Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reflections On A New Earth

Good grief - that was an strange and interesting book.  I can barely even tell you what it was about as it is so complex and yet so simple at the same time.  

Here is a link to Amazon and I'll let you read the reviews.  Mumbo Jumbo?  I don't think so - it's where I've been heading these past 7 years and perhaps for longer than that.  It has started to make me question and more importantly recognise what the hell has been going on in my head all this time.  It isn't an "easy read" I'd have said but in three or four days I've now read through and variously identified much in this book with my own experiences and there are some areas that I just need to go and work on.  

I'd say you need to keep an open mind to read through this and be going through some of the processes would certainly help you understand what he is driving at.

It is strange how you can relate religion and consciousness so clearly, it also answers some of the karma like stuff that has been going on in my life (still embargoed folks - sorry).  But I've got plenty to think about and discuss with my mate now I've read this.  

I've read plenty of "self help" books and yet this isn't self help as such but does give some pointers.  I've lots to think about now :-) More later! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Careful of what you eat

It's interesting that at the moment my weight loss has stalled and I'm around 15 stone down from 18 1/2 in 7 months now - but I've been hovering around 15 for a while.  Interestingly this is quite common and one thing is strange is that I'm still losing weight around my stomach (it's tightening up) but it is possible that muscle mass is replacing the fat.  So that's OK and apparently it is quite normal.  I'd like to be a lot lighter than I am but at the moment I'm not as disciplined either and cheat day no longer exists as it used to.  I just occasionally have a chocolate biscuit or a Latte or Cappuccino or perhaps a bit of bread.  However, it is often small and rare.  A beer every now and then as well.

However, none of the above are in any major quantity nor at any great frequency and I still take care what I eat when I'm out etc.

Today I found that Ham and Salami both of which I'd always taken for granted were OK to consume are in fact not.  I tend to have a light lunch these days or Ham and/or salami or other meat cuts, a few Olives, a little cheese and a little salad with some Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar.  I looked at the packs today.  Salami has Glucose Syrup in it and Ham has Dextrose.  This is where the food industry needs to get a grip surely.  They know that sugar is addictive and they add it into our everyday foods.  So it looks as if I need to re-think that strategy and just go back to basics again on my lunch.  Breakfast still tends to be egg based in the main with mushrooms and every now and then bacon and occasionally a tomato.  

Just thought I'd warn you about things you never thought you'd find in basic foods.  It's frightening what is in these packages.  It's like Fructose in pickles which I used to enjoy.  Someone ought to be held accountable for making us fat and introducing all these carbs and sugars into our food and saying it's good for us!  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Letting Go Of The Past

I think it was Dale Carnegie and he sort of said something about the past has happened - you can't do anything about, the future isn't here yet so why worry about it and live in the day as you can control that everything else is beyond your ability to control - I feel that is a pretty awful paraphrasing but hopefully you get the gist?

So here's the point, the past, the stuff that haunts me sometimes is the past, it's history, it's happened, I can't do anything about it.  That is a fact.  I may regret some things but I can't go and undo them, they have happened.  There is no need to worry and no regrets about them.  Let go, leave alone, move along (nothing to see here).  

Where I find myself now, today, in the present is due to the past but that's it, there's nothing I can do about it but to deal with it today and just get on with things.  It's not meant to be enigmatic but perhaps you can see that finally, at last I'm drawing a line under the past and saying enough is enough. You, Cancer, have taken your payment and I don't owe you anything anymore.  I don't owe you my life, my attention or my reflection.  I am what I am today and that's where I've got to start from.  I can't bemoan the fact that I was a different person back then as it isn't particularly productive.

I'm beginning to find an inner peace with myself and a contentment with who I am.  I realise how bad things were only by the fact that I have reawakened interests and feelings long buried.  I am starting to enjoy reading again and music.  Long may this continue and expand.

I've got the now to deal with and whilst I have an eye to the future I will not forget the other Dale Carnegie saying (or something like this) "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!" damn right why worry...   

Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Earth? A New Me?

We are still embargoed folks so hang on to your hats for a while yet - I thought by now it would be OK but not quite.  The title?  Well A New Earth was a book recommended by a very very good friend of mine and we have both had very similar experiences.  We've both done the heavy depression and The Black Dog has been a visitor to both of us in our time.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is a self-help book by Eckhart Tolle and it looks at Ego - " it encourages its readers to live their lives in each present moment and to create happiness for themselves without emphasizing material possessions. Tolle's intent is to change the way human beings think, and he envisions a world population that is increasingly more humble, enlightened and pure." 

Now, even for me this is a little "way out there" but in fact it is not really as there are pieces of this book that I've already met and not quite understood, areas of recovery from cancer that touch on some of the very subjects that this book presents.  

I said some time ago that possessions don't mean anything to me anymore, I would be sad to lose the sentimental connection but the material value and the purpose of owning anything doesn't seem to do it for me anymore.  In some items I am a custodian and in others they will disappear and are of no use to me once I'm dead.  There's a phrase I use that I get in trouble for from some people and it is this:

"He who dies with the most toys is still, however, dead"

To me that sort of says it all.  Perhaps I can pass certain stuff on to my kids but just looking at the "value" of things that I have now (Vinyl record collection and so on) they aren't worth anything.  At present we are clearing the garage.  I have a set of Golf Clubs and a Golf Cart - and they are worth?  Nothing, I will give them away as I will with loads of my stuff.  I just don't need it or want it anymore - I have mechanics stuff when I used to (and you could) maintain your own car - these days you need a computer and be able to replace components :-).  

The book is beginning to produce more questions for me and to answer some very interesting parts of my life and my journey.  I've felt for a long time that all the "stuff" we have isn't really necessary and that we place too much emphasis on materialistic things.  I have 2 watches I don't wear them at the same time.  One is my day to day watch the other is my father's watch and is the one thing that I have that was his that I treasure as in a small way when I go out and wear smart clothes he comes along with me and yet it really isn't "that" important in the overall scheme of things, surely I should carry his memory where it belongs in my head?

My recent journey is still only 10 or maybe 11 weeks old and I've come a long long way in that short space of time.  I've tried to let go of the Mr. Spock (Star Trek) logical world I created and went more with my emotions and tried to reassess my life in terms of what I really want.  In some ways I've become quite a dreamer and have started to consider seriously some of my earlier plans to get away from it all, live somewhere else, be someone different.  

Deep down inside I want to finally be at peace with myself and to be happy with who I am and what I am now.  I said that cancer had ripped me apart and reassembled me differently and it has without doubt changed me to my core.  I just haven't accepted that who I am now is different and I've fought against it and baulked at it until finally it cannot be ignored anymore.  I have to accept that I am who I am, I'm not who I used to be and the struggle has been that I've tried to be that person I was all that time ago.  You can't go back and be who you were before cancer (well not in my case) it alters you right down inside.  In the book A New Earth it talks about this Ego, The "I" the "Me", "Myself" and how it is built and how it works and how disruptive it is.  The point is to blot out the Ego if at all possible or to somehow make it ineffective.

In addition the book talks about "thought" the little voice in the back of your head - constantly there constantly talking and in my case analysing and plotting.  I've been able to start to fight back and find myself more alive to my music, I've started reading again, I've done all those chores I should have done months or years back and I've started creative writing and poetry again.  I haven't picked up my musical instruments and painting yet but they are also on the list of things I ought to do.  All the things that used to be outlets for my creativity were suppressed and stopped.  In many ways, I became a prisoner of my own mind and was locked into a self imposed jail bounded by my Ego which made me a victim. 

So no more will that happen and whilst there is even more news, embargoed as it is, life has taken on a different meaning and a different purpose.  Finally the veils are slowly lifting but enough for things to begin to change - some things slowly and some things are more dramatic.  I hope to be able to say something soon on that front but until then this will have to suffice.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Occasional Update

I like writing it gets stuff out of my head and onto (electronic) and real paper.  You can't believe the amount of writing I do in a day I carry around a notepad all the time and I need to write things down to get them out of the recycle bin that is my head.  People find it funny that I dispose of knowledge - so at the end of a project I just defragment my brain and throw away any stuff I have cluttering up my head and go get on with the next thing.  It's a bit like that bit in the Matrix where Neo gets fighting programmes loaded into his brain - "I know Kung Fu" say Neo in only the way Keanu Reeves can utter without one wasted bit of breath.  So it is with me.  I need to learn something to do the next job, let's say it is customer research (polls) then I will very quickly research this and will have a very good handle on it.  If I need to remember my languages, French, Italian and bit of German perhaps, I will just need to immerse myself for a day or two and can refresh my brain on it.  I know that in reality these things are still inside your head but it is the way that I work.

Someone asked me about something I did 10 years back - I said that I don't remember the detail but I'd be able to talk knowledgeably about it by the next morning - all I need do is read it up and it should all come flooding back.

So why tell you this?  I'm not sure really other than I had a pre-interview conversation and I realised just how much experience I have and how "valuable" I am to a business - it was striking once I started to recall all the things I can do - it was also startling that I have such a wide and varied experience across all industries - just luck or something I have unconsciously striven to do?  I'm also lucky to have grown up with technology from the earliest days of microprocessors, through early home computing right up to today.  

So if they like my CV then hopefully I might get an opportunity to go work with this company who are well respected - I kind of hope so as the knowledge and experience I have gives me a really useful toolkit to go and take to a customer.

So that's one good thing, perhaps something may come of that.  On the other front well news is still embargoed - not for too much longer I hope.  

I'm feeling quite good but as always (given that you don't know what is going on) with these things there are doubts and difficulties and ups and downs.  My friend is coming over today and we will go out to lunch and have a chat as he too is feeling up and then down.  It is pretty strange how we are both very similar - in fact there is only a very slight difference in our personality types I am INTJ and he is INFJ and both are sought after in our line of business.  He and I both had Cancer at the same time and we've been pretty close since then and built the business together and lived and breathed that.  At the moment we both find ourselves frustrated that the "market" doesn't see our full potential, we are both senior people, with stacks of business knowledge but our ex-colleagues still see us as how we used to be 15 years ago.  It's also that the market has Agents who don't actually match people up to jobs (I know that's what they say they do).  They use key word searches and yo almost have to do an SEO exercise on your CV to get it past the gatekeepers (computer) and past a bunch of sales kids to the customer.  It is money for old rope really and it competes with Estate Agents and Solicitors as the lowest form of life in my book.  

Anyway - we will be very supportive and be able to tell each other our stories today and at least we will feel OK once we've done that :-)  A minor purge of the soul.  It is though mind numbingly annoying that we can't seem to get anywhere and yet have so much to give.  The other problem is that we are also a lot different to your average exec and that may also be difficult for people to come to terms with.

So all is OK, I'm OK with the world at the moment.  Massive changes going on but coping OK and getting on day to day - doing lots of chores around the house and finally getting around to fixing stuff that I should have fixed years ago :-)  At least I am out of my major malaise and back on a road to recovery.  I have tests at the GPs on Friday - a Spirography (not Spirograph) test to check out my lung function (especially as an ex-smoker) and we will see how that goes.  Next week the dentist which I hope, now I hardly have any carbs will require no work.  A Bank Holiday weekend coming up - plenty of things to do and hope to keep busy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cancer Robbed Me!

I've been recording loads of my old music and listening to it - stuff from the late 1970s and the 80s - you know when we had so much great music around.  

I was listening to a track just a moment ago and it struck me how much I've been looking back to those days - carefree and exciting, days of my youth, free and just enjoying everything - or is that just how I remember it?

I then thought back on the last 7 years and thought - when in the last 7 years did I spend time enjoying myself, relaxing, enjoying life and being free and finding things exciting?  Well i don't recall my life being like that at all these past 7 years.  I feel that a huge lump of my life was ripped up and thrown away and everything went "on hold" and now I feel very bitter about that and another reason that I'm not overly using the blog is that resentment that anger that frustration and just hatred is all boiling up and much has been released (I'm glad to say) but I just felt maybe I ought to put this on the blog today.

7 years....  Makes you angry and want to do something about it and that's what is happening.  

I am nostalgically looking back at the 70s and 80s and realising I can't go there and the music I listen to isn't actually making me feel uplifted it's rubbing my nose in it - and yet I'm drawn back to the soundtrack of my life.  All the music seems to do is pull at my emotions good and bad and I've got to snap out of that and into the present.  I've had enough of my time stolen from me and I've got to get up, move on and start to rebuild my life that was torn down and left in rubble on the floor.  I have to accept that when I rebuild it, it won't look the same or work the same as it did 8 years ago before all this kicked off.  I hope that Mark II version of me is better, happier and can walk away and leave the last 7 years behind me and get on with my life, cancer and it's pernicious claws have had their hold of me far too long, life is yelling at me to come and get it and I have a foot in each camp unable to let one go and not quite in reach to grasp the new.

Well there we are - part of what's going on inside this crazy orb I call my head :-)  

Taking Stock

Still under an embargo here but I'm doing a stock take of my life and resisting the part where you go back and wonder why you did something and also apportioning no blame to any of the decisions that were made and indeed any of the outcomes.  I'm not sure if I "blame" myself for getting Cancer or not - the jury is still out.  I think it was unfortunate and like many of my generation, we were the last heavy smokers who still lived in a time when smoking in teh workplace was OK.  It is only as recently as 2007 that it was banned in public places and in Restaurants and Pubs etc.

In very many ways I'm at a point in my life now of great change and big significance.  The Government have just informed me that my pension will now commence when I am 66 not 65  so I have just under 10 years to run until I am retired and drawing that.  

10 years.  I hope to live for 20 or 25 years, I know that whilst I'm pretty healthy at the moment, I may not get a long retirement and so I plan to do something about that.  

So at the moment, the blackout continues but I'm fine in myself, I have a new freedom of thought and outlook on life, I'm healthy and feel well, I look good in the new slimmer body and I'm out of the malaise of the past 7 years (post cancer years) and indeed the past 10 or more years too which is also good.  The big cloud of depression is lifting away and a new optimistic attitude is growing.  It's fighting with my inner self but the can be no omlette without breaking eggs as they say.

In a good place at last although the odd day here and there screaming in my head "What do you think you are doing??!!" I can live with that.

More later.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Update - Still Here

Just to reassure you this isn't fun for me not saying much but there you go - needs must.  It won't be a release for a get rich scheme either :-)  No just waiting for the right time probably sometime in September I guess.

In the interim - I'm doing fine, feeling good, keeping well, done loads of work on the house (finally) and finally sorting stuff out that's been hovering around for years.  I put me record collection up for sale - someone phoned from abroad who wanted it and sent around one of their colleagues who missed the really good stuff - picked out the obvious 20 LPs that would sell well and offered me £220 for the lot (I have close to 1000 LPs and Singles).  I know for a fact that 200 of them are worth at least £5 each and 40 are in the £25 area and 2 are £100...  So let them go away and kick their heels - I've left it open to other dealers to come back.  I will email these guys and "show" them the albums and singles they missed and see what they make of it then....  

Other than that not a lot is happening to me I am on an emotional roller coaster but not in a bad way anymore - I'm actually in a good place at last - perhaps more so that for 10 or maybe 15 years!  

More when I'm allowed to say :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Still Here

I'm OK - getting on fine and happy enough with my lot.  Embargo should end soon and I can move on.  At present though I'm moving on day-to-day and getting one with life and just keeping a low profile for the moment.  More when I find something interesting to say.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Short Update

I'm fine, I'm in a good place and feel quite well both mentally and physically despite major stuff going on in my life.  I'm happy and whilst I am having a real roller coaster of emotions daily it is all going in the right way, I'm keeping very positive (because I'm doing the right thing) and that light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming train it's a big wide world but I'm not quite outside blinking in the sunshine just yet. 

Major steps taken this week to get back on my feet after a number of years pursuing different avenues.  Thanks to G (you know who you are), Flocky Bicep (we will both be Caffeine addicts by the end of this my friend!), and K who have all been very supportive.  

Anyway, that will do as an update - no need to worry and all is OK and going well but because occasionally I get  these almost paranoid episodes of self-doubt I'm going to be posting infrequently so as not to use the blog as a Flame Out, I've got another way of letting off steam using private documents.  They are pretty disturbing reading but at least I can get it off my chest and then after I've written it down I realise just how "stupid" these little episodes are - it's all that little voice in the back of your head, the little worm burrowing in and casting doubts.  It isn't going to win but I hate the negativity of it hence - it won't be appearing on the blog until I get past that phase.  

Just a note - imagine someone criticising your every move, someone taking the p1ss out of you all the time (not in a nice way), sarcasm, spite and abuse.  It's like having a bully implanted in your head and its only job is to put you down, to point out your failures and so on.  That's what is going on all the time.  It's a combination of many things including guilt but it won't win but occasionally it just stops me in my tracks because it is so hurtful and this is my own brain but obviously that other side playing Devil's Advocate I guess :-)  Anyway that's what is holding back the posts because sometimes the bully writes the post....

Will go dark again for a while but all is good with me which is the main thing. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Summer Break

Unless I've got something stunning to say I'm going to give the blog a rest - I noticed it was getting a little ugly and so I've pulled a few posts and I don't want to burden you or me with stuff that I am saying in the heat of the moment and may regret.

I guess though that the important thing right now is that I've moved out of the phase of being the victim and have started to get a grip on myself, my emotions and my life.  It's a huge step - enormous one really and it's been about 6 weeks I think since I instigated it - so far so good.   Bound to be some problems along the way but at last my my mind is clearing out the garbage and detritus that has built up there for too many years.  Time to go and live and enjoy life again.