Sam Radford

May 6, 2021

Doing the work

Have you ever had someone say ’thank-you’ after you’ve done a task and seem genuinely stunned or amazed by what you’ve done? In their eyes, you’ve done the impossible. So pulling if off appears almost miraculous. It wasn’t of course. You just took on the necessary – and often boring – job of doing the work. And when it comes to work, a...
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May 5, 2021

Working towards a fairer share of household worrying

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to increase my share of the household responsibilities. Reading Fair Play by Eve Rodsky opened my eyes to the ways in which I wasn’t doing my fair share. I have now achieved the status of ‘perfect husband’ and my wife doesn’t have a single complaint about me. Okay, maybe not quite... And,...
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May 4, 2021

Book Notes: “Wintering” by Katherine May

I mentioned that I was reading Winteringa few weeks ago. And I did something I never normally do: recommended a book I hadn’t yet read. Thankfully, having now read the book, I am not going to need to withdraw said recommendation! May’s book is a beautiful and evocative rumination on winter. Using both literal and metaphorical reflectio...
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May 3, 2021

A time to be dormant

Austin Kleon wrote a delightful response to Adam Grant’s essay on languishing that I wrote about previously. He suggests that languishing, for him at least, is the wrong word. ‘I’m not languishing, I’m dormant,’ he writes. Semantics? Maybe. The difference in meaning may be subtle, but I take his point: “It seems to me that the reason t...
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April 30, 2021

Book Notes: “Faith after Doubt” by Brian McLaren

I’ve been reading books by Brian McLaren for coming up to twenty years. He is someone whose faith journey is several steps ahead of mine and, as such, he’s been a mentor from afar to me. His latest book, Faith after Doubt, is my favourite of his books to date. It captures the journey I’ve been on for the last twenty years as well as pr...
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April 29, 2021

Why we read: escaping reality or exploring it?

My brother-in-law, Russell Thompson, posted some interesting reflections on why we read on his blog recently. The whole piece is worth your time, but his conclusion stands out: “So reading is about escaping reality and also facing it. It can be about dreams and reality, sadness and happiness, thinking and not thinking. It’s a landscape...
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April 28, 2021

Perfectly imperfect

My wife, Rachel, turned forty today. She brings so much love, joy, and light into the world, and it only seems right to share a few words to celebrate her life. I’ll start by saying that one of my favourite things about Rachel is that, no matter what is going on – whether personally, professionally, or globally – she never loses hope. ...
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April 27, 2021

Taking control of (some) of your working day

I enjoyed Oliver Burkeman’s recent article in The Imperfectionist, his newsletter. He reflects on the one seemingly universal truth of productivity: That, no matter who we are, three to four hours is our limit when it comes to work that requires intense mental focus. But what are we to do with that information? Most of us – sadly – are...
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April 26, 2021

“I want to know what you ache for”

I’m not a poetry person. I would love to be, but it hardly ever clicks for me. Every so often I’ll give another collection of poems a try, but no matter how hard I try, I still don’t get it. My friend Beth, a former English teacher, even made it her personal mission to help me love poetry. I think she’s given up! After watching – and e...
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April 23, 2021

How I got myself out of a state of languishing

Yesterday’s post introduced the concept of languishing. It’s a mental state that sits somewhere between depression and flourishing. And, in the fallout from the last year, it’s a state many of us – myself included – have found ourselves in. I noticed it when, for example, I'd bump into another parent at the school gates, dropping my yo...
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