Friday, 2 December 2016

(Your love keeps lifting me) Higher and Higher

(Your love keeps lifting me) Higher and Higher  

Day 3 (Saturday 3rd December 2016)

3-time winner of the Tour de France, British cyclist Chris Froome,
crossed the finish line arm-in-arm with his Team Sky mates on 24th
July 2016. Froome won in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and is the first man to 
successfully defened his title for over 20 years. He is just the 8th rider
to win at least 3 Tours de France, joining Belgium's Phillipe Thys,
Louison Bobet of France and American Greg LeMond on 3. The record
of 5 Tour wins is held jointly by Jacques Anquetil & Bernard Hinault of
France, Belgium's Eddy Merckz and Miguel Indurain of Spain.
Today's blog is joy to read - it is always a pleasure to find that people's lives are full of love and learning. In this very open and personal piece, Gary Cookson tells us how his life has changed, having rediscovered love and now appreciating the fact that he is both loved and loveable. In some ways his blog can be read as a love letter. It is certainly an honest reflection on his year. If you remember from last year's series, Gary told us (on Boxing Day) what it was like to job-hunt and how, by not trying too hard, he landed a suitable role. Gary, in this year's post, touches on the lingering pain he still feels after 12 years in a housing trust he loved and was proud to have helped, having it change for the worse around him and having to leave. Since February he has been the Director of HR at Trafford College. Gary has high standards and is driven, both in and outside work (he is a triathlete, trainer, tutor, dedicated father and spouse) - he does not shirk from seeking to improve both himself and the environment in which he operates. In this post he touches on the complex issue of having a satisfactory work/life balance.

Gary is a natural networker and active on social media - he tweeted that he was writing this post back in November, without giving anything away. His Twitter handle is @Gary_Cookson. He is also a prolific blogger - you can read his posts on his blog, HR Triathlete or catch many of them on LinkedIn.

Gary has shared with us his own photos that record magical moments from his year.



I got married this year. I'd been married before and the secret joy of marrying again is realising that you made so many mistakes first time round, without even knowing, and by marrying again you get the chance to put right what once went wrong (to steal a Quantum Leap quote). I hadn't realised that, having had my heart torn into tiny shreds some years ago, I had it in me to love again and most importantly to be loved.

In the immediate years after my painful divorce I focused my attention of my children, only having two at the time. I didn't think my heart had capacity to love anyone else and as a human being I became very shallow and self centred as a result, not valuing friendships or relationships.

And then I met Katie, and in time we had our own child, and its obvious that ones' heart DOES have capacity to love more no matter what you think, that it just GROWS.  And as Katie wants us to have another child in the future (no.4 for me if so) I'll probably test that theory further in the years to come.

The wedding was fantastic, taking place on St.George's Beach near Paphos, Cyprus at the end of a week long holiday that I thought I couldn't better but in fact only had to wait a fortnight to do so.

On that day, 26 August, my heart became whole again and I felt loved, and full of love.  I have not experienced a more perfect day and I don't want to.  I found my heart again on St.Georges' Beach, and part of it will always be there.


Two weeks after our wedding we went on honeymoon - a cruise round the Norwegian Fjords.  This was something from our bucket-list and the four days we spent in Norway itself saw me reach heights of beauty I didn't even think possible.  Norway is my new favourite place and I'd live there in a heartbeat (if I could afford it).

Honeymoons are invariably special events and I truly believe I may never experience those heights again, though I'll try. I certainly don't plan on having another honeymoon, partly because I want it to be some kind of pinnacle in my life.

Bergen was spectacular, ascending the funicular Floibanen to Mt.Floyen and looking down on what seemed like the whole of Norway. But we hadn't seen anything yet.  Standing at the bottom of the Trollveggen the following day in Andalsnes made me realise how the heights of Norway were something I could spend my entire life scaling.  And even then we hadn't got to the best bit - walking up the mountain to the Briksdal Glacier in Olden exposed me to a level of peace and beauty, a new height altogether, that I didn't think I'd ever experience.  Standing in front of the glacier, I have never felt so calm and had all my senses heightened so much.
I'd love to go back, to try to experience those heights again.

So this year for me, on a personal level, has been all about hearts and heights.


My hollows have been entirely professional this year.  Something has been missing.  I don't know what.  I feel as if, professionally, I'm searching for something and until I find it, I'll be hollow.

I started the year leaving the organisation I'd spent 12 years turning into an amazing workplace, and then 1 year watching it change around me and all my work be undone.  I used this story in my Ignite-Max poem at #CIPDNAP16 and tried to express how hollow the whole experience had made me, but also how it had helped me realise how I can rebuild and start again, something I've been doing in my new role since I started in the early part of the year.

But even now, the hollow feeling persists.  Something's not quite right, professionally, and the sharp contrasts with how high I've flown in my personal life haven't helped by exposing an area that isn't as perfect for me, so I've clearly got work to do.

The feeling actually makes me angry at times, irritable and short-tempered, which isn’t the person I want to be.

I guess I'm searching for something to fill the hollowness inside me.  But I don't know what it is that will fill it or even if I'll feel less hollow when I find it.

All I do know is that, if and when I figure it all out - watch out.

No comments:

Post a Comment