I have been a bit fragile of late and rather detached. It is not a state I like but I try not to put myself down and so live, in a rather dull sense, looking for things that might improve my outlook. The world seems to be in a rather messed up state at the moment what with Trump, North Korea, Turkey, Russia in the mix with Brexit but the UK Prime Minister thought we could handle a bit more uncertainty and has called a General Election for the 8th June, missing my 50th birthday by a day. This election seems to be purely politically done to increase the current party’s majority by holding a vote when the main opposition party is completely ineffectual and in disarray, and other minor parties failing. I am sure we will all feel better on the 9th June if not before.
It seemed apt then that I came across an article that lead to a web page on the American Psychological Association called “The Road to Resilience”. Part of the article lists ten ways to improve your resilience so I thought I would see how I was doing against them on this particular day.
- Make Connections – Well I decided to work from home today since there was nothing in the office that needed my attention though my daughter and the dog was with me. I did go food shopping with both of them (the dog stayed in the car) which was a good break from working. When my wife returned home I sat down and chatted about her day, listening to what had happened. When asked about mine, I tried to describe my current state.
- Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems – I am tempted to see this breakup in communication between and within countries as slow steps to another world war. Whilst the situation here on Brexit and in the USA with Trump seems desperate, I try to stay connected and informed though it is tempting to give up. I try to tell myself these things will pass and I think I believe it. On a local front, I am trying to tackle my rapidly growing garden. I trimmed the hedge today and cut the grass, small things perhaps but they help me feel better.
- Accept that change is part of living – I don’t think I am particularly good at this one. Are there things that I would like to do that I should just give up on? I can think of anything particularly; maybe grooming the dog is a step too far.
- Move forward towards your goals – I don’t think I am particularly good at setting goals for a start but there are some things I am aiming to do. I want to be able to jog 5km and I am making slow but easy progress towards it (I find jogging before I go to bed helps me sleep). I want to be a better Great Bass recorder playing so I am trying to do some playing exercises each day. I want to get better at wide field astrophotography, the sexier end is deep field astrophotography but I think that is unrealistic in expense and time, wide field can be done with the equipment I have. I want to improve my garden, again I am trying to do this by spending a little amount of time in it most days. I have done three out of the four of these today.
- Take decisive action – I tried to access an old development website today but it was broken. I could have just given up but I tried a few different things and eventually worked out how to get it going again. I started from scratch. It worked and I was able to work through the problem I really wanted to look at today. I was also decisive when I worked in the garden, cutting the front grass and trimming the side hedge. It was enough.
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery – for me this is saying try new things or do things which are challenging but can be rewarding. Struggle often lead to rewards later. Well I struggled settling down to work today but I managed to do it and even learnt a few new things about the computer system I use. I guess trying out new things and coming to a useful conclusion gives me confidence that I will succeed in future.
- Nurture a positive view of yourself – I think I could do better on this but I guess I am making progress by chipping away at the goals I have set myself.
- Keep things in perspective – you mean like the Conservative Party tearing us away from Europe and the SNP tearing us away from the UK? These things will pass and we will be okay, I will be okay though I am tempted to emigrate to Canada.
- Maintain a hopeful outlook – yeah, not really doing that at the moment.
- Take care of yourself – well I am trying to do this. Jogging, gardening, playing music, writing. I probably could do with more singing though that tends to disturb the rest of the family. I could do better on the eating front and on socialising today.
Well, looking back I guess I scored a five. So could do better. I am trying to look at that positively but I have just found out the our once a month, one and half hour work team meeting we would normally have tomorrow is in fact a team half-day which I thought was in May for some reason. I am also going out for a work evening meal out tomorrow which definitely feels like a duty. And both these work events are on my day off.
Right keeping a hopeful outlook and maintaining a positive view means that the meal out will be fun and informative. The team day will help communication and understanding within the team and will we have a laugh whilst doing it. Having to work tomorrow means that I will be able to take a day off in lieu later perhaps when it is sunny and calm so that I can spend time outside. And on that positive note, I am going to try and forget about tomorrow until the morning. Perhaps time for some singing.