Evening clouds

Evening clouds
Sunshine and Clouds

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Times for tears

I have recently wondered if had been developing hay fever; I've had ‘leaky eyes’ and perhaps a few sniffles at various times. I'm pretty sure though that there have been times when I've shed tears. As family will tell you simple things on tv will set me off; dare I say it extreme reactions to great acts on Britain’s Got Talent is an example.

At other times though other things have acted to set me off. Frustration at my own actions; delight in others successes; hearing inspirational stories and hearing news of those who have died.
After a busy time at work and recent terrorist acts in the U.K. I found myself suddenly anxious too. This caused me to reflect on what life was like at the heart of the Irish ‘troubles’ when I spent lots more time in central London. As I write I feel much less troubled about risks particularly as I commute by car each day.

What sparks the tears though? As I've reflected on my career in recent times I've recalled times of sorrow and delight. I've said before that my passion is about getting end of life care right for those who are dying. I've also said that in the position I'm in now means I have many people that I care for in our organisation. My actions can have ramifications that are unexpected; to get it wrong as I've owned I might do before, is frustrating though it becomes a vital learning experience. 
A contrast to this is seeing the investment in others resulting in their development; finding ways to study and change their lives as well as simply passing on messages of a thanks for a job well done is another cause for celebration. Yes, a potentially tear jerking time.

Obituaries of people who've been in the public eye, such as Peter Sallis who had entertained me for so long can induce a weepy episode, particularly when set alongside the news of multiple killings on Manchester and London streets. One person I recalled was Lawrence S. Newcombe who died in 1987 (with 30 others) helping another person in the King’s Cross fire; he trained as a nurse at the same hospital as me and I recall him as a force of nature.

My joy at the achievements of others has been filled today as one son, who is proudly part of the NHS has passed his training course and now has heard he has a job in the department he works in. Lastly however the inspirational story telling by people such as Tommy Whitelaw provokes my lacrimal ducts; he reminds me of the importance of knowing something of the person I'm with and finding out about their story. Being able to share our emotional reaction with those around us is powerful and emphasises our joint humanity. Allowing times for tears is as useful as sharing laughter; for me it's important we're open about this too. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The view from behind

A while ago I did one of those Facebook things, something about a motto for life. The answer I was given said essentially I should drop the past, forget it and move on, looking forward. Had I been 20ish, I might not have thought so much about it. 
Of course I shouldn't take that kind of thing literally; it has however given me something to consider that has to be written out loud now.

My concern when that was said was that I was engaged in looking back. First as I begin to consider planning in advance for retirement there's what has work been about and what options are there for the future. Then via a closed group on Facebook (last mention) of friends who went to Southfields School in SW London the idea of a reunion grew into a reality that happened on the 13th May, just gone. If that's not looking back I'm not sure what is. 
Alongside that the fabulous #twitterdisco held once a month has helped me rediscover music and its associated memories. Yes, flared trousers, longish hair and collars and lapels that needed wide load warnings; standing on platform shoes nervously wondering if a girl would like a dance, if only I could attract one away from the lure of the handbag mound mid-floor.

Then there has been my consideration of my performance at work driven partly through the benefit of excellent coaching over the last few months. This led to looking backwards at how I've performed in the past, digging out evidence of 360 degree feedback and repeating the exercise. So there's been lots of ‘rear view mirror’ work.
For me the benefit of ignoring the ‘forget the past, live for now and look forward’ would be to miss out rich sources of information that can help the future.

So when retirement comes I'll have what I've enjoyed doing recreationally to fall back on as well as new things to learn. Friendships that have endured since school will still exist as we plan road trips and travel to see those across the globe. The writing and drawing that sustained me in school are becoming more important now. My love of listening to music will remain strong and be a source of relaxation and inspiration. More immediate is the feedback I've been given in the last week. It shows a lot of reassuring positives as well as identifying things to work on. Even the worst times of early schooling, pre Southfields, have an importance in showing how good the now and future look.
For me then, without looking back I'd have a poorer future, and certainly a very dull present. I therefore recommend looking back on occasion, you may see something afresh just as useful as what's in front of you.