An old boss of mine once gave me a brilliant tip when making presentations or speeches. Look up halfway through your sentence or the point you are making, see how it is going with the audience before you decide how to finish it. His suggestion that you check in at the midway point – at half time – is a principle I have embraced throughout my career and do so again today.
It is six months and two days since I started my year of blogging – my daily blogs in my 40th year. It feels like a good time – as we enjoy our half time cuppa, oranges and team talk – to take stock on how the year is going, both with the blog and more generally.
I am really enjoying the writing – it is great to have a time each day when I sit down to write something meaningful. I am enjoying the feedback I get from folk who are reading the blog – although much of the feedback comes from Dr J and Mrs J senior! I have enjoyed the contact I have had from people who are themselves – or someone close to them – going through a major change of lifestyle or career and have taken something from my journey and my chronicling of it here. There are days where the topic for the day is apparent first thing and the writing is done before my mid-morning cuppa. There are other days when the inspiration isn’t there until much later in the day. I have written about this before but it still surprises me how the things I am going to write about make it on to my radar – I can only imagine the debates and discussions that are had in newsrooms all around the world as they decide what to include in that day’s newspaper or TV news.
The most important thing about this six months is that my life and my attempt to find the perfect work-life balance is going really well. I’ve had some downs this year – anyone who suffers from anxiety will know that is always going to be part of your life no mater how well things are going – but I am doing work I enjoy, including my recent teaching at Liverpool John Moores University and enjoying playing a bigger role at home as Dr J is back at work. The increased time that I get with Miss J now is the standout highlight in this six months. The chance to share more of my day with her is something I am so grateful to have. The dream I had of my work fitting around my life is a reality and I say no to things that would get in the way of that.
If this was really half time during a football match, this would not be a throwing of tea cups or a hairdryer moment – it would be a more of the same lads second half; keep going; start again at 0-0. It has been a great six months for me; my readers my disagree (!). I know that with my two wonderful girls in my life, the support and love of my extended family and friends and the ability and willingness to make different choices than I made in the past, I enter the second half of this year of blogging with a smile on my face and contentment in my heart.