Guest Blog by Dan Lloyd, SVP, Client Services


Something I haven’t done for many years, shamefully, is read a book. Now, the reason for this is that I simply could not find the time to relax. I also seem to develop instant narcolepsy and fall asleep by page 4. I find myself easily distracted, my mind swirling and not fully concentrating on immersing myself into the written world. Those are the excuses out of the way!

As I know reading presents me with some challenges, I thought I would try something new – audio books – how am I only discovering this now?!

On a recent walk, I decided that rather than listen to music, I would try an audio book; my first book of choice was “The Inspiration Code” by Kristi Hedges, which looks at how the best leaders energize people every day, focusing on the 4 P’s, the Present, the Personal, the Passionate and the Purposeful. In my professional and personal life, I take great joy in working with and mentoring people, aspiring to cultivate qualities that authentically excite. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio experience, in fact I had walked miles without noticing the world around me, I was engrossed, my mind was relaxed, the narration had a calming effect on me. When I got home, I was excited to make notes on some of the positive lessons taught in the audio.

Following my new-found love of audio books, I was ready for the next one! Whilst completing packing my apartment (this past month I made the move from my home in Washington DC to Falls Church, Virginia) I put on the audio book of “Let’s Do It” narrated by Julie Walters about the life of Victoria Wood. My guilty pleasure are those classic British comedies that embody a warped sense of humour so this was a great choice! Not only was I so focused on listening to the book, I realized that my tendency to be a little obsessive had subsided, and I was packing at a fantastic rate! I was laughing out loud, what better medicine is there than laughter?

This month, I attended my first social event (socially distanced and appropriate to current restrictions) where I knew there would be alcohol. When I explained that I am not drinking alcohol, I was surprised that most people’s ‘go-to’ reasoning is that you must be a recovering alcoholic. Perhaps it was the way I said it, but once I had explained my reasons, I was met with “you must be crazy” but we support you.

Alcohol is an incredible crutch! I found myself pushing myself to be more outspoken, almost over-compensating in fear of coming across as boring. I overthought the whole evening. In fact, I was so tired by the end of the night as the more drunk people got, the more alert I became, and it was exhausting! That said, I had a great time and the next day, no alcohol has its benefits… no more hangovers!

This month, I have tried to spend some time looking back at what kind of drunk was I. For me, I think it is important to understand the effects of alcohol. In recent years, alcohol had made me much more emotional than when I was younger. During the Christmas period, there was an occasion I phoned home and spoke to my family, and this wave of emotions came tumbling out, no control, or restraint, I missed my relatives terribly and during these Covid times, I have been unable to visit the UK. These emotions are bottled up, and I used to feel terrible that I had shown that side of me. Now, I realize I need to do that more.

Thank you for following my journey,