In A Rut, Issue 60

I am in a rut. Not a deep, dark depression but just a little, muddy hole that I am finding difficult to escape. 

The First Eighteen Months of Covid

I thought that I was managing the restrictions of COVID 19 pretty well. I had found a new pass time – writing! New clients and new challenges had been keeping my mind busy. I had maintained my physical conditioning and my weight had not crept up on me. Everyone in my family was (and is) well.

I worked on my culinary skills and enjoyed a nice glass of wine. We walked almost every day – down to the lakeshore where we would sit and drink hot tea on even the coldest of days. Spring 2021 – I rediscovered joy in working outside. I would get up at 6am and work outside for three or four hours several times a week. 

More Recently……

Weight creep – Must turn around!

However, I have found the last few months really tough. My weight has crept up a bit! My exercise routine is slipping. I wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious. A lot of the work I am doing just takes forever. There doesn’t seem to much of a sense of urgency about anything. Now, I am used to the “Hurry up and wait” pattern in business but “Hurry up and have a long nap” ? 

Why Has This Happened?

A friend has suggested that the shortened days of November  and December are always bad. A factor for sure, but not the only one.

We still try to walk but there are just so many routes available from the front door. My tread mill is kaput! The tires on my road bike need to be replaced before I find myself 30 kilometres from home with a flat …. and I have the same problem with routes available from the front door. 

There is so little difference between Saturday and Monday. So, I have come to realize that I have felt some pressure to work everyday. I have probably spent an unhealthy amount of time in my comfy home office…. and too much time on Teams / Zoom / Webex or whatever!

Where has the variety gone?

I miss getting away – to stroll in Venice in the evening! Fare la passeggiata!

We haven’t travelled! The trips to Europe allowed my wife and I to disconnect from routine. We didn’t do something exciting everyday. However, when we emerged from our apartment we were in Venice or London or Paris or Firenze or Vienna or Lyon …. well you get the idea. We would take the train to Bologna or Prague or Montpellier for a day trip or an overnighter. We lived for long periods in these towns and cities and we got to know local people just going about their lives. Montepulciano is always in my thoughts!

I don’t get downtown and into the offices of my favourite clients. I need the energy boosts that bright young people have provided me over the past ten years. Occasionally they have me pulling my hair out (not that I have any to pull) but  have discovered that I need them more than they need me. 

I miss the easy restaurant life! Not just the sit down meal at some of my favourite restaurants but also sitting at the counter for Pizza at FCO or a good hamburger at Notre Boeuf de Grace. I have missed going to a food truck and sitting in Victoria Square eating my lunch with hundreds of others. 

Shaking the blues!

Well, I have to do something about getting out of my rut so:

If only I could dance like this!
  • I like to dance
  • Two up-coming trips – one to the UK and another longer trip to France. The UK trip is just around the corner. I am a little apprehensive but getting a change of surroundings and shaking my travel fears will do me good.
  • I have to get back into the city to see people. Not just the people I work with, but I want to feel the energy of crowded sidewalks again. Anyway, masks are much more comfortable in cold weather. 
  • A new treadmill or maybe an elliptical trainer- gentler on old knees? A new exercise regimen?
  • Writing is still something I enjoy. I have made a start on two book  projects that are probably of zero interest to anybody but me. However, the projects stimulate me. 
  • How about a big project? A new home by the ocean maybe?

I am in a rut but I think I know my way out. 

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]