Back to the future

A few years ago when I started working a 4 hour day I was in a global role, working mainly with the US.  That meant I had my mornings free and I established a pattern of spending them walking, cycling and swimming with rest break at Cafe’s spent reading.  I worked great, I gradually worked myself back to a full time role. 

It didn’t take long though for that full time role to take a toll on my health and I was quickly relying on pain killers to get me through the day and I was taking ever more time off.  After about a year thanks to the advise and support of my managers and my occupational therapist I was put back on 4 hour days (actually 5 hour days with an extra rest day) but it hasn’t worked as well.  I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve been lazy. 

Instead of keeping moving during my morning’s I’ve settled into the habit of sitting and reading and whilst this is low stress, movement seems to be one of the keys to keeping my migraines and body pain down and my infections low.  Every holiday proves this too me and yet I still slip back into bad habits.

Even worse though, over the last 3 months I’ve had a wonderful Macbook Air, so light that I had no trouble taking it with me to the Cafe and so not only did I spend my time sitting, but I spent it sitting and working on my laptop.  It wasn’t long before I was on Sametime and full engaged in work during my mornings.  It was only a small step from there to deciding to stay home some mornings to go on conference calls, or catch up with backlog.  Next I was leaving earlier to head into the office and staying later!

So if I look back over the last 3 months as I slipped into bad habits, I had one good month, 1 month off sick and one month very slowly recovering from my month off sick.  During that last month I’ve been gradually drawn into longer and longer working hours, more time sitting and a lot less time moving. 

This last week’s holiday has allowed me the space to reflect and decide to get back to my previous good habits, basically walking, swimming and cycling while listening to loosely work related podcasts with regular cafe stops for reading on the kindle.  Working in the afternoon and hopefully an evening walk or cycle with the family.  I’m also trying to figure out how to establish a meditation session as well and do a little strength exercise at the excellent Fairhaven Lake Fitness trail.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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