Wild child

“Stay wild, Stay child”

I often have glimpses into the future, futures I’d like to see.

I sometimes tell them not to. Tell them it’s rude. But lately I don’t.

Rude to who? Not to me.

To see them every morning enjoying their breakfast enjoying food. Draining every drop of the bowl with full belly’s slurps, giggles and laughter as they do so.

At some point an adult will tell them it’s rude to do so. Like their older sisters who rarely do it now. They will stop doing it. Made to feel less because someone else may find it rude.

I like to think of a future in a partners house somewhere or maybe on holiday with their partners parents sitting down to a nice breakfast.

Draining their breakfast bowls. The parents aghast and saying how rude.

The partner loving them for doing it as much as I do.

Stay wild child, stay wild.

Andy

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Blue Monday on a Thursday.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.

– Henry Wandsworth Longfellow

Today is a low low day.

Several little things all at once are affecting me at the moment. This time of year and the pressures it brings. A job that I don’t hate or dislike as such but one I would (if I could) give up tomorrow. Lots of little niggly things that are becoming a big pain, a constant pain. These two things with 2 very close reminders of how fragile life is. Learning of someone who died suddenly and someone’s parent who as just been given days to live after finding a tumour.

I am tired of floating through life. The older I get the closer the end is coming. The more I am aware of the pain I will cause my children when I die. I hope to be old enough to see them in to adulthood. Strong enough and wise enough to cope with it.

I don’t want them to think I just floated through life aimlessly. I’m tired of working bloody hard with little to show for it. Not material things, experiences. A feeling of having made a difference.

We have to work, it’s a huge chunk of your life to feel dissatisfied about. A chunk of life you can never get back. I recently met a man who retired at 55. I can’t imagine been able to retire let alone at an age which still allows me some time to be able to enjoy it.

The economy in the UK is becoming tighter and tighter. Month on month stretched and stretched. The problem with unstable economies means it’s harder to move or change directions. You need the security however uncomfortable and painful it may be on a daily basis when everything else is becoming unstable around you, especially when you are the sole provider.

Today has gotten to me. Its reminded me how fragile life is, and how I’m not living it.

Just thinking out loud.

Andy.

Journaling with Evernote

“ I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”

⁃Helen Keller

I have found a feeling of vulnerability since becoming a parent. Not only aware of the fragility of my children’s lives but the fragility of my life and the speed that the years fly by.

If I was to die tomorrow I’d like the children to know who I am. Not to be told your dad was like this or that he thought this about that subject and so on. Or worse, for them to be told you are like your dad. I want them to know exactly who I am ideally from sharing a long fulfilled life together.

If that isn’t an option I’d like them to know who I was and what I thought from my own words, which lead me to writing a journal.

I struggled to write a journal I would aim to write it daily. It isn’t something I am able to carry with me on a daily basis. So it’s something I would write at the end of the day.

I started well sitting down before bed and writing thoughts and synopsis of the day, slowly it became bi-daily and then weekly and eventually a chore. Trying to remember a weeks worth of thoughts ideas and events became something of homework I didn’t want to do.

I began writing down notes on my phone as thoughts came to me or funny moments that I wanted to share along with a brief daily synopsis to then transfer into my journal. This became even more of a chore and felt like it was taking up too much time copying one to the other. I looked at several apps as I always have my phone on me. It had to be free ( Tight git ) It had to be accessible to others if I die. It had to be backed up some where without a data or word cap on it. I tried several but non were as customisable as I wanted. I was still new to journaling and struggling with getting my thoughts across and brief if time was short.

Ideally you should, I feel find the time to sit in a quiet corner and really focus on the day and what you want to put down in your journal. However this isn’t always possible. So I looked for a hack a quick and easy way to journal.

Which lead me to bullet journaling.

There are hundreds of YouTube videos of beautiful and amazing bullet journals and ideas. Which as clever and creative as they were, again became time-consuming. I really like the idea of bullet journaling and the several categories and symbols you can create. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to bullet journaling. But once again it would involve carrying a journal around with me or making notes and adding them to my journal. Again searched for apps but found none of them were as customisable as I wanted.

Whilst searching for ideas I was reminded of Evernote a place to store documents on-line and control who can see the notes and documents you post. It’s also fully customisable as I want it to be.

In Evernote you create notebooks with these notebooks you can create stacks.

As seen here

You can see that I have created several stacks.

With stacks Evernote always puts them in chronological order.

So ensure you number them in the order you wish to have them appear.

Each stack is basically a list of notebooks. Within these notebooks you can add unlimited amounts of notes. Again they show in chronological order. I always put the date as the title so they show in order of latest entry.

Within each stack I have notebooks with my customised categories.

 

 

Daily journal.

This is my everyday journal. Not always a written journal sometimes it can be a photo or photos that I have taken of that day.

Reflection.

This is a list of philosophy and poetry that have struck a chord with me. It is always growing and I will often go back and re-read it.

 

Books to read.

This is a list of books I have read and yet to read.

 

Selfish wants.

This is an unusual list.

It’s a list of material things that I would buy if I could. They are not huge items. It’s things like a watch, trainers, camera etc. Things I could afford but it would mean pulling money from one area to another. It’s things I can do without to make sure it’s spent on the girls. It’s more of a backwards reminder for me, to remind me what I am happy to go without.

 

Places to see with the girls.

This is a list of places and things that I’d like to see and do with the girls. Something’s are ticked off and if they are a description of where, when and what we did with photos is attached to that note.

One very good feature with Evernote is the ability to search via keywords. So if you have a particular day or trip away for example you can easily search it out.

If I struggle for something to write that day I always refer to my journal ideas and questions.

Journal ideas

Feeling proud today.

Internals rather than externals.

Thought for the day.

Mood of the day.

Failed/ struggled with today.

Something nice for someone today. “Altruism”

Trained today.

Brief description of the day.

Hopes, adventures and future plans

I also decided to become organised and adult a little.

I have a finance stack.

Within this is a list of monthly bills. Outgoing’s, dates and the amounts etc..

I also have a notebook where I can scan receipts and store them for safe keeping. Warranties etc.. fortunately, touch wood, we haven’t had to buy or replace any large items or white goods.

But it’s handy to have if we need to.

I should add a caveat here that this isn’t sponsored or paid and endorsed by Evernote. It’s something I use and found extremely useful.

Do you use a journal?

If you have any tips or ideas to use as a busy parent please share in the comments.

Andy.

Middle class wanker.

“I want to burden the conscience of the affluent with all the suffering and all the hidden, bitter tears.”

Rosa Luxemburg

I recently went to a talk from a person who had climbed Everest. It was the most patronising and middle class presentation I have ever had the misfortune to sit through.

So much so it inspired me to write the piece below.

What is it like to be you.

You have no idea what it is like.

I have no idea what it is like to be you.

What is it like to be you ?

To see this world the way you do.

The way you can buy anything you want.

To do anything you want.

To be anything you want to be.

You say it’s easy

just go and do it.

I Can’t afford to take 3 months out of life.

It’s easy if you really want it, you just have to do it.

I can’t afford to lose 3 days you talk of 3 months.

You know its easy, you say you can go and just do it.

So you say.

Just get out there you can do it. You say it with confidence, confidence of a big fat gigantic safety net to fall back on.

I’m on hard times there is nothing soft to fall back on.

Just get a sponsor or a member of your family.

They can pay for you to do it.

I know no one.

Nobody to open these doors you speak of the doors that only you have the key to.

I can’t ask those who struggle to pay, to send me to have a good old jolly at their expense.

Anyone can do it just book a plane and go do it.

What is it like to be you ?

To see this world so simply.

To have an idea and just be able to go do it.

To not have to worry if your children will eat that week, to not have to worry what would happen if the washer breaks.

How will feed your family and pay for the laundry until you can find some money searching facebook for a second hand replacement.

What is it like to be you.

To see the world in black and white, yes and no’s.

No gray or murky colours.

No maybes or I’m not sure yet.

No wait and sees.

You talk of 600 pound boots 2 pairs just incase.

Whilst I’m sat here with holes in my shoes.

Cease the day you say to me.

Cliche followed by cliche after  cliche.

Oh what is it like to be you.

To have to pay to have a challenge.

To have to pay to feel fulfilled.

Every day is a struggle and a challenge for me.

Everyday is fulfilled, fulfilled and proud that I made it another day.

Paying to inject passion into your life to feel some form of life run through your veins.

What would is it like to be you.

I’m so glad I’m not you.

Go out, Go hug a tree

We are telling our kids that nature is in the past and it probably doesn’t count anymore, the future is in electronics, the boogeyman is in the woods, and playing outdoors is probably illicit and possibly illegal.

 
-Richard Louv

There is no better sound than the sound of children’s laughter. There is nothing better than seeing children playing in nature with muddy fingers and hand drawn muddy war paint.

We always make sure that we regularly get out in nature, be it a woodland walk or an afternoon sat by a lake. If it gets too long between getting out and about the girls always ask if we can go for a walk.

Then, then you know you are doing a good job and raising them right.

Recently we went for a woodland walk around the local reservoir it was cold, crisp and misty with intermittent down pours.

Exactly what we needed.

Last summer I introduced the girls to the game of camouflage.

If you are unfamiliar with camouflage I suggest you give it a go and play it. Adults and children alike love it. It isn’t too dissimilar to the game what time is it Mr wolf.  Simply choose an area of woodland or a field with long waist height grass. One person turns their back to the group counts to 30 out loud and Shouts camouflage and turns back around. At this point everyone should be camouflaged. If the person can see any person they must describe where they are and that person then stands up and is out. The person turns back around. Counts again and everyone must move forward, at no point can you move backwards. Continue until everyone is out or you are unable to see the last few.

Try it.

It’s a Brilliant simple game and it’s amazing how many people can disappear in front of you. I once had a class of 36 children plus teachers disappear, their camouflage skills were that good.

We had to call an end to or game in the end as we were unable to find the girls.  Even with a bright pink flower puffa jacket.

Andy.

Be like Goggins, Live like Jay.