under the bonnet


I need to arrange a service today for a car.

The number of miles on the clock, or the age of the vehicle determines the need for a service. The vehicle service log tells me what will get attended to for that service – filters and parts to change, checks carried out, along with the standard service activities such as oil change.

I don’t have a service log book for me.
I have no idea how many miles I’ve done.

I’ve certainly been around somewhat longer than any car I’ve ever owned; my eyesight has deteriorated so that now I need glasses to read and sometimes when I sit on the floor, getting up again is a struggle… so I’m guessing a service might be a good idea?

Not only might I benefit from a physical check up, I think mentally and emotionally a once over might be a good idea too.

Is my thinking working for me, am I happy enough, is my life in balance? Are my stress levels right, am I spending too much time in reverse gear, or flat out in fifth? Is my balance of looking ahead and into my rear view mirrors right? Can I see clearly where I’m going, or are my wipers suboptimal, or my windscreen scratched or distorted? Am I steering straight? Is there an annoying squeak in my self talk, distracting me constantly? Do my filters need a clean or to be replaced – am I noticing what I could, or filtering out the wrong things? Is my SatNav programmed to repeat the same journeys the same way, or am I free to detour, to find a new route? Am I concentrating on the road ahead, or distracted constantly?

Driving through life can be tiring, physically, mentally, emotionally. The journey, the destination, the views and sights along the way can be exhilarating though.

Time to make sure we are roadworthy perhaps?


finding our place on the continuum

the continuum

We live in a world of the spectrum and the continuum. Imaginary lines which mark out extremes and signpost all the places in between. Not black, not white, but a shade of grey.

I wrote yesterday about water – the oxymoron of the life giving, life taker. Many paradigms exist in our daily lives where the extremes, the opposite ends, can be deemed good or bad, positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy. The continuum between those extremes is often full of more choice that the water scenario, where nature determines the extremes and when to apply them.

Our diet for example. Eating too much of one thing can often be harmful. Eating too little of some things equally harmful. Smoking, alcohol and drugs – all forms of relaxation, pain relief or important habits of social bonding. Too much though can prove addictive, destructive or even fatal. Being with others, essential to our very humanness, yet sometimes we all need to be alone. Too much loneliness, psychologically painful. Mental pressure; a deadline or tense situation can provide drive, adrenaline, focus. Too much pressure can lead to stress, illness, breakdown, even death. Exercise and rest – too much of either, or not enough of either, potentially unhealthy.

Maybe we should name each continuum? To give it the full context?

Sociable aloneness.
Overindulgent abstinence.
Relaxed pressure.
Doing being.
Resting exercise.
Working life.

When water destroys, we often have no choice. But in many of our life tensions, on one continuum or another, we do have choice.

Finding our balance. Locating our place on each continuum. Choosing, then reflecting and reviewing, and choosing again is crucial to living a healthy fulfilled life.

I wonder though if all too often we don’t see the continuum? And so we cannot understand its nature, its extremes? Without this context, maybe we don’t really understand the choices we make or don’t?

a list of presents to enjoy daily?


I’m not a list person typically. I do like a food shopping list, but seldom make lists for other reasons.

Many of us make lists. I’m sure some of you had a Christmas present list. A list of gifts to buy friends. You may even now be preparing your New Years resolution list? Many of you may make ‘to do’ lists for work, or get given lists of jobs to do, at work or at home. Maybe you make a list of things to pack when you’re a few days away from a holiday? Maybe you list goals or achievements?

So… when did you last write a list of what makes you happy?

Perhaps a list we would all benefit from writing? A list we should perhaps refer to regularly?