Friday, July 24, 2015

Antique clocks

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I like clocks, especially the old ones that still are driven mechanically, rather than electrical or the ones that are battery operated. Although the latter ones often are way better at displaying the correct time. So when you really need to know the correct time at any moment of the day, those often are a better solution…

But those old clocks have more character. As if they have a personality all their own.
Big or small, they are often stately figures. And whether their pace is fast or slow, more like the heartbeat of Father Time himself, doesn’t make them better necessarily. It doesn’t take away from their character or personality either, if anything it adds to that.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as desiring to collect old clocks or watches. On the other hand, I do cherish the ones that have come my way over the years. Therefore the ones that do call my house home, also have been in my family for many long years. They have many stories to tell. And, as long as I pay attention and pull up their weights in time ~ wind their springs tight ~ they should continue their own rhythmic tic-toc heartbeat, and show the ‘sort of’ correct time.

However, the two old wooden clocks do not agree.

They have come into my life at different times, and they have taken different routes to arrive. Even though they have originated in the same branch of my family, their characters and personalities are quite different from each other.

Where they are the same is in the fact that I cannot get either one of them to start moving again. As one might say, they give the right time twice in every 24 hour span. And that has been true for years.

It hasn’t been for lack of trying on my part. To my ears that slow tic-toc rhythm brings a sense of stability and comfort to my space. Yet no matter what I do, or how hard I try, these two clocks stubbornly keep quiet.

The interesting thing though, is that both stopped at exactly the same time. Their hands frozen in the same position. And as it turns out, it is a significant time. It is the time at which the heartbeat of their previous owner stopped, many years ago…

And so here they are.
Beautiful, antique clocks, with wonderful characters; telling me twice a day that on that other side ~ in that other world ~ there is no need for time…
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Finish

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All of us are striving to finish in one way or another.
Whether it is a project we are eager to finish, a job, a trip, household chores; or even reading that book ~ if only to know how it ends… And while there are all kinds of events where we like to finish in first place, most of the time it is more important to just finish.

Finishing whatever is keeping us occupied is not a race, it is a cycle nearing completion. Which in turn implies that after we have finished it, there will be space and energy for new things to come into our lives.
Just looking at it, finishing up is a good thing! So let’s go ahead and be done with it!!

Often that is exactly how it goes.
The end of a project (or job, or chore) is in sight, and with renewed energy we just finish up so we can relax and enjoy the smell of roses…

And then there are those cycles ~ those things that are nearing their completion ~ that, the closer to the finish we get, the more we tend to stop going for it. Because the moment we finish, we are faced with a finality. It is as if something is about to fall away from our lives, never to return.
The end of an era…

We may not be ready yet to face life without it; even fear a sense of emptiness. As long as we are working on ‘it’, no matter how close to the finish we are, at least part of that particular cycle is still in our lives. And especially when that cycle has been in our lives for a long, long time, it can be hard to imagine what our lives would look like once it is finished.

It can be difficult to get excited about something that we cannot clearly imagine…

Yet in the grand scheme of things, even if we take our time getting to it, there will be that time when all is said and done, when everything is clean, loose ends tied up, and all is finished.
Over. Done with.

In the grand scheme of things, there will be new adventures. New people to meet, new things to see. New experiences that in time will become new memories…

So when we find ourselves experiencing a little resistance to actually finish up, perhaps it is good to realize that whatever we have experienced in this previous cycle will never be truly lost to us. It will live on in our minds and our hearts. It will also be a stepping stone for us to get to the new things that are awaiting us just around the corner…
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Show and tell

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It is not just for those of us that are expressing themselves creatively that it is important to have the opportunity to ‘show and tell’. To let others know what you are working on, where you are standing with it, whether you are encountering problems with it, or if you happen to find great fulfillment in actually doing it.
And it really doesn’t matter a whole lot whether you are doing a ‘show and tell’ just for your friends, your family, or on a bigger scale like an event or fair ~ the idea is to share about the things you are doing. As it turns out it can be an inspiration to others, yet any feedback can also be very helpful to gain new and different perspectives yourself. To start seeing things in a different light, and consequently, start guiding your project in an even more productive direction.

Where family or friends are possibly the smallest scale to do a ‘show and tell’ on; doing a talk on TED would arguably be the biggest scale event for a ‘show and tell’. But then there is an enormous amount of other venues, other places, other audiences where we can show others and tell the world about what we do, like fairs, job-related events, markets, and yes, the internet etc.

The thing that is totally personal is what we expect to get out of doing a ‘show and tell’.
Sometimes it is enough to just have fun doing it, and any real interest or productive feedback is a bonus. Other times we may aim for our ‘show and tell’ to be a low key ~ or perhaps even a full blown ~ marketing event. Not just showing what we do and telling the world about it, but definitely trying to make a couple of sales as well! And these ‘sales’ may result in having more, new people on our mailing lists; or an actual exchange of money and product…

The one thing that we pretty much always do expect, independent of the venue or what we are aiming for, is that there are people who are interested in listening to our ‘show and tell’. Especially when it is on a fair or event where we pay for our space ~ be it a table or a booth.
If there are few visitors, or even none at all, then the whole positive, inspiring, re-enforcing ‘show and tell’ can turn upon itself and can quickly become an experience that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths…

It is one of those things that makes me think that planning for a ‘show and tell’ in a relaxing, homey atmosphere, is the very best we can hope for!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A push to change

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It appears that in the energy of today all of us are pushed to change in one way or another, yet few know which direction to change into. Where to go from here seems to be a big ~ almost universal ~ unknown.

It is almost like the best next step is just any step in any direction we have not taken before in our lives. Whatever we can imagine for ourselves, no matter how wild or ‘far out’ it seems, it is worth giving it a try and to truly go for it!
And while this as a concept may be appealing, to actually do it can be incredibly scary.

After all, in order to try something new, chances are we have to give up something we have in life. If only to create the space for new things to come into our lives. And even when we know ~ consciously or in our hearts ~ that this thing we are about to give up is not serving us anymore (and perhaps hasn’t served us for a long, long time) letting go of it, just like that, may bring up a sense of insecurity with it. We know what we have, but we may not have a clue as to what this new, and supposedly better thing that is about to come into ur lives, is.

And this is especially true when we are nudged to change, without receiving a clear indication as to the direction we are changing into…

On the other hand, if we hold off on the changes ~ if we ignore the gentle nudges that tell us ‘it is time…’ ~ then pretty soon those nudges become pushes. And when those are still resisted, eventually something can be brought onto our path that forces the issue.

This means that in a way we find ourselves caught between a rock and a hard place.
We sense the need for changes, yet don’t know what to change or where to start. Yet if we don’t do anything about it, we may eventually find ourselves in a situation where changes rapidly take over our content and organized life style, without us having any say in it.

Weighing those options, as soon as we feel that nudge or push to change, we may as well do something wild and unexpected ~ perhaps even something other people may feel is ‘out of character’ for us ~ and have some fun with it…
Just keep in mind that if it doesn’t work out the way we anticipated, we can always retrace our steps and try taking a different direction to reshape our lives!
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Options

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With just about everything we do we have options. Options on how to do the task at hand, but also options whether we want to engage in it at all; if we want to opt in or rather opt out…

Which option we choose often has less to do with what needs to be done in a ‘timely manner’, than it has with our value system. How much importance we put on ‘doing it right’, on what we consider a ‘timely manner’, and yes, whether we feel it is something we want to spend our time and energy on at all!

On the surface it sounds so simple; we just perform the tasks that need to be taken care of. The things that are our part in making (family)life work. And if no-one else feels they need to do one thing or another, chances are we will be picking up the slack.

Not only is that what is expected of us, it even is what we expect out of life. Expectations we probably were raised with. And these expectations tell us that while we have options on how to do our chores, we better make sure they get done because no-one else will do them for us.
Or as they say in my native language “Only the sun rises for free”, meaning that we will have to work for everything else in life.

So whenever we get fed up with life being too busy, not leaving us any much needed time to spend on our own, personal needs and desires ~ when we feel that longing for newness in our lives ~ chances are we will choose a different option on how to do things, rather than realizing that we also have the alternative to opt out. That we will do the same things we have always done in a new way, rather than evaluating if these things are truly important enough for us to spend our time and energy on, on a regular basis.

One of the questions we can ask ourselves is what would happen if we didn’t do it. Would our entire world fall apart? Or would the fact that it hasn’t been done go by unnoticed? Or would, without missing a beat, someone else pick up where we left off?

With all the options we are presented with in life, perhaps it is time to pay attention to that most important option to do the things we truly want to do, rather than those things we feel we have to do. And chances are, as soon as we choose to opt in or opt out, everything else will fall into place.
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