Really interesting talk by @lindzeiy at work today. Digital transformation. What does it even mean? What it doesn't mean is that you should get preoccupied by 'digital', i.e. the medium. A builder shouldn't be preoccupied by his hammer. It's not ultimately about the hammer, and never will be.
I often use the carpenter analogy for my musical life. I want to have an instrument that is useful -- that is functional. Where I can make a chair or a table. Where it can be ornate or not. Where I can sing Howells or Hip Hop. I guess this means I'm not an artist.
Where does 'medium' stop and 'voice' start? Aren't they intertwined? What do you think?
When I was about 11, I crashed a quad bike. I was looking behind me to see how far ahead I was and, when I turned back around, there was a tree approaching. So I shut my eyes and put my arm out. The arm broke. It turned out the brakes would have worked better.
I remember adopting this most excellent strategy at various times when I got divorced; I shut my eyes. My amygdala didn't have a more suitable approach to adopt in its library. (Or however the brain works.)
I wouldn't read things that came to me -- letters of advice from vicars I had met once, or letters of empathy. I put legal documents quickly in a black envelope folder, reading as little as possible. When asked questions, I agreed to things I probably should have challenged. I was maxed out on confrontation. I froze at a party, with tears running down my face, as a friend questioned me how I could have done that; he had thought we were cut from the same cloth.
There are so many feelings at play with any break up, and they combine to make something that often feels too big. The feelings that have come to mind as I write this don't sit alongside each other well, and I think therein lies the problem. They combine to create a massive version of 'I want the hide under the duvet'.
Pain -- you part from someone you love(/d) and with whom you have entwined your life.
Excitement -- at new paths ahead.
Confidence -- in a decision you think is right.
Guilt -- at having confidence in a decision others think is wrong.
Liberation -- as you step away from something weighing you down.
Frustration -- at the weight of baggage that remains, and that it's not a blank canvas straight away.
Surprise -- at the level of public interest in parts of your life that are deeply private.
Urge to explain -- the situation to people whose business it isn't.
Confusion at the collision of these.
I haven't got a magic strategy for negotiating this time, and your amygdala may do something different, but equally useless. Friends can be rubbish, faith doesn't always help, and Gods sometimes don't fix things. But, with time, we contemplate coming out from under the duvet, having a shower, a cup of tea, and going for a walk. Trust me, we really do.
The lovely Kate Biddlestone, did #50thankfuldays recently and here are my #50thankfuldays.
I am thankful for my balcony.
I often wish I had a garden but I'VE GOT A BALCONY! I have mint, tomatoes, potatoes. I have a seat. I can see Kings Place from it. It looks out over a quiet dead end and some parking and not a road! It is hardly overlooked and most of what you see from it is sky and leaves. People on London canal walks pass by regularly, reminding me that I live in a place people go to for a special treat or day's activity.
It may be about three square metres, but I have a balcony and I am thankful for it.
A mundane job may bear fruit when you least expect it.
Music / publishing / education / singing / business
It's been a funny old 15 years navigating the world of work, and one that has sometimes made little sense at the time. If you zoom out, however, the big picture makes a decent narrative, so I trust that next time it makes no sense it will be because I can't see it from the right angle yet. At the Bloomsbury office, there were some lunchtime talks a year or so ago called 10 things I've Learned. They were an opportunity for senior staff to share about their personal career journey with colleagues. I really enjoyed it and I've been out of university now for 15 years, so I reckon I can start to share some things I've learned, so here goes one for a starter.
#1: Maintain good relationships (learnt in 2002)
In 2002 I finished university, went home to York and took a job on the CD stand at Banks Music. I was in a cafe one day and bumped into my old A-level music teacher. We got chatting and this led her to offer me the opportunity to return to my old secondary school and teach classroom music.
In the same music shop, a couple of years later, I met Mark Mumford. I was organising a piano event and Mark was representing publishers as a freelancer. Fast forward eight years and Mark's career has moved on and he is beginning to run Hal Leonard's operations in Europe. He contacts me about a role with them and I interview and get the job.
In both cases, if I hadn't had good relationships with people at the point of there being no visible 'value' in doing so, there would have been no job offers years later. So I conclude that a mundane job may bear fruit when you least expect it.
There's nothing quite like a holiday to get me inspired to do lots of stuff. So here I am after two weeks away from the office, sat in bed, drinking coffee and preparing myself for my first day back. I have following ideas:
If you know me, you've heard some of these before -- I'm on a loop. I should possibly learn from this and give up, but instead I'll return and try again as the alternative is less good.
Yesterday we had a Sunday Roast (chicken) and in the evening I made Cauliflower soup and Mushroom soup, and the recipes are below. They taste lush and lunches are sorted for a bit.
I have no idea if they would have been better had I done things differently because cooking ain't my thing. I did make the stock from boiling off the carcass from the Sunday lunch of roast chicken, maybe that's why they taste good this time...
Ultimately all these resolutions show is that I have had enough holiday this year for the first time in AGES. My mind is wanting to get moving, and that is all that matters.
Now to the office and the dreaded email inbox...
*returns under duvet*