Tuesday, March 27, 2012

JDS Insights: February 2012

Perhaps the fact I'm getting round to putting down what February was all about towards the end of March speaks to what a non-month February usually is.

If January is post-apocalyptic, then February is the deadly silence that follows the post-apocalyptic trauma.

And so it should be as we slowly emerge from Winter and move into Spring.

That's not to say the month wasn't uneventful.

My February this year was once again consumed with thoughts of a cramped space on a coach, smelly boys and cold snow - yes this year's ski trip was upon me - and I was asked along...again! Last year I had to be all serious and I had to repeat the same feat again - me Deputy Trip Leader? I'm used to being the one that clowns around not dishing out discipline. Still, I take it as a compliment as it speaks to me of the respect and faith my colleagues have in me.

One perk: I had a better seat on the coach. Marginally.

The trip was really enjoyable but left no room for much other than the trip! There was a vast amount of snow - two feet on one day as I recall. The temperature also changed from something like -18ºC to -5ºC! Aside from having 'jihad' shouted at me at various points by another (white) member of staff, I discovered I can ski ok. One particular highlight was receiving a special certificate for 'Endless Energy' - a proud moment - as I skied every single available day.

February also saw me continue my journey into the world of integrity. I started in January actually with a training seminar examining this concept but also applying it to my life. Through February I cleared up stupid stuff I'd done with a few people. Not always easy because it threatens the existence of my opinion of myself and general desperation to avoid looking like an idiot. Note: it's not unique to me - it's a human experience.

Even more interesting is that owning up to my own cock-ups allows me to embrace my humanity.

Have a read of the insights below. They help.

At work - apart from the skiing - I got to have a pleasant social evening with our governors. For all the usual divisions and cliques that inevitably get created in *any* workplace, they're a nice bunch of people with a job to do. I did my usual and had a some great conversations.

Not only that, it was also an evening to socialise with teachers from across the school - something we don't always get to do. I think it did give us a sense of community. It helped that the food was great and the wine was flowing (for everyone else) and we all made the effort to dress up.

What summed up the evening was the presence of a caricaturist who captured the nuances of various people's personalities. I think he did me justice...although perhaps a bit *too* evil.

Is it me? Am I evil?
The various pictures of people provided a lightness to the atmosphere that had the potential to remain awkward all night.

I also had some reading material to stimulate my thoughts through February. It was a book I'd been avoiding for a while, that I'd told some boys about at school who had promptly gone and bought it after I'd shown them the trailer. I'd had a couple of close friends read and recommend it too. I'd also been looking for some framework that fitted with my quest for a 21st Century Healthy Lifestyle (which basically means habits for me to avoid diabetes when I get older AKA The Avoid Becoming Even More of a Fat Bastard Plan).

The book is this one:

Now I've mentioned another one of this guy's books before but once I downloaded it for my Kindle it intrigued me. It actually had me from the opening *sentence* because he describes being backstage at a Nine Inch Nails concert. That was all it took. I'm a simple guy.

The book carries the hidden subtitle 'Diary of a Madman'.

I'm also that special kind of weirdo that follows a book's instructions.

There will be much more about this journey in March's post but suffice to say it's interesting and completely appeals to my style.

This was February*
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Feb 01: I find my Self in relationship with others.

Feb 02: We live in listening.

Feb 03: The degree to which I choose not to let my buttons get pushed, is the degree to which I am free.

Feb 04: It's all the same, it just gets re-worded every so often.

Feb 05: I repeat the same mistakes until I learn.

Feb 06: I learn the same mistakes until I create.

Feb 07: It doesn't have to continue the way it's always been. My choice. No pressure.

Feb 08: Different action makes something different happen.

Feb 09: Simple choice: accept blindly or verify with experience.

Feb 10: Energy levels have more to do with our state of mind than we realise.

Feb 11: People forget we are all human.

Feb 12: The stories from the past inform my actions in the present if I let them.

Feb 13: The people we meet as adults are just templates of the first ones we met as children.

Feb 14: Everyone we meet is a shade of the two most influential people in our lives: our parents.

Feb 15: You are not your past - regardless of what everyone might tell you.

Feb 16: To have hang ups about myself is to be human. Depends if I have them or they have me.

Feb 17: There really is nothing that can't be forgiven. But that doesn't mean it should be forgotten.

Feb 18: Surely perfection is embracing and owning one's imperfections?

Feb 19: Having a destination can mean the end of the journey.

Feb 20: Choosing a destination for a journey is different from choosing a direction.

Feb 21: Some moments change everything before and everything after.

Feb 22: Silence enables action.

Feb 23: Do not mistake my silence for acquiescence. What makes you think I am listening to you?

Feb 24: Take my own advice: if someone asks me, tell them. If they don't, STFU.**

Feb 25: The experience of the journey transforms the destination. The experience of the destination transforms the journey.

Feb 26: Desperation is like running around a forest at high speed looking for the trees.

Feb 27: You're never *searching* for what you're not looking for, yet you're always *finding* what you're not looking for.

Feb 28:  You can only find something when you're clear about what you're looking for.

Feb 29: Validation is when other people's opinions are automatically valued more than my own.
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*All Mine


**STFU = Shut The Fuck Up