Friday, April 17, 2015

If it’s not one thing…

For each of us there seem to be certain periods in our lives when we feel we are focused on taking a certain direction, and yet it doesn’t happen. If it is not one thing that needs to be taken care of, it is another. And just when we think we are finished; it’s all taken care off, and now we can (finally) get back on track and start doing ‘our thing’ (whatever it is we have chosen that to be), then something else happens that definitely takes priority and needs to be handled first.

It can add loads of frustration to our, already busy, lives. And yet, whichever way you look at it, whatever makes it to the top of the list needs to be handled first. It is just that at that time we often fail to see that it ~ even while we never planned for it ~ is just as much part of our path as the things we actually have planned for ourselves and our lives.
The difficult part is to find the connection, to find how it fits in, and then to run with it from the most positive angle we can muster.

Often, when things come to a close and we take a moment to look back, hindsight may reveal a lot of the reasons and motives that had been at play all along. And just as often, it leaves us with a sense of gratefulness or having been placed in that particular situation in the first place…

Yet no matter how grateful we are, independent from how good, nice, productive even that period has been for us; it does leave us with the question whether our initial chosen direction was the right direction for our path ~ there was just something that came in between that needed to be handled first ~ or whether these things ‘keep interfering’ with our lives because the Universe is trying all it can to make us change directions. To point us in a way that is more beneficial to us in the long run ~ or even i the short term.
Especially when things, events, and situations that are ‘interfering’ keep popping up in our lives…

It will always be a signal that it is time to re-evaluate. To see whether we indeed should change directions, do different things, or at least do things differently. Or whether we are given the opportunity to clean up a lot of lose ends, and once we have tied those up we will be given the green light to move ahead in leaps and bounds…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Living our own lives

It is important to live our own lives, to take our own responsibilities, make our own decisions, and learn about life and ourselves in the process.

And yet, probably all of us have heard from someone older than us something like: “When I was young…” And then the story starts about how those were good times, or hard times. Almost all the time things were either way better than life is now; or way worse…
But in essence things in the old days the air was cleaner, the sun was brighter, the seasons were more succinct; in short, life was simpler.

In all fairness, there isn't anything wrong with comparing notes on how different generations have grown up. It is part of our family history. It also points out the differences; how far we have come since then.
I for one, I am very happy with laptops, mobile phones, and reliable cars; things I didn’t grow up with…

It does get to be a different picture when parents start living vicariously; when they start pushing their children to achieve the things they themselves didn’t when they were young. For whatever the reason. But as soon as the generation starts living life through their children; or even start pushing to live their children’s life ~ they are not living their own lives any longer…

Another way through which we may stop living our own lives is when we start coveting the life of others. When we see something in the life of someone else we feel is lacking in our own lives; we may imagine that the live that other person is living is way easier, way more fun, way better supported than our own lives have ever been. And what begins with a wish that our own lives were a little bit easier, may become something we focus on more an more, until that point when we find ourselves being jealous  of that other person. Or at least of the situation they are finding themselves in.

The problem is twofold.
First, all the time we are spending focusing on the life of that other person, we are not living our own lives ~ at least not to the fullest extend.
Second, we don’t really know where that other person is coming from. It may be clear to us that their live is different than ours; so much so that we perceive it as being easier than ours. Yet, more often than not, that is not the case. Their lives are almost always just as hard as our own lives; they are just different. With problems in different areas (which may be easy for us to solve, but not for them…)

All in all, and for any number of reasons, there is a lot to be said for focusing on living our own lives.
For making living our own lives working for us…

Friday, April 10, 2015

Life goes on

 Whenever something ‘earth-shattering’ happens in our lives, it seems like life itself suddenly comes to a halt. It seems to stand still in that very moment. And depending on what the event or situation is, we may feel locked in place for quite some time…

While this in all likelihood is totally correct from our perspective, it is not necessarily true for people and things around us. As it turn out ~ from a factual perspective ~ life keeps moving on. And for those that were not personally caught in the ‘earth-shattering’ event, things find their balance and move on surprisingly quickly. After the initial shock, and perhaps the compassion felt in that very moment, life takes over and pretty soon the ‘normal’ routine ensues.

Whatever event or situation we have felt brought our lives to a standstill, is ‘old news’. It may even evoke the well intended ~ yet not helpful ~ comment that it is best to move on. After all, we cannot change whatever happened, so why dwell on it?

They are right of course; after all, we can see with our own eyes that the day changes to the night, and back to a new day again. The moon grows to its fullest image, and back to that point of total darkness. And given time the seasons flow form one into the other, just like nothing has happened…

Life goes on.
It is ourselves who have come to a standstill.

The moment we got caught up in that ‘earth-shattering’ event or situation, things changed in our own lives. Whether that situation is about moving ~ especially when we didn’t feel like moving in the first place ~ or because our jobs changed or even stopped. Whether it is something health related, or an issue of life and death…
Whatever it is, it puts us into a position where we need to take a second look at it. And perhaps even a third, fourth, fifth look… It puts us in a position where we need to re-evaluate; have another look at our priorities…
At that point we have a need to step back from our lives and everything in it, to give ourselves time in order to put things into place, and to regain our balance. To discover what is truly important to us in life. To  find out what really makes us happy. To ascertain where we want to spend our time and energy.

Only then do we feel we can move forward again, and move with life as it goes on…

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A thousand little things

The way our memory works is not quite as straight forward as we may think. For starters, we hardly ever remember anything the way it factually happened. We remember that particular situation the way we felt it was happening…

Now, those two may be very close together, however, often they are not.
For instance when we, as children, were not allowed to eat a cookie right before dinner, no malice ever was intended! And yet, we may remember that we were wronged over and over again, because we were never allowed a cookie.

The other thing is about our memory is that whatever we are remembering has registered on all of our senses. Therefore, input to any of our senses can bring back a specific memory. This way, when I smell de scent of fresh baked bread, it brings me right back to when I was about 8 years old and my mom took me to the bakery early in the morning to buy fresh buns ~ still warm ~ for me to take as a packed  lunch on a school outing…

As we often may not know how the memory has registered in our subconscious, we may not have an inkling as to what can trigger that specific memory either. Until it happens.
And then we may find that there are a thousand little things that bring back memories of a situation, an experience, or a person. Anything from a sound to a scent; a flower, or the way the light hits the kitchen floor. And sometimes that memory is triggered by something somebody is saying.

At first glance, all of these things are factually unrelated to that particular memory, and yet each and every one of them can bring back that memory in great detail…

And so, especially when the memory is still fresh in our minds, there are a thousand little things that may trigger it. A thousand little things that confront us with how things were, what has happened, or what we have experienced.
A thousand little things that give us the opportunity to finetune our memories; chances we give ourselves to relate our memory of the event with the actuality of what happened. A thousand little things that help us cope with what could have been, but is no more…

Until at some point that memory seems to drift into the background of our (subconscious) minds, as other events take place in our lives and new memories are being built.

And then we may only need just one little thing to trigger that specific memory…

Friday, April 3, 2015

Taking a break

Taking a break every once in a while is always a good thing. Whether it is a break from a project you have been working on for a while, a break from a routine you have found yourself in for perhaps a bit too long; or even taking a break from an otherwise regular blogging habit.

Taking a break offers us the opportunity to gain fresh perspectives. Stepping back from pretty much anything we have been involved in for a while in order to change viewpoints; to look at it differently. To re-evaluate, and maybe even redirect our focus, before we re-engage with renewed energy…

This is especially true fro blogging.
By its nature blog-posts tend to reflect ~ at least to a certain extend ~ what is important to ourselves; or even what is happening in our lives and how we may feel about it. And there is nothing wrong about that; especially when it is written from a perspective that is interesting to other people or can help them cope with a similar situation in their own lives.

Yet there are also things that while there is nothing wrong about writing about them; there is no reason to put them out there in that manner…
As soon as our inner dialogue as to topics to write about goes something like this it may be time to look a little deeper:
“Why would I write about that?”
“Because I can!”

The question then becomes whether we are writing about that particular topic because it is interesting to us at that point in time, or whether we are writing about it in order to vent our own emotions in a very public manner.
As long as it is an interesting topic to write about, we probably should go ahead and post to our blogs about it. But when it is just to vent our emotions, perhaps it is time for a break from blogging. Because while we can write about just about anything, there is hardly ever a need to do so; especially when we ~ because of our own, intense emotions ~ we fail to add a broader perspective to our posts.

And for that very reason, I have taken a break from writing.
As it turns out, I have written hardly anything over the past month or so; taking time for myself. Giving myself the opportunity to regain my footing, before continuing my blogging habit…

And now that I find myself refreshed and rejuvenated; I’m back!