirational quotes on Twitter, I thought that this book might give me some useful insight (not that Garfield won’t).  I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter books, but I had a quick skim of the first few pages and noticed that Timothy Ferriss mentioned turning 40 three times in as many paragraphs.  He said that he “had no plan for after 40”.  So it struck me how 40 was everywhere.  It’s a bit like when you are looking to buy a car, you suddenly notice all the cars around you.  You are meant to become more contemplative in your forties and that’s certainly happening within my friendship group.  I look forward to seeing what I learn from the book.  I will share any useful insights.

    To mark the occasion, I’m having a party with people able to drop in for as long as they wish.  I’m seeing it as an opportunity to catch up with people that I’ve not seen for a while, and spend more time with those that I do.  And enjoy some dancing hopefully.

    Party organisation

    I do love to organise.  It’s a key Virgo trait.  I’ve been pulling together a playlist for the party.  I also love music, so it’s nice to be able to find a reason to do something like that.

    I hope that the weather will be good since I’ve invited a lot of people.  This led me to thinking about the impact of weather on our happiness.  In the UK at the moment we are having a heatwave, or numerous heatwaves.  Am I happier? I think so yes.  I mean, sometimes it’s too hot, but I can work with it.

    Summer holidays

    I can’t believe the school summer holidays are rolling around already.  This year has flown by.  Though of course starting the new job had a definite impact on my concept of time.

    Hopefully you have some vacation plans ahead over the next few weeks.

    My company had a summer party yesterday, on another glorious day.  I took along some family and friends and we all had a fantastic day out.  The weather being good had a definite impact.  But the whole organisation and thought behind the party was second to none.

    Deckchair

    Deckchair

    Live life and don’t grow up

    In my mind, I want to enjoy life as much as I can.  ‘Enjoy today’ being the mantra.  I also think it’s important to stay ‘child-like’.  I don’t want to be old and boring that’s for sure, though at the same time I am definitely sometimes too serious and worry too much (as I’m sure I’ve mentioned).

    In the spirit of ‘play’, here’s a picture of some ‘art’ that we had done at the party yesterday.

    Face paint

    Face paint

    Here are some further thoughts on age.

    Like Garfield (and lots of other people), I hate Mondays, but mainly because there are lots of fun things that you could be doing rather than working.  The continuing good weather is definitely improving my mood, along with having things to look forward to (which of course are funded by monies earned through work).

    Today is a good day for sports fans, with the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final along with the World Cup Final.  Neither have a British contingent, despite my belief that England would make it to the Final.  It feels an optimistic time for me anyway.

    Enjoy today whatever you are doing.

  2. Returning to old ways?

    Returning to old ways

    This month I have felt myself returning to old ways at work.  For me, this is worrying about things when I probably don’t need to.

    Of course, sometimes worry is a good thing as it makes you consider things in advance and plan so that things go smoothly.  However, I used to think this would stop bad things happening and that’s certainly not the case.  But, generally (read ‘probably always’ or ‘always’!)  it really, really isn’t.  It actually hampers you because you end up wasting energy, losing sleep etc which isn’t healthy.

    It’s hard to change the way that you are, but equally a learned behaviour can be unlearned.  Below I highlight some reading I’ve been doing to improve myself.

    I’m now into my sixth month in the new job.  I am definitely settling in, but there’s still a lot that feels new.  I actually have my probation review tomorrow so fingers crossed!

    Training Bubble

    This week I’ve been on a training course in London every day.  Being in a ‘bubble’ of learning and a new routine for the week meant that I had ample time to read on the commute.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve read two books that a friend bought me a while ago for birthdays/Christmas.  One was Calm which I’m sure is well-known.  The other was Lifestyle Essentials by Lisa B.  This is a fairly old book (2008).

    I found both really good.  There were recurring themes in both and also lots of themes that I’d found were ‘calming‘ myself such as: walking in nature, sleep (!) and being creative.  Lisa B’s book was a straightforward roadmap to getting on with things in life and I found it really useful and plan to keep both books on my bookshelf for future reference! I took note of Lisa’s advice to clean to Kylie.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned I’m a big fan once or twice.

    The training itself was for a product I will use in my job, however being in a different environment makes you think differently.  There was a lot of content to take on board and I found it very tiring.

    Anniversaries

    Further to a previous post which cited Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City, the programme recently turned 20 years old.  There were various articles published which ‘wondered’ why the show still had appeal.  For me, it’s a comfort blanket and I guess a source of hope.

    I am a perfectionist and can also be resistant to change, so things like a solid routine and trying to be organised really help me out.  Knowing there are shows like Sex and the City to fall back on and sometimes to fall asleep to is good to know!

    I don’t know about you, but I go through cycles with reading.  I do really enjoy it, but sometimes I  get into a routine of watching TV in bed instead (and often falling asleep as above).  My Dad literally said the same thing himself just the other day.

    Another book that I read recently was about the economy.  Sometimes I don’t feel as knowledgeable about the world as I should do.  However, I actually made my Dad buy this book (he’d been reading others by the same author) because of the title ‘Talking to my Daughter about the Economy’.

    In the book, Yanis Varoufakis references a quote by Henry David Thoreau which feels apt for this website:

    “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

    And on that note I will sign-off.  Enjoy today.

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