Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's a Beautiful World

I had intended to write a heavyweight post explaining how the Mayans were right and how human civilisation was doomed over the next 50 years but, you know, I can't be arsed.

My wife has been on holiday, the fickle English weather has given us beautiful days, and we have been touring Kent.

Working eighteen hour days until my health broke down has taught me something. In the long run we are all dead and no man died wishing he had spent just a bit longer at the office, just taken one more flight, written one more paper, closed one more deal, earned one more pound.

With hindsight, I regret being out of the country so often when my children were growing up. Each day not spent on things that matter is a day wasted and what matters is your family, the laughter of your kids, the welcoming smile on your beautiful wife's face.

I took the above picture a few days ago at Hole Park in Kent.

It's a beautiful world - enjoy it in the short time you have.

23 comments:

matapam said...

The wildflowers are blooming here. All the scruffy, uncared for spots are rivaling the finest parks for sheer beauty and color.

We have a wonderful program here in Texas. The highway verges go unmown until the main burst of wildflowers has gone to seed.

Eleni Konstantine said...

I agree John - my health broke too and it made me realise how much we push ourselves. And no matter how much we give, it is never enough (well in the corporate world). So we need to take time out and enjoy it, like you have.

I love the photo and yes, it is a beautiful world.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Wow, John. I want to go live somewhere like that. Beautiful and peaceful!

Amanda Green said...

John, great shot. Matapam, I love this time of year in Texas for the very reason you said -- I love the wildflowers growing along the highways. It is also the time of year that reminds me to slow down a bit and just enjoy the world around me.

John Lambshead said...

Dear Pam
I have heard the spring is nice in Texas.
John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Eleni
It was the same in the Public Sector - only with more incompetent management.
John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Rowena
Kent is beautiful. It is difficult to believe we are in the London commuter belt.
John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Amanda. I treated myself to a Nikon SLR when I retired. U have lots of Kent pictures up on my other blog - John's Toy Soldiers.
john

matapam said...

The writer's mind is a wondrous thing.

I admire the beauty of this Hole Park.

Hole? Hmm. What an evocative name!

I study the picture again. Are some of those flowers actually sparkles off a vampire who fled the approaching scientist? Is there a werewolf in those bushes, or perhaps an injured wizard? Was there a lingering scent from the kidnapped Princess? What will be dancing in the dew on the New Moon tonight?

Where is the Hole, and what might come out of it?

Anonymous said...

I wildly agree, John! I was especially touched by this philosophy this last week as my father recovers from brain surgery due to a stroke. My family actually had to decide whether he got the surgery or whether to allow him to die. Reflection upon this event has brought home even more the sanctity and joy of life. Given even the smallest chance at quality of life, we chose to go forward. And do you know what the main reasons were? Because my youngest brother will have grandchildren that he will certainly want to meet when they happen, and his existing grandchildren (almost adults now...my youngest brother is much younger) will be having his great-grandchildren that he will want to be here for. In summary, life is about the people in your life, not the things. We all know this, but it never hurts to be reminded.

And just as an FYI, he's coming along incredibly well. They had to remove most of the temporal lobe due to irreversible damage, but he has all body movement (though weak) and we haven't found any gaps in his memory and knowledge (though there will certainly be some). In short, we have high hopes of years yet to be enjoyed by him and us together.

I don't normally go into my personal life online much, but this post seemed appropriate.

And our days here in northern Florida are beautiful right now. My azaleas are blooming! Yaay for spring.

Linda Davis

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Linda, I know how you feel.

Glad to hear your father is doing well. I've been trying to do the right thing for my uncle who is nearly 8 0 and suffering the early stages of Parkinsons and Alzheimers.

Made me come home and hug my husband. Made me determined to make sure my husband got to enjoy his retirement. He's an artist, so we plan to set ourselves up, one at each end of the computer room, he'll do 3D animation and I'll write.

That's my idea of heaven. At least until the grand kids come.

Dave Freer said...

(smile) And I wish I spent more time fishing, and gardening and cooking and... but the bank manager and the readers would be a little unimpressed. So we seek a balance.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Working eighteen hour days until my health broke down has taught me something.

18 hour days? Ouch! My boss usually lets me get away with six when I'm not teaching. And I'm in the private sector.

John Lambshead said...

dear Pam
It is easy to feel the tug of the paranormal in England.
John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Linda

I am glad your father is improving. Mine had a series of strokes.

I was on a NATO exchange to N. Florida - FSU Tallahassee. I was there in November.

I still remember the Spanish Moss

John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Dave
Balance is everything.
John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Ori
It is a myth that all public sector workers are lazy. It depended what you do.
John

Ori Pomerantz said...

John, I didn't mean to imply you or your co-workers were lazy. My comment came from a different source: I worked with a number of people in the IDF, and then with the same people in a startup. I saw how much harder the same people, doing a very similar job, worked when they were in a system that actually rewarded performance.

Still, 18 hour days would be considered excessive in most jobs. Do that to your employees too long, and you lose them. Possibly to a cemetery.

Anonymous said...

Hey, John I understand you're catching the ash for the Icelandic Volcano (Not even going to try to spell it). Can you tell from ground level?

Matapam

John Lambshead said...

Dear Ori

I think the peak of idiocy was reached when our admin wallahs decided not to allow our technicians to reclaim saturdays and sundays when in the field.

They should take the weekend off and go home.

My technician was working on deep-sea research vessels in the Antarctic.

She was also expected to travel back to the UK, finally coming in on the red eye from America to land in London in the early hours, and be in the lab at nine.

Great stuff.

John

John Lambshead said...

Dear Pam

No ash fallen yet.

It is in the air across the north. It may come down on Scotland later.

Not sure what this will do to our weather. I don't know how high the ash is or what's in it.

We do get Saharan sand dumped on us occasionally in southern England.

John

Ori Pomerantz said...

Just so I can be sure I understand you - we are talking about employees here, right? The kind of people who, if you abuse them, eventually find other jobs and leave the organization. And then the work doesn't get done.

Was there a reasoning behind this decision? I can think of several possibilities:

1. Your technicians have very specialized skills, and won't be able to find jobs anywhere else.

2. Technicians are disposable, it's easy to find more of them.

3. The admins don't care if the job gets done or not. In contrast to industry, they won't get fired for incompetence.

4. They were recruited from the contestants in this sporting event.

John Lambshead said...

Dear Ori
Yes you have it right.
The technicians have highly specialised skills that can get them work elsewhere. Mine left and joined military intelligence in a British embassy overseas,
The admin wallahs don't understand what the organisation does and don't care. They are management and hence amateurs. They have proved how 'tough' they are by enforcing loony rules and will move on to their next position, managing the ballet or something.

But hey, this is a depressing conversation.

John