Reflection

Everyone has been looking back over the last decade and wondering where it went or if they’ve learned anything from their experiences or even just looking back at times they enjoyed. I usually try and miss out that part of the start of a new decade. I can’t help but look back and see a completely different person than the one that stands before you now though.

Mr Magoo ICU @ Flickr

On the eve of 2000 we gathered together in a friends flat to see in the ‘millenium’. We’d went into Glasgow the year before and in all honesty that ended in a huge mess. It started with oak-aged tequila chasers for my beer and ended with being chucked out of the Lime Club because they didn’t want someone who was literally green around the gills wandering around the club like a time bomb. This time we tried to be a little bit more grown up. I was with my friends from work and out extended group of friends from Newton Mairns. Everyone bar four of us were there with girlfriends/boyfriends and so the single crowd spent most of the night in the kitchen trying to work out how to shotgun the mini kegs of beer Paul and Furry had brought along. We toasted the bells and then found a way to get really really drunk. The next five years was spent in much the same manner.

During the last 10 years I’ve made many good friends and enjoyed a social life that if you were to ask my in 2000 would I ever have I would have laughed. It got to the stage where I could head into Glasgow by myself on a Friday or Saturday night and be guaranteed to find a bunch of friends already out and about and have a great night. But I’ve changed. I don’t need that social side anymore. It’s the same with the drinking that goes along with it.

Five years ago I wore long shorts or combat trousers with my wallet chains hanging down and band teeshirts in every colour and genre. These days your lucky to see me with a classic band tee on and far more likely to see me wearing a ‘dad’ jumper. I feel like Jeremy Clarkson with my selection of jeans but I’m happier than ever. I don’t know whether thats all down to my family, my wife or my life in general but it’s true. I certainly never seen myself where I am now when I was looking ahead that hogmany in 1999. I certainly envisaged far more jetpacks and rocket cars at any rate.

Every so often I bump into some of the folk from that night 10 years ago and they look like they’ve grown older. They aren’t old by any means but you can tell they’ve lived through these last ten years. When I look at myself in the mirror, if you forgive the beard, I still see that 23 year old staring back. It sometimes shocks me to see folk I’ve known years ago only to see again. I bumped into my friend from primary school the other night at the local shops and since I last seen him we’ve lived horrendously different lives. He’s had problems with drink for years and actually looks about 60 years old and has lost most of his teeth. I’m really glad my life has turned out the way it has and I’m ecstatic that I still feel so young but when I bumped into him all I could think about was how I could never be in his shoes and that troubles me. Not that I’d want to live his life and his troubles but that I think that if I had to deal with everything he has then my body and brain just wouldn’t function. They’d shut up shop in protest at having to deal with everything. The one thing I don’t think I have is resilience. Not emotionally anyway.

It’s something I’m going to have to learn fast though.


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Devotion

For the last three or four years we have been aiming high with our lives and getting nowhere with it. Neither my wife nor I are or were doing the work that we want to be doing. We aren’t living where we want to be living. We aren’t existing as we want to exist.

It’s easy to say we are fed up working for ‘the man’. We want to do work that we’ll love. We want to live in a place where we can open the back door and let the kids run wild in acres of land without worrying about them. We want that hippy ideal of being happy and making the world a better place for us being there. We’ve looked into emigrating and into moving into the countryside.  It’s why I wanted to go to the Agricultural College. Vonnie worked hard when she was at Who Cares Scotland and had the chance to apply for a fantastic post up in Inverness which would have meant moving the entire family up there. We barely took a second to think it over before jumping at the chance.

toucanmacaw @ Flickr

We keep our own chickens to not only give us eggs for our occasional fry ups and cakes but to teach our kids about the cycle of life. We try to grow our own vegetables because we’re very concious about the impact carbon emissions have on the planet. We stand up for the causes we believe in and try to help others understand why we believe in what we do.

But we are struggling to get to where we want to be.

We’ve been trying to get our ‘shop’ set up for more than a year now. By we I of course mean Vonnie by the way. The thing is in order for me to get behind all this I had to take that step of redundancy. I need to believe that we can do this but i needed to take that jump. You cannot gain anything without there being the chance of losing something. It’s a mind set change. We’ve played about with this for years but now it’s time to get stuck in and get us to where we want to be.

I’ve got a lot to get my head round and learn in a short period of time. First off tomorrow is to find a good driving instructor that can give me some intensive lessons. Then it’s coffee with a friend and hopefully getting some work done around the house to make working form home until the premises are signed for a lot easier.

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Ablution

Purification. I’m going through this in my own way at the moment.

When I found out that I was dyslexic a lot of things in my life started to make sense. My atrocious short term memory, my inability to distinguish between general background noise and someone I should be listening to without real concentration and my reliance on routine.

RB Boyer @ Flickr

The later ‘symptom’ is where I’m going through my changes. My usual routine depends on the weekday but most week days are very similar but they are all very intensive first thing in the morning and last thing at night with the office work in the middle. When I spent my months off work sick over the last two years I was lost. If my daily plans change at the last minute I just can’t deal with it and unless I actually have plans I struggle to get through that time.

With my very recent change in employment I now have 8 hours every day where I have no routine. I need to cut back everything I do to the very basics and start to rebuild my routine. I can’t just change it overnight either. With my short term memory problems if I change it one day I need to make sure that the next I do it exactly the same way otherwise I’ll just forget it completely the day after that. It’s a long process but one I need to start now. You just have to ask Vonnie how I react to plans changing and you’ll find out the mess I get into.

Without a set routine for my day I just feel like I spend the time procrastinating. Holiday times are the worst for me as I just can’t deal with not knowing what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. Currently my sleeping patterns completely shot to pieces and with all the visits to family over the Christmas period I don’t think I’ve managed to get a single thing I’ve planned to do started never mind finished.

The new routine starts on Monday. Lets see how long it takes to actually become a routine and not just another day where I need to check a bunch of things off on a list so that I don’t forget to do them.

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Beginning

This is the moment of embarking.
All auspicious signs are in place.

Desirée Delgado @ Flickr

I’ve been looking for writing inspiration for a while now. It’s a habit that has fallen by the way side. In fact if you go back through the years on this blog I’d hazard a guess that the most written about topic is actually about me writing more. If it’s isn’t number one then it’s definately in the top three. So I went about looking for something to give me a nudge for something to write about every day and to be perfectly honest I found absolutely nothing online. By nothing I mean I didn’t find anything that wasn’t related to religion but in saying that all I’m looking for is a one word topic. I could have used the daily prayer book thingie that Vonnie was given last year if I could find it as all I want is a nudge. I don’t want to be sitting discussing the ins and outs of whatever passage from the bible was mentioned that day.

With that in mind what I did find was 365 Tao: Daily Meditations. I’m going to take a leaf out of Unclebear’s book and use this as a starting point. Hopefully I’ll get a post written every day but I say things like that a lot and I’m going to be very busy over the next few months so I’m making no promises!

So aside from the thoughts on starting my daily writing exercise I guess the big change is that today is the first day that I have been without work since I started my first job over 15 years ago. It’s terrifying. Let me get that out the way right from the beginning. Who would want to employ a mid-30′s guy with no degree level qualifications and no real transferable skills outwith knowledge of working for the civil service who is also dyslexic? Most folk in their right mind will run away screaming if I were to give them my CV but I have found a couple of folk that will employ me. Those two people would be my wife and I. That’s right we’re setting up our own business and hopefully very soon things will start to speed up and we’ll be well on the way to success.

I sometimes feel like I’m playing that round in Takeshi’s Castle where you have the choice of three doors and you have to run and jump through one of them. One is fake and you bounce off it ending your game, the second you can get through easily enough but someone is waiting on the other side to try and catch you and the last door has no obstacles and so is the easy route. You’ve no idea which one is which though when you try to go through it and it’s all against the clock. I have those three doors in front of me but someone has thrown away the timer. We’ve hummed and hawed over the last 15 months about this business and after a false start at the beginning of last year we’re at the stage of having chosen our door. My job now is to get up enough momentum that even if we hit the locked door we make it through to the other side.

Today has been spent recovering from last year and preparing for this year. If any of you had seen me today you would have said that I was lying and that I spend today doing dishes, cooking dinner and washing nappies. This would all have been true but it’s what was going on in my head that is important today.

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The Greer365 Project

So I’ve started a project that I’ve meant to do for both Nairn and Erica but never got around to starting. It’s purely a personally project but I don’t mind sharing it with you guys. Basically the intent is to have a photo almost every day for the first year of Greer’s life. If Erica had not had the problems she had I’d probably have completely forgotten about this but with her going from a tiny baby with health problems to a healthy child almost over night we never really seen a gradual change in her. I want to be able to see Greer changing and growing and I want to be able to show her this in the years to come. I’d originally started posting the pictures on my Flickr account but in order to stop my contacts being flooded with photos of Greer that were almost identical I was making them private but that defeated the idea of sharing them with anyone we knew if they wanted to see them. So I added a subdomain on my blog and all the photos will be displayed there. Greer As I mentioned there isn’t going to be a picture every day but I aim to try for that anyway. We’re only a couple of weeks into her life and I’ve missed one so far and fully expect to miss a couple more over the coming months. It’s no big deal so there’s none of the pressure that’s stopped me keeping photoblogs before or stopped me completing 365 projects. I’m really looking forward to this.

You can find the project at http://greer365.theapochrypha.co.uk

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