Hooray, at last a whole week to do what I want to do. It’s been a week of trying to strike the balance between resting and relaxing but also getting on with things. I’m sitting down to write this with no real purpose in mind, I don’t really know what I want this post to be about. A reassuring opening for you the reader! Perhaps though, you will bear with me and read on and see where we end up by the final sentence.
There’s a lot I intended for this past week. The gift of a whole week, the unfurling of time before you to fill. Somewhere within my mind, I envisioned this week to be a kick-start, a chance to get my galvanising intentions going. There’s been lots of good (by good, I of course mean bad) excuses for getting to the middle of February and not starting the things I want to achieve this year; life in London is busy and tiring, finding the time to pause between two breaths is hard enough. How can I find time and the motivation to do all the things I want to do on top of the things I need to do?
Want vs Need.
An accepatance that- sometimes life gives you what you need before you get what you want.
I’m in my parents home. The comfort of a week deep down in this famililar, quiet nest where I can just be and drink countless cups of tea. All the chicks have flown the nest and now is ripe for downsizing. This means there is a whole lot of sorting to be done, what to keep and what to chuck? What will I need and what do I want?
Moments spent reading through old notebooks and journals. Reading back over my old self.
An ‘oh’ type of realisation that there are apparant, glaring themes that have followed me throughout my life. That at the heart of what I write about now in my moleskines, is in some way at the heart of what I wrote about way back then.
I’m still the same person working through different situations, what concerned me then still concerns me now.
That isn’t to say I haven’t grown and progressed as a person because I know I have but my character directs me to think about the same issues. The same issues arise in different guises but at the root of them are the same kind of expectations, fears and hopes.
It makes me think about how much we make our lives for ourselves, how much the life I live is the product of the way I direct it.
Always, I’ve had so many intentions, the back pages of all the notebooks I’ve ever had are filled with lists and lists of ideas and projects to do one day….one day when there is time. The realisation is that there never will be time for somebody like me.
I saturate my time with endless tasks to do. Its a way of putting off what I really want to do because what excuse is there, if I dedicate my time and focus to what I really want to do and then fail at it. There is nothing left to blame but my own inadequacy. A sharp inhale of breath, settling onto the truth of the above statement.
It is what I’ve done all this week. I’ve not really stopped or relaxed. This week was supposed to be the week where I galvanised my writing intentions. Yet, it is Thursday and today is the first day of the week where I’ve sat down and properly written anything.
I’ve neither written much or relaxed, the two things I probably needed above all others. Feeling obliged to do other things first, to make myself a task list of a hundred things to do, spreading myself thinner and thinner between lots and lots instead of pooling myself around the two things I both want and need.
My admiration is boundless for those who focus on the one thing they want and they pursue it with everything they’ve got.
On Monday I hiked up mountains. It was hard, hard work, after the first steep ascent I thought my legs would never move again. The thing with mountains is you think the summit is just up there above you, within your reach. As you crest the steep ridge and haul yourself over it, you look up and it goes on, the mountain rises ever higher above you. The magnificence and magnitude of it means to get to the true summit more of you is required. You have to dig even deeper, searching your soul for the energy and resolve to reach the real summit. It taunts you and pushes you along the way, as you climb, making it over one ridge and then the next; the world offers you more and more beauty, with each metre ascended the view unfolds itself.
Surrounded by nothing but space and nature, a pre-human world.
You want to reach the true summit because you know it will top all that you’ve already seen and felt. So you keep going. You might find your heart hammering in your ears as your feet slip and slide on a vertical slope covered in snow, life literally beating itself through your veins because part of you is wondering what would happen if your foot slipped at the wrong point. The whole time your mind and your body are working in unison, both bent on one intention and one focus- ‘reach the top of this mighty thing’, for this one day out of the thousands you will live, that is all you need to do.
So this is it, the end of my excuses.
Here is a public declaration. ‘I will write’.
My hike up mountains has taught me what I’ve always known. Now is the time to focus on the one thing I want, to reach the true summit of it, even if there are heart-stopping moments along the way and false summits demotivating me: just keep going and pursue, pursue it and believe in it with everything I’ve got.
I’m going to eliminate those time-wasting, energy-sapping things and resolve my body and mind to this one thing and eventually I will make it to the top and the feeling when I get there will be as magnificent as seeing the whole, beautiful, world unfolding beneath me.