So, this is Christmas …and what have I learnt? December 19, 2018

Well 2018 has been a quick year, that seems to be the message I’m getting from everyone I know.

One day you’re recovering from New Year, then what seems like a few weeks later, you’re getting ready for Christmas again?

Even though I’m pretty sure that time does not go quicker as you get older …it certainly seems that way.

I’ve read that time appears to move quicker when you are doing repetitive things, mundane tasks repeated without thought doesn’t stimulate the brain, hence the grey cells are convinced that time is just flying by …. because nothing is lodging in your head that’s a bit ‘different’.

Soooo ….2019 needs to be a year of doing things that are outside of the comfort zone.

Maybe a bit of salsa dancing, maybe a pottery course, maybe a camping holiday… or doing the North Coast 500 in a camper van.

Watch this space.

Mike C

Christmas party poopers… December 12, 2018

It was the Japanese Knotweed Solutions Christmas party on Friday …and it was the first ever…. that I didn’t attend.

Now to many of you this will not be a big thing. He missed the Christmas party – so what – no big deal.

Well business owners …. let me tell you something that not many people are aware of.

‘He that misseth the Christmas party does not give a flying fuck about the company’.

It’s a little something I’ve picked up over the 35 or so years that I’ve owned a business. People that don’t make an effort to come to the annual ‘do’ …. are generally the people that don’t make an effort with ANYTHING.

Don’t get me wrong – people do have genuine reasons for being absent, and I forgive those people. I myself had a stomach bug last week which completely laid me out for a few days and the thought of being out eating and drinking was more than my body could have taken – plus I didn’t want to wipe out my team by passing on any germ or virus that I was carrying.

But …those people that just think ‘naaah I’m not going’.

Those people that think… ‘you know what… I just can’t be arsed going out with work’….

…. those people are your ‘terrorists’.

What are… ‘terrorists’ ….do I hear you ask?

These are the people that sit within your organisation – who smile and nod whenever you ask them anything…. but behind your back they do nothing but moan and complain.

They slag everybody off but then-pretend to be everybody’s best friend.

They are the first person out of the door at five o’clock and the last person in first thing in the morning.

These are the people that won’t be at your Christmas party.

Take my advice – get rid of them.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy festive period.

Mike C

Bananas December 5, 2018

Mental health has become a bit of a ‘buzz word’ recently. From something that nobody ever talked about – to something that everybody is aware of …. within a few months – it’s amazing a what social media can do if given a topic of value.

It’s obviously something that has been an issue for years but somehow it never made it into polite work conversation as most people felt embarrassed about being labelled with a word that might damage their career.

Since I had my heart attack 12 months ago, I can say I’ve had a few ‘issues’.

I went from being this indestructible force of confidence and bravado – to a nervous wreck. I was basically worrying that every slight twinge or pain was the onset of what would be a fatal heart attack.

My wife suggested that I try ‘therapy’.

Ha – Mike Clough having therapy…???

Not a phrase I would ever have thought would be applied to me. I’ve got to be honest – in the past when I’ve heard of people having a session with a….’therapist’ ….my eyes have rolled in my head and I’ve thought… ‘jeez – bloody new age crap – get a life you idiot …’

However, given that my wife is usually right with most things, I decided to give it a try.

It’s easy enough to Google and you will be amazed at how many ‘therapists’ there are registered in your local area. You will find pages and pages of qualified, experienced professionals who will be able to help with whatever your issues are.

The first session was a little awkward, but once I got the hang of ‘talking about my feelings’ – it was very eye opening. Various problems that I was experiencing were considered ‘normal’ and much of my anxiety was very much typical for somebody who has been though a ‘near death’ experience.

Twelve sessions later I can safely say it’s been a real help with pretty much all of my issues.

The ‘bananas*’ reference is my ‘key word’.

Whenever I feel myself going down a certain thought process I say ‘bananas’ in my head …. I don’t suggest that this is something that would work for everyone – but it works for me – this then triggers positive thoughts that I’ve pre-registered in my head and I turn a corner and come back to positivity.

Seems to help – and I no longer spend time thinking about dying.

Mike C

* Note – my therapist wasn’t happy with my use of the word ‘bananas’ – negative connotations for mental health…. but somehow it works for me.