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Making time

Today is about making time to do things. Over the winter I’ve let things slip, rested back on habits and conveniences that aren’t ideal. We’ve eaten ready meals, far too much junk food, and fallen asleep on the sofa way too often.

Then on lottery, or euromillions, day, we sit and play the what if game. If we win, we’ll have this house, we’ll move and live there, if we have more time to do stuff we’d write, grow things, etc. But would we? really? If we’re not making time to do those thing now, why would a bigger house or more money make that much difference?

I fancy having a go at lino printing, so why wait? Recently I wanted to get back into writing but I find that despite having hours in which to write, I don’t.

I think it’s time for a change in attitude. So, yesterday I loaded up the slow cooker and make a batch of what I call mince mix. It’s a tomato base with onion, courgette, pepper, mushrooms, which is blitzed smooth using my hand blender when it’s cooked. Then I add in a large pack of beef mince and let is cook for a couple of hours. That gets made into pasta bolognese when it’s fresh. Once it’s cool, I make lasagne, or freeze portions.

But my freezer is over-full and needs defrosting. So, 2 of us had pasta bolognese last night, 2 of us are having cottage pie or pasta bake tonight. I like cottage pie, my daughter doesn’t, so I made individual dinners. And I made a 4 person lasagne for when my son and his girlfriend visit at the weekend, and a 2 person lasagne for my daughter and I another day.

My point is that I am making time to cook more healthy food from scratch, in advance. It makes meals easier.

It’s far too easy to fall into habits that don’t actually help us. So, I’m trying to change that, at least a little bit.

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Communication is key

In any job, clear communication is your greatest asset. In a customer service role even more so.

Remember the fire saga?

Communication was appalling. No-one thought to inform the client, me, that the job would be delayed. The company involved never bothered to give me all the information.

On day 2 of trying to get the dining room fire replaced, the fire is going in but I won’t be able to use it. They’ll fit the fire today but then an electrician needs to come and do the wiring. Another day messing about, stuck indoors.

But the fire has a plug on it… Well, yes, but I’m meant to cut that off so you can’t use it… Raises an eyebrow. OK, I can leave it on. But it’s because the landlord has had people take the fires when they move out…

Raises eyebrow even further.

I’ll leave the plug on then… Yes, you will. Not that the lead reaches the closest socket. But I could run the fire if I need to.

It’s now a week later, and no word from the electrician. They’re due tomorrow morning. We will see.

This is a rented property, and the fire replacement is at the landlord’s insistence. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t want it. It’s messed up the wall, and the carpet. So I’m going to have to redecorate, and probably replace the carpet in the dining room.

As it is, silver linings, taking a deep breath, the new fire looks nice, and the room needed redecorating at some point.

I have had a few jobs over the years, and in almost all, communication has been what has let us down. It’s also what makes us great. If you talk to your clients, managers, employees, really talk to them, in clear and plain language, then you get those wonderful moments. The moments when a smile and a thank you happens.

I’ve been talking about work, but it applies to all aspects of life. Sit your teenagers down and chat. Make time to converse with your parents, friends, neighbours. How much easier would it be to have a conversation instead of banging on the walls when someone’s music is too loud?

Communication is key, always.

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