Life Worth Sharing

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random MMS | random NLS

Quy, Leeds UK

That kid’s not even here yet, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him

– Howard Stark

We’re hoping to start a family soon, TB and I. 

Howard’s not getting involved, that’s just a line from Endgame that immediately struck a chord.

Our thinking for a long, long time, had been: 

  • Wedding in July ‘20
  • Honeymoon shortly after, ticking off at least a couple of items from our combined bucket list 
  • Then all the delectable steps leading to the expansion of our headcount by one.

As easy as 1,2,3.     

PS it would be really helpful if everything could happen in that order.

2020/21: “Hold my beer”

As anyone resident on planet Earth of late could guess, things haven’t quite gone to plan. 

At the time of writing this particular paragraph (Feb ‘21), the wedding date has already moved twice and is currently later in the year than the honeymoon, whilst both have a big fat question mark a.k.a. Lockdown 3 – The Unwanted Sequel, hanging ominously over them.  Grrr.

Consequently, family planning is now on indefinite hold. FFS.

Here’s anticipating

However, my head was already in that space, even before our floppy haired PM had rung the bell on the first lockdown, and hasn’t left since.

Never mind pink or blue, I’m fretting over their employment, travel and living prospects in a post-Brexit post-(I sincerely fkn hope)-COVID landscape.

I’m wondering what their school will be like, and whether we need to move home in anticipation. 

The magnificent teachers I was blessed with at Great Linford then the Radcliffe in Milton Keynes come to mind, and I cross all fingers and toes that our child(ren) will be even half as lucky. Please universe, give me this.

There’s so much I can’t wait to do with them, and share with them, and watch their delight as they take it in (or not) and teach them all the useful stuff they might not learn in school so it doesn’t trip them up (e.g. don’t eat yellow snow. You’re welcome), and just be there when it’s their first, or when they need me, or both, or neither, just in case, kinda thing…

My fiance playing with my business partner's son, made smile (MMS)

A tsunami of feelings

As is no surprise to many of you, becoming a parent, or even the sustained thought of it as a near-future event, is a tsunami of powerful thoughts and feelings sweeping all and sundry before them.

The pandemic isn’t helping much.

From eager anticipation, to nervousness at all the things that could go wrong, to wistful acceptance that ‘me-time’ and ‘we-time’ (exclusively TB & I ‘we’) are en route to being chronically downsized, if not completely annihilated, for the best part of two decades. Or more.

Happily, the dominant vibe (for now at least), is excited butterflies at the prospect of seeing a spark of life grow and blossom within our family environment into a being of values and inner beauty.

Probably.  Cue thoughts of all the unpleasant things that could transpire.

What will our legacy be?

The instinct already is to want what is best for them, on every front, at every level.

PS please define ‘best’.

On the material front, we will do what we can. We are not rich but we are fortunate in that our family will not, touch wood, go hungry or unclothed. Thank you Life, for this foundation from which to build.

Yet we are not the sum of our possessions but the net total of our experiences, values and beliefs. Our true and lasting impact on this existence is not what we own but the effect we have on other people.

Without getting into any kind of debate re happiness vs helpfulness vs fulfilment, I heartily agree with the Dalai Lama that the purpose of life is to be happy.

It follows that moments that Made Me Smile (MMS) are the pinnacle of existence by which we hope to inspire those around us.

I've Been Expecting You, Mr Bond, this certainly made me smile (MMS)
Kids, these moments define your old man – this is how I experienced happiness

However, to paraphrase Jules Winnfield, the path to happiness is beset on all sides by the unpredictability of life, and the tyranny of dodgy people and the need to pay bills.

Over the decades, navigating that path has taught me a number of lessons Not Learnt in School (NLS). Some of these are laid out below, principles I’d champion with anyone for whom I had significant responsibility in their development and wellbeing.

Good timing

It feels incredibly serendipitous then, that MMS and NLS are being worked on for the Keia blog, just as COVID-19’s impact on our nesting plans has given me time and cause to reflect at length and breadth on what our legacy would be.

Rather than curse the C word for hindering growth plans, I’ll thank lockdown for the time to write up the content behind the lists below. Once sprog numero uno arrives, there probably won’t be much opportunity for quiet reflection at either keyboard.

To summarise then. Ahem.

Dear progeny of my loins to be

(and anyone else reading),

Please find below some observations on life, and a bunch of stuff that made me smile.

I hope they find you well.  


Quy x

Monday 8th February 2021

PS Each header below will be updated with its link when available.

Not Learnt in School (NLS)

I’ve found these of immense utility and comfort in getting to the here and now. I hope they help you too:

  1. Wellness is Life
  2. Why?  
  3. Stand on the shoulders of giants
  4. Only shades of grey
  5. You become what you do
  6. Appreciation
  7. This too shall pass
  8. Music is Life
  9. The subtle art of not giving a $%£@ (© Mark Manson)
  10. Money ain’t everything, unless you’ve got none

Show me a random NLS

Makes Me Smile (MMS)

Music that makes me smile:

  • Piano
  • Trance
  • House
  • Classical
  • Rock, Pop, Disco

A collection of moments that made me smile (MMS), from sunset on the last day of holiday to club nights and a friend's wedding.

The snapshot above is from an album compiled a couple of years ago, for a challenge on FB to post something that Makes Me Smile every day for a month.

This was subsequently revisited a few times as it’s immense fun to do, and enduringly rewarding to browse.

When skies are grey and the outlook bleak, a wander down MMS guided memory lanes is usually quick to reset my mood to ‘It’s a wonderful world‘.

The album is listed below. This is what life is – not a bigger paycheque or a faster car, or more Likes.

You don’t need to be logged in to FB view the original album, or alternatively the links below are part of Keia’s content pool, and have more commentary/ additional pics. All will eventually be added, I’m just having lots of nostalgic fun writing some of the commentary…

Moments that Made Me Smile

  1. Music + Sunshine
  2. TB
  3. Meeting Jensen
  4. Sunny Days on the Quays
  5. First Festival
  6. Bumping into Friends
  7. Popup Lightshow
  8. Friends getting hitched, with Friends about to get hitched
  9. Family & Friends
  10. Sun out, headphones on
  11. Why I Run
  12. Kearney’s Vegan Kitchen
  13. Afternoon Tea / Morning Coffee with TB
  14. Date Night
  15. Getting Ready Together
  16. Dinner before the Day
  17. Aimee & Olivia
  18. Pinecone Twins
  19. Mr D
  20. Emilios
  21. Sukina
  22. Sarah & Steve
  23. Not Driving
  24. Walks with TB in the Sun
  25. Group Walks
  26. TB Does the Funky Chicken
  27. A Perfectly Balanced Rivalry
  28. First Pic
  29. First Selfie
  30. First Date
  31. First Second Date
  32. First Gig
  33. First Visit to MK
  34. First Birthday
  35. First Holiday Abroad
  36. Funky Love 2015
  37. Holly & Natasha
  38. Relationship Goals
  39. Club Photography
  40. Back2Mine
  41. Twisted Elegance
  42. Venus
  43. Garlands
  44. Bedlam
  45. Pacha
  46. Judgement Sundays
  47. Project 7
  48. Back2Space
  49. Sankeys
  50. Area 51
  51. SpeedQueen
  52. Liverpool Pride
  53. Federation
  54. Erick Morillo
  55. Cha Cha Boudoir
  56. Habit
  57. Kaotic
  58. Zoo Project Ibiza
  59. Back2Mine Ibiza
  60. Filth
  61. Funky Love
  62. The Viv
  63. G Bar
  64. Garlands Ibiza
  65. John Cotton
  66. Judge Jules
  67. Miss Moneypenny’s
  68. Parklife
  69. Our House
  70. Qwerk
  71. Twisted Elegance
  72. Mi Madre
  73. My Old Bedroom
  74. That Smile 
  75. I’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond
  76. Chapel Allerton Angels
  77. Good Food, Good Company
  78. Out with Pete and Becki
  79. TB & Becki
  80. Pete and I 
  81. Operation Sell
  82. A Cathartic Maxi Skip
  83. The Last Exit
  84. She Said Yes
  85. A TB for Every Occasion
  86. Technics Separates 
  87. Ten Years with Lee
  88. Student Memories
  89. Long Hair
  90. Xmas with TB
  91. Boat Party
  92. TB & Theo
  93. Nightlights on the Walk Home
  94. Trees / Trees in Winter
  95. Howl’s Moving Castle & Spirited Away 
  96. Poetry in Motion
  97. Good Food, Good Company
  98. Piccadilly Gardens
  99. Date Night
  100. Dressing up
  101. TB & Friends
  102. Bedlam Reunion
  103. Early Morning Starts
  104. Technique is…
  105. Take me to Another World
  106. Lockdown Date Night
  107. Get em while they’re young

Create your own MMS treasure trove, inspire others too

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