I’ve knocked out a few pretty serious posts in the last few months and then came down with a serious case of writers’ block. I keep starting more current event posts and not being able to finish them because I am so tired of all the awful shit that’s happening locally and internationally. We’ve become so unkind to each other. And that’s really what it comes down to, a complete and total lack of kindness and empathy in so many, many people.
I’m changing my focus today. I’m doing one of my favourite things. I’m sitting on the beach, enjoying a cold beer, waiting on my fish and bammy and just being happy – if only for a little while. Maybe more of us need to do this. Take a break from all the crap, adjust our focus, and do something we love. If only for a few hours one day of the week. I’m assuming we all have something we love – a hobby, a pastime, a guilty pleasure; something we love to do, somewhere we love to be, someone we love to be with.
There’s so much anger in the world. A new level of hatred is being displayed by so many different groups of people. I even find myself experiencing instances of almost irrational anger, easily annoyed at the least slight or misstep of my fellow human beings. I have a temper and I come by it honestly. I grew up in a household with people who were not afraid to, for want of a better phrase, ‘express themselves freely’. I was never really censored and so I’ve never been the type of person to hide my feelings or suppress my emotions. I went through a period where I tried to do just that and it was the unhappiest time in my life. There’s no benefit to repression; there’s no purpose to pretending you don’t think or feel a certain way. If you know yourself well, you can usually identify what emotion you’re feeling, when and why. And if you’re feeling anger, the kind of anger that causes you to hate someone (or a group of someones) and that makes you want to hurt someone, even, or maybe especially, if that someone is yourself, then you need to be able to give yourself a timeout to address that anger before you express it in a manner that is destructive. That’s one of the lessons I’ve learned in my life. I’ve broken a few glasses, thrown a few items and said a few things that I’ve regretted (because of how they reflect on me and the type of person I want to be as much as because of how they affected the person I’ve said them to). I’ve learned to apologize, to swallow my pride, put my big girl panties on, and admit when I’m at fault, even make amends where necessary and possible.
I’ve often said that self-awareness is a super-power. Knowing what annoys you and knowing what hurts you is just as important as knowing what makes you happy, as knowing what (or who or where) you love. And taking the time to decompress, to let go of some of that negativity, to restore the balance within your self is imperative. It helps to nip things in the bud. It helps to stop a potential blow up, sometimes even before the fuse is lit. It helps to know when to stop, step back and look within. It helps to restore and fortify. And with each successful incident, we get stronger. Each time we utilize that strategy, we get more proficient at it. Each time we see or feel the difference it makes, we (should) become more inspired to keep doing it. Sometimes life really is just as complicated, or hard or as unpleasant as we ourselves make it. There will always be things we can’t control – bad bosses, awful coworkers, shitty people. But there will always be that part of us that can control how we respond to them.
I’ve only in the last year or so discovered the real power of doing what I love. It makes an amazing difference. I’ve always loved the beach. I live on an island so I’m usually about 15-30 minutes’ drive from a gorgeous coastline. My family used to make a visit a weekly ritual. I was terrified of the water, refused to go in. The vastness of it was almost too much for me to comprehend. It was on one of the last occasions that we went that I finally faced my fear and ventured in; I’ve had a love affair with it ever since. There’s a metaphor in that reality that I’ll probably explore one day. The power of the sea is often eclipsed only by its beauty. The sound of the waves, the sun reflected on the water, the fact that sunrises and sunsets are just more perfectly framed by the nautical horizon. But what’s most important is the way I feel after I’ve spent time (t)here. It’s a pure kind of happiness and peace that I don’t get from doing anything else. I have other hobbies, other things I do in my down time, other things I enjoy. But this is the one that centers me, that allows me to reflect and relax and to replenish what is lost to the stresses of the week and the annoyance that comes from often unavoidable and unpleasant interactions. For me, it’s a time and place to reset and refocus and to shore up my resources to face the upcoming week.
We all need that. So, take some time, think about it. What relaxes you? What makes you happy? What takes the edge off the negativity that is constantly surrounding you? What brings you even a modicum of peace? What do you love? Do more of that. Do it as often as you can. Do it when you need to and sometimes, even when you just want to. Do it after what is negative overwhelms you. But most importantly, do it before. Do it before you lose your temper, before you say or do something that could hurt yourself or someone else. Do it so you play your part in making the world a little more bearable, a little kinder, a little better for all of us…
One thought on “Do What You Love…”
That’s my philosophy. I always try to do what I love.
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