I have a psychology degree and have been leaning back on my reference books recently. Reading about other people’s great ideas or different ways of thinking really reminds me to take a step back and question what I’m doing. But it’s genius like that of Martin Lewis that I find truly inspirational. That man has changed the face of personal finance and made it accessible to everyone (even children! Even me!). What could be more creative than that?
There is nothing more interesting than learning about another culture’s quirks and differences. Whether reading about new social care initiatives (everything in Denmark), buying something from every weird vending machine I could find in Harajuku, Japan, or being immediately outdrunk by my (German) cousin’s strapping 90-year-old Oma at a bier festival. I worked for Eurovision for a while so could indulge in this almost daily, it was so fascinating tearing down stereotypes with my European counterparts. At the bar with the Irish and German delegates…
I had a full year off work on maternity leave last year – the longest I’d had off work previously (since I was 14) was ten days for my honeymoon. I really plugged into things I hadn’t given time to before - particularly podcasts. My favourites are disparate; comedy, long-form journalism, death (so much to learn) and current affairs. I write constant phone notes to myself with further reading and nuggets of ideas. My thirst for knowledge is more voracious than before and I’m determined to morph into a poor man’s Stephen Fry.
On that note, no other time in my life has been quite the punch-in-the-face of constant learning than having a baby and keeping her alive for a whole year (so far). I know it isn’t particularly on-trend to admit this, but I’m an expert at impatiently giving up when I can’t immediately master a new skill (hello drumming, French lessons, calligraphy…), so seeing her determination to master how to use a spoon in one sitting or kick a ball into a goal (or my face) has been affecting. She’s showing me what human beings are capable of.
I once saw a whole family sit together on the Tube with trays on their laps and eat a McDonald’s meal together. I was furiously jealous, what a magical moment. There was also the time I watched - almost in slow-motion - as red paint sailed through the air from the hand of an angry activist towards my faux fur Topshop coat outside Harrods, where I’d just been in to buy a doughnut. Or when I discovered a weird East London bar that you had to break into, through a closed antiques shop, to drink smart price vodka on plane seats in the basement (maybe it wasn’t a bar?). Even when I feel ever so slightly tired of life, I never, ever feel tired of the inspiration London hurls at me.
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