7 Life Lessons from a Wet Weekend

This post is about my weekend. An enjoyable, but not particularly remarkable weekend. What’s this got to do with self confidence or self esteem?  The main philosophy of this blog is that to improve self confidence, self esteem or anything you need to learn skills that help, rather than adopting any “system”. Being able to reflect and learn from experiences is an important part of that process.

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Have a Plan

On both Saturday and Sunday I woke up and knew what I was going to be doing and when. There wasn’t a tight, pressured, timetable but I had a plan for each day. Like many, at work I use a diary to schedule appointments, meetings, etc. But weekends and evenings, or whenever our leisure time is, we tend to shy away from planning as its too much like work.

As I mentioned recently, only 17% of our waking hours are spent at work during our lifetime. Planning how we spend our time ensures we do what is important to us.


Following an impromptu phone call last week my wife and I met up with friends Saturday lunch time. I was at college with Mike nearly 30 years ago and we have kept in touch – he is godfather to my eldest daughter – but meet ups and telephone conversations have been rare recently.  It didn’t take much effort to meet – Salisbury, “half way” was only an hour away – but sometimes you just get out of the habit.

Friendship is valuable but easy to neglect.

Wind and rain doesn't make it an awful day...

Its Nice to Talk

Apart from meeting friends, the significance of driving up to Salisbury was my wife and I spent about two hours together in the car. Alone. And, yes, we talked to each other! There is a quaint saying which I’m sure applies to many couples:-

passing like ships in the night…

Its so easy to forget, or get so wrapped up in day to day routines, that if you’re spending your life with someone its nice to talk every now and then! And if there are problems or difficulties, they are best resolved by talking and problem solving together.

Pursue Hobbies and Interests

I have written before about pursuing things you enjoy. my main “active” hobbies are photography and geocaching. This weekend I made a point of doing both. We found 3 geocaches and I took about 25 photographs. Neither are momentous – to me the joy of both is the process, its not about numbers.

But its about engaging in activities I find satisfying.

I’m not a great photographer and some of my favorites from the weekend illustrate this page. Both hobbies are also ways of seeing and enjoying the world around us.
Christchurch Priory


I only live a mile from my mother, even less to mother-in-law (both widows). Yet it is so easy for time to go by with minimal contact, or just talking over the phone.

Like the issue with friends, for most of us families are an important foundation in our lives. But we can take them for granted.

This weekend I made the effort and invited them round for a meal on Sunday. Effort, what effort?! It took just a phone call and hardly any extra preparation.


Part of my planning my weekend was deciding what television I was going to watch. Its so easy to drift into watching hours of TV without planning to see any of it. I like television and feel it has a major role in educating, informing and entertaining. But needs using with caution!

One programme I made a point of watching on Saturday night that was a tribute to a British producer of comedy programmes, Geoffrey Perkins, who was killed in a traffic accident in August. He appeared to have been involved in practically every TV show of the past 30 years and numerous actors and coomedians lined up to pay tribute. What was common  in the tributes was how pleasant he was:-

Geoffrey never had a bad word to say about anybody, whatever the provocation, and nobody had a bad word to say about him. He was a genuinely special individual: loyal, brilliant, generous, kind, modest, supportive, strangely good at pub quizzes and bloody funny. Peter Bennet-Jones

But the other trait of Geoffrey that made him so prolific and successful was his ability to focus.  As a producer he had to deal with and pull together the varied elements that go to make a TV comedy show – including the fragile egos of its stars. He was able to focus on the core elements that made the shows work – and politely ditch what didn’t.

So, be pleasant and be very clear what you are focusing on. Sounds simple doesn’t it!

Remembrance Day

In the UK we have a long established custom of buying and wearing poppies as a mark of respect and to remember those who have given their lives in war.  This culminates on Rememberance Sunday with a two minute silence:-

Remembrance Sunday is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. On this day people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave Service men and women.

I’m 50 and never had to, or volunteered for, military service. My grandfathers brother was killed during World War One. My generation has made few sacrifices by comparison.

Remembering the sacrifices of others so we can lead the lives we do, again, doesn’t take much effort. It can also put into perspective our current grumbles and problems.

Heather Bestel November 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm

It doesn’t take a lot to remember and it’s so important in these busy times, to stop and think about those who came before us. And especially those who sacrificed so much for us.
We involve our 11 year old daughter in the act of rememberance each year, it is an important thing for her generation to understand and respect.

jackie sheeler November 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm

i can’t tell you how perfectly this post was timed for me. this past weekend was an utter and complete waste for me. i am the type who can get lost in gadgets (compter games, etc) and especially susceptible when i’m feeling a little low, as i was. i had things i wanted to accomplish, but no plan, certainly nothing in writing. i used to write down my goals daily and check off the list and i didn’t have wasted weekends then. thanks for the reminder.

jackie sheelers last blog post..california, exploding; lieberman, imploding (hopefully)

Vincent November 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Sometimes I agree that we are so caught up in work and neglected people around us. It is always good to have a fix schedule of meeting up with friends so that we can remind ourselves to socialize and catch up with our friends.

Personal Development Blogger

Vincents last blog post..Book Review: How To Win Friends & Influence People By Dale Carnegie

James November 11, 2008 at 10:11 pm

i live about 10 mins away from several of my relatives… and i haven’t seen them in probably more than a year… i agree that sometimes you take some things for granted, that gives me an idea, will pay them a ‘surprise’ visit…

Michael Lee November 12, 2008 at 9:15 am

I’m new here landed up searching blogs on resources on Self Esteem. cool blog you have here, keep it up. and its nice to be here. i’ll be back some time later for more updates.Thanks for sharing with us….

Jamie November 13, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Time goes by fast. It doesn’t take too much of my time to call or even get some coffee, but I just don’t. For some time, I wanted to focus on myself on some personal things so I sort of isolated my friends and family. Now that I want to start socializing again, I realized I missed out on so much. Friends are married and having children, people have gone to a better place, and so on. I realized time is precious and should cherish the moments before it is too late. Thank you for the post.

David November 14, 2008 at 12:32 am

Jamie, and everyone, I think the issue about friends and family is so important. I was just on the phone to another friend – who I used to share a house with Mike in the post – and we meet each year at a (horse) race meeting. My interest in horse racing has waned (it never was that great!), but its an important event on my calender now.

creativeherb November 14, 2008 at 4:56 am

I think I need to work on planning out my day. All the little surfing and emailing sucks up most of my day, causing additional stress and having less time to do the important things. Of course at that point, dinner with friends will have to be postponed as well.

creativeherbs last blog post..Google Flu Trends Canadian Edition

Relationship Advice November 15, 2008 at 5:46 am

I’ve even seen support groups for people who just are so disconntected from real human interaction. Too often we site all day in front of our computers and don’t get out enough. Sometimes feeling the sun on your face and talking to friends face to face can make a big impact on your life and health.

Claris December 22, 2008 at 7:56 am

I too have similar experiences like you..I too like spending time with my friends in my free time..As i agree that we should have a proper planning for our life’s as well…

Clariss last blog post..Little Rock, Arkansas

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