A State of Mind…

Life events tend to be the impetus for a change. When I look back on some of the decisions I’ve made in the past, in hindsight – either rightly or wrongly – they’ve often been spurred by some catalyst and made on the fly. Some of these changes I imposed on myself, others I was placed in a position where I had to choose a path.

Why do I mention this? Well, with all good intention I started a blog to put some form of order to the random thoughts that I have. Something happened soon after me starting which, to be honest, made me doubt not only myself but everything I was trying to achieve. Where as I would normally remain generally positive about things, my whole mental state slipped a little.

What do I mean? Well think of a sine wave. You have a median line, and the wave will rise and fall at a given amplitude above and below that median. Some people – some very famous comedians especially – have been known to have very large peaks and troughs, where one minute they feel ‘on top of the world’ and the next feel nothing will ever seem right. Me, luckily I do not suffer the extremes of emotion related to that and for one, would never consider doing something to cause the people who care about me any real concern. However, what did happen was my median line dropped, causing my sine wave to drop, meaning my highs became the point at which I would normally feel OK, and my lows would be lower than my normal lows…. Makes sense? We are not talking a dramatic change, but someone who to a certain extent has kept me on track once told me I need to take care of my mental health. My instant reaction was, ‘I’m not nuts and I am not going to do anything stupid’ but her explanation kind of made sense. I had the mental health equivalent of a common cold that just wouldn’t shift. And it was true. It was nothing major, but I knew I wasn’t right. I had lost my mojo!

So what does that mean? It means in my case I was deflated, overwhelmed, stressed, tired, not sleeping well and lethargic. I am a firm believer that people make their own luck, and it just wasn’t happening.  Again, nothing technically to worry about, but nothing really positive to report either. Therefore the blog stopped. If I couldn’t post anything positive, I wasn’t going to post anything at all. I was still able to function and do work for clients, but everything I needed to do on a personal admin basis just slipped.  Manyana… and of course, tomorrow never comes.

Six months later….Six months! Where has the time gone? Actually, today I am forty eight and where has the last twenty years gone, more like! I’m reminded of a song from my school years…..Talking Heads, Once In A Lifetime. I remember thinking at the time, it reflects the aspirations of most people and the almost poignant quality of the lines,

‘And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?

And you may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house!

And you may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful wife!’

Interestingly, are these the benchmarks for success? If so, then I haven’t done very well. Or have I? Do I actually want those things…. Well possibly the beautiful wife, but the house and the car? I mentioned to my ‘mental health buddy’, that I actually prefer my son’s company to most adults that I know. Is that sad? She said, ‘It’s sweet!’ I don’t know about sweet, but I am exceptionally proud of a lad who surprises me on an almost daily basis…. Our discussions range from sorting his maths problems to talking football tactics to quizzing each other on countries and cities to him now making up jokes….

Charlie: What other sportsman do you think Arjen Robben could be? Me: I don’t know? Charlie: Tom Daley. Me: Why? Charlie: They both dive!

Charlie: What’s the difference between Ronaldo and time? Me: Haven’t a clue… Charlie: Time passes……

How do you measure success? Success is measured by having a very grounded young man who swaps from one household to another with no stress, angst or anxiety. Who works hard and is as keen as mustard to do the best he can do. And that’s all you can ask. In fact it is a little hypercritical to expect a ten year old to do the right thing, without setting the example yourself. So….

Six months later….I think I’m back! When I’m on a roll, nothing can stop me…..Momentum is building – watch this space.