Contraction versus expansion

There is some clarity that comes with the dread of an impending pandemic. When times get tough it’s a lot easier to prioritise your life.

Some silly examples; I now know for sure that I can’t buy anything fancy. I can’t go on any big trips. The house will not get expanded this year. I won’t visit my family overseas. This is before I even think about plans we may have had at work for our company. So many cancelled plans. All because of uncertainty around Corona virus.

In more normal, predictable times I would toy with all the exciting ideas I could think of. Weigh them up. Choose one over the other. Now I can put all these haunting wishes to sleep.

When this thing passes I will stretch myself again. Until then it’s a period of contraction, consolidation, concentration on the task at hand. Just a period. Nothing more and nothing less.

Not exciting, but necessary for long term planning and resilience.

Disruption

Disruption comes in different shapes and sizes. Often it is spoken of positively, especially recently, referring to technology that impacts our lives. But the most disruptive thing to happen in my life lately, and I suspect to anyone reading this, is the corona virus.

Pandemic. What a word that is.

Today is my mother’s and my wife’s birthday (Different people, same birthday). It’s a milestone birthday and we had big plans. However those plans have gone out the window and we are isolating to avoid exposure to a global pandemic which seems to be only just getting started.

Handwriting

When I was 11 years old, I changed my handwriting in an effort to be cool. I wanted to be more like my friend. He wrote with far more flair than I did. His pages had words that stood out at you. They were all in in neat rows, but they looked artistic and full of purpose. His paragraphs were all in joined up writing and each word was at an angle. His pages looked like they came from someone interesting. Mine just looked like they came from a bog standard 11 year old kid.

I remember clearly deciding to write an assignment in this new style – with my new found flair. The words were all at a painful angle across the page. It took me ages to finish because I was more interested in how it looked than what was written. I put my name on it and handed it in. I felt satisfied and liberated. My new, cooler, more angular identity was emerging.

When the teacher handed our marked papers back, he stopped when he reached me. I got a poor mark. He was disappointed with me, he said. And what on earth was wrong my handwriting? He could barely read it.

I couldn’t hide my blushes as I mumbled some sort of response. I reverted back to myself the very next class.

Happy Sunday chimps. To thine own self be true!

Low tide

We were looking for a beach today. We found a creek at low tide which was so great it reminded me of Kenya.

The sand was soft and golden, the water was cool and the sun baked us warm from above.

Fish were exposed in the shallow water. We tried to catch them in a net and we were joined by a couple of dogs on their walk. It was a dog paradise.

South Africa lacks the tropical humidity and heat of Kenya, but today was close. Low tide was calm, hot and water flowed in as the tide changed.

Life slowed down for a while which is always good.

Time is running out

So what shall we do with our 24 hours?

Today I played golf under the African sun. I then watched the sun go down with my two baby girls. It’s also my wedding anniversary so I bought my wife a present. We have a good marriage. 6 years now.

A day well spent. But the sun still reminds me of passing time.

Tomorrow needs exercise, communication, and creativity. It needs love.

Another one like today will do just fine. A good day.

Man Caves and other middle aged things

They creep up on you, those “middle aged guy” things. Seeping into your life. Maybe examples will help.

  • Coffee addiction
  • Sore lower back
  • Exercising for fitness reasons
  • Listening to jazz or classical music

One massive desire I have is for a room to be used by me as a place to relax and pursue hobbies away from the rest of the family. I want a Man Cave really bad.

With this realisation I concede to middle age. Now excuse me while i spend my day grumbling about what’s on the radio, and discussing the state of politics.

Not really. But my back is sore. And I do want that man cave.

Hospital

Disinfectant, needles, white lights, sickness. As much as we fear and dread going to the hospital, it’s actually a great place to be. A great place to lower the risk of something terrible happening.

My child needs help in the hospital and I’m lucky we have a good one within reach. I’m on my way to see her. Sitting in the Uber putting everything else in perspective.

Hospital hospital hospital – over and over in my head.