Learning & Fun
Life is two things learning and having fun and this is how it happens in my life.
It’s a Friday. I have some free time in the morning and some work to attend to in the afternoon.
I wake up at 4:30am (no alarm, it just happens) and I get started, feeling energized and happy. I ponder how best to use the morning and what I need to get done. Well what I need to get done is completely overwhelming so I settle on what is the most important thing I need to get done today.
The most important list is also pretty overwhelming at the moment so it takes some focused consideration to find the best one or two things to attend to. This is learning.
I am learning to manage how to deal with too much to do without turning that fact into anxiety and or stress. I have already learnt that becoming anxious or stressed will cause panic or anger. Panic will cause me to make mistakes because I am letting go of my calm place when I panic. Anger, well that’s just the ultimate unhealthy place to be.
With this important lesson already folded in my minds wardrobe. I continue on in a focused yet held lightly mode of the best things to get done today.
- I must find an important form, information that I need, now.
- By 1pm I must be ready to leave home.
That is it for today. I look for the form and information I need. This is a good time to mention that I have never liked filing. I love when I can find something quickly, but it is rare. Accepting that fact I do not get too annoyed that by 7am I have not found that important form and decide on another way to source the information I need. Deciding on a phone call at 9am I turn to fun.
What do I want to do to have fun? Without making food a reward I decide I am hungry. The need to eat becomes a fun activity. I use eggs that I sourced from the best health food store in town, which are better than good. I sit and enjoy poached eggs on pumpkin bread. The bread sourced from a great bakery in this great city I live in. I focus on the wonderful tastes and look out my windows at the amazing view of my world as I eat.
If most people don’t see this as “fun” let me break it down. There are only two things in life, learning or having fun. Someone mentioned this on the telephone to me.
I googled it and nothing linking the two came up.
Then I decided I would consider it as part of every action I do and started to anticipate my day into just two components. Learning or Fun.
It feels light and I like light. Writing this is fun for me so all time writing is a joy to my being. I have other creative joys as well where I use my hands to make things. Once I make them I do wonder what I will do with them and today I cannot quiet bring myself to toss them out but will have to be considered that when in my learning space. Space being the issue.
I have too much stuff, which has another consequence. When in the learning mindspace I know there will come a time when I can let go of these things. But at this moment I am having fun.
While in the fun mindspace there is always that capacity to learn. However fun to me to stillness, calm, lightness, looking around and definitely does not include any real thinking. I understand this statement will possibly be misunderstood.
To me thinking is, focus and concentration on one thing at a time when I am working, which is a learning mindspace. I do find broken up during the working hours short breaks of fun time. Like having a chat to a co-worker or sharing a laugh or story. The people part should mostly be fun time, yet people are often the biggest challenge so it is almost all learning time. Most certainly interaction with people triggers the thought obsession.
Thought obsession is irrational thinking that we do not recognize as irrational thinking. The general lack of awareness in the world means many people function, often their whole lives, in thought obsession.
Here is my example of my thought obsession, at work I send an email asking a work question. Then I think…’oh did I sound critical, oh did I seem abrupt….’ oh this and oh that. I go to the sent box and re-read my email.
What I am doing is asking myself “How will this person judge me and how will this person react to me?” But I only ask that question through awareness.
Without awareness I am going ‘Oh should I send another email, should I clarify this, apologies for that, ask about this, maybe I will not get a reply, maybe they think I am insane, maybe I am, what should I do..’
This sort of irrational thinking just arrives in my head. I like to image that this sort of thinking/thoughts just float around like seaweed does. Every now and then the seaweed sticks to something or gets stuck on something and just sits there, waiting to be shifted. Or like weeds come up in the garden. What do we do when weeds come up? We pull them out. Why do we pull them out? Perhaps because we have learnt that the best flowers and plants will become stronger and healthy when there are no weeds around.
Through awareness I now catch myself recognizing, that is a weed or that seaweed is stuck on ‘me’. I remove it. I laugh and think how silly the thought obsession is. It still seems odd to think that I have created it, but I logically I do realize I have. As a strategy I like to think of it as some random thing that attaches to me and I can remove it quiet easily.
Easily being the interesting thing. It is sometimes not that easy to remove. Without awareness in the first instance it is actually impossible to remove thought obsession, once it is attached to our thinking process.
Back to my example the email plays on my mind for a day, no reply makes it fester. I decide there is nothing to be done I am being attacked by thought obsession, yet again on this email thinking. I let it go and forget about the email I have better ways to use my energy.
I note that thought obsession is a huge drain on energy. I love my energy and want it back so I forget about the email. I will just have to accept whatever the reaction is. About an hour later I get an email reply which tells me that I was right about the thought obsession, the sender appears to be ok with my email, it was all my own thinking that whipped me into a thought obsession, which was really about “Am I ok?”
What is just as interesting is when I interact with any person I must be aware that that person is likely to also be in the grip of thought obsession.
That means each of us are doing the best we know how to do. Not the best we can do, the best we know how to do. There is a fine line between these two statements. Another statement derived from the bible is “…they know not what they do…” With no awareness of course none of us know what we do.
When thought obsession is driving the vehicle, a completely unconscious mind is sitting at the wheel.
Becoming aware I accept I am but a mere human being (I love that song by Seal, I love all songs by Seal) as a mere human being I can only do one thing at a time. Multi tasking does have a limit. It is ok to me to stir a pot on the stove and maybe put a load of washing into a washing machine between pot stirring. To speak to a friend on the phone and listen to your children talking to you at the same time, plus looking at an ipad for the best recipe; it’s not good.
For any number of reasons it’s impossible to stay on top of workloads in the era we live in. Ultimately I accept this. The learning I get from this is to become aware that I am not staying on top lately – not – blaming, any number of things, people or issues. It happens. Once I am aware it has happened, I can make a plan to correct it, bring a necessary change into play.
When I blame I am always in thought obsession mode. Always. There is never anyone to blame for anything.
It seems to me that there are cycles when I can run and cycles when I just have to crawl. Metaphorically, of course, I don’t ever actually run.
Accepting that I can only ever do my best is the joy of awareness. Accepting that at times my best is not as good as my best is understanding that it is what it is.
Understanding that I can do my best and putting that into a practical purpose appears to supply amazing energy, even power to create great things.
More fun on this plain ordinary Friday was achieved when I made some Fruit Juice Jelly. I read somewhere online about the benefits of Gelatine and as I had some gelatine powder in my pantry I decided to find ways to use it other than making cheesecake, which I suspect was the reason I purchased it. I rather like a good cheesecake.
Not one for cooking I have often stated that I thought I could live without a kitchen altogether. However when not under pressure to produce a meal I now find it very relaxing and a fun thing to do, provided the mess to clean up is limited to some degree. Really really dislike the constant kitchen clutter that happens when we have to eat.
After some fun time at home and also some learning time 1pm arrived and I was out the door to do some work which was learning time mixed with fun time as the person I was working with that afternoon is an exceptional lovely person, his company is always a joy.
Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017