Thursday, December 06, 2018

Life Goes On

'Run Lola Run' tells the story of Lola trying desperately to rescue her boyfriend. A loop of failure repeats, over and over. The same, but not the same. She goes through the same situations but her choices have different knock-on-effects. For her, and for others. One of my favourite parts is the 'flashbacks' and 'flashforwards' which show quickly, with polaroids, the stories of the people she comes into contact with.

Life goes on. When someone treats us strangely, we seldom have a full picture of the back story. People going through divorces still pitch up at meetings about the new water filter. Work deadlines don't pause for people to reflect on the anniversary of a traumatic experience. People we meet remind us of other people. Situations trigger reactions that have little to do with the current stack of polaroids, but are rather a muscle-memory response to things in our past. Or desires for our future.

Life goes on. Sometimes it can all feel a little bit too much, but we have to get out of bed to do the various things we have committed to. Sometimes those commitments add up to so much that it feels like life is living us, rather than us living life.

I was feeling a bit too overwhelmed at the end of last year. 

I am in the fortunate position of having made a conscious decision to step back from the Big Ticket get out of bed driver. A day job. The five day work week, two day weekend cycle. I took the 'do the hard thing first approach' and was very pragmatic about my career choice. I then saved and invested as much of what I earned as possible. I was in the fortunate position of having few extra financial commitments. I put my money to work, and eventually felt like if I constrained my expenses, I had enough. Enough to step off the job train, and focus on things that didn't cost money. Enough to Stop Donkey Stop.

Despite that, this has still been a wobbly year. I have lots of wonderful relationships and support. I even started seeing a psychologist in the middle of the year. I am okay. Okay. Life still goes on. It is a deep web where we are all having our own personal struggles, communal struggles, national struggles, and global struggles. It is messy and complicated. It goes on.

As the year has gone on, I have started to learn more about "Wu Wei". The idea of "Action through Inaction", or trying not to try. Less fighting, and more curiosity about genuinely seeing things as they are. A deeper sense of what matters, why it matters, and a how we want to respond to the things life throws at us. With calm.

We don't get to repeat the Loops like Lola. We get one chance. But life is a little loopy. Many of our experiences rhyme. If we pause to look at the pictures, we can use each day as a practice run. Instead of an overwhelming mess, we can focus on the daily practice.

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