Projets rando 2024 [en]

Depuis l’année dernière je fais des projets. J’organise les choses que j’aime faire. J’ai une liste des randonnées que je souhaite faire, et je bloque des dates dans mon agenda pour ça. Banal? Nouveau pour moi.

Et là, on va un cran plus loin, parce qu’avec un emploi stable, je peux même planifier mes vacances!

L’ascension du Kilimandjaro, ça peut faire rêver, mais comme je suis pas prête je vais me contenter de faire le Tour du Mont Blanc. Avec une copine, on s’est dit un peu comme ça “allez, en 2025!” Défi lancé. (Si ça te fait rêver dis-moi, on s’est dit qu’on pouvait y aller à 4-5 si on avait des copains-copines qui voulaient se joindre à l’aventure.)

Actuellement, je fais des randonnées sur une journée, avec pas trop de dénivelé (1000m c’est déjà “pas mal” pour moi). Les deux cabanes que j’avais prévues cette année sont malheureusement tombées à l’eau pour des raisons indépendantes de la volonté de tous les acteurs impliqués: La cabane de Plan Névé (objectif Col des Chamois, dont le nom me fait rêver depuis des années) et la cabane des Marindes (Vanil Noir). La fin de saison approche, donc il va falloir réagender ça pour 2024. Parce qu’en 2024, il faudra effectivement que je m’habitue à aligner des jours.

Projets, donc:

…En plus de mes envies déjà en place d’aller voir un max de glaciers tant qu’ils sont encore là, de mettre le pied sur des chemins blanc-bleu, et de profiter des occasions qui se présentent spontanément à droite et à gauche. Il va falloir réserver des plages dans le calendrier.

Cette année je me suis remise à la via ferrata. Enfin remise… j’en avais faite une, il y a quinze ans. J’avais adoré. Quand l’occasion s’est présentée cette année, je n’ai pas hésité! L’année prochaine, j’achète le matériel et je continue sur ma lancée.

Un autre projet pour 2024 c’est d’aller faire le Dales Way (récit et photos pour rêver). C’est une randonnée “douce” d’une semaine environ dans le nord de l’Angleterre, là où j’ai mes racines britanniques. C’est magnifique. J’avais envie d’aller cette année mais j’ai finalement changé de plan. Et là, je me dis que ce sera une bonne façon de marquer mon demi-siècle (si, si, amis et famille: save the date du dimanche 7.7.2024, je vais faire “un truc”), et d’aller faire ça la deuxième ou (plutôt) troisième semaine de juillet.

Et vous, vos plans rando, c’est quoi? Ou si c’est pas la rando, votre truc en plain air dans la nature, c’est quoi?

Cockerel, Anybody? [en]

[fr] Plein de nouvelles!

So, what’s up?

I’m in the UK. I’m helping Aleika find a new home for one of her cockerels, Hercule Poirot. He’s a super-good-looking guy, and he takes his job with the hens very seriously.

Hercule Poirot Head Shots 4

Do you know anybody in the UK who has chickens (hens!) and would like a stunning rooster to look over them? Do let me know.

I have had a week of holiday planned here for months, and in between Safran’s death and Somak’s appointment as Professor of Physics at Presidency University, Kolkata (so… back to India for the three of them!), we decided I would be taking Quintus back with me.

Quintus in Birmingham 6

Do you know any good people in Calcutta/Kolkata? I’m particularly interested in getting in touch with

  • people who are into organic farming/gardening in the area
  • expats who have done the move from the UK sometime during the last three years or so (moving companies! shipping! organisation!)

For those who may not know, Bagha was also initially Aleika’s cat, and I adopted him when they moved from India to the UK, coming back home from India with him in my luggage. So, a little sense of déjà vu here 😉

On the work front, the OrangeCinema Official Bloggers project is underway. I spent a few days grading final reports for the course on social media and online communities I co-direct in Lausanne (some excellent, I have to say) and we’re preparing to welcome students for the third year of the course in September. I am looking for more writers for the travel blog, and eclau is looking forward to everyone in Lausanne hearing more about coworking through the opening of a second space there, La Muse (which started out in Geneva). I will by the way be attending the Coworking Europe Conference 2012 in Paris (and probably speaking, will confirm in a couple of weeks). I have rekindled my enthusiasm for organising Bloggy Friday meetups (please do come to the next one, July 6th!) There’s more to say, but this is becoming a long paragraph 😉

What else should I tell you? I’m reading Drive, by Dan Pink, a fascinating book on motivation — and you should too, whether you’re interested in how your own motivation works, or in how to keep other people motivated (I’m thinking of taking a Sagmeister). I’ve started a group on Facebook for people in and around my area (and a bit further out) who like growing stuff on their balcony and elsewhere. I’m in the process of figuring out how to continue juggling judo, sailing, and singing (answer: be super organized). On the way to Birmingham, I stopped by for a day to stay with Steph and meet Emile The Cat.

Emile The Cat 1

I might not have told you, but Steph is my organisation inspiration (amongst many other things, which include being a very good friend!) and so I seized the occasion to face my calendar head-on and get a few holiday/travel dates sorted out. Short version: I don’t have a week-end available until June 2013 (don’t panic for me: it includes week-ends I have blocked out as “must stay at home and relax”).

I’ve also been realizing what a long way I’ve come regarding my organisational and time-management skills. Oh, I still fall in the pit every now and again, but a few discussions lately with people who seem to share the same core issues I have (had?) with time management, procrastination, perfectionism made me realize how far I have traveled.

I’m sure there was other stuff I wanted to say/blog about, but that’s the lovely thing about a blog, right? I can just write about it tomorrow, or the day after, or when I think of it. “Just.”

Trying to Get Organized (Again) [en]

[fr] Je m'organise: pas de nouveaux mandats de formation ou de conférences avant mi-mars 2012 (priorité à mes engagements existants, l'agenda est plein!), utiliser la Technique Pomodoro sur la semaine pour mieux évaluer la charge de travail que représente les affaires courantes et mes mandats existants, et travaillers sur des conférences et formations "standard" plutôt que de tout faire à partir de zéro à chaque fois!

I’m trying to figure out how to get organized over the next six months to do everything I need/want to do without working myself into the ground. Or behind the sofa, cowering.

This is part of the ongoing “how to improve the way I run my business” thinking.

One thing I have clearly pinpointed is the following:

  • almost all the work I do (including training and talks) is bespoke
  • when the financial means of my clients are limited (e.g. many schools and small companies) I need to find a more rational way of using my time

This means I need to get to work on the dirty little secret of successful businesses and freelancers: reduce, recycle, reuse (thanks for that one, Suw). I need to work on preparing a certain number of “standard” talks and training sessions, rather than doing everything from scratch each time.

Until the end of the year, I already have a significant amount of commitments (or commitments-in-the-making, because we’re still hashing out details or agreeing on a formal proposal). The good news around this is that I’m not too worried about paying my bills (I still have a way to go before I can relax completely about finances, though… but who can?). The bad news is that looking at my calendar for September/October/November is already making me feel stressed. (That’s the calendar including future and probable gigs, though, it’s not that bad.)

The other thing is that (probably overcompensating for too many years with almost no holidays) I am actually taking a large number of weeks off this year. I’ve counted, and I will not release the number, because it is somewhat indecent. It makes me feel a little better about being overworked when I’m here, though. And it does bring to my attention the fact I probably need to seek a little more balance between my “working time” and “holiday time”.

Holidays play two roles for me:

  1. allow me time off from work to recuperate
  2. allow me to see people I love and who don’t live in Lausanne or nearby

The first type of holiday clearly requires no working while I’m away. The second doesn’t. There’s no reason I can’t go and spend a week in London with Suw and Steph, work while I’m there and hang out with them. This would also have the advantage of giving me a week clear of meetings and phone calls and visits, where I can concentrate on “office work”. So, I’m going to plan some of those for 2012.

So, all that considered, if I look at my calendar now it’s pretty clear to me I don’t really have space for new speaking/training engagements until mid-March 2012 (except if they’re paid well enough to make me happy to sacrifice my week-ends — never say never).

That’s the wide-angle view for the year ahead.

On a more micro level, I’ve mentioned elsewhere (and in another language) that I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique recently and it’s really helping me. Here’s how it helps:

  • it gives me a clear amount of time to put my head down (like my “dashes” do)
  • it makes me take breaks
  • as I write down my Pomodoros, it helps me plan what I’m going to get done in the day/morning and adjust my expectations

The last bit is crucial. Specially when I have lots to do that is not deadly urgent, I have trouble setting priorities and get frustrated at how slowly I make progress. Now, if I know that during a 9-12 morning session I can do 5 pomodoros (= 5 times 25 minutes of actual work), it allows me to plan what I’m going to use them for. I might use one to make progress in my accounting backlog, one to make progress in a report I really don’t want to write, two to write a blog post, and one to deal with some e-mail, get back to people, and plan the next day.

Used this way, the Pomodoro Technique is a very simple planning tool that takes a lot of stress away from me and allows me to put my energy in actually working.

There is less overhead than Getting Things Done, too: even if you want to do things well, reading the free ebook that explains the Pomodoro Technique takes about an hour. And you can dive right in: just get a timer, set it on 25 minutes, work non-stop on something, then take a five-minute break, and start again. It’s deadly simple and is designed to be implemented in progressive steps (instead of degrading gracefully it upgrades gracefully). Check out the cheat sheet if you’re impatient.

I should be able to fit 12 Pomodoros in a full day of work, but to play it safe, I’m counting on 10 right now. That means I have 50 Pomodoros available on a five-day week. The Pomodoro is a unit of time that my brain can work with, specially after a few days of working in Pomodoro-length bursts. It’s much simpler than the hour, which is (a) longer and (b) divisible. (There is a rule that says “The Pomodoro is indivisible.”)

This is helping me see what I can get done in a day, and therefore, a week. For example, I might estimate that I need on average one Pomodoro a day to get organized, do my accounting/invoicing, pay bills, sort through e-mails. Not the same mix every day, but roughly one a day. Right, five a week.

Then, I estimate that on one of the projects I’m working on, I need 3 Pomodoros a week. On another, two. Another might take up a day of my time each week, which means my weeks actually have closer to 40 Pomodoros than 50.

If you do project planning, you’re familiar with this. It’s nothing new. But in my case, the ability to think “in Pomodoros” has been the key to allowing my brain to do this kind of exercise. As I write down my Pomodoros in advance and check them off as they’re done, within a few weeks I’ll be easily able to see if my estimates are off and adjust them.

One thing I’ve been terribly bad at this last year is protecting a sufficient number of “office days” where I’m not interrupted by errands and meetings.

So, in summary, what’s the plan?

  • plan “working abroad” visits for 2012 to reduce the number of non-working holidays while still seeing non-local friends and family
  • moratorium on new speaking/training engagements until mid-March 2012
  • continue working in Pomodoros and gain a better sense of how much time I need for my regular “ongoing” tasks and projects so that I have a “weekly framework of Pomodoros” to get organized from
  • work on standard talks and training offers (which will in the long run allow me to be more proactive and less reactive about finding clients)
  • block an “office day” per week (monthly average)

Off I go!

Long Time No Blog [en]

[fr] De retour d'une bonne semaine de vacances, et très peu d'envie de trainer en ligne, même autour de Google+. Période de transition, pas tout à fait à l'équilibre. A tout hasard, je vais écrire un poil ici -- ça a en général bien marché par le passé.

Long time no blog, right? I have lots to write, but I’m also really enjoying my break from the online, and much tempted to spend most of my time away from the computer.

Computer = work, despite all, and after two months of work-overdose ending with a couple of nasty crises to take care of I really really am quite fed up with my work world. (Dear clients and prospective clients who may be reading this: fear not, I’m not going to disappear somewhere and start raising goats. I’m still here. I’m just enjoying the much-needed break. And you’ll enjoy my fresher brain when I’m back.)

Google+ is out, and even Suw is excited about it, but I just don’t feel like spending time on it. (I will, and have actually started but… I’m enjoying the break, remember?)

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I need to do to the way I run my “business” (= “work me”) and now have a plan, but I’m still in this slightly fuzzy place where although things are generally good, I’m not quite happy and know something’s gotta give. Like a chemical reaction that hasn’t reached equilibrium.

One of the things I’m noticing during this break is that I feel tired of documenting my life. Because it’s a lot of what I do: document. Maybe I’m going through a phase in life where I’m more “inward” than “outward”. Maybe I’ve just been working too much, had two difficult years, and need to breathe a bit. Time will tell. Something is tugging at me inside.

As often when things feel “not quite right” and I haven’t been blogging much, I’m going to start by writing here a bit more. I have a bunch of posts lined up — just need to write them without turning them into tentacled monsters.


Les trois équilibres de l'indépendant [fr]

Je pense que l’indépendant (créatif) a besoin de trouver un équilibre sur trois plans différents, histoire de ne pas se dessécher ni péter les plombs:

  • une “hygiène de vie” laissant suffisamment de place pour respirer semaine après semaine (avoir et respecter des plages de non-travail, prendre du temps pour soi, faire du sport, manger correctement, dormir, voir des amis, passer du temps avec sa famille…)
  • des coupures pour décrocher, week-ends prolongés mais aussi vraies vacances (on m’a dit que pour vraiment se ressourcer, il fallait compter minimum trois semaines!)
  • durant le temps de travail, assez de temps pour explorer, s’amuser, rechercher, bricoler — et ne pas passer tout son temps le nez plongé dans des mandats.

Pour ma part, le côté “hygiène de vie” fonctionne assez bien, pour les coupures, je suis en train de prendre des mesures, et concernant le temps de jeu/bricolage/recherche professionnel… ces temps, ce n’est pas du tout ça.

Saint-Prex 09

Hygiène de vie

  • Je défends jalousement mes soirées et mes week-ends, même quand le boulot s’empile, sauf quelques rares situations d’exception.
  • Je fais du sport, je vois des gens, je prends des moments pour moi, je ne mange pas trop mal. J’ai en fait pas mal d’activités “non-professionnelles” dans ma vie.
  • J’ai un lieu de travail séparé de mon lieu de vie.
  • Ça n’a pas été simple d’en arriver là, j’ai déjà écrit pas mal d’articles sur mon parcours, mais je n’ai pas le courage de les déterrer juste là.


  • En 2008, j’ai commencé à prendre des week-ends prolongés à la montagne pour me ressourcer, et c’était une bonne chose. 2010, ça a passé à la trappe pour diverses raisons, mais il est temps de reprendre les choses en main.
  • Suite à des discussions que j’ai eues avec mes amis Laurent et Nicole, et sur leurs sages conseils, j’ai décidé de m’imposer au minimum un week-end prolongé (3 jours) par mois et une grosse bonne coupure (disons un mois, hop) par an.
  • Résultat des courses, j’ai établi un calendrier annuel de mes coupures. Ça ressemble à ça: je fais un break d’un mois en janvier (déjà un voyage prévu en Inde en 2011), en été, je pars une semaine en France comme ces deux dernières années, et en automne, je prévois une dizaine de jours en Angleterre pour voir amis et famille. En plus de ça, un mois sur deux je prends un simple week-end prolongé (lundi ou vendredi congé), et un mois sur deux en alternance, un plus long week-end prolongé (4-5 jours) avec option de partir quelque part.
  • J’ai posé toutes ces dates dans mon calendrier, jusqu’à début 2012.

Travail ludique

  • Je bloque un peu sur cette question: je dois prendre moins de mandats (clairement) mais du coup je crains pour le côté financier de l’affaire.
  • En fait, en regardant réalistement mes revenus (j’ai une grille sur la dernière année qui me les montre semaine par semaine) je me rends compte que je n’ai pas besoin d’avoir si peur que ça.
  • Une solution: moins de mandats qui paient relativement peu par rapport au temps/stress investi, plus de mandats mieux payés (je dis des choses logiques mais c’est pas si simple à mettre en pratique). Surtout, moins de mandats “open-ended” en parallèle, qui s’étalent sur la durée avec une charge de travail variable. (J’ai un billet en gestation là-dessus.)
  • Aussi, avoir confiance dans la dynamique qui me permet de vivre de ma passion: donner plus de priorité à sa passion attire les mandats.
  • Bref, avec mes petits calculs, je me suis rendu compte qu’en plus de mes mandats “réguliers” (annuels/mensuels), si j’avais une journée de “travail payé” (consulting, formation, coaching, conférence) par semaine je m’en tirais largement. Ça me laisse donc 3-4 jours, suivant la longueur de ma semaine, pour mes mandats courants, la gestion des clients, et ces fameuses “autres activités professionnelles pas payées” (dont ce blog fait partie).

Et vous, voyez-vous d’autres équilibres à maintenir? Avez-vous des solutions à partager pour ceux que j’ai identifiés?

Weekly Planning After the Winter Break [en]

[fr] Après Paris, la pause hivernale, et la reprise un peu chaotique, le planning hebdomadaire a un peu de mal. Mais on s'encourage et on tient bon!

After the two busy weeks of Paris and post-Paris came two weeks of winter break non-planning, and two weeks of “getting back into it” semi-planning (including the one that is ending now). The two-week winter break allowed me to understand that I need a certain amount of structure in my time to feel good — long unending days of “whatever” don’t sit that well with me.

A consequence of the winter break was that I came back to the office for a week packed with workshops and talks (well, not completely packed, but more packed than is comfy), a rather long list of e-mails and incoming calls to prioritize, and a pile of urgent things “to do”. I good exercise in disruption, if you ask me.

What I’ve learnt is that it takes much more time than I expect to:

  • get organized
  • catch up on daily business backlogs.

So, basically I spent my first week running a little (nothing so bad as what it was in the past, though), ended up exhausted and not having done a pile of things I expected to be able to, and spent this week drilling down my inbox, calling back prospective clients, doing client work, and dealing with a hundred little things that needed dealing with. This makes for days which seem horribly unproductive, because the “big stuff” that’s on my conscience is not getting done, but which are in fact quite productive because all these annoying little things (like emptying one’s inbox) do need to be done.

So, where’s the weekly planning with all that? Answer: in difficulty.

One thing I’ve kept up is keeping my various lists more or less in order. Evernote is always open or just one click away, and I seem to now have the automatic discipline of adding things in my lists whenever I think of them.

I’ve kept my list of week days and placed the urgent/important tasks on days where I had a chance to do them, but as I’ve been running a bit too much, I ended up pushing back the day I’d “plan my week” and end up doing it on Wednesday, because Monday and Tuesday would be taken up by doing “urgent things”.

Clearly, one of my issues now is when to plan my week and how long it takes. I’d like to do it on Friday afternoon but I’m often too exhausted. Monday morning sounds nice but I’m out most of it for judo, and so planning tends to take up the whole afternoon too. Maybe I need to write Monday off as a “planning and administrivia day”. I really do not want to be planning my work week on week-ends, though I might end up looking at what’s in store for me and doing some light pre-planning on Sunday (I do write my column on Sundays).

I’m also realising how hard it is for me to stick to including seemingly “not vital” tasks in my planning: business development and research/writing, specially when I’m a bit under pressure from too much “paid work” stuff to do. (Please don’t understand this at me wanting less paid work. I’m very happy to have more paid work. I just struggle a bit at times to balance what I spend my time doing.)

Next week only contains one office day (eeeek) so I’ll spend the first four days of the week running from one place to another on errands. Ugh, not really happy with myself for taking bites out of what were my office days for various errands. But I’ll live. Thankfully I have three office days the next week to make up for it. I will take whatever free time I have on Monday to plan, and report back on my progress by the end of the month.

Wish me luck! Hopefully things will be “back to normal” by February.

A Year of Chalet Mini-Holidays [en]

[fr] Ça fait une année que je monte régulièrement au chalet pour des mini-vacances (week-ends prolongés). Bon rythme!

A bit over a year ago, I badly needed a break (after Going Solo). One of my friends was deep in her thesis and needed one too, so we went up to my chalet for five days and walked around in the mountains.

I remembered (or rediscovered) how much I loved walking and being in the mountains. Before I headed back to Lausanne, I had booked subsequent “chalet breathers” for the next few months.

Over the last year, I’ve tried to go up to the chalet every 6 weeks or so. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more — but that’s what I aim for. I figured that as my financial situation does not really allow me take “real” holidays (2-3 weeks off somewhere) I was going to grant myself regular extended week-ends: mini-holidays.

It has worked really well.

I get breaks, and I have noticed how important it is to be able to hit the pause button once in a while, just think about stuff (personal or professional) but without actually having any work to do, read books, or write. Or just spend time talking with people.

It’s like with sports, really. If you exercise regularly, your body needs a break now and again. For exemple, at a time when I was at university, I would do judo 4-5 times a week. At some point, I realised that my body needed a holiday. And when I came back, I realized that I was refreshed and had actually made progress while I wasn’t training!

The brain needs “off” time to process all the activity and things learned during the “on” time — whether it’s physical or intellectual.

There is Work and Work [en]

We freelancers know it: there are many kinds of work. Non-freelancers probably know it too, but let’s stick to the freelance way of life for the sake of this article.

There is work that gets you paid. There is work that doesn’t get you paid, but that you need to do in order to get the work that will get you paid.

There is also work that you have decided to do and planned, and work that you just happen to do.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last distinction lately.

Three years ago, I had a big client project and was going through a slow procrastinative summer. At one point, I decided to stop worrying and embrace my summer days: I would work from 9am to noon and then would be free to do whatever I wanted.

It worked really well. I made quick progress on the project and got to enjoy my summer.

This year, I’m having a slow summer too. The weather is nice, people are on holiday, I’m learning to sail, and I’m not swamped with work (I am busy with lots of things, though, I think that’ll never change). And honestly, when I look at my productivity certain most days, I might not be working less if I had decided to do the 9-12.

Deciding to work 9-12 does not mean that I stop myself from working in the afternoons. It means that I don’t have to work in the afternoons. And this is where the work you plan and the work that just happens comes in.

I rediscovered this when I started working in my coworking space, eclau: office hours started to be devoted to “things I had to do” for work, and sometimes, in the evenings or week-ends, I would do some light work that I felt like doing (work that doesn’t feel like work). Blogging, for example. Fooling around online. Sometimes, even doing my accounting because I felt like it. But nothing because I felt I ought to do it.

So, next year, I’m thinking of trying the 9-12 during the summer months. Work well three hours, then do something else or allow myself to be completely unproductive in the afternoon.

Hell, why wait until next year? I’m starting tomorrow.

Here We Go Again [en]

[fr] C'est reparti. La course. Vite vite vite. Trop pour une personne. Déceptions. Personnes qui proposent leur aide et se retirent: une composante culturelle? Réduire mes attentes. Y'a encore du boulot.

It’s back. The Urge. The Urge to quickly quickly quickly do this, do that, get on the computer in the morning, do this, finish that, OMG-I-wanted-to-do-it-3-days-ago, here’s my list for today, urgent, urgent, quickly deal with it.

What’s going on? Well, first, the Dip. Those of you who know what I’m talking about will know what I’m talking about. As for the others… well, hey, a little mystery here and there can’t hurt, can it, in this age of public people everywhere. So, the Dip is back, and Deadlines are coming up (I resisted the temptation to say “looming on the horizon” right there).

Deadline 1: Friday morning, I’m heading off to the mountains and my chalet again.

Deadline 2: in a month minus 1 day, it’s Going Solo Leeds.


Actually, it’s not astonishing that I feel crunched. Stressed. Running. I’m trying to do more than one person’s work. So, no wonder I can’t keep up.

I’m also learning to not get my hopes up when people offer help. It’s sad to say, but often people are enthusiastic, come forward, and have second thoughts when it comes to actually taking the plunge.

I realised it’s cultural, too: very un-Swiss. I’m not saying there aren’t unreliable Swiss people, but here you expect people to be good to their word. Reliability is very much valued. When somebody says “I want to contribute”, you usually expect them to do so. It also means it’s pretty difficult to find people to say “I’m in”.

I’ve had a few disappointing experiences over the last 6-8 months. In my dark days, it feels like I just can’t rely on anybody — but that’s not true either.

I think it’s a combination of various factors. I’ve noticed amongst my more entrepreneur/Valley/less-risk-averse friends a tendency to talk about lots of projects or “things they’re going to do”, start many things, and then drop a lot, too. Not all that is spoken about happens. “Fail early, fail often.” Be creative with your ideas, talk about them around you, try them out, and let go of them if they don’t seem to catch.

All good.

But I’m not like that at all. I have ideas. I talk about them as “perhaps maybe at some point I might possibly eventually try to start doing this or that”. It’s very difficult for me to make the step to say “I’m going to do this/I’m doing this”. Because when I do, I’m married to the idea. It’s going to happen. Giving up is not an option. (I sometimes do, but it’s agonizing and horribly difficult.) Once I have my mind set on something, I have a really hard time letting go or seeing things differently.

It’s not all cultural.

It’s a mix. Some cultural, and some personal. In a more entrepreneur-oriented culture like the US, I guess you’ll find more people who start things easily, go for it, and turn to something else if it doesn’t work out. In a very cautious and risk-averse culture like Switzerland, well, you don’t bump into that many people with that profile. It’s only recently in my life (these last few years) that I’ve started meeting such people and counting them amongst my friends and network.

On a personal level, well, I’m particularly risk-averse, and (as NNT would say) particularly ill-equipped for dealing with probabilities. When somebody says they’ll do something for me, I know there’s a chance it’ll fall through, but I somehow can’t keep my emotions in line with that intellectual knowledge. I build whole worlds on the sand of people’s words, and forget that they are likely to crumble. When they do, it feels like everybody and everything is letting me down.

Another situation in my life where suffering less seems to depend on my ability to adjust my expectations.

There’s still work.

Here We Are Again [en]

[fr] Journal. L'effet des vacances.

So, here we are again. I’m back with my familiar feeling of not wanting to get up in the morning and crumbling under “too much to do”, and some of them unpleasant things at that.

One of the reasons the mountain works (like the beach, I guess), is that it’s a space where I can’t physically do a great number of these things. Hah! I’m finally understanding the point of going on holiday.

Could I decide that I’m on holiday except for (say) 6 hours a day? I have the impression that would not work. It took me a day or so to “switch off” — more mysteries of the brain to delve in, I guess.

In any case, one benefit of this holiday (even if the “effect” doesn’t last long) is that it’s reset my standard for being “relaxed”. I remember what it feels like, now. And that memory is going to help me not get too carried away into stress and frantic activity.

I’ve decided I was going to back-post these “offline entries” to roughly the moment I wrote them. So, don’t be surprised if you see past posts popping up here and there (I’ve posted those that I wrote during my vacation, so now all you should expect is a night late).

Welcome to my series on trying to figure out some kind of balance in life.