Published: Monday October 26, 2015.

Catch up: October 26th, 2015

The meeting I alluded to in my previous post happened, and it went really well. I was expecting hoping to meet Stef Dawson and Phil Wareham to talk about Textpattern CMS, throw back a couple of ciders and have some real life chit-chat on something that ostensibly exists solely on the internet. Cue some furious scribbling over the day and a Textpattern roadmap was born. It’s not yet perfectly formed, and currently resembles an ugly stepchild rather than cherubic infant, but it’s a start.

I arrived in Portishead on Friday evening for a Saturday morning start. I needed some decompress time having driving up the M5 on a Friday afternoon for almost three hours, and so I turned on the TV in the room. I don’t watch TV at home — I don’t have a TV licence — and yet one of the first things I do when I travel alone is fire up the screen and channel hop. I watched more TV in the couple of nights I was in Portishead that I have since, uhh, the last time I was in a Premier Inn hotel in Wales. I was taking care of work-work on my laptop at the same time as half-watching TV, thanks to the free wifi, and I got thinking about how a typical person might while away some hours on a Friday or Saturday after work.

The dirty secret about not watching TV, at least in my case, is that it doesn’t magically free-up a dozen or more hours each week to do more virtuous stuff. It should, but it doesn’t. I can make work-work fill the time, and it does. It does that too easily, and for a disproportionately low return.

I no longer use work-work as an excuse for not doing things. I used to do it a lot, comfortable with the knowledge that my working was the key to a better life. It did get me out of some sticky social situations, especially when my self confidence wasn’t high enough to just say “thanks, but no – that’s not for me”, but it went too far. Working in a home office is challenging at the best of times, especially when mental health issues are a factor. The clocks changing at the weekend signified the beginning of properly dark evenings, and although the trade off is lighter mornings for walking I haven’t taken advantage of that for a couple of days.

I mean to do better. I’m approaching my thirty-seventh birthday this year and, although I’m looking forward to it, I’m not seeing it as a life-changing event. Waking up on the day and deciding that a load of key things need to change isn’t going to work for me. I want the forthcoming year to be better than the one just done, but that’s been true for as long as I can remember, and — again — there’s disproportionately little to show for the amount of time it’s taken. Which is kinda sad, and a bit pathetic sometimes. My interpretation of it very much depends on my mood, which hasn’t been stellar this last few weeks. Scroll back and read some of my blog posts for early 2015 when I was writing 500 words each day, and a lot will sound familiar. It hurts to think that most of 2015 has gone and I have little in the way of progress to show for it. It’s mostly a blur, really. I can recall key events, sure, but I fear I haven’t made the best use of the thirty-seventh year of my life.

A small-but-concerted effort toward change each day will make the differences I need to see and feel. I have lofty ambitions in my personal and professional life, and today I signed up for basic food hygiene training and certification. That’s my first step to working away from computers.