Living in the moment

Malvern Hills - from the saddle

Well thats a thing eh? I do love the mashings of axioms and idioms fermenting some form of idiot proclaiming that unless you, YES IT’S YOU I’M LOOKING AT, are fully immersed in the moment, this moment, RIGHT NOW, then you’re wasting your life, missing the point, merely fucking about at an atomic level waiting for the sword of entropy to slash away for a mercy killing.

Being an mountain biker  I actually have quite a lot of time for the concept of focussing on the here and now. Failing to make a decision when facing difficult technical obstacles statistically has difficult outcomes of blood, crushed bones and nil by mouth. Riding lumpy terrain at any kind of speed flicks your world to the monochrome – race or cruise left or right, brake or commit, jump or roll.

Yeah I get that. Made lots of shitty decisions, Got the scars to prove it but transposing this to real life has some problems. Let’s start with the vocational cadaver that is HR. Human Resources or – as it is known to everyone who is not a ‘HR professional’ Human Remains.  No longer is it acceptable to deal with serial incompetences with ‘Your village is missing an idiot. I suggest you get back there. You’d be doing both of us a favour

As a long time hand-ringing liberal I’m hugely encouraged by the steps made to encourage and mandate equality. No one wants to go back to those dark times so perfectly presented in ashes-to-ashes, but with all the brilliant stuff that comes with creating a level playing field, we seem to have lost the ability to gently explain that some behaviour is only be acceptable if you are about 8.

I blame email. Amongst other things. A medium for passive aggressiveness that allows arseholes to respond to a 30 minute carefully contrived missive on how fucking stupid their idea is with ‘Noted‘. The only response is to reach for the bottle or throw them off the balcony in the morning. And that’s just not allowed anymore. Even for lawyers.

This tip-toeing about of the chattering classes would be just about fine were it not for the unreconstructed fuckwits at senior management levels who still institute and follow a bullying culture on the grounds that the lesser people just don’t understand how important they are. Middle aged white men generally who are definitely living in the moment, making decisions based on ego and gut reaction. Wow hiring and firing having consulted amniotic bacteria. Good luck with that.

This is why I can never have an employment contract again. It’s going to end badly for everyone. I’m not for following groupthink rules developed by those who never spent any time wondering where interesting ideas might come from. This is not me being some kind of Wolfe-Smith Maverick sticking it to the man, more an understanding that with nearly 50 years under the rotation of the stars that frankly there’s a bit more to life.

It’s unfair to ask people to live in the moment. We’d be punching each other before the first coffee was poured.  Each day we walk through the corporate door, we’re wrestling with political correctness, stupid rules, well meaning edicts and shiny fuckwits with sharp suits and nothing else.

I’m in no way advocating a return to the class-ridden gender politics of our parents, nor the idea that respect is something you earn rather than something that defines us as inherently human.  Not for a moment do I believe that where you came from is somehow more important from what you can do. And the idea that some corporate position allows you to make value judgements on those who you feel are inferior is as abhorrent now as it was when I was placard-wielding undergrad.

But there’s a huge amount of angst in the world. Some of it – and I accept it’s by no means all of it – are those striving for an unattainable happiness. If you are going to have any time at all for living in the moment it should be to relish every second of the journey. Good times and bad. Successes and failures. Living the dream and waking in the nightmare.

This is one of the many reasons I love riding mountain bikes. It’s pretty much an exercise in not thinking.  Every decision is mandatory, transient and accountable. Every idea is seeded from the epic 3D environment we’re within. The highs are higher and the lows are lower.

It’s a fair trade. But reality bites hard.

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