Even with the ups and downs of life, we are still moving forward.
Well, the New Year is well and truly upon us which has many people excited about what it will bring, but equally, there are people who are worried. Worried about what they will do, what will happen, and in a lot of cases, what will not happen.
I’ve mentioned before in my writing that I split my working week between two jobs, one working in welfare and the other in youth work supporting young people who have experienced homelessness into independent living and all else that comes with it. The headline is something that I find myself saying a lot to not just the young people I work with, but people I converse with on a daily basis.
5 or 10 years ago, not so much would I have been saying such words, sure, I was quite fresh in my field but times were vastly different only a few short years ago. It can be a downright challenge living in this overly connected and filtered world that has been created before our very eyes, and it seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, yet. Those who exist within it, however, from what I can gather through conversations, are. They are tired of the pace, tired of the race, tired of swimming against the tide and are starting to turn the other way and run with it, and just see where it goes.
As a writer, for as much writing as I get done, there is a lot that does not, and this is 100% due to allowing all that is being thrust upon us via information saturation distracting me from who I am and what I like doing. But there is something that I do that is perhaps a little different, sure, one could argue its built into my DNA and is who I am as a person, but I’d counterargue and suggest it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time learning, and perfecting.
Shutting everything that does not serve me 10 years from now, and focussing on only what I want and feel I need to get done right now.
Sure, easily said right? Not so easily done? Of course. I’m not going to suggest for one moment that I just close a roller door and the outside world is closed off and leave my mind immediately, though, some days I can do it just like that, and I get a little kick out of it when I do (good one Jamie I say to myself).
Getting back to the 5 or 10 years ago world we lived in and tying in the headline. If I had a low day or a day of doing nothing back then, it just was what it was, and more often than not, it was the result of doing too much in the days leading up to a day of nothingness or a large night on the town the night before. I do not recall at all beating myself up mentally for having a day of doing nothing, not once. Nowadays though, and perhaps only up until very recently, I was the king of all of the land of beating myself to a pulp mentally for not ‘doing enough’ with my day or my time, whatever ‘enough’ was anyway, as often we can be guilty of tricking ourselves into thinking we are busy but we are really just busy being busy doing nothing but being busy doing nothing, you dig?
So many cliches’ one-liners come to mind right now as I write. ‘You can only control your reaction to situations, nothing more, nothing less’, ‘just focus on you, and everything else will fall into place’, ‘timing is everything’ and so on and so forth, I’m sure you get my drift. And for as eye rolling the moments are when someone rattles off one of these lines at a time where all we want is a lotto win and a deserted island, well, they’re all very true.
When we are at the top of the peak, not a lot gets in our way, not a lot slows us down. When we start sliding to the bottom and before we know it, have hit it, well, everything sits neatly on top of us giving us a little peek at the light every now and again until we summon the strength to lift it all off and climb back up. All too often though, many are guilty of not realizing that the whole time, regardless of being at the top or the bottom of life, or a particular situation, that we are moving forward, moving along the spectrum of what we call life.
Lately, more than ever, I find myself shelling out this advice to people of all walks of life and age brackets, one of the joys of my jobs, exposure to all ends of the spectrum. What I find people realize after talking about this is just this, that realisation that this description is entirely true, and that the act of simply moving along the timeline of their life, is just enough, it matters not what they are actually doing with their time, but only that they are moving, and doing just that.
How cool is that?
So how do you know if during the ups and downs if you cease to keep moving along? Well, all I can think of is that you’d be dead, and I can’t really speak for what that is like, unless this life really is life on the ‘other side’ and the world we enter in our dreams is actually ‘life’ which is why it feels so good and so free because that really is what life is about, in most circumstances, when you really break it down and be honest, we do have a lot of choices. And on that, is that just not the beauty of our dreams if they are dreams? To really let our minds unwind and go where they want to go as to inspire us in our ‘waking state’? Be that at the top of the mountain, or at the bottom of the ravine, all the while we are going downstream with the current, because what is the point in fighting it? It just gets tiring and you end up getting a lot of water in your mouth, and it just feels awful.
Go with it for a while, celebrate all the work you put into climbing up to the top, and enjoy the slide down to the bottom, that’s where you’ll learn all you need to know.