It feels somewhat trite, given what is afoot in the world, to be riled up about life in my
gilded prison corner of the world. The Ukraine and Russia conflict looms large of course, but for all the outpouring of support – and some might say posturing – it feels more like a cause célèbre, than anything else. As others have pointed out thousands more have lost their lives in Yemen,. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were hardly less gruesome for ordinary civilians. Closer home, it seems like Nigeria teeters more on the edge of imploding, with power, security and the general hardship levels all running away in the wrong direction. Of course, concurrent occurrences of bad things does not make any of them less ‘bad’. One can only hope that the energies expended in mobilizing and blanketing the air waves with the plight of Ukrainians is also extended to other (blacker and browner) bodies.
Energy, and energy security, are back in the news again, the chickens of short sighted decisions very much coming home to roost as Russia holds Europe over a barrel with gas. It is good to see common sense coming to the fore again with nuclear energy being an option on the table. Sadly, these things are not magic taps that get turned on and off at the snap of fingers, so long hard periods of weaning ourselves off Russian gas are inevitable. North sea oil and gas is another beneficiary of all these, with the likes of Shell looking to invest 25 billion in the sector.
It has been a hectic past five months, on a personal note, my days spent hard at work and at home. High stakes, high profile deliverables at work have meant work weeks stretching into the weekends with extended hours. As I joking remarked to A the other day, it very much feels like I took a huge breath in November and am yet to breathe out, whilst keeping several plates spinning. Burning the candle at both ends is perhaps the best metaphor to describe the current state. The month of Ramadan and the slower pace of life can’t come soon enough for me.
If there is a silver lining in being maddeningly busy, it is that the year has sped right by. Somehow it is the end of March, and L is all of 10 months! 2022 was meant to be the year of re-thinking, which I have hardly done any of. To me at least, proper re-thinking requires the luxury of time, and moments of extended quietness, things which I have not had the luxury of over the past year. First order of business though must be to re-think the world of my work, and what I am truly aiming to get out of it. For the complex dynamics involved in it – current states, employer considerations and my future desires – what is obvious is that there I would like to not be doing the same sorts of things in five years time. The Clay Christiansen book, How Will You Measure Your Life, is one that I intend to re-read in April, as a first, tentative step towards re-thinking what work should look like for me in the five+ year time frame. Before all that re-thinking, I think the zeroth step is being intentional again about self care.
The phrase/word of the week (or month, or quarter – you decide) is Kaif halak, which means how are you? I hope like me you are in an improving place and are being intentional about self-care.