Careful what you wish for

When you check in at a Double Tree hotel, you get a cookie fresh out of the warming tray.
This makes an impression, even if you don’t eat cookies.
It’s those little details like the hand-written card, or the gift that you bring when you show up for dinner. It got me thinking: what is Skyrove’s check-in cookie? What should it be, rather?
Or is that a B2C thing that doesn’t really apply? B2Cs are weird things to me: for every Amazon there is a Webvan. And then there is Polaroid. When you live in Boston you see the ghosts of Polaroid in a few places, and you have all of Waltham which used to make watches, and all the old mill buildings that are now office parks like the one my old company was in. That building had a ghost for a while.
London has ghosts, too, I suppose. Paris must have ghosts but those would be French. The only thing that’s constant is change, and time. Time moves on, at the pace that it moves, and there is no getting time back. This time is rare, time is precious, but how we choose to spend it is ours, and also, how we choose to relate to what goes on around us is also ours.
In the few days back in London after Paris I was rather heads down in the to-do list, combined with a little bit of politics and game theory. Strategy; and tactics because as we all know, strategy is not a strategy if it doesn’t include an application plan.
The same could be said for my sport, not that I’ve been feeling like much of a sportsman lately. But that’s fine; my body hasn’t actually had a full on rest of this long since I started CrossFit, and I’m sure it’s overdue. The first few days of WBA I had niggles coming out of the woodwork and I thought to myself that I should just stop resting because when I trained the pain was less, and maybe it would heal just as fast if I was training carefully.
My physio advised me to give it up cold turkey. Turns out it was pretty easy to do.
Yes, I’m going back, and going back with a vengeance, and doing something I’ve meant to do for a long time. How I go about it remains to be done, but I’m an ENTJ and when I decide to do something, I do it. The days of long Paris nights and drinking on school nights are over with the month of June. At the end of the day, I actually don’t enjoy living like a normal person. It’s far too easy to go back to being a couch potato.
Plus I have goats to tackle. Big time.
I had some interesting times in London my last few days; everything from a visit to a street flower market to the London version of the Loading Bay (complete with &Union beer!) to running into someone I know while walking the streets of Holborn to a great catchup lunch with a friend from Heart who now works for the GSMA to what was very much a meeting of the minds at Heathrow airport followed by receiving an email the serendipity of which shocked me. I didn’t check out the body armour for sale at Harrod’s, though, never quite made it that far.
Be careful what you wish for. I had dinner with a friend named John, who I didn’t know that well prior to the dinner but about six courses of Thai and two bottles of wine later, we’re a bit closer now. One of the things that came up over and over again was this notion of careful what you wish for.
Like the genies who granted what you asked, and the ask was never one of moderation, be careful what you wish for. I wished for a learning experience. I’m getting it. I’ve wished for some other things. I may get them.
Well, it beats the alternative. But like the once-in-a-century rain in Spain that John was telling me about, best to be ready to take it as it comes. Have a plan, always have a plan.
If you don’t like something, change it. I read an article today that said that 70% of U.S. workers are either bored, demotivated, or checked out to the point of going around their companies spreading ill will. Been there, done that. Never again.
An interesting article also that I read about some unknown, introverted researcher who made a breakthrough in number theory. What struck me about this? It wasn’t his persistence although that’s impressive. Plenty of people persist and succeed, but good on him. It was how the insight came to him – at a friend’s place before going to a concert. Right brain, baby, right brain.
I’m wary of the human brain’s tendency to assign meaning where none exists and to find patterns where there is just randomness. Coincidences are just that, not the universe trying to tell you something. Or, maybe they’re the universe trying to tell you something.
I was in Notre Dame cathedral having a conversation about religion (more specifically, lack of adherence to any of man’s dogmas). As one does. But in that conversation I was relaying how a metaphysics course at Harvard had done more to give me faith in the wonder of the universe and wonder if there is perhaps some higher power. Before that I would have called myself an atheist. After that, no longer. What I know is that I don’t know, and by definition you cannot know when it comes to faith.
In happier news, this week saw the birth of a new political party in South Africa. The launch speech can be found here and as I read this, lying in my bed in Bloomsbury, I literally got goosebumps. It’s beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.
Promise hope (but not too much). Promise change (but not too much). And what if they do succeed? What if they fail? But you know what, damn it, they are trying, and trying hard to do something good is worth a whole hell of a lot.
Interesting times in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, Madiba as he is known, lies on what is probably his deathbed. All good things must end. I was hoping against hope that he would make it until I returned because if I thought it was bad to miss the hail in Cape Town I can only imagine the FOMO I would have by missing being in the country I now call home when its shining star, it’s beacon of hope and forgiveness, passes on to better things.
L’herbe est plus verte … be careful what you wish for.
Sure: be careful what you wish for. Sounds straightforward enough. Except that it’s impossible.
It also sounds trite as hell.
And also, sometimes the best things that happen to you are when you don’t get what you want.
  • “Be ready, I’m sober.” – Cedric (oh dear…)
  • “The most valuable thing is time because it’s rare and flows without stopping.” – Cedric
  • “They’re leading surgeons. They’re not bothered by crumbs on the counter.” – John
  • “The stories people have inside them!” – John
  • “I felt so uncomfortable that I just said well, I’ll plant my jasmine and leave.” – John
  • “And people will pay for it.” – Chris
  • “But the thing is? It doesn’t matter. I’m an entrepreneur. You can’t tell me what to do.” – an entrepreneur
  • “I hear you ended up in France.” – Steve (different Steve)
  • “Like the way you’re thinking.” – Rudolph (I suggested that we rig our multi-plugs to give electric shocks if anyone touched them. I was not serious.)
  • “Trust me, it’s a good place to be – right on the crest of opportunity.” – Steve
  • “Child’s play, right?” “Could not agree more with you.” – Ellie & Steve
  • “It was close to lawyers.” – Neil
  • “Layer 7? You may as well have been talking about a layer cake!” – Ellie
  • “I know that everyone’s losing money.” – Pete
  • “I think you’ll find you’re in a really good position.” – Pete
  • “… and then there’s [——].” “Bwahahaha!” – Ellie & Pete (a rose by any other name)

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