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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Miscarriage

I’ve been sat on this for awhile. I keep rewriting it. Tearing it up and throwing it away and starting again.

Miscarriage or should I say miscarriages are simply horrendous. The thing I found hardest is having nothing to show for it. Nowhere to go and nowhere to grieve. I cry regularly about the 3 children we lost. I am extremely fortunate to have 4 beautiful children. When I look at my oldest I still wonder what her older siblings would of been like. The experience and inability to grieve properly lead to a very bad depression where for almost 4 years I was at rock bottom and at the time I thought I had only one way out. To check out.

It’s often a taboo subject and parents are expected to just move on, to many you had nothing to lose and nothing to grieve.

I hope this spoken word piece goes some what to explain my experiences with miscarriage. It’s not very good and quite fragmented. I need to get it out of my head though.

If you have recently or in the past gone through a miscarriage I am sorry. Nothing will change it or make it better. But please, please find a way to live with it.

Andy.

Miscarriage

She said it with a whisper.

Thinking I’d be scared.

Her voice shakey, wondering how I’m going to take it.

What’s a matter. Is it you is it me ?

I think I’m pregnant she says to me.

All of a sudden I can see.

I can see it’s not the best time to be having a baby.

We have nowhere to live.

I have no job, nothing to give.

All of a sudden I can see

I can see a part of me is in her a part of us growing in her.

For years I’ve had nothing to see.

Friends and family talking of careers and where they want to be.

I feel like I am lost in a forest, a cold icy fog surrounding me.

It’s lifting, the sun is shining and now I can see a future with three.

She called me up and whispered. I’m in the hospital.

I don’t want to hear it I can’t hear it.

I think I’ve lost it.

The next morning as we sit down to look at a wavy picture.

This beautiful amazing moment where you get to see your baby for the very first time.

This is where it should be.

I’m sorry there is nothing to see.

We’d been so happy.

We told so many.

The words that came after hurt more than any.

Maybe it’s for the best.

Maybe it was never meant to be.

You are still young.

Just try again.

Try a fuckingain

We haven’t lost a job or our keys.

We’ve lost a life.

I’ve lost a part of me.

We’ve lost a part of us.

Why can’t any of you see.

She says it with a whisper.

Scared to be happy.

We are in a better place a home of our own.

A wage a steady good career.

We are scared and tell just a few.

Scared and worried but neither says it.

We both know what can happen.

She says it with a whisper

she doesn’t need to say it.

I’m so sad and angry with nothing to show for it.

Nothing to hold nowhere to go.

Nothing to grieve for, except the loss of a dream.

She says it matter of fact.

No emotion

We tell no one.

Both scared and numb.

She doesn’t answer doesn’t say a word as she comes out of the bathroom.

I say have we lost it.

She’s too numb

Please not another one.

What’s wrong with you.

You look so down and blue.

Nothing, I’m good how’s you.

I’m so angry and sad and I don’t know what to do.

I close my eyes every night, picturing you, how you would of looked.

The faces you would of pulled. Your little smile and laugh as I look at you.

As I walk to try and clear my head.

thinking of how to tell you. Tell you I don’t think I can be with you.

Something else comes into my head.

As I sit her down I can tell she knows this is it.

We’ve cried so much, held each other, been angry and thrown things at each other both grieving for something we can’t see.

Something we can’t let go.

Yes.

Yes, I will marry you.

She says I don’t know what to do.

I’m having contractions what should we do.

This is it, finally.

The midwife says it’s only just begun come back in a few hours.

You don’t understand we’ve lost 3 there must be something you have to do.

It’s all a blur and confusing all of a sudden you are here.

I hold you tight feeling your heart beat and smell your skin.

All of a sudden I can see.

I can see in you, I can see the three. The three we never got to meet.

I hold you and whisper

Whisper in your ear.

Thank you

Thank you for been here.

x

Lose your Ego

“Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.”

Hermann Hesse

I don’t believe I am wise, however I try every day to take a step towards been wiser. To be a better role model to my children.
Different careers and life experiences both bad and good have shaped me and changed how I look and view things compared to how I did as young man.

You might be mistaken in thinking this is a given. I wish it was.
I can’t tell you how many adults I know who continue to act as they did in their youth. Never learning from previous mistakes or life changing events continually in a cycle of broken repetitive behaviour. Followed by excuse after excuse as to why they behave and continue to behave in such a way. People who have an impact on my children’s lives. Behaviours that I don’t want my children to develop. A  lot of this behaviour comes from ego. Like many in this world something we need to learn to lose.

“Stupidity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” 

With time and experience you begin (i hope) to see the world very differently, hopefully not too cynically.

I at no point expect my children to be good people because they are told to be. I expect my children to be good people because they have watched and seen myself and others behave in a way that they recognise that behaviour as been a good person, behaviour that is a standard, a standard they set their behaviour by.

Whilst clicking from one YouTube video to another I stumbled upon a video where a person set out that day to go out of his way to be as altruistic as he could be. It pretty much ended with almost everyone turning down his offer of help and advice. A video sadly i have not been able to find again since saving this post as a draft a few weeks ago.

So i will leave this one for you as a motivator.

It really captures the first reaction on the people’s faces that i myself encountered. the look of defensive judgment the look of why ?!!! would you offer to help.

Which in itself is a sad thing to see.

I decided to give it a try myself as best as I could purposely looking at helping as many people as I met that day.

(Edit-  for some reason this post saved as a draft rather than publish, everyday i have continued to offer at least one person an act of kindness. Like below i have found it a mix bag of responses)

Leaving the supermarket I saw a lady struggling with the weight of her trolley. I offered to help and push it to her car for her. She became quite reluctant and very firm in saying no thank you.

As I was walking home from the shop I saw some neighbours struggling carrying furniture into their home it began to rain I offered to help and take some of the furniture in for them. Straight away their body language became defensive and they politely said no thank you. I offered again as they looked at each other dumbfounded and again declined my offer.

Have we become so cynical that an offer of help is met with dismay and questioning the motive of the person offering help.

I believe help is always there.

The question is will you be willing to take it when offered ?

Lose the ego.

Andy.

Switch off, log out

“Show me someone who isn’t a slave! One is a slave to lust, another to greed, another to power, and all are slaves to fear. I could name a former Consul who is a slave to a little old woman… No servitude is more abject than the self-imposed.”

– Seneca, Moral Letters, 47.17

I’ve had a complete cull of social media bar my instagram account. I have not deactivated Facebook I have completely deleted it. I am quite ashamed to report I had some withdrawal symptoms. Feelings that I was missing out on conversations or shared jokes and upcoming local events. When you change from the “norm” you become hyper aware of the thing you are trying to avoid. Aware of others talking to you whilst typing on their phones or checking it mid conversation to see if they have notifications, which when you are not partaking in doing the same becomes fucking annoying and rude. Feeling you are second to a like on Facebook or someone sharing a share. Sadly I have to use 3 apps for work. Otherwise I would not have a “smart” phone. I have stopped using google maps and get out the old A to Z. I check my thoughts and memories without double checking google. If I want to know of local events I check notice boards or the library when passing. Or as I did today I asked someone if they knew of a local panto and was given a local church newsletter which had exactly what we wanted on it. Something google had not been able to find.

I’ve actively messaged friends, where as before a simple like on a post of theirs would suffice. Instead I’ve checked up on them to see how they are. By cutting out and avoiding social media I’ve become more social and better in communicating. The very thing that is designed to keep us all more connected made me feel disconnected.

Smart phones do have they uses.

One of which is finding this Article from a few years ago.

“1. When you’re without a cellphone, time expands. It’s incredible how much time is wasted looking for the possibilities of engagement on our phones. By day two I felt that involuntary itch to check my texts subside. My thumbs begin to relax. I discovered that I had time to simply think and observe my thoughts and my surroundings – oh and my thoughts about my surroundings. Had I been missing what was going on around me while staring at my phone every 60 seconds? (Note: this is a rhetorical question.)

2. You have less email to contend with. Note : change this to notifications

It’s weird, but it’s true. When you stop checking your email constantly, you stop half-replying to stuff, and that means fewer emails being batted back to you, and fewer emails all around. This actually helps streamline communication, because you address a thing head on instead of bandying half-formed ideas about without resolution. How quaint: You actually think about what you are going to say and when you’re available, you respond!  How cutting edge: You start wishing everyone would lose their phones or at least vow not to answer until they have considered their response.

3. You’re not unreachable. There was a time when we found each other without phones. Even when you’re off your mobile tether, people who want to find you will find a way to get in touch with you. That anxiety we feel when we don’t have immediate access to people feels real, but it quickly abates when you realize that you do not vanish when your phone does.

4. You hyper manage the drudge out of your life.  Our lives are a hybrid of drudge and fulfillment; balance comes with apportioning the required with the good stuff.  Where does my phone fit into this? I used to think it helped me manage down the drudge but what it actually does is perpetuate my focus on the drudge, because I’m constantly checking and refining schedules and plans: I can make dinner reservations for next Saturday while I am waiting for my meeting to begin; I can see what yoga classes I could take when I’m in Williamsburg, NY, next week while I’m on hold with a client.

Seems like smart multitasking, but having all of that at my fingertips throughout the day actually detracts from what is important and fulfilling. Without my phone I had to quickly and efficiently decide how to manage all the planning, arrangements, decision-making about how to get from point A to Point B today and tomorrow once and for all, rather than all day long.

5. You’re not lost. I live and die by Google maps, even in my own city. We all do. So what happens when you can’t take a digital bird’s-eye view of your geolocation on the spot every minute? I had to do something I also hadn’t done in a while: Ask for directions. You know, rely on and interact with another person to get where I’m going, which I have to remind myself, I did every day pre-Google. Not to mention, that allowed me to listen to the radio and just drive.

6. You check your thoughts instead of your phone. Because I wasn’t scanning for emails and texts, I could actually scan my own thoughts and tune in to how I was doing, which, admittedly, I hadn’t done for a while. How did I sleep last night? What is the weather? Did I get sufficient exercise yesterday? Gee, I actually know this without looking at my phone. But instead of looking at that stuff (as well as learning what a former colleague thinks of a new restaurant she just ate in), I can focus on how am I feeling instead, and ask, What am I looking forward to today? What is holding me back and is it real or imagined?

7. Empathy is a boomerang. It comes back and rewards you in spades. Empathy is a key characteristic of resilience, and encouraging your employees to be empathetic will not only make them happier and more engaged, it will make your customers more satisfied.

After I lost my phone, I asked six Delta employees for help, and only two—two!— exhibited any sign of empathy or actually thought for a moment about how to solve my problem. The other two-thirds essentially said, Move along, Are you boarding or not?, or started rattling off some company-speak about their Lost and Found (which by the way, has a stated Method of Operation best described as  ‘Don’t call us we’ll call you’).  In contrast, almost any small hotel, salon, health club, you’ll find that 9 out of 10 employees know how to find a way to help you when you lose a phone, need to send a message, left something in your room. They can find a way to get you your phone inside of a day, because they’re there to serve you. Not so with the airlines.

But here’s the kicker: The two employees who showed empathy and tried to help me best they could actually seemed far happier than those who did not (the four who did not offer help were grumpy and stressed). This confirmed for me what I know about the empathy effect: You get back what you give, and it lifts the mood almost immediately.The value of empathy is that is not only helps your customers, it helps  you and your employees with engagement and success.

In the meantime, I have come to terms that I will never see that phone again. The good thing? They’re 100% replaceable. But the impact and tremendous value of human connection is not. That’s a lesson worth learning.”

______

Switch off and log out for a while you will be amazed what is around you.

“Make yourself invulnerable to your dependency on comfort and convenience, or one day your vulnerability might bring you to your knees”

Andy

I am not worried. I am worried

I’m not worried about raising girls. Girls who will have to deal with harassment on a daily basis.

I’m worried about people raising boys.

People not raising boys right. Boys who one day will become men. Men that my girls might come across.

I’m worried people will continue to not challenge the behaviour of the men they live and work with.