Time to do something

“Everybody is broken
Everybody breaks
But these bones will walk again”

There’s a lot of good things happening in the world. There’s also a lot of broken people too. But all is not lost. Nope, I believe that the broken can be restored, that the lost can be found and that those in need can be lifted up. The quote above is from Martin Smith in a song paraphrasing an old Hebrew prophet.

Three things have been on my heart recently;

  • Human trafficking
  • Child poverty
  • Humanitarian relief for people in Afghanistan 

We can often feel powerless when we see change needs to happen. Sometimes we can feel powerless in making change in our lives too. 

There’s real people who need help and while I’m not always in a position to go and physically do that; I am blessed to be in a position to help fund those who can. 

The question is, will you care – and will you join me?


To show some level of commitment and support to those in need and raise awareness, I have set myself a challenge.

For each day in September, I will either

  • run at least 5k (3.1 miles) or;
  • cycle at least 20k (12.4 miles)

And when I do, I will put £10 in a jar. I’ll post on Instagram when the money goes in the jar.

If I miss a day; I’ll treble my giving for that day.

At the end of the month, there should be at least £300 in the pot and I’ll split that between three charities;

If you’d like to add to the jar, please feel free to do so; you can donate to these organisations yourself on the links above or by giving me your notes!

And if you’d like to do something to support others then please go for it. Do something for the next thirty days to make a difference – both in your life and in the lives of others.

Maybe it’s not an exercise challenge. Maybe it’s an eating plan; a reading discipline, a writing discipline. Whatever. Do something.

There are people who need your help.

Show your support and give yourself – and your resources – if you can. 


All over again

It’s time to stop cutting the grass.

I can’t quite believe it. Today I start working for a completely new employer. It’s 23 years since I’ve been able to say that!

After two months on garden leave, then a couple of between-employment weeks; the grass in our back garden has never been as well kept as this! It’s not like that’s all I’ve been doing, but there’s been more time for a lot of other things over the last wee while. 

The privilege of time with the kids that’s not involved me or them trying to work at home. Great time as a family, with them on my own and with them individually. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still delighted they’re back to school 🤣

The time to tick off a number of things we’ve wanted to get done – finished off or just progressed. There’s a lot of gratitude to be found in ticking off a list. 

The opportunity to keep things going at home while Mrs theWeir continues to face into the “joys” of a health service under significant pressure and the myriad of challenges that are faced on that particular front line every day. 

It’s been a great experience to learn how to apply for jobs after all these years! I’ve had some really enjoyable interviews for roles that were interesting and some really exciting. There were some where I was not successful – and others where the opportunity wasn’t the right fit. It’s all been learning!

And for all these moments – and many others – I am eternally grateful.

Thanks too, for the outplacement help from abrdn (through Right Management) and for the kindness and support of family, friends and former colleagues. Where would I be without their wisdom and input? Where would I be without my wife keeping my feet on the ground and encouragement that this was always part of the plan?

For now, I start to another type of work – I get to play a part in the development of new digital systems so that people in Scotland can get the financial support on offer from the Scottish Government.

I know the grass may not be as green as I’d like on the other side, but the new opportunity is exciting and will be learning.

When I started thinking about this post last week, I was going to ask for people’s top-tips for starting in a new role remotely – getting to know a new team, new ways of working and all that.

But really these are small challenges in stark contrast to the struggles faced by people in Afghanistan today. Right now. And the difficult lives of just along the street in this town I call home.

For those facing difficult days, Lord have mercy.

For those who are still looking for work and unsure of their next steps, I pray for wisdom and peace as you walk through these times.

Today – and hopefully everyday – I will remember and take action for those who are not in the position as I am and want to learn how to stand with them more.

How about you – what will you do?

It seems less important now, but I will also still cut the grass now and again too.

Grace and peace,


Close the chapter

Your role is no longer required. You’ll be leaving the business. After 23 years – all your working, adult life – you’re out the door.

And that’s it. You’re done.

Thanks for all your service over the years, for all you’ve put into the company, the customers you’ve helped and the people you’ve worked with.

But that’s it. It’s over.

You’ve handed your badge in, the end has come, no more will you use those login details and you’ll need to return that IT kit.

Can’t be that’s it? I’m not really finished – am I?

Yes. It’s happening to you. The thing you’ve really been hoping would happen for at least five years, has finally come true. You are being made redundant.

This. Is. It. Opportunity awaits.

How would you hope with this news? What would you do next?

Five months of waiting

Over the last five months, I’ve been waiting for today to come. Some of you have been waiting for it with me. Many of you won’t have given it a second thought – and that’s okay!

Here’s where I’ve been:

Gratitude for all that has gone before. The good days and the “development opportunities”.

Wondering at what might lie ahead and where I might find work to do.

Would it be for Phoenix (with so many great people that I’ve loved working with over the years)?

Would it be in another Financial Services business where it would be more of the same, with a different badge to wear.

Would it be something radically different?

Would I open a bike shop?

End the speculation

Since I started Garden Leave at the end of May, I’ve had the joy to spending time at home working on what it means to look for a job, to look after the bairns and to get some odd-jobs ticked off the list (not as many as I’d have hoped, but still many done).

I’ve spent time with my Dad

I’ve had some time on the bike (but not as much as you might expect)

I’ve volunteered time at the local bike shop to help them out and give the family a bit of time out from me!

I’ve cycled 100 miles for the first time in a few years – and this time joined several hundreds others on the Ride to the Sun at the end of June (thanks Mrs theWeir and Mister & Mrs B for making that happen).

I’ve spent time considering what might be next, looking at what matters and what my next steps could actually look like in this employment landscape and at this stage in life.

I’ve even enjoyed the process of doing interviews – and learning about how to do that better. Thanks to everyone who helped with that!

And through it all, I prayer, sang and read to keep my anchor secure in my hope that God knew exactly what He was doing through this process. That all would be okay, not because I had earned that right, but because He is good and His love lasts for ever.

Even if I didn’t get a job right away that He would provide.

And so today *is* my last day as SL240T.

Tomorrow, I will still be Andy Weir. I hope.


Thank you, Standard Life Assurance Company/Standard Life plc/Standard Life Aberdeen plc and abrdn plc. It’s been life – and I’ve loved much about this section of the story!

Time to close this chapter and get ready for the new section. There’s loads of threads of that story already started.

It’s going to be great. I hope!

Twenty three

Today marks 23 years since I started working for what was then the Standard Life Assurance Company and is now abrdn plc.

I started at number 23 Annandale Street – can you believe that? I hadn’t made the connection until I wrote this.

Image of the outside of 23 Annandale Street, the first office I worked in.Merida Scultura bicycle leaning against a wall outside 23 Annandale Street, Edinburgh.

That building is now apartments rather than an office, with much changed on the inside and out.

Same could be said for me.

There’s been so much life lived with so many people in these years that I can’t begin to do it all justice.

Buying a home,, getting married, having two amazing children, being in a band, travelling to places both far-off, and not-so-far, losing friends and family, making music, still learning new stuff every day. Making mistakes and not being there for people when I possibly could have been. Yes, great things, but I’m not perfect.

All of it with Mrs theWeir at my side, which is a wholly remarkable thing. She’s put up with a lot – especially in those early years. And probably still now too… 

I can say that through it all; my faith in God as creator, saviour and sustainer of all has remained. Can’t say it’s not changed – because it has.

And it’s even more crucial for me now than it was then.

What makes today all the more poignant is that in a weeks time it will all be over.

The chapters relating to this part of life will be over and a new section of the story will begin.

For all that’s been said and done to show kindness and love over the last few months, I say thank you.

New adventures await, but more on that another time.

For now, it’s 23 years. And that’s enough. Life is short, live it well.

Grace and peace, my friends.

You say goodbye

…I say thank you.

On Friday, I sent my last email as an employee of Standard Life Aberdeen. I’ve received many of these goodbye messages over the years, and it’s been a bit odd writing one for myself. However, it’s great to be able to say thank you.

Here’s what I wrote to the folks at work.

Thanks for all the joy – and challenges – of working with each and every one of you!

It’s been 8,344* days since I started working as a direct temp in the claims department for Executive Pensions. I had no idea what it was like to work in an office. Never mind knowing what a pension was. I was meant to be a musician, for goodness sake!

The joys of collecting and filing microfiche and original documents – and checking Guaranteed Minimum Pension calculations were my starting point.

Twenty managers, fifteen role changes and eight buildings later, 31 May is my last working day for Standard Life Aberdeen** – and I leave with a lot to be grateful for.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” (Douglas Adams)

I have worked with some brilliant, bright and bonkers people over the years. There’s always been the zoomers but we’ll not dwell on them too long… 

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to grow my skills in communication, marketing, digital development and leading teams (I’d agree with those who’d say I have plenty more to learn in each of these areas!).

My family have had a roof over our heads, food to eat and a place to sleep. And a whole lot more too.

There’s been plenty of happy memories as I’ve reflected on all those great days. As you’d expect, there’s a number of things that I’d do differently having learned from it the first time around!

I really have nothing to complain about. It’s all life and it’s all learning.

It wouldn’t be an email from me without a set of bullets, so here’s a few work things that I remember with a smile:

  • Being part of a team trusted to come up with a plan on improve how our department looked after customers and making it happen (“customer’s needs and expectations drive our actions”
  • Those full-on, immersive TCF events and countless strategy meetings and huddles
  • Staff contribution award nights
  • Staff and family barbecues at Silverfield
  • Taking seven weeks off in 2015 to visit New Zealand with Jenny when she was finishing her Midwifery degree (I heartily recommend taking a career break when you can!)
  • Being involved in some of the biggest client Corporate Pensions wins
  • Surviving auto-enrolment and the period from 2011-2014
  • Being part of 56° and working with Capability Scotland
  • Working with developers, writers, designers and content managers to create new components and launch multiple websites over the years (mostly under crazy project names!)
  • And through it all, getting to work with some brilliant people and hopefully shining a little light in the process

I know I‘ll be looking for new things to do in the near future, but for now, there will be a little time to enjoy being Husband and Dad –  then we’ll see what happens next.

Please receive this as a heartfelt *thank you* for being part of the journey.

I pray you know hope, grace and peace and we can keep in touch if that’s something that you’re up for.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

All the very best for the future. Life is short, live it well. There’s a lot to look forward to…

Andy Weir

* 5960 working days, give or take a few

** I’ll be available for new work from the middle of August, in case you’d like to know. I don’t know what that will look like but get in touch if you want to chat about that!

Live it well

As I unravel 23 years worth of my employer being integrated into daily life, my thoughts tend towards either: “keep busy and don’t think about it” or “what are you living for?”. No surprise really.

Definitely more time spent in the first category than the second.

When I turned 40, the song “Live it well” by Switchfoot was on repeat in my head. So much so that I sang it at the quiz night we organised for my birthday!

Part of the processing of these strange times has been to return to these words and to sing them again. There’s something wonderful about singing that connects me to the words, their meaning and living in the good of them. That’s one of the ways I think what you listen to really does matter!

For what it’s worth, I share my quick recording of the song with you below. Thanks to Jon and Tim for writing great tunes that have punctuated many stages of my life so far.

When writing about the song, Jon wrote:

“life’s too short to be inauthentic. let’s put down the masks. let’s stop pretending like everything is ok. confess your questions, your doubts, your weakness, your fears. confess your inadequacies. bring your darkness into the light.” 

Our lives are fragile and short. Let’s live them well – by which I don’t mean with us at the centre and accumulating wealth, experience or power. Nope. Let’s give them away for a greater glory.

Who’s with me?


Finishing well


Another Monday with lots to do, up and at ‘em, everyone fed and the kids off to school. Get the computer on, look at the list of tasks for today you wrote on Friday.

Another non-stop running of minutes into hours – how is it 11:00 already? I need to get some more water to drink. And maybe a snack.

Argh – it’s 13:15 and too late to get out for a cycle at lunchtime before meetings kick in again.

And before you know it, it’s 15:10 and the kids return from school. Better think about that list for tomorrow and what you can close off before the attention turns to homework and dinner.

This is the current variation of life at home.

Looks like a lot of winging and bad planning when I write it down.

Is today just another vanishing act of life and breath?

I’ll be honest and say it’s been really frustrating at times – this rinse and repeat life that I’ve slipped in to. Perhaps you have too.

And all the more frustrating right now because I know in two weeks time I won’t be doing this anymore. The record will change and a new rhythm will be found.

Two weeks to go.

A few people have said “You’re leaving – it doesn’t matter?”. But that’s not true, is it? Each day does matter.

The tasks I’m doing – and getting a little frustrated by – could be done by someone else. But they’ve been given to me. And they will make an impact on the lives of those who remain in the team I leave behind.

And that’s the thing.

Why I am doing these things – caring about them – it’s because I’m doing it for them.  Because it’s really important to finish well.

In cycling parlance, they talk about going “all the way to the line”. You don’t knock off your effort just because you can see the finishing line. You keep going – give it all.

Last week, I listened to “One Wild Life” for the first time in a few years. And this line has been rattling around my head ever since. “these are the days you’ve been given, what will you do with each of them?”

A Jewish Rabbi said “greater love has no-one than this; that they lay their life down for their friends”. He turned out to be on a mission to do just that; and not just for those around Him, but for all who would receive Him.

I have two weeks left at work, the next two weeks matter as much as the previous 1194. I’m no messiah, and the desire to finish well is not about status or glory – it’s about leaving it all out there. Letting the seed fall into the ground and letting it go.

These are the days you’ve been given – what, or who, are you giving them to?

Grace and peace,


Thanks, Andy

Two months ago, I heard I would likely no longer have a job as my employer reshaped the business. I wrote a few words about it on LinkedIn and was blown away by the kindness of everyone who took time to say so many kind things.

A sincere and heartfelt thank you for all your words on my post.

I am truly blessed and encouraged. 

How do you respond?

Pretty much my immediate thought after the meeting on that Thursday was to pick up my guitar and sing. 

To sing songs of gratitude and of timeless truth. To lift my voice and my heart and acknowledge that I am a created being, and my identity is not found in what I say, do or think. It’s found in Christ alone. 

Then on Friday; well I got back on the work wagon and started to plan, think about ways ahead, people to connect with, areas I wanted to understand more – questions I would like to find answers to. I got into action planning and mind-mapping. 

All natural and at times helpful things. 

Back on the same train?

But here’s the thing – that’s as much about getting back on the train and doing what I’ve always done. And there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

But maybe there is. 

We all hear the cry to “get back to normal” in the post-COVID future. But what if the “normal” we had before is actually not the right road. 

What if we were waaaaay off track and there’s a “reset” where we return to our creator? (We can chat about that if you think we’re random atoms colliding in nothingness).

With millions living in poverty, hundreds of thousands in fear of their safety, maybe our previous understanding of normal needs challenged.

So it is with my consideration of future. What if I’m looking to replace my current employment with something from the same pattern – and maybe that is not the right road. 

I will heed the encouragement to be still. To wait. To consider what lies ahead – what *should* lie ahead is not a return to “normal”. 

Yes, I’ll respond to messages and yes I’ll connect with people and businesses to find out what is out there. 

Thanks Andy

In the intervening period between writing that first post and today, it’s not clear I’ll be leaving my current role in August – a week after I mark 23 years of service. In a few weeks, I’ll send my last email from my work email account and close off, as I often to with “Thanks, Andy” at the end. Because I have a lot to be thankful for.

I think after all that time, experience, joy, angst and, well, life,  I also make time to wait. 

As a man wrote in a book once;

Peace has come

Doing something

Reflection can help focus the mind. In April this year, it was four years since my Grandad passed away. As you’d expect, it was a period of time I remember well.

And made all the more poignant when I crossed the finish line of my first major sports-related fundraising activity two days after his funeral. The emotional release in that moment was something I still feel.

We raised a load cash for Marie Curie and I got to ride my bike around Perthshire for 81 miles.

Then almost 18 months later I did smashed my fundraising target when running a half-marathon. Following that up a month later with 100 mike bike ride.

Another thousand thank you to everyone who gave (money, yes – but also time and encouragement) for each of those adventures. Especially my family who have endured absence and weariness.

Why not?

It’s been over two years since I tackled anything like that. These last two years have been, well, both great and rough at times.

Have I been searching for purpose outside of “testing myself”? Possibly.

Have been trying to “lay down” an addiction to riding my bike or running? Maybe.

Or, have I been giving energy to other things – like being present at home?

Let’s not get into that right now – safe to say that I have wrestled with this for too  long and the time has come for action.

This year, however, I’ve put three bikes up for sale. Two are sold. Gone. And one remains. 

The last one is my original road bike from that first event in 2014 (it’s had almost all non-frame parts changed since then!). You can find out more about it here ;-).

What’s going on?

Back to the reason for this post.


I’ve signed up for a new challenge. And it’s in ten weeks time on 22 September. The challenge is to cycle across Scotland in a day. Seems reasonable – at it’s shortest point it’s not that bad.

Except the given route is 245 miles (394km). There’s over 12,000ft of climbing (3,700m). And there’s 80 people taking part – we’re aiming to complete it in under 16 hours.

Which is just a little bonkers.

And the point? Well there’s the challenge of doing the effort. Then there’s the opportunity to raise some money for the STV Children’s Charity and Place2be. And for me there’s the joy and privilege of riding my bike and sharing the journey with 80 people.

And those three letters matter. J-O-Y.

No matter what happens, I want to be salt and light with the energy I have. I’m believing this challenge is one way to do that. To perhaps bring a little focus that can be re-applied in other areas. And a little joy in pushing beyond what “I” can do.

That also explains why I’ve put my road bike up for sale. I need something that’s going to be a little more suitable for such an epic day (but not something with a motor, thanks Dad).

What does it mean?

I’ve got a minimum fundraising target for the challenge of £240. But I’d like to double that. Actually, I’d prefer to quadruple that, but let’s see what happens!

Fancy getting involved?

Donate here: https://aroundtheworldinaday.everydayhero.com/uk/theWeir

And feel free to share!

I’m pretty sure I need a new bike to make the ride easier (ie less painful) so if you know anyone who’d be keen on my current road bike then please share the advert with them.

Fellow riders; any training assistance would be appreciated. I’ve been upping my game over the last few weeks, but as I start to tick over into the 100mile training ride, some company would be awesome. If we can arrange to make something happen the please let me know.

Lastly; if you’re one who prays, then please do – for wisdom, safety and endurance!


Is character important in a story? Or is the plot more important? Does it only matter what happens to the characters, or what they do – or does it matter who they are and what’s happened to them before matter?

I’ve been reading more about story – in particular screenwriting. There’s a part of me would like to try it sometime, but for now it’s a helpful way to consider more about how stories work – and why they matter.

About balancing?

In “Story” Robert McKee makes the point that neither are more important than they other because without each other they don’t function.

Which I think is fair enough. Do you?

This caught my attention when reading yesterday:

True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure - the greater the pressure, the truer the choice [is] to the character’s essential nature - Robert McKee, Story

“True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the truer the choice [is] to the character’s essential nature”

Doing what needs to be done


A storyteller works hard to create a character, building their personality and helping the audience create empathy, sympathy or a connection of some sort. They have the great challenge of making sure we know only the things about them to know what they’re like so that we are invited into the story.

So when telling a story, character matters as much as plot.

Developing their identity doesn’t come at the cost of your story bringing to life their current transformation. Nope it’s part of the mix in why the story matters. The events are crucial to bring about change – and we need to know the context of the change that’s taking place, right?

In our story

Our character develops through time – often unseen to others. And at times unseen by us. And there’s always the risk that without some intentional development, our character might not turn out the way we hope. Or we don’t realise it can be any different.

I sometimes think there’s a tension between “it’s just who I am” and “I can be anything I want to be”.

My story continues

As I’ve been a little quiet on the internet recently, for a number of reasons, I’ve been challenging why I started this work in the first place – what are my motives.

You see, I firmly believe that a person’s character matters. Who they are is as important as what they do (because in my mind they are completely linked). I get a bit pert

So as there’s been some additional pressure in these recent days, there’s also been a little work on my character. Not hours of navel gazing, just an awareness of what’s happening, and the reasons why – and trying some steps to avoid it.

I guess part of that is understanding where I am, who I’m called to be and what the next step is to get there – all starts with a little more being and less always doing. And hopefully for my children – a little more grace and less grump.

Does character matter?

A lot of people say “what happens behind closed doors doesn’t impact their work-life”. If anything the events of the last few months – #metoo and other things mean exactly the opposite. Who you are is inextricably linked to what you do.

What do you think? How do you build your character?