I am sitting in a hospital reception area waiting for a friend to turn up. He has an appointment with a neurologist to talk about the cancer that has been detected on his spine and I am here for support. I am half expecting to hear that the cancer may be terminal and it seems trite to write that I really don’t want that to happen. Another friend, another cancer; hitting fifty seems to be quite a hurdle. I don’t have a lot of time but I thought I would distract myself by looking at my “dislikes but do” list to see where that takes me.

What does it mean if I “hang about with people I don’t respect”? The situation I am thinking of is when a good of dog walkers gather in the park. One can simply be standing there for hours chatting which isn’t the issue I guess it is more what we chat about. Dog owners in general chat about their dogs, it is a safe subject I guess and something we all share. I have to say I do like pretty much every dog walking saying hello to me when I am out with my dog, it seems to be an okay social convention to do this on par (but somehow more okay) with acknowledging with other parents when one is out with a baby. I have met some really interesting people through my dog. It is also good for the dogs to socialise. However much my dog adores me, he also loves to run and chase and be chased (sometimes) with other dogs and I think it is important for his physical and mental health to do this. So I thnk I have answered my own question, I will hang about with people I don’t particularly respect because it gives me access to new potential friends, and it gives health benefits to my dog.

The next one is to “talk to people I don’t know”. There is obviously the potential to make new friends this way, and through them see the world in a different way. I also remember that saying hello or giving a smile to a lonely person can make a world of difference to their day. It may cost me some effort and possibly rejection, but I know myself that a lively happy person’s mood can be infectious so if I can do something similar then that may help somebody else’s day and also help me feel good about myself.

Now to “visit a country I can only reasonably get to by plane” is a tough one. I would prefer the world to run without using fossil fuels and use environmentally friendly means instead but I can see our world is far too reliant on fossil fuels and the convenience they bring for that to change overnight. Whilst I do prefer to walk and cycle, I do own a car basically because there are times when my wife and I need its speed and convenience, maybe I could live my life without one but I don’t think my wife could. So why would I make things so much worse by flying in a plane? I think a main part of living life is about educating yourself and trying new things. I don’t think there is anything as good as travel to open one’s eyes to new ways of doing, thinking about or seeing things. I am not one to travel off around the world solo, but where we have relatives living then I do think it is important to build those connections and educate oneself at the same time. It does seem rather selfish though.

“Tidying up” is a personal thing about sharing a living space. I am not a naturally tidy person, but I can usually find something within the seeming chaos around me. However, I do think it is important that when space is shared, it should be as tidy as reasonable so that other people can use the space. The problem with tidying for me is working out where to put things. If I knew immediately where to put things or what to do with things, then I would find a tidy life much easier. To me tidiness is something I would not choose to give my energy to, but I do think it is a necessary “evil” when sharing space. I do also have to admit, it is much easy to be peaceful in an uncluttered tidy place.

I dislike “ringing to change the cable contract” mainly I suspect because it means communicating to a stranger on the telephone. I don’t like using phones because I cannot see the other person and I need all the help I can get to feel secure when talking to someone, missing visual clues raises my anxiety levels, something I could do without. Add in talking to someone I don’t know causes though anxieties levels to increase further. Then further add in the possibility of having to negotiate for what I want and be firm so that don’t end up with more than I have decided is necessary means that I will avoid such as situation as much as I can. So what made me do it? I guess value for money at the end of the day; paying for something that I don’t think we need or particularly use is spending money unnecessarily and if I am going to do such a thing, then I would rather the money went to a charity than a utility company.

I have decided to split this post into two because it is getting rather long. The next five topics will be posted soon.