Long Distance

There are two parts to this post. One came after the other, a Friday night surprise. The second bit won’t be spoken about again until there’s a confirmation email. Needless to say, the past has an odd way of coming back to haunt you. That’s why you should always try and do your best work, and live an optimal experience. People have an unexpected way of dragging things back from where you left them for another turn in the light.

Can’t be more specific than that right now, sorry.

How is that possible however when there’s no time to ever do anything else? I have watched a couple of people this week lament how their lives are all work and no enjoyment. That balance is a tough one to strike, speaking as someone who is still attempting to find the sweet spot herself. Your future, always, should be possibilities, not a set of intractables.

Amazingly, you can still make time to chase those dreams.


The key is to identify when you have time, and surprisingly that can come from lots of mundane places. Getting up 30 minutes earlier. Ditching social media on your mobile device. Keeping a diary for a week and being REALLY ANAL about exactly how long everything takes in your day. That crap about ‘these 5 simple things’ you see in dodgy Facebook ads can, amazingly, have a benefit.

The key here is small changes first. If you try and create massive upheavals, the alteration will be too much for your brain to easily accommodate. My classic, much-used primary change was taking an extra 15 minutes walking back from school, dropping off my daughter, to burn a few extra calories first thing in the morning. I could have walked straight home, but instead detours became a part of the routine.


When I was walking for an hour in the morning and nothing was being upset by that action, it was time to accept I could do more if I spent that hour in the Gym, and so a habit was formed. There’s wisdom that suggests that it will take you 21 days to form a habit. Then, if you can do it for another 90 days? Part of your lifestyle. I’m one of those people for whom about half that time’s more than enough.

It doesn’t have to be exercise. It could be one day a week to go see mates, or get your house properly clean, or maybe start that great novel that’s been demanding to be written. Letting the World stop you from what you desire can be as much an excuse as anything else: if you really don’t want to change those habits, it won’t happen. There’s a door in your brain that needs to open, and stay that way, to allow real alteration.

Deep down, you have to accept that not everything is possible.


That might sound a bit counter-intuitive: but why can’t I have everything? The response is simple: you don’t need it. What is required for happiness is a balance between the stuff that has to be done and those things that don’t, or aren’t as essential. That means that you do not necessarily have to work as hard as you do, all the time, if you’re prepared to cut back on those luxury items. It will, undoubtedly, all pivot on what you consider success.

If that means buying every new thing on release, or constantly being on the bleeding edge with tech? Yeah, it will feel hard. Taking a step back, looking at what you spend, maybe cutting back on eating out and clothes and gadgets might sound like the stuff of nightmares for some, but consumerism is one of the most odious and insidious destroyers of both time and money.

If you can release yourself, just a little from its grasp, the effects can be sizeable.


I don’t want to sound like a self-help guru here. Everybody’s lives are different. I just know, from experience, how one small change unlocked a puzzle in my head I’d spent decades trying to solve. It is a complex, difficult path to enlightenment, because if it wasn’t we’d all be there by now. No two people are the same, and therefore that whole ‘tell me how to live your life’ thing is pants. You don’t want my life, but need your own.

Therefore you try everything you can, then see what fits. However, don’t change everything overnight. Start small.

Consider everything as a possibility.

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