January draws to a close

I have been inundated with requests – how is the Happiness Project shaping up? Have I achieved January’s objectives? Was it all just a dream? Well, in reality it probably was and is. The original project was designed by a freelance writer looking for a best seller; my project was designed by someone who already works on average 60 hours a week in the ‘day job’. But as I sit here with my half empty glass and overheated iPad, if nothing else I am reviewing the situation (cue Fagin). These were my January aims, all meant to combine and ‘boost energy’ by getting organised and feeling energised as a result.

Clear out ‘stuff’ No more than two days without exercise Update the CV Be more creative

The exercising has been the biggest challenge, though I am proud to celebrate the unprecedented fact that only one child in Year 6 can skip continuously for longer than me – though all of them can continue a conversation afterwards without gasping for breath, clutching their chest and begging for water.

Increased creativity has been by far the easiest, as I love my new camera and am even rather fond of this blogging lark – though I do feel frustrated by the lack of time available to indulge both.

Clearing out ‘stuff’ is a slow process – I’m able to get rid of one old item for each new, it’s the fifty year backlog that’s giving me problems.

Updating the CV has been the most satisfying, in a totally unexpected way – how lovely to stroll down Memory Lane as I delved deep into the past, making sure all gaps in employment were accounted for – surprisingly few, given that I left school at 16. In fact, the only times in my life that I have not been gainfully employed or at college/uni were for a smattering of months when each of the boys were born.

Thinking back over the decades (how can time possibly have flown past so quickly?), I remembered Nicholas Parsons (Sale of the Century) sat across a table imploring me not to resign (with a sizeable blot of egg yolk on his tie); Major Paddy writing to me from Buckingham Palace quoting his equerry job title (insistent that it was his boss Charles who was the misjudged one, not Diana); being responsible for ensuring a fledging company by the name of Apple Computer got their ad in The Times mere minutes before the deadline and, more recently, sitting within a monastery chapel high above Rome as a crack of thunder echoed the priest’s attempts to simplify the word of God.

Even more important than these memories of work experiences, though, was reflecting on the friends and mentors I’ve met along the way, and thoughts about what lies ahead in the final years before retirement (though the latter is, of course, not compulsory).

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