New Year’s Resolution!……Well, it’s nearly here!

Wow!  It’s been a while since I blogged!!  Things have been kinda hectic between work, kids, Christmas, getting ready to sell house, general day to day inconveniences like washing!  (I have been washing BTW!)

But my non-blogging, and actually my not-much-tweeting state of late, got me thinking about why.

When I first entered the blogging foray a couple of months ago I was full of ideas and inspiration.  Things that had been bubbling near the surface for a while and others that I was inspired to write by talking to others.  

And therein lay the key.  

Until a couple of weeks ago I had been very fortunate to have had a good few-months-long run of self-indulgent self-development.  Coaching and being coached, conferences, tweetups, meetups.  I was interacting with new, exciting and different people a lot.  My brain was being stimulated by being out of my normal environment and routine.  And I was getting to have some great discussions with some great people. 

Yesterday was the end of a working week where I’d done a very good impression of being a little scurrying mouse – a mouse who found lots of cheese and peanut butter – but nonetheless a lot of scurrying was done!  And I realised the impact of imbalance.  I felt pleased with what I’d achieved at work, I felt that tired satisfaction of having de-cluttered ready for the estate agents today, but I felt distant and disconnected from the world that is the twittersphere and the people who live there that I’ve come to know and love.

There are people, things and activities in my life that I know keep me being at my best and it’s my job to keep me there.  

So, it may be early, but my resolution for 2014 is to stop and check my balance every day (although maybe not on new year’s eve – can’t guarantee my balancing ability will be top notch that night!).  And I’m so pleased I already have some great meetups in the diary to look forward to!

So what keeps you being at your best?  How’s your balance?  And what promises will you make to yourself for the year ahead to spend more time in that good place?

Merry Christmas and happy hogmanay to everyone!  I hope you have a very good one! 🙂



Fancy a free lunch…..?


……People say there’s no such thing…….but I’ve been noticing recently that there are free lunches everywhere!

Free Lunch #1

I first started to ponder this subject last week with @Prash_Jadav when we were chatting about kids toys.  A big topic at this time of year!  We were commenting on the expectation of kids, and adults, that a toy must a) make a noise, b) move by itself, c) have a touch screen – or any combination of these three aspects.

What does this mean for our children?  Is this because kids really started demanding said features in the last decade or two, or is it because toy manufacturers have created this market and convinced us, and our kids, that these are the best toys to have?

Have we created, and are we continuing to create a culture of ‘free lunches’ where our children are unable to be creative and think for themselves because they’re used to having some external stimulus to do that for them.

Free Lunch #2

Also last week you might have heard there was a bit of chat in the news about pensions and the potential changes to the state retirement age.  People being interviewed by the BBC saying things like ‘it’s outrageous’, ‘by the time you’re in your 60’s you want to be sitting at home, not working’.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly in a state pension, and for that reason believe in its sustainability.  With an ageing population, if that pension is to be sustained, surely it’s obvious that there needs to be more money going into the pot – what would you prefer, pay more tax or work a bit longer?  And remember, you might live quite happily into your 90’s…….that’s a long time to not be working!

But maybe I’m in the minority and I should expect a ‘free lunch’ on this like all those other folk out there?

Free Lunch #3

Then today, I had an amazing coffee chat with @Ana_Marcia and @C_Catalina about the Alternative University that they’ve been such a big part of in Romania.  We got onto learning cultures – not just in organisations but in society generally.  The expectation of that ‘free lunch’.  Of being spoon-fed the pureed, tasteless mush from ‘the HR / L&D team’ – the ‘one-size-fits-all-sit-in-a-classroom-or-read-something’ training.

It might be called training, and it might be supposed to change what you do in your job, what you know about your job, or how you do your job – but has it really?  Have you actually learnt anything?  Has it really made a difference to your business or your customers?  Have you explored the nooks and crannies of what will help you be great at what you do?  Have you taken a risk?  Have you made mistakes and come back a bigger, stronger, more informed person than you were before?  Have you really changed anything as a result?

Or was it a nice day out and a free lunch?