It was a regrouping weekend for me. Time for reflection has been scarce this year and I have missed it. I had expected my travel routine would have offered me more opportunities for thinking and writing than it has. Instead the tray table has become another desk, and I scramble to get things knocked off my do list before the seat belt sign illuminates for landing.
Stuff happens like that doesn’t it? Our expectations don’t eventuate. The trick is figuring out how long to allow the patterns to develop before we reset. 2013 is about a new experiment in work and life. The downside of commuting to work by plane every week is offset by long weekends at home at one of our favourite stretches of Australian coast.
The honeymoon period for me has been characterised by adrenaline charged workdays, surviving on less sleep in order to keep the various balls in the air. Those balls involve progressing work for clients, keeping connected with our Melbourne based family when there, helping think through and manage significant change in our business, a routine of medical appointments and regular exercise.
The wettest February in 10 years has literally put a damper on the weekends. That hasn’t bothered us until more recently, when like other QLDers we’ve begun to tire of the rain and south easterlies.
So this last weekend has punctuated that. Some sun in the outlook has helped. A reassessment of expectation re writing projects has begun to alleviate some frustration. I am re-energised for the next season.
Some people have a way with words. My long time friend Rob Conkie is currently directing a performance of Shakespear’s Henry IV (part 1) as part of Latrobe Uni’s Moat Festival, so last night Maria and I went along to take it in. Listening to the English master is humbling. Even though English might be my first language, I feel a bit like a toddler holding a cricket bat compared with a Sachin Tendulka. (BTW, the performances and direction are A class; well worth the effort.) It reminded me of some of the thoughts related to last weeks post on finding our sweet spot.
A related conversation, is about finding people who are at the top of their game and bask in their competence. Whether that be concreting (last week’s post) or language. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy authors who write like poets. Mark Nepo is one. This morning I read this little phrase from him;
“When overcome with urgency we tend to strike at life blindly.”
Indeed. A discipline that goes a long way to prevent serial urgency is quarantining regular time for reflection. The stage of life in which we find ourselves, and related routines, will impact how we are able to build it in, but where there is a will there is a way to steal an old cliché. I remember when our kids were young it meant getting up early before there was any noise in the house. These days with more flexibility it tends to be more civilised, often in quiet cafes or leisurely walks. (although Maria says I don’t walk I dawdle.)
Anyway, Mark’s little proverb reminded me again of the paradox. Some weeks are so busy its impossible to get through them well without taking time for reflection. I hope you manage to find a way to avoid ‘striking at life blindly’ this week.