Monday, 8 February 2016

Making friends with Imogen ...

I'm waiting to meet someone, sitting drinking coffee ... I expect more coffee, meaningful conversation, so a normal day in one of my 'offices'. Imogen, however, is threatening to disrupt my plans. 
Imogen is the latest storm to hit the UK and the the Bristol Channel is doing her job of funnelling the energy of this one across my schedule. We have warnings about the 'sea state' (14m waves possible), high winds (over 70mph so far this morning) and flood warnings  (nearly 60 in place at the latest count). Traffic from falling trees, trains, power supply are some of the early indicators Imogen is with us. 
Can I confess something? Far from finding myself battening down the hatches, I'm warming to the storms we seem to be encountering with increasing frequency. Last year the Met Office took the decision to name storms in the same way many other parts of the world have been doing for some time. I'm sure, speaking personally, my own flirtations with storms has some connection with alternate female names being used, but I'm not primarily interested in psycho-analysis, or at least I'm not sharing my notes in public. 
I think 'Thriving on Chaos' by Tom Peters was the first book I read, which alerted me to what has now become the norm of present experience for anyone involved leadership, management, or let's face it, life in 21st Century Britain. 
We can't change the reality of storms coming at us and engulfing us. What we can do is adapt to live in the light of their reality. For now I'm simply thinking of some of the things striking me about the weather storms, but I need to translate this into life experience. I'm saying storms need to become our best friends, but ...

-  Naming a storm helps us become more aware of them, which one we're encountering and how dangerous it can be.
-  Being aware of what we're dealing with helps us make more appropriate decisions (or at least 'should' mean we stop building on flood plains!).
-  Experiencing storms helps us see ourselves from a clearer perspective (the life we create for ourselves is not quite the cocoon we might like).

I'm sure they'll be many others.

Not sure if I'm looking forward to 'Nigel', but I'll be interested to meet him. Research shows that hurricanes with female names are more likely to hurt people than those with male names. Scientists think that's because people find female names less threatening, so at least I have some more material for my next session with my mentor!