Paradigm Shifts

Some moments in life just take your breath away. 

And being the curious and magnificent phenomenon that it is, life can spring them upon you at the most mundane times. 

They can teach you important lessons, as well. 

So, the preamble aside, what am I talking about now (as regular readers of these musings must be very familiar with thinking)?

On Friday, I went out for a run. 

Ok, there was nothing remarkable about that.

I try to do 2 or 3 a week, to keep this aged old body is some kind of a passable shape, despite all the miles on its clock.

But what was unusual, in this, one of the driest areas of Britain, was that the rain was cascading down.

So I got soaked. And, feeling a little sorry for myself, posted this on social media on my return -

I didn't think much more about it as I got washed and dried out. Until a response arrived. 

Now, forgive me doing the big build up, keep you in suspense thing, but I am a writer and communications chap. 

And we like to delay our reveals. It makes them more effective that way.

Whether it's crime writing, presentations, speeches, or whatever, the old adage always holds true - 

Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait. 

So, now you've waited, with all due fanfare, I can reveal the reply. 

It was just a few words, would only have taken seconds to write, but wow, did it hit me. 

(Get on with it, I can hear your groaning - another common experience in spending your time in these musings?)

Ok, here we go - 

Fiona is a writing friend, a little older than me (I hope she won't mind me saying), and as you can tell from that post...

An awful lot wiser. 

And so it hit me, the tidal wave of a paradigm shift. 

Many people in this life would love the freedom, be it of mind or body, to be able to run. 

Instead of moaning about it, albeit in a comical way, I should rejoice in that freedom. 

Fiona's message also came at at the perfect time, as paradigm shifts often do.

It was the end of the university term, and it had been a boisterous one.

I was tired, but still had 3 more major teaching sessions to prepare for next week.

And I was doubting my own abilities, as we all sometimes do when life crowds in around us.

So thank you Fiona for adjusting my perspective, and in such a simple but effective way.  

Teaching some of the world's most brilliant people at one of the planet's finest universities?

It's a privilege. 

Talking to politicians and civil servants from overseas friends of the UK about the media and British democracy?

It's an honour.

Having the freedom to take myself out for a run, even in the pouring rain?

It's a joy. 

I shall carry Fiona's message with me and remind myself of it, if ever and whenever I start to feel a little sorry for myself. 


It's the greatest gift.