This morning here at my mother's there was a knock at the door. I answered the door and it was a chap that I was friends with before I left Warwick and moved to Manchester 20 years ago. Knowing that my mother doesn't really like this chap I kept him talking at the doorstep.
What immediately became apparent to me was that two decades on we had nothing in common. But it wasn't that we have drifted apart because sadly this chap has stayed the same whereas I have changed immensely. Not always for the better, but changed nonetheless.
My former friend however is still complaining about the state of his back, still in dispute with the council over housing and dispute with the benefits people about whether he is fit for work, still walking to various supermarkets in the hope of getting a bargain and still telling stories of people who have rented out property, bought more property paid for by rent income and rented that out for more money and made a fortune clearly hoping that one day he will do similar.
It is sad to see an intelligent man paralysed by a rut of life. But he is just an extreme example of the way many people live their lives - going from one day to the next dealing with 'stuff' as it happens with no plan for the journey. No solid goals to aim at and no sense of the direction needed. It is all too easy to let the trivial things of life get in the way of what is really important and to get involved fighting battles that either cannot be won or which aren't worth winning. It is too easy to let excuses, often very plausible excuses, stop us making the progress we are capable of which leads to the success we deserve.