bookmark_borderSlowly Happy

It feels a bit like a long slow ascent, floating higher and higher above the ground. Everything seems to be changing perspective, as I drift over ground previously covered and onwards to new pastures.

The benefits of this extra distance are obvious. I can see the connections better, the well trodden pathways and places I’ve spent some time are clearly defined, but as I float away the detail matters less and less and, instead, I’m left with the impression of them.

It’s a strange feeling to slowly realise that you are changing. The first half of the year is over and looking back, whilst I didn’t realise it at the time, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, about who and what I am and I think, finally, I’m starting to accept myself for myself.

I’m flawed, imperfect and not yet finished. And so it will remain.

I’m trying to be better in subtle ways, trying to make myself happy, and more and more I’m succeeding. It’s one thing having moments of happiness but it’s quite another to realise that it’s a default position, even if it’s realised more as contentment it’s much more preferable to me than my (previous) normal pessimism.

It’s been so gradual that I’ve barely noticed at times. No matter how much I may say it to others I think these subtle shifts in our self are harder to register and it’s only when looking back that you can see where you’ve been.

Of course a large part of this is that I don’t look back as often as I used to. The past is the past for a reason. I’ve learned from it, painfully at times, but I am where I am today and the only way is forward.

Ahhhh such are the ramblings of insomnia. Lying awake in the half-light, pondering my life and realising just how good it is, how blessed I am and how, fundamentally, I am happy. Consistently happy.

bookmark_borderStop Planning

I’ve recently managed to do something I’ve been trying to do for a while.

In fact, I’ve managed it twice.

The interesting realisation for me is that I hadn’t planned to do it the way it happened, it just … happened.

This event had it’s genesis in the realisation that it’s ok to fail. That it’s ok to stop doing something in favour of something else. That I don’t need to do everything.

I’d been trying to do since January and started out well enough, best intentions leading me forward and, for a while, it was going ok but over the past few weeks it started to falter.

So I did something I don’t recall ever doing before and, once I’d done that, I felt ready to move on. It felt cathartic, liberating, and maybe a little bit of the right kind of wrong.

It got me thinking. Maybe I need to stop planning things, stop trying to control things so much and just let things happen, be more organic (is what I think the marketers would say). I have always presumed I worked better if I had a goal in mind, set myself a challenge and then layout out a plan of attack but I think that’s only true in certain cases.

It seems that, for things I want to achieve that I’m not able to do on my own, I need to be challenged, need to have something to prove to someone else. To succeed I need to have that nagging feeling that someone else will ‘win’. I’ve tried setting my own goals but it just doesn’t stimulate me as much as the desire to prove someone wrong, or to put it another way, I thrive on competition.

The most obvious example is the fact that I’ll happily play an hour of basketball, push myself to my physical limits and if the chance arises play on for another 30 mins. If I go to the gym, with only myself to compete against I start to flag and that’s when the excuses start.

Of course it depends on what the goal is and what I’m only just figuring out – seriously, I’m almost 40 – is that some things don’t need planned, don’t need a goal. If they need to happen, they will.

Lesson learned, read what you want, when you want.