Sunday, 29 December 2019

Happy New 527040 Minutes!

Sandscaale & Black Combe
I drive my boss nuts.  But in a good way I think.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  (To be fair I've been driving Steve nuts for a lot longer than that!).  One of the many reasons I drive the people around me nuts is my odd obsession with time.  I can set the timer in the kitchen when I'm cooking dinner and just *know* when it's about to go off.  Steve thinks that's wierd.

My new boss is starting to get the measure of me too.  Having been full time freelance since November 2012, last October I was in need of more stable employment and was incredibly lucky to land a lovely 3-day-a-week fixed term contract - this was after failing the personality and literacy tests for both Boots and Debenhams...  So what is it in particular that drives my new boss a bit nuts?  Each day I remind him how many days I have left; not in a "I'm counting down the days to freedom" kind of a way, but in a "I'm only here for XX more days, let's not waste any!" way.

I try to live my whole life like that, but it doesn't alway work out the way I'd like.  My dad died fairly suddenly when I was just 18 and it instilled in me a deep appreciation that our time on this earth is finite.  Many people act as if they have an infinite amount of time at their disposal, but the truth is time is the rarest and most valuable thing we have, and this past year I really don't feel as if I've spent my time as wisely as I should have.

True, I have to work to pay the bills (that's the really annoying part!) but I usually get the balance a bit better than I've managed recently.  To be honest, I feel as if I've been running to stand still.  Not even that.  In some ways I've gone backwards and that's really frustrating,

By Royal Appointment
It's also true that we've done some fantastic things this year; we guided William and Kate on a walk around Ullswater, man-handled a beer cask on a 138 mile hike around the county and launched two new books, but there have been so many things this year that we haven't done.  We haven't been away on Delores (our trusty campervan), we haven't been out swimming and kayaking nearly as often as we should and we've hardly managed any hikes for pleasure (as opposed to those required for research for a book).

I've been working away from home far too often meaning lots of long lonely nights in hotels, and then my weekends have been spent playing catch up with my writing - meeting book deadlines etc., all of which have been my poor excuses for not spending enough time with Steve and the rest of our families.

Ironically I deliver Time Management training courses and one of the points I make at the end is that we spend so much of our life worrying about how to manage our work time, and fit in all our work tasks, but how often do we make enough time for the people and activities that are truly the most important to us?

What's most important to me is Steve, and the time we spend together in the fells, and on other adventures, but we just haven't done that this year, and I've really missed it. I have a whole week off work this week (my boss is no doubt delighted!) and, apart from writing this blog, I promised I wouldn't do any work at all; instead we're spending the week together exploring Cumbria (our rule is that we can't walk anywhere we've walked before!).

2020 is a leap year, so we get a whole extra day to play with.  That means we have 366 days/ 8784 hours/ 527,040 minutes starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.  My only resolution this year is to spend my time more wisely so that this time next year I can write an action packed blog full of adventures, instead of one about regret.

I sincerely hope everyone reading this has a wonderful, adventurous 2020, filled with fun, family and happiness!  (And here are a few other pics of things from this year, just to make me feel a bit better about things.)  😀

Scout Scar


Ulverston Canal


Humphrey Head

Langdale Valley

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