The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Friday Funday …
May 29, 2020, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment

While it’s Friday, the situation with quarantine means it doesn’t really feel like it.

The only difference between today and tomorrow is there will be less zoom meetings. Probably.

So I thought I would help you get in the mood by showing you 2 videos.

Both involve a packet of mentos and a bottle of cola.

The first captures the magic of youth … as they discover a valuable lesson that will remain with them for the rest of their life.

The second involves a lovely old lady, who realises that regardless of your age, you’re always capable of learning something new. Even if you didn’t want to.

And yes, I am probably going to hell for finding them funny … but let’s be honest, I was always going to be heading there. And at least I’ll find more interesting people to talk to.

Curiosity.

Surprise

Oh, and if you are wondering why the comments are off for this post … it’s because I’ve taken the day off and I don’t want to be tempted to see the abuse you are giving me.

Even though I know you’ll still find a way.

Damn you.

Have a toptastic weekend.

Comments Off on Friday Funday …


Happy Anniversary Mum And Dad …
May 28, 2020, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Childhood, Comment, Dad, Emotion, Empathy, Family, Love, Mum, Mum & Dad

Today would have been Mum and Dad’s 56th wedding anniversary.

That’s a photo from their wedding day at the top of this post.

They look so young.

So happy.

A life of adventure ahead of them.

And while they had their ups and downs – some of them insanely challenging due to health, money and family dramas – they stayed strong … they never left me wanting for their love and support and, at the very end, they were possibly even closer than they had ever been.

Of course part of this was because Dad was utterly reliant on Mum after his multiple strokes.

At the beginning that was hard on Mum.

Here was her husband – a proud, eloquent, independent man – suddenly needing her presence, love and support 24/7.

Don’t get me wrong, she loved him, but it was so different to their normal relationship that in some ways, her husband had become her child and that required a huge readjustment for her mentally as well as emotionally.

But there was no question she was not going to look after him.

This was her husband.

Looking after him was what she wanted to do.

It was how she could show her love for him.

Even when it drove her to the point of physical and mental exhaustion and stress.

I remember one day, Mum anxiously told me [I was living in Australia at the time] a Doctor had said she needed rest or she would become seriously ill.

He suggested Dad go into hospital for a few weeks so she could take care of herself.

She immediately said no, but realised that if she got ill, then Dad would be in an even worse position.

It took her days to do it, but finally she gingerly, tenderly and tearfully told Dad what the Doctor had told her.

She was so upset as she didn’t want him to think she was sending him away … but actually wanting to look after him.

And Dad, with tears in his eyes, nodded he understood.

Because he loved his wife.

And while he hated the idea of being away from her, he hated being a burden to her and wanted to help her feel stronger and better.

So they could be together again. Where he felt safest and happiest.

The great irony is that a few days before he was supposed to go into hospital, he ended up there with another stroke …

And never came home.

The end of a 3+ year journey of utter sadness.

One I would not wish on anyone, especially Mum and Dad.

I’m not religious in the slightest, but I have to admit, I really hope they’re together again, holding hands.

Miss them so much.

Happy anniversary Mum and Dad.

Rxxx

____________________________________________________________________

After I typed this I realised I was wrong.

2020 had screwed me so much I had written this 2 months late as Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary was on March 28.

What the hell?

What makes it worse is that this is the first time of the 14 odd years of this blog, that I’ve screwed it up.

So while all the words are right, my timing – as usual – is a little off.

Love you Mum and Dad.

Rx

Comments Off on Happy Anniversary Mum And Dad …


Truth Out Of The Most Innocent Of Mouths …

So I have to admit that I am loving being in quarantine with my family.

I appreciate a big part of that is that I’ve been impacted far less than many.

I fortunately continue to have a job and where we live has a small backyard for Otis to play in. I also know that with no elderly family members around, the worry and fears are limited to just our situation which is why, even though I would rather no one had suffered through this time, this period has been a revelation for me.

There’s many reasons for that. I am saving two and a half hours a day on commuting … so I’m get an hour a days more sleep. I get to be here and see Otis when he wakes up and goes to bed every night. And dinner time is now family dinner time … every single day.

All those things are wonderful based on the fact I just love being with my family.

We’ve never spent so much time together in our lives and I have to say, it’s great.

Yes, we would love to go out and see friends, but in terms of sacrifice, it has actually had some upside – though I would never want anyone to have had to pay the price they’ve had, to experience this.

The main reason this has been so impactful to me is that I was previously of the opinion being in the office every day was important.

Not ‘to be seen’ by management, but because as a boss … I felt it was important to spend time with your gang and be there when/if they need you. I still feel that, but now realise I can spend one day a week at home and it won’t do any damage … even more so when I assume many of the team will want to do the same.

That said, working from home has revealed some interesting situations.

As I wrote a while back, Otis’ naked bum dance to a very important member of the NIKE global management was an interesting one. While he has fortunately not done a repeat performance, he has revealed what he really thinks of me.

Just recently, this was our interaction while his Mum had popped out to buy some groceries …

As burns go, that’s pretty awesome … though as my colleagues gleefully told me when I told this story to them, “He’s not wrong”.

Assholes.



When Politeness Goes Porn …

So this COVID-19 thing has – as I’ve written a bunch of times – brought the best and worst out of people and companies.

But one thing I’ve not really talked about is the humour it has ignited.

The best bit being some of it was not meant to be humour but it’s hilarious.

So to make your week much happier, have a look at this piece of accidental hilarity … which may be one of the best examples of self-serving [under the guise of politeness and consideration] middle-class [which today means, posh-class] England, since the editorial in today’s Daily Mail.

You’re welcome.



Be Your Own Worst Enemy …

There have been times in my career where I’ve chosen the wrong path.

What makes this crazy is that there have been times where I knew I was but still went ahead with it.

Nothing bad.

Nothing illegal.

But, according to others, it was the wrong thing to do.

Now this is not because I have a death wish or want to cause trouble … it’s because a situation or certain circumstances occurred that just triggered something in me.

Good and bad.

And while – with hindsight – I know I could have handled ‘how’ I dealt with some of those situations differently, I absolutely don’t regret ‘why’ I did it … even if that led to some people labelling me as being ‘too emotional’.

Too emotional is a horrible phrase.

It aims to shame people for who they are and what they believe.

What is worse is that it is often expressed by people who have an inability to show any emotion towards anything, so act as if it is some sort of human flaw.

A fundamental weakness.

Let me be very clear, being able to express your emotions is a strength.

It’s healthy.

It’s positive.

It’s also a sign you give a fuck.

Whether that is about work, standards or other people.

Now I appreciate that doesn’t mean you can use it as an excuse to abuse others or act like you’re some sort of megalomaniac diva.

Nor do I think that just because something triggered your emotions, it means your perspective is automatically correct.

And then there’s the fact there will be times or situations where you need to restrain your emotions to a time – or place – where it is more appropriate to let out. Let’s face it, no one wants a surgeon to have an emotional outburst mid-operation just because someone handed them the scalpel in a sloppy way.

But expressing your emotions is important.

It should absolutely never be treated as doing something wrong.

Especially in the creative industry, where our goal is to literally make people feel something.

So if anyone ever say’s, “you’re too emotional”, don’t just take it.

It’s the sort of comment that – if allowed to fester – can chip away at your confidence.

Often uttered by senior figures in a company who want employees to think, act and behave exactly like them rather than embrace differences of opinion or brand new thinking … which is ironic, given that’s the main way companies can evolve and grow.

So if faced with that situation, ask them what they mean by their comment?

Put it back on them to explain.

Half the time you’ll find it is simply because they don’t like conflict.

Or an alternative perspective.

And that’s when you explain why the situation has made you feel the way it has.

Why you believe it shouldn’t just be brushed away.

Not because you’re an egomaniac who wants whatever they choose, but because you see possible implications that could have a terrible effect on the work or the company or the team at large.

Because even the person you’re discussing this with doesn’t feel it or see it as being important, doesn’t mean it isn’t … which at the very least should justify a conversation about it, especially if you feel so strongly about it.

But, as I said, there may be occasions where you will look back on how you reacted and feel you could have done it another way.

Note I said ‘how’ you reacted, not ‘why’ you did.

And that’s why it’s important to always learn from these incidents.

Discover what pushes your buttons.

Understand what you expect from yourself and others.

Reveal what standards you will and will not tolerate.

Not so you can deny or suppress your emotions in the future, but so if another situation arises, you can express your emotions in a way that will change the outcome you are responding to rather than just reacting to it.

And when you get to that point, that’s when you find being ‘too emotional’ is a superpower.

So while the guy in the video is being his own worst enemy for the worst of reasons, expressing your emotions never is.

Because regardless what some may claim, they are a sign of strength, never weakness.

It’s another long weekend here in the UK, I hope you have a good one and a safe one.

See you Tuesday.