Personal: Fragments of me: What am I adding up to?

This is the first of two considerations of how the R:2025 activity relates on a personal level.

The previous post set out how I combined my existing planned intentions to the year 2025 with my reflections on the elements for sustaining wellbeing as expressed in the Foresight Report.

Given that that is where I arrived in my thinking, how was it to be represented? How did the various fragments relate to each other? What was core and what was peripheral?

If I boiled all the initial intentions around R:2025 down to a core it left  me sitting there, as a thinker, a bit of a puzzler over things, a person who read to inform that thinking. Thinker was as good a central tenet as any. From there flowed the activity of writing ‘think pieces’ and putting them on a website; maintaining blogs; and puzzling over ways forward.

Spokes moving further out from there would take me into the specific areas of puzzlement: contemporary; poverty; value; evidence; impact; leadership; cities; development and progress. These were the jumbled, various starting fragments of the new me.

It was an evolution. It developed over time rather than being some big-bang change of life. It also drew on a framework of things I had a lasting interest in.

If I was to see myself as more than an isolated, individualistic ponderer of things then there would need to be another closely-connected set of fragments that were about how I might be in touch with others: speaker; presenter; mentor; helper; information-sharer; emailer.

The mechanics were another set of fragments: Being a bit of a traveller; a photographer and artist (of sorts); as well as a writer (in a range of ways).

And sitting in an outer layer would be the operational me; the creator of contacts; the provider/finder of funding; the IT-competent me.

For there to be a broader sense of purpose (other than fully occupying myself all day) it still required some sort of social-interest (if not social-impact) component.

All these fragments were seen as juggling and jiggling around, creating an emerging dynamic entity that was the new me.

Of course what is listed are activities. They are not me. They are things that I do, not what I am: Doings not Beings. They are aspects not the totality. In the mix there are also beliefs, motivations, understandings, compromises, ambitions, hopes and fears. There are tastes in music, books and food. There are physical and mental resiliences and robustnesses. In there, as well, are relationships.  These range from being the very youngest of a family of five siblings, the oldest of whom are at an age where illness and death are looming larger; through almost fifty years as a partner and companion; and include fathering to two children and grandfathering to three grandchildren. There is the sense of loss of some defining aspects and the excitement of testing out new ones.

I saw this essentially as a design exercise – a thoughtful and planned working towards a new (post-employment) me: offering potential for real change in my ways of being and ways of doing. It was to be me as ‘fully-occupied, otherwise’. Seeing myself in these different ways would open up ways for me to explore new topics; to think differently about things; and to share a wider set of possibilities with (as then mostly-unknown) others.

I had my mapped-out starting points. I had my set of intentions. I had a vague sense of getting some hoped-for personal outcomes. It was a journey, but not a linear pre-planned, well-mapped one. It was more of an exploration. I might stumble and give up at any moment. I might totally lose my way and end up hopelessly entangled in the confusions of it all. It was, however, something I was personally committed to.

All of this was sketched out as a hand-drawn diagram. A tidier version is attached  here  .


About Geoff Bateson

This is the site were a series of posts will 'show the working out' - the emerging thoughts, ideas and tools as the creative undertaking R:2025 develops. All the way through maths learning I was told that extra credit was gained if one showed the working out, rather than stating the outcome - Here is one way of setting out the thinking as things move along. It forms an archive of ideas to form part of the overall package currently called R:2025
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