HH and I have been away at the seaside for a few days. I will be feeding some pictures through as the days go on. It wasn’t a very long trip, but it was long enough to give me a reboot and a further shift in perspective. I love this picture because the glow of the sunlight on the sand and the waves is symbolic for me of the simplicity and clarity I achieved while I was there, and have hopefully brought home with me.
Simplicity – this has been the big theme. The past few months have been so full of analysis, intense discussion and ever-so-lengthy journal treatment of my internal processes, and it really does seem to have come full-circle and things suddenly seem extremely straightforward. I have come to some simple conclusions:
1) I only need to spend time contemplating things I am actually going to do. And not even much time – as soon as the opportunity for the thing to be done comes, my task is simply to get on with it. I only need to think about things insofar as I’m working out how to tackle them. This also means not spending time fretting about things I am definitely or even possibly not going to do – things I can’t or don’t want to change.
2) Eating (the one thing I still have to get right to prove that I’m on the move): it’s simply a matter of choosing sensibly at mealtimes and doing other things in between – it’s never longer than 5-6 hours. It’s not that long (given the myriad ways I have available to fill my time) and I have more than enough motivation to assist me in making better and better choices.
3) The way I relate to other people is changing considerably. I have now basically reached the point where I’m as comfortable with people as I am on my own (if not more so) and that the majority of the time I deliberately spend with people (work and commuting to be excepted!) is the type, quality and level that I enjoy. I’m not sure I will ever solve that magic decision of what ratio of people vs. alone time works best for me (though I get the general idea) and can only judge in the moment and from instance to instance – that’s OK. To beware of: spending too much time getting into other people’s drama and/or trying to make all my relationships sparkly perfect, to the point that it becomes a distraction from my plans, goals and missions, and spending time with people when it means time away from being myself.
4) Other people are not the answer. I go through phases of attaching my inner ache to certain individuals and obsessing over them, when it’s not about them at all – I just ache. It’s part of who I am, and it’s not anyone else’s to fix – the more I can get cosy with that ache as my own, as a factor in my individuality and an instigator of change, the better. (This one is particularly sad for me; letting go of other people as the focus for solving my problems is a big deal and my comfort-loving side is disappointed; but I have to accept it to move forward under my own power).
5) There is always going to be more to do than I will have time for. This is just part of life – as soon as you master one thing you immediately raise the bar and include other activities, and as you go from strength to strength the range of things you can do expands and – there just isn’t enough time to do everything. For me there are two very crucial things that come out of this: i) I need to allocate sufficient time to do the really essential things – not just exercise and music and things that make me feel good and take me towards my larger goals, but mundane yet necessary things like getting enough sleep, doing properly relaxing activities, and having time to cook and shop for proper meals. ii) I need to reassess frequently that I am getting the balance of priorities correct (or near-enough so) – I have a tendency to go through fads with things and if I postpone some activities at the expense of others, that’s when I get panicked and start to question my life’s structure. I guess I will need to come up with some (simple!) meta-structure for all the things going on in my life and check my daily or weekly activities against it on a regular basis, and also do a daily round-up (probably here) of things that have gone well and progress made.
Life is rich and time is short – and I am powerful.
For example, I’m faced with allocating time between this mixture of activities based on what I feel like right now:
– Reading factual stuff for work/employment prospects/international interest – The Economist I’ve been having a stab at today and Foreign Affairs that remains untouched. I need to make a few useful notes on what I’ve read.
– Reading the French magazine I bought and doing some vocab work with that
– Reading the novel I’m currently in the middle of (pure relaxation!)
– Doing a big tidy-up/shift around of things in our home to make the space more useable
– Finishing clearing up and sorting out stuff from our trip (mundane/domestic!)
– Having a bath, because I ming!
– Scrapbook update (so behind!)
– Classical Piano (have missed that so much)
– Guitar/song practice (ditto + supposed to be singing Sunday and recording in a month)
– Designing & making earrings with the stash I bought (to take as a present for E’s mum)
– Various other social catch-up things, picture updates etc.
– Other tidying, cleaning, crafting
I don’t have time to do all of these tonight but it’s just a sample – the weekend is still ahead!