We all wish we could nail down an outcome the way that we most prefer it would turn out.
I don’t like surprises. I’m a planner by nature but life doesn’t care how uncomfortable a lack of predictability makes me.
I wondered in yesterdays post, if perhaps this was what 2022 was teaching us. Don’t take things, people, events, for granted. Everything is fluid. Liable to change at any given moment. Oh, and don’t bother planning anything – aside from giving God a laugh, it really doesn’t serve any purpose.
Such plans. September 4, 2016 my first blog post on athousandbitsofpaper. I read it today and here it is. Eight years of blogging and sharing my thoughts and poetry. It’s been intermittent at times. Many posts have been erased due to me including some of the poetry in my books (a condition of publishing with Amazon). Still, there remains a large amount of writing on this blog, and it quite amazes me that I wrote it at all, or that I made it to here where the writing is effortless and fluid most days.
When I first began blogging I felt terribly exposed and often deleted posts, lest someone I knew read them. Eventually I became braver (or realised that actually nobody I knew, or at least no one who I minded reading my posts, was actually reading them).
I learned to tell the truth, as I saw it, unabashedly. Poetry doesn’t leave many places to hide. Gradually the feeling of over exposure left. Now, I don’t think about it at all. Besides, the benefits of blogging far outweigh any hurdles which we leap on our way. My writing has bought me closer to my true self. It uncovered things that I had no idea existed within. It bought creativity into my life, and through creativity I discovered how valuable curiosity, when put to good use, can be.
In order to be creative, you have to first be curious. Writing is just curiosity in motion. I write to find out about myself and the world around me. I write to find out what I think about a subject. Because when you write, you discover the truth. A truth that cannot always be found by simply thinking alone. In fact, definitely not from thinking alone.
Have you actually listened to your thoughts? They talk a lot of nonsense. Self criticisms, fear, judgment, gossip, complaining. Oh the complaining! If I were to pay any attention to my thoughts sometimes when running, I would fall to bits on the spot. Because that is what they are telling me may just happen if I attempt one more hill. They tell me I will fail. Thoughts whisper with fear, they hiss with anger and contempt. Thoughts tell lies. Now, when I have a particularly nasty thought, I interrogate it. “Why do you think …?” It’s amazing how many times I have watched a thought turn to water on the witness stand.
We can manipulate our own thoughts and use them in entirely different and more helpful ways. Thoughts create our emotions, which then turn into actions. Attention to thoughts is of paramount importance. We just shouldn’t believe everything that they say. In fact we should question them constantly.
Life is very uncertain, even a little scary right now. It’s sad at times and difficult. When I look ahead at the enormous workload of the year ahead, the projects we will be tackling, changes to building legislation coming in, and the challenges of bringing in contracts that we are already committed to on time, with roaring Covid cases now afoot (we have had it so very easy in Queensland in comparison to the rest of the world up until now) my thoughts can completely overwhelm me. Part of me wants to remain here in holiday land forever, and the other part wants to get stuck in and start shifting some of the “todo” list to “done”. In the past, I could very well have spent my entire holiday worrying about what was coming, instead of simply enjoying the time that I had.
But now thankfully, there is that wiser part that knows day to day, hour to hour is the only way forward. This is the part that speaks to curiosity, to truth, to the writer in me.
It has never been my way to patiently wait for the unfolding, I usually prefer to jump in and try to get ahead of whatever is coming. That way is not working anymore. And it’s exhausting. This is a new path. Let’s call it an interesting path.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
And if this year has got you feeling a little overwhelmed or fearful already, then try instead to wonder, instead of worrying.
Happy New Year and the very best of luck to you, I hope that it is the best one yet and why not? Why shouldn’t it be? If you think it will be horrible, why? Is that just your very human negative bias at work, or is it a truth, how could we possibly know? It’s barely the 8th day of January. Let’s give it a go, innocent until proven guilty. Bring on 2022 I’m curious. How will this story unravel?
Header image – which I absolutely love – thanks to Anton Darius