26 Nov - 2 Dec 2018
Had a great Thai curry with friends Dave and Marc at Sabai Sabai in Birmingham along with plenty of interesting, nerdy chat.
On Saturday we had a family “boys” day out in London. We primarily went to watch the Barbarians vs Argentina at Twickenham for my Dads 70th birthday. We got the early train so we had several hours to kill. After a breakfast, we spent the morning viewing a few of the sights because my son hadn’t been there before. The match itself was great to watch, but afterwards while we were having a drink waiting for the crowds to dissipate a bit was the highlight of the day.
It’s common at these sort of sporting events to sell beer. When you buy the first drink you pay an extra deposit for the glass which you can get back at the end. As we left the stands, a few others had started collecting empty cups that had been left behind. We encouraged my son and nephew to look for a few themselves as a bit of pocket money. This got them super excited, and then a kind gentleman offered them his 5 glasses. Well, we didn’t realise what we’d started. As we chatted, we joked about them getting a few more and it turned into a game. I was trying to encourage my son to be a bit more outgoing as it’s generally quite shy, unlike my nephew. He also had his little boy cuteness going for him. Before we knew it they were racking up cups, with the other supporters encouraging and wanting to get involved with their own cups. Even an older kid who had been collecting them, came over and handed his cups to them with a Merry Christmas. It really was amazing to watch how they captured everyone’s attention and lifted everyone’s spirits even higher.
It really is a testament to rugby fans. There’s always a huge range of people there, from young kids to old pensioner couples. Every match that I’ve been to, I’ve never seen a jot of trouble and everyone has been more than polite, whilst still managing to enjoy rather too much alcohol!
I finished our book club book, Atomic Habits. It led to a very interesting call and while it wasn’t astoundingly ground-breaking, it was very well organised and written. It has shifted my view on some things so I would highly recommend it.
I read a short book on a whim called Effortless Journaling. Short but relatively sweet. Felt like a set of blog posts compiled into a short book. That’s not to say it was a bad thing. It packed in quite a lot of helpful, actionable advice in 150 pages. Interestingly it touched on a number of things that I just covered in Atomic Habits.
I’ve made less progress on Sleepers than I had hoped but I am enjoying it so far.
A week in Stoicism
I mentioned last week that I had signed up for Modern Stoicisms’ SMRT course. I have been diligently following the exercises, which this week centre on Stoic mindfulness. Similar to mindfulness meditation that focuses the attention on the breath, we are encouraged to simply pay attention to the present. Continually answering the question Right now, I am aware of…
Additionally we are encouraged to listen to a 15 minute recording of Stoic values and attitudes to contemplate and absorb (or voluntary brainwashing if you prefer!) each day.
It’s important to monitor yourself too, so that you can begin to train yourself as a more impartial observer of your thoughts to manage your responses better. I have already noticed the drop in the number of times each day that I allow my emotions to rise and risk letting them get out of control.
I am looking forward to week 2.
Some things are up to us, or under our direct control, whereas others are not up to us. Epictetus