Day 16 – Create a Budget…. and catching up

Fell behind on the  Better Man in 30 days challenge thanks to a quick trip down south to sort out passport issues amongst other things. Methinks I’ve largely caught up now.

Day 9 – Take a woman on a date: Caught up with J at at the Rodozio Rico over the weekend. No selfies were allowed, this will have to suffice as proof.

Day 14 – Write a letter to your father: A bit of a mixed bag here really given the fact that age and time have mellowed the quite strong views I held to in the past. Doesn’t help that like me he’s not really an emotionally engaged person. Loads to be thankful for but quite a few areas we could have done better at. Fingers crossed going forward I guess

Day 15 – Make a meal: Not my greatest culinary effort ever but I’m blaming having to rustle up dinner at 11.45pm for this. The seared haddock and brocolli did taste grand, if I say so myself 🙂

Day 16 – Create a budget:  Created one at the beginning of the year. Updated it today to better reflect a few changes in goals going forward.


Day 13 – Declutter Your Life


Cleaned out the closet and identified a couple of bags of old clothes that need ditching. Plan is to leave them out for any of the charities who send bags around from time to time. Paper and mail, and electronics need doing. Solid if unspectacular start – the hard work here starts now I think.

Day 12 – Create Your Bucket List

Day 12 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Create Your Bucket List

Currently working through my bucket list – aptly (if I say so myself) tagged 40 things by 40 seeing the 40th birthday is the next major birthday on the horizon – and no I am not 35 yet.. Closed out a few things already some of which include making CEng, losing 20kg and taking a boat ride down the Chicago river. A few stand out as sore points on which I have made zero progress whatsoever on – visiting the children I sponsor via WorldVision and reading every book that has been awarded the Man Booker prize being prime examples.

Deciding to take action on getting on the Advanced Materials PhD program I have made loads of noise about but done bugger all to progress. Fired off a couple of emails to profs at one of the Universities I’d be looking to study at.

Fingers crossed.

Day 10 – Memorize ‘If’

Day 10 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Memorize ‘if’

Two upsides to exercising the memory stood out from the prompt – improved writing and a more interesting personality. Unfortunately, I am blaming my mental fatigue from the last month of swotting exams for my less than stellar performance on this challenge. The plan – if I can call it that – is to keep plodding away at it till the end of the month. If I succeed, and I work up the courage, I just might place a recording of the poem from memory on here..

As for Day 9? Sometime over this weekend that should get done and dusted.. If all fails, there’s always Nandos 🙂

Day 8 – Start a Journal

Another one which was on the plan for 2014 in any case – middling performance not withstanding. The app of choice is DayOne – on my Mac, iPad and iPhone. The choice of time is first thing in the morning, hopefully that will help set the tone for the day and help kick off the day introspectively.

Fingers crossed, the next few weeks will tell how this latest iteration goes.

Day 7 – Reconnect with an Old Friend

Day 7 of the Better Man in 30 days Challenge – Reconnect with an Old Friend

The challenge was to reconnect with an old friend, by letter, email or phone (not Twitter). Cheated (slightly) as I did my reconnection over iMessage. A tad more in keeping with the spirit of reconnecting than a letter given the back and forth of instant messaging I think.. Or not.. Claiming this as done though, regardless. 🙂

Day 5 – Cultivate Your Gratitude

Day 5 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Cultivate Your Gratitude

Quite a few things to be thankful for, in no particular order:

  1. Friends who consistently come through. Needing to make a significant wire transfer earlier this week, a quick call to a couple of old chums resulted in a speedy resolution. Top lads C and O.
  2. Family  – warts and all. And mine, myself included, do have warts!
  3. J whose patience with my stuttering, complicated self is a refreshing breath of air;
  4. Work – and the opportunities it has presented over the last ten years and counting. A certain stint somewhere in my past still keeps opening doors. Grateful.
  5. The internet and how easily it provides solutions – stumbled on an excel tutorial on spark-lines which might have saved a side project I am working on. Not one of the things I miss about those heady Eket days it must be said.
  6. (Not so) Little children, particularly F, my friend O’s precocious daughter. Hanging with her gives me hope for the future. I am not too damaged to make a half decent dad.
  7. Success in one more exam, no lengthy post nominals to append to my name unfortunately but small steps in the right direction I think.
  8. Health – no new major scares (as far as I know).
  9. Great work conversations – currently talking an old work friend through a weighty decision. That she and I are still in contact nearly five years after we last worked together is so much more reassuring given my current work situation.
  10. And Nandos — ’nuff said.