Offshore Nigeria, back in the day. For the prompt Rise/Set.
It is now a mere three days to the start of National Poetry Month this year, three years since I last participated. Back then in addition to the prompts from the NaPoWriMo website, I had La Reine and Tolu for company, two poets who are far more deserving of the label. I plan on jumping in this year, the idea primarily being to participate, rather than hammer out high quality poetry. Fingers crossed.
Quick plug for my radio debut, in conversation with @1Life_Saved and @HibbardSam about his new-ish single “In The Waiting” and God, Music and doing life (amongst other things)..
Show goes out at 2000hrs GMT today (13/03). Listen in on TuneIn or via our Online Radio Player. You can also browse our archives here.
On the day this challenge hit the halfway mark, I ended up spending the bulk of my Sunday evening prepping for, and interviewing, the truly delightful Sam Hibbard; an Aberdeen based Christian singer/song writer whose new single In The Waiting, dropped a couple of weeks ago. I definitely got the sense the wee lad – he’s still not 18 – is going places. It was great to get to chat God, Music, Youth and just catch up in general. First time behind the mics for me too, looking forward to more of these this year. I might have to come up with a funky DJ name if this continues.. 🙂
My quick wander around Union Square leads me to WHSmith where I trawl the shelves, ultimately failing to find a notebook that calls to me. I do find this A5 sized one with gridded out sheets at Paperchase, one that reminds me of studying Maths in my (Nigerian) primary school days. Truth is my current task management set up (Wunderlist on my phone and Mac) leaves a little niggle – an inability to order tasks n running order. As a work around, I have pulling through the day’s tasks into Notes on my phone, a sort of live action tracker, which is where this new setup shines, replacing the notes app on my phone with a proper notebook. I hope, once the shine of a new notebook and erasable pen wears off that I can continue to do this… Fingers crossed.
Inspired by this. #StrikeThru
Yet another day spent in a workshop, hammering out the finer details of the support we’ll need to provide for an upcoming project. This time away from the office; sequestered in a building on the corner of Market Street and North Esplanade West. I could get used to this; talking about work as opposed to doing work…
At the coffee machine, catching up with the new, younger engineer who shares my first name, he asks me what my surname is. I give him the anglicized, easy to pronounce version which doesn’t satisfy him. He asks me how I would pronounce it – cue five attempts, after each of which he fails colossally to reproduce the sounds I make somehow ending up adding, subtracting and transposing syllables through his various attempts.
Full marks for interest I guess, but I suspect he and I will be sticking to our (shared) first name going forward.
My first run since I cracked a couple of bones in my foot last October went without incident, all fifteen minutes of it. I took my usual route, up the Beach Boulevard and then towards the Beach Esplanade; the long, straight stretch of which I have come to love for the sense of exhilaration I get as my feet pound the ground in time with whatever song I am listening to.
This time, I had 55mph winds behind my back, the view to my right one of the sea whipped into froth by the wind which made the Switchfoot song I was listening to an interesting choice. The sound of the crashing waves, the flying spray and the bone-chilling coldness of everything – juxtaposed with the sense of fragility I have felt both emotionally and physically through last year – all contributed to foist upon me a sense of my smallness amidst everything.
If there is a moral to all this – and I am not entirely sure there is one – perhaps it is a healthy reminder of one’s insignificance in the overall scheme of things. One has a place, important to the individual as it might be, what is critical though is not to lose sight of the fact that there is a much bigger picture.
And my heart is yours
And what a broken place it’s in
But you’re what I’m running for
And I want to feel the wind at my back again
This year, instead of a bucket list of things I am hoping to achieve, I chose to identify 12 things, key changes which in my opinion if implemented in my life would deliver the biggest value. The intent is to focus on one for each month, the idea (referenced in this Matt Cutts TEDx talk) being that focusing on one change for a thirty day period gives one a fighting chance of making lasting change.
For January, the objective is to focus on developing a regular practice of contemplative prayer and bible study, two things which my harried existence in 2015 made nigh impossible to do with any regularity.
Towards the back end of last year, I stumbled on this post on the Hillsong Collected blog that led me on to the original 100 Days of Making Project page. There is a long and storied history going back to a graduate project at the Yale School of Art, but the premise is simple: doing something creative for 100 consecutive days.
Given one of my objectives for the year is to write a lot more consistently, I’d like my thing to be 100 consecutive days of writing. I suspect the subject matter will vary widely from day to day but I’d like the over arching theme to be one of being; specifically reflecting on where I am today, where I have come from and how these have shaped how I see myself evolving over the next few years.
The NYTimes Learning sub-site has a listing of 500 prompts for narrative and personal writing which will be the core of what I reflect on, augmented by any day to day happenings which catch my attention.
Fingers crossed then. Here’s to #100DaysOfBeing.
Day 27 – Start a Book: Currently ten books into my thirty book plan for the year. Have two on the go at the moment – Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. Hopefully I manage to complete them by the end of next month.
Day 28 – Write a Love Letter: Very much work in progress. I suspect this is one I will have come back to again and again. What is clear is that it wasn’t love at first sight by any account – I am far too rational for that – but over time I find a bond building, and increasing joy in the simple things.
Day 29 – Conquer a fear: The fear I had to conquer was picking up the phone and calling my father, made especially difficult because we had a big fall out last weekend, and certain things I’m not entirely proud of were said. There and done then with minimal fuss. Hopefully we can make this work better going forward…
Day 26 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Take the Marine Corp Fitness Test
Managed the 3 mile in 29.5 minutes (includes the very leisurely 3 minute warm up), 46 crunches in 2 minutes and a barely there 4 pull ups for a total of 95 from a maximum 300 points possible. Not great but better than I thought given how a certain HIIT youtube video kicked my ass on Day 24.
Feels like a KPI I should track going forward. Hopefully I can keep improving on my score as I get fitter and healthier.