Saturday, 8 December 2018

Here. Now. - Day 8

Day 8 (Saturday 8th December)

Eight is a rowing class recognised by the International Rowing Federation and is the
term for a rowing boat, propelled by eight oarsmen and steered by a cox, used in competitive sports.
owing started as a means of transport and progressed into a sport - its modern form was developed
in England in the 1700s. It is an amateur sport and an Olympic event. When Pierre de Coubertin
created the Modern Olympics, he modelled the International Olympic Committee on the
Henley Stewards. The stewards organise the 
Henley Royal Regatta, one of rowing's most prestigious events.
I was Captain and stroke of our crew at University but have also rowed bow and been a cox.

Normal service is slowly resuming at my end and as a result I am delighted to commence posting Advent Blogs that have been crafted specifically for us for this year. And what a cracker today is - especially for me, as it shows that there is light ahead and that emotional objectives can be achieved. I am grateful to people who have been so understanding to me in my current dejection. I am not ready to share on here as the situation I find myself in is not about me but hurts those I love and care about. Perhaps this is why I love today's post so much - it is all about love, emotions, self-awareness and finding happiness and contentment.. 

It is my good fortune that is the first blog I received for the 2018 season - as you know, the theme for this year is "Heartaches, Hopes and High Fives". It is an honest piece of self-reflection and an enjoyable read. I suspect that its words will resonate with many of us and I hope it raises a smile. Its author is Phil Marsland who, after a very successful career in HR, now runs a Leadership and HR consultancy, Blue Tree. Over the years I have got to know Phil - he is pragmatic and values driven with a dry sense of humour. He is active on social media, particularly Twitter where he tweets under his own name @FulfordPhil and also under his business' @BlueTreePhil. Phil is 
supportive and caring and does much to promote the HR profession 
as a mentor and speaker. 
He founded ConnectingHR York in 2015 and it is a thriving a vibrant 

As well as his passion for people, Phil loves music (and by love I really do mean love - it is his third space). He is also a keen fan of Manchester City Football Club. Although, perhaps the thing that drives Phil most (other than his devotion for his family) is his love of learning.


I normally write when emotions are high. The words just pour out, often getting published unedited, unexpurgated.

The process for this year's Advent blog has been harder.

I've been thinking about why that is, and I think I know.

I'm currently calmer, happier, possibly the happiest I've ever been since I got keys, responsibilities and bills.

Here's the kicker. It won't stay like that. It never does. I've always fluctuated, wobbled, rocked. Been forever in search of balance. Getting stuff wrong.

Prioritising work - whatever the hell that is?! - over family. Getting too attached to work, and people there. Too emotional, too passionate, too irrational and unreasonable. It's probably just me. Probably just how I am. I have peaks and troughs.

I have peaked at various things. Got really really good, then a bit bored, then look for something else. Don't get me wrong, I've never been world class at anything. But I've won stuff, captained teams, won tournaments, won cruises.

I think flow works for me as a wave. My peaks are better than most people. I excel at focus and intensity and real insight. But I can't hold it there, I have to crash down. Slump in my music room with a beer. Reflecting. Recovering.

It's taken me a half century of actual years, and probably a few decades less in conscious years to realise this stuff about me.

In the intervening haphazard-stumbling through life, I have coped less well. Been sharp verbally, been uncompromising, unreasonable. Pushed folk away. Felt lost, felt lonely. And wanted people and contact.

So 'Happy' is something of an undiscovered country for me, until recently.

10 years ago I set myself 3 objectives:

  • to be happy
  • for Chris to be happy
  • for the kids to be happy and have rewarding and fulfilling childhoods and the best possible start in life

We've got there... through risk and uncertainty.

And now I want for nothing. Not fancy clothes, possessions or holidays. I've done all that. For me, I don't want anything more. And in this state I'm loving music, mates, family time, footy and a beer or two. All of this is gravy.

And we all know that Northern boys love gravy.

PS this is the first draft, unedited.

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