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Sunday Short #3 – Appreciation

Welcome all to the third Sunday Short, this week on Appreciation. A new format of post, this will be more personal and reflective, and much shorter than my usual blog posts.

Things I’ve been thinking about this week – AppreciationGrateful

As I’ve been taking things slower than my usual pace while travelling, I have been appreciating things more. Moreover, there is so much beauty around me, that I don’t always notice. And I’ve been reminded I can communicate easily with people, even if we don’t speak the same language. As these thoughts have been percolating during my travels, I have been introspectively wondering why I act really differently when I travel? And should I try and act like this all the time? Hence in this Sunday Short I have a new manifesto for when I return to London.

Appreciation Manifesto – the three P’s

Each day I shall:

  • People: Smile more, say Hello and make small talk with people who want to (even if I don’t). I have taken much more time to talk to people on this break, even when it’s been hard. I’ve learned we don’t need words, in similar cultures it’s very easy to understand what people mean. As an example, in the sauna a lady asked me in Finnish if she was ok to put water on the stove. Now, that was easy to understand given the context, and it made me realise how easy it is to communicate. Only this morning a man insisted on talking to me in Russian. And even in Russian, Good morning and it is snowing outside are recognisable. I always get stopped and asked for directions,  I clearly look approachable or something? Anyway, pointing is the universal method of giving directions, no words needed so I always help when I can. So when I get back to London, I’m going to make a change and take more time with people.
  • Places: Appreciate my surroundings; nature is simply beautiful and a wonder, and the craftsmanship in urban design can be breathtaking. Both my urban and countryside trips have been outstanding, and as I’m on holiday I have taken the time to look. The simple pleasure of enjoying my surroundings is something I sometime forget in the frenetic pace of urban life. But now I’m going to make a point of enjoying things. I pass such cool London landmarks each day, Tower Bridge is outstanding both architecturally and as  an engineering feature. I will stop and appreciate them more.
  • Personal: Add some appreciation to my daily journal. Write and think about at least one thing that I am grateful for. I’ve tried to do this before and failed, but I think I am in the right mindset to give it a go now. At the end of the day, I really believe that a gratitude mindset is hugely beneficial. It allows us to appreciate the joys of life, our privileges and takes the focus away from challenges or negatives. And just simply aids happiness.

I have also been pondering trying meditation, but I’m not sure it will be that beneficial to me personally. As you can see, I have a few mental blocks to accepting it, so maybe I should wait until my mind is open. Pondering this now.

Week Review

The Sunday Short will also feature a review of the past week, and some thoughts on the coming week.

Past weekTallinn

  • A pleasure of a week, traveling – have been in Helsinki, Riga and Tallinn, my own mini baltic tour for Easter. I covered my Finnish trail adventure here, and more to follow on the trip in future posts, but I definitely have a clear favourite.
  • Now on the counting countries side, I have moved on from the 37 countries this post, and I now have been to 40 countries. A cool round number.
  • After a few days I have acclimatized to the colder weather. It now feels natural to wrap up warm before going outside. Layer, layers and more layers. And the unwrapping process everytime you go back inside.
  • Discovered I *love* real remote working. Have tried working from my room, from a common room, a cafe and a co-working space. Each have their pros and cons, but I was able to get more work done than in the office.

And the coming week 

  • Sadly it will be time to get back to rainy London, and get back into the normal day to day routine. And more in-office work. I’m going to ask my colleagues what they thought of me working remotely. Given I spend most of my time working with people in different locations anyway, I’m sure most did not notice. I wouldn’t mind doing some long weekends remote working now and again, so this has been a perfect test case.
  • I’ve been missing running – I usually run on holiday, but I’m not hardy enough to run in sub zero and snow. Hence I’ll be so glad to get my running shoes back on and pound the pavements.

Over to you

  • What items have you been thinking about this week?
  • Any good articles to share?
  • Has it been a good week?
  • Any plans for next week?

2 comments on “Sunday Short #3 – Appreciation

  1. “Smile more, say Hello and make small talk with people who want to (even if I don’t).”

    I’m pretty good with the first two but when I see how other people are with their small talk at work, I know I can do better.

    That said, I’m a very anti-social traveller – that person sat with their headphones on or nose in a book during an entire 12-hour flight, only saying ‘hello’ at the start and ‘goodbye’ at the end of the journey? That’s me!

    I once went to Greece on my own and only spoke when I was ordering food, drink or buying things. However, for some reason, it felt quite liberating that I didn’t have to talk to anyone – I think I was having a bad time at work at the time and needed the peace and quiet and not to have to even think of what to say!

    1. Yeah, I know some people who are just awesome networkers, I’m in awe as they work the room. I need a little drop of their magic.

      That’s funny you class yourself as an anti-social traveller, sound just like you wanted to decompress and relax.

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