From today I have over a week off work, what I would normally do is sit around on my backside 'relaxing', only to be completely surprised by the bucket of cold water to the face that is a sudden return to work.
There are a couple of things that I will definitely be doing, I will certainly be giving my flat its long overdue 'Spring Clean', as I think the approaching Autumn is giving me a less than subtle hint that it really should be done. Likewise I'll be blogging all those other things that I gave you the chance to vote for a couple of days ago.
Another thing that I should be doing, is working on a few projects that I have been thinking about, the “Rough Lives Through A Rough Lens” (Pictures on my mobile phone of drunks I've picked up), 'You Have Cost Us' business cards (Cards I want printed that explain exactly how they have misused the ambulance service, to be slipped into the pockets of drunks), and a redesign of the website.
I keep thinking about doing things, joining a gym, learning a totally new skill and reading a few of those books that I have sitting around the flat. I thought that my recent health-scare would have given me a new-found lust for life, but instead I have settled into the same old patterns. The recent loss of a workmate has again made me think that I'm wasting the life I have. I have good health, I'm still fairly young, and yet outside of work I feel that haven't done as much 'living' as I should.
Perhaps it's just jealousy of the lifestyles of other bloggers?
So are there any suggestions as to what I can do/see in and around London. I feel that I should be doing something. Any hints on how to give my life outside of work a kick up the arse?
34 thoughts on “What To Do?”
Dave Spellcnut: Point 5 – why not?Scaryduck
Hey. I wish we could make up cards t]like that, but we;d get in too much trouble here. Sounds like a great idea though..
Was thinking of suggesting that you take up fishing or bike riding – however, remembering where you are made me realise that you'd probably get very cold. Maybe the gym is not such a bad idea…I am familiar with the “I don't feel like I'm doing anything” feelings…One day I will get fit. On the 28th of September actually…or so my horoscope says.
Well… there's always the cricket…
The blog is lovely, but it does feel as though it takes up a large space in your life.
Visit all of the major museums as art galleries. That should keep you busy.
Why does it have to in/around London? Fly to Tokyo for a week is my suggestion.
First, don't bother promising to do something “from now on”. You won't.Next imagine yourself on your deathbed surrounded by loving relatives & friends and think of all the things you wish you'd said to them. Before Xmas, make time to say them.
Finally, still on that deathbed, think of all the things you wish you'd done, including the little stuff. Tomorrow, start doing them.
I've lost too many friends in the last few years and too many of them never quite got round to doing the stuff they always said they would when they had time.
If I understand you correcctly, you're asking two questions–what stuff should you do, and how should you make sure you keep doing stuff?Just to answer the second question first–sinking money into something is a good way to motivate yourself. So–for example–take advantage of London's great theatre. Buy yourself two tickets for a show two weeks for today, and then find somebody to go with you. (Note that this technique seems to work best for specific, one-time expenditures. If you pay for a year's membership in a gym, the expense will keep you going for a few months, but at a certain point, the money will fade away into the past and will cease to motivate you.)
Another good technique is to commit yourself to somebody else. Agree with two mates that you're going to (say) meet every Sunday and go for a run. Now if you're not going to make it, you're going to have to call them and explain why.
And then there's public commitment. You've stuck to writing this blog, haven't you? Presumably the fact that the world will notice if you stop keeps you going. So, whatever your goal is (one social event a week? A workout every other day?) announce it here, and promise that you are going to update your readers every week on how you're doing.
For maximum effectiveness, combine all the above techniques. Agree with three mates that you're going to run every sunday. Anybody who misses a Sunday has to put 5 in a jar. At the end of the year, whoever missed the fewest Sundays gets the contents of the jar. Post the running jar tally–along with your contribution to it–on the webpage.
The contribution jar idea does work–or, at least, it did for me. It was the only thing that got my roommates and me to stop skipping classes in our first year of college.
If it's about filling the week try the West side of Greater London for a change, Kew, Barnes, Richmond. Loads of place with things to see and a nice walk so you kill 2 birds with 1 stone (you probably know your end of London quite well by now).If it's about finding out what you should do with your life outside work then I am the last person to ask.
The gym is a good idea-i had the same kind of 'what am i doing with my life' crisis and thought id get off my fat,lazy arse and get fit.I joined a gym and made sure i signed a contract for a year,hopefully you're as tight with money as i am and you want to get your moneys worth!The first 6-8 visits were hard but after that i enjoyed going,got fitter,lost weight and found a new self confidence after which i seemed to have more energy for other interests-it all kind of snowballed and i feel twice the man for doing it.I too have lost a friend recently and it made me think i was jst sitting around wasting my time and that i should go out and grab life by the bollox and make the best of it-i was right and ive never looked back.
Don't stop blogging though,i think a lot of people would miss it-myself included.
So get out there-you won't regret it….
Hi…I've been reading this blog for a while now, and I thought I'd add my 0.02 worth!
If I was living in London, I'd make time to go to the theatre, and to visit other places of interest. It certainly helps educate people in different things, and the cathartic reactions you can feel from the theatre is one of the most amazing things.
Go to see some musical theatre. I highly recommend The Lion King show, which is absolutely stunning.
Getting cultured will really help towards you becoming a more 'rounded' person, and will definitely stop you thinking that you're wasting your life. Go with friends, or family, and make the time to speak to people whilst you're there. Everyone who goes to the theatre won't mind chatting to someone new!
It'll be cool!
My advice is: forget the gym, forget the theatre. If you have to force yourself to do something, you probably didn't want to do it that much in the first place.I would suggest taking a good cycle ride around London. In cycle shops you can get an AMAZING cycling map of London for 5 quid – it's really worth it. Then go on the yellow paths and – if at all possible – some green ones (along the canals). My personal preference would be to light up a spliff along the way and take it nice and easy. Go to a market (whichever one, there are so many!) and buy great spices and food. Then, on your way back, pass by a pub – if on a park, all the better (London Fields is a good place) – and reward yourself with a pint. If you can find a CAMRA pub, then have a proper ale. When you get home, cook one of these recipes that appear in the Guardian or Observer and have a good meal. Finish off with a cup of tea, spliff and DVD.
right.1. clean the flat first. and don't let it get mucky again. 5 or 10 minutes every day in a different room will keep it spick and span and will make you feel great (honest)
2. don't leave it till holiday time to see bits of london. go to the cinema in the evening when you are on day shifts. go to a different gallery/museum once a week (even if it's for an hour). visit the parks of london and sit on a bench and watch people walk past. i can do this for hours. eat food in parts of london that are known for their cuisine – bagels and curry in brick lane, delicious grilled meats in dalston (kebab shops), chop suey in chinatown (won keis ground floor is for lone diners), jerk chicken with rice and peas in brixton.
3. don't stay in london for a week when you have a week off. go to paris on the train for a couple of nights. this will energise you (because it's so beautiful) and make you appreciate londons underbelly when you get back. if you can't go to paris then go to manchester, edinburgh or bristol.
4. next time you have holidays coming up start preparing a trip weeks before. work is so much more bearable when something nice is on the horizon.
5. do not stay at home masturbating.
Hmm… the good thing of office work is that it allows for reflection. My earlier comment was about what I would do, but not really about what you could do (sorry for not paying attention).I don't want to descend into guru-style instructions, but when I was feeling a bit lost I was told to write down 100 things I wanted to do before I died. I got this from a motivational video they showed us at work (normally crap stuff but this time it sort of hit a note with me). The guy said you had to do that and write a letter to your parents. So I did. The letter to my parents was well received. And the list… well, I got to about to about 23 items. And yes, in the end I did do some of them or was in the process of doing them. That made me feel good about myself, and then cycling around London with a spliff was not a waste of time, but rather a nice break from what seemed (to me at least, who cares about anyone else) a rewarding life.
Also, meeting people is also a good one. It's nice to be alone, but not lonely. Meaning that it's good to have friends and then, occasionally, enjoying time on your own. So if you went to “meetup.com” you could probably gather enough people who'd like to meet you over a pint in a pub in London. Sure, a few weirdos would show up, but you just might meet some interesting people – they would surely be interested in you, otherwise they wouldn't read your blog.
Leaving London might be a good idea, but I never enjoyed that. London on its own is rich enough.
OK, enough of that. Enjoy your week off whatever the case.
I vote for the nice ride around London, with the bike map, and the stops at the pub, the good meal at the end and maybe a DVD.OR: off to some place wrm with a good mate
because masturbating shouldn't be kept for holidays. enjoy every day! i like to break my lunch hour up at work with a quick wank.
We still have the little cards that have a picture of an ambo, and a picture of a taxi saying “Only one of these is a taxi”, so I can't see myself getting into that much trouble…Just found the picture…
The idea is to stop me falling asleep on the sofa…
The blog itself, takes up very little time to be honest, and I've gained a lot from it. Reading other blogs takes up time though…Which is why there are a lot of blogs in the “occasional reads” section of my linkroll.
Tokyo… I'd love to go there….Fancy paying for me to go?
I think you overestimate how much I get paid…
This is really good advice, but to be honest, because of the type of person I am, I already do this. You have written “formally” one of the rules I live my life by. It's more I haven't got the imagination to think up things I'd like to do…Besides, I intend to die alone, at the age of 97 being chased from the bedroom of a young lady by her irate father…
Blimey, that is a collection of quality ideas… Suggestion two “mentioning it on here” seems the best bet, given that I am lumbered with a rotating shift system from Hell. Sinking money into something also sounds quite good, but as I value personal happiness over money, it might backfire.Top comment, thanks a lot.
Yes… West London has (on the few occasions I've been there) a much higher proportion of pretty ladies.(Well, probably, the ladies around here? They all seem to wear bhurkas around here…)
I think I might well take a trip over there at some point.
It's kind of the reason I've taken up cycling, and I do feel a lot better for it. Given my rotating rota, I'm not sure that paying out for a gym is a good idea – part of the reason I haven't done so previously (although that might just be an excuse).And I'm not about to stop blogging…I enjoy it way too much.
I'm more of a 'gig' person myself, and that seems to have gotten a lot less recently (due, once more, in part to a rotating shift system). I can't remember the last time I went to the theatre, so perhaps I need to give it a go.I mean – I live in London for pity's sake, I'm surrounded by theatres.
I'll keep an eye out for that book, it sounds like just the sort of thing I'm looking for – and I know I like cycling.”Spliff”? Wouldn't know how to get one *cough*, and besides it gives me a headache – but a nice CAMRA ale would go down lovely, although the weather is starting to turn a bit…well…damp at the moment.
I'm afraid my 'cooking' involves “Pierce film, cook on full power for eight minutes then leave to stand for one minute – ensure food is hot all the way through”. But I get the idea.
1.Clean Flat. Definitely. Scheduled for Monday. Lots of throwing out/giving to charity of old books/magazines/clothes.2.I get too much curry/fish and chips/kebab/bagels/chinese during my normal working day… But I'm thinking of going to the cinema every two weeks instead of just when there is a nice blockbuster to watch.
3.Does sound like a plan, and one I've been thinking of for years, but my monolingual tongue and the way my feet itch when I go outside of the M25 have conspired so far to keep me tucked up in London.
4.Noted, good idea. Will do for the next time I get some time off (in about 10 weeks I think).
5.Why not? Good for the prostate…
Look for 100 things in a coming post.But I couldn't manage to write 100 'interesting' things about myself, so it might take some time…
Bah feck it! Get a credit card. Then plead with your 87 Bloglines subscribers to chip in a bit each when you get back. I'd contribute a tenner.Thanks very much for your blog by the way – it is the blog that started me blogging.
Don't let the monolingual tongue keep you from Paris, Venice, and Barcelona–three of the greatest cities in the world. In my experience, all you really need to learn in any foreign language is the phrase “I'm sorry, do you speak English?” If you say it with an apologetic expression that implies you wish you spoke their wonderful language, and deeply regret being stuck in inferior old English, even the surliest Frenchman will deign to speak with you in the Queen's language.Regarding 3, check out the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square–they have insanely cheap prices, especially during the daytime, which might suit your odd shift schedule.
Oops–sorry, the cinema advice was obviously regarding #2, not #3.
Ahhh. Yes, I do know the feeling.Vanessa/Sarsparilla