Crisis

Crisis. It is a word which screams of a dire need for change. Crisis. It is a pleasing word to say even though its meaning is something terrible is imminent or has already happened. So often we see a problem brewing but don’t do what we need to do to avert any negative outcomes. It shouldn’t take a crisis to spurn us into action.

Yesterday I had a surprisingly good day. When it took me a long time to fall asleep the night before I thought I would wake up groggy and be useless to the world. This was not so. It was a struggle to wake up as it usually is, and I had to force my feet down to the floor, but once I threw the duvet back I was on it like a rocket. I got necessary tasks done at work quickly and competently. I wrote the last few pages of the draft of my novel proper (fantastical epilogue still to go). I identified important tasks that will need to doing as we get busier over the next few weeks. I was a useful component of two meetings during the morning. I remembered to have lunch at approximately lunch time. I played the guitar and sang for the first time in weeks and really enjoyed it. I bought myself a wireless keyboard and mouse to make writing easier. But, I did have to tell myself repeatedly to start all these things before I got stuck in.

Why did it take me several nights of poor sleep in a row to narrow my focus to doing one thing at a time? Why do I explain away poor choices instead of making better ones? Why do I identify what needs to change, but neglect putting in the effort to make it happen?

I am drawn to writing and making music. Writing stories gives me energy. The thought process required to create a world and the characters within takes a lot of energy, but somehow I feel energised afterwards. Playing music gets my head nodding and my foot tapping. When I play music and spend time writing songs I can’t help but look at the world and see the awesomeness in it. What makes it easier for me, is words form themselves into coherent sentences or phrases in my mind and I am simply a vessel putting them on paper. Something as mundane as walking through the park becomes an escape from a marauding band of… something! Maybe zombies but the reader might not ever find out. Struggling with a spreadsheet at work becomes a fight to the death with a fantastical figures-focussed vampire. When I’m in the darkest depths of depression emotion twists itself into ingenious poetic verse. I simply must muster the energy to write it down.

Yet. I squander so many days. Enjoying the creativity created by others in the form of intelligent. TV shows is a fine choice of activity. Unless it becomes the majority of what I do. Enjoying the deep storyline of a video is also a fine choice of activity. Unless it becomes so addicting I go to sleep too late. I know these things happen. I can see them happening. But it is only when I reach near breaking-point that I start to make changes. Usually this comes in the form of taking a day or two off work because I need to or I will break down.

So. This year has been a bit terrible. Different crises have caused near unsolvable problems in different parts of the world. But I believe 2020 can be the start of something great. Call it pragmatic naive optimism if you will, but I will work hard to make what is left of it as good as it can be for as many people as I can. I’m young enough there are plenty of years for me to build on that too. For the first time in a while I have achievable goals I’m aiming for. It even feels like they might almost be achievable. One foot in front of the other. Again and again. Repeat. And I’ll get there.

Are there things in your life which have to reach near breaking-point before you make changes? How can you put fail-safes in place to make sure you don’t need to engage in crisis management? Do you have a ‘bat phone’ you can pick up, with a trusted ally at the other end of the line, when things get to be more than you can handle?

Empower yourself, look after those around you, and keep on keeping on being awesome. Peace.

Cover photo by Muhammad Irfan from Pexels.

19 thoughts on “Crisis

  1. E. L. Jayne says:

    I can relate to this so much, maybe even a little too much. I’ve often wondered to myself where the disconnect comes from knowing what poor choices I’m making, to actually making a change. Is it because just one poor choice isn’t that bad? Two can’t be that bad either right? But after weeks of not making the best decision for myself I look around and find myself in the hole I’ve dug. Should I be harder on myself? But I don’t want to be too hard. I’m sure you can understand this battle for balance that in the end leaves me unfulfilled. I’ve learned that I am happiest when I’m 100% committed to my goals, if I have to be hard on myself I guess that’s what it takes because it’s worth it in the end. Thanks for this reminder, friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Knowing what our goals are is a good place to start. For about a decade I was floating around thinking I knew what I wanted but not actually able to say for sure. I found it really difficult to even say something like “I’m going to this soccer game”, “This video has a great story”, “I’m going to play the guitar and write a song”, or “I’m going to write this story”, know I meant it and actually *wanted* to do it. Now I have a short list of goals (write and publish books, and record and release music) I have direction and purpose. Even if this is achieved around the necessity of a full time paying job at the moment.

      The next step is committing as much of my time to those goals as possible. Recognising how much is too much time away from them any particular day, month, or year, and kindly direct myself back around to them.

      “Should I be harder on myself? But I don’t want to be too hard.” Hits very close to home! When is kindness reprimanding ourself for a bad choice. It’s it one? Two? Three that becomes the problem?

      I pray you find the right kind of peace on your journey. Thank you so very much for your deep and thoughtful musings, and your encouragement. As I find myself saying so truthfully: keep on keeping on being awesome, because you are.

      Peace, Hamish.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. E. L. Jayne says:

        Thanks, Hamish and I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I feel like we’re very similar, we both love creating in many different aspects of our lives, and both know the struggles associated with it.

        In regard to the first part you wrote, I share that same indecisiveness, too. One of my strengths is that I’m very easy going. Needless to say, that has its downsides too because I find myself at times asking “what do I really even care about?” Of course the big things in life like friends and family aren’t a question, but it’s healthy to reflect on these personality traits. I’m choosing to focus on the adaptability and creativeness I’ve taken from my easygoing manner. 🙂

        Let’s keep setting small goals, pushing ourselves, & committing to the journey no matter how hard it may be, because nothing worth having comes easy, right? 🙂

        Namaste friend! ❤ El

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hamish says:

        I feel most alive, and like I’m where I’m supposed to be when I am creating and encouraging others in their creativity.

        Your words are a poignant reminder: small steps achieving small goals will move us closer to the big changes. 😁

        The more difficult something seems to be to start, I find the greater satisfaction there is in doing the thing. Life is tough, but so enjoyable when we are around the right people, doing what we know we’re meant to do. But it’s absolutely fine if we haven’t figured that out yet too!

        Thank you very much. Go well into the month of October. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. E. L. Jayne says:

        I feel that same way 🙂 I feel great when I’m creating in a way that inspires others to find that light inside themselves to follow their muse/heart/inspiration. Happy October friend 🙂 I am very happy it’s Libra season 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. AP2 says:

    Great post again Hamish – very thoughtful self analysis that will help others think along the same lines too. We all try desperately to get the right balance but this is never done perfectly. I think fining the time to reflect and course correct every day is a good way to move in the right direction. People often think they lack motivation but what they really lack is clarity – that’s why taking the time to get away from everyday distractions and really think about your purpose is so important in my eyes. After that it’s about one foot in front of the other as you say. If you’re moving forward, ultimately you’ll find yourself on the right track.

    Talking about the word crisis. In Chinese the word is comprised of two characters that mean respectively ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’ which I always loved! I agree with your optimism – this is a turning point in our history – a difficult and dangerous time that presents us with many possibilities provided we remain both open yet vigilant.

    Peace to you Hamish – and keep on keeping on! 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      I have read people like Benjamin Franklin, Mother Teresa, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Mozart took time at the beginning of their day to organise it, and at the end of their day to reflect on it. I think more time actively doing this will help us move away from the need we feel for immediate gratification, and look within ourselves for hope. It is all too easy to get caught up in everything going in the world around us, and not in a good way.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your valuable thoughts. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Evan says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Hamish! It’s nicely written and very relatable. It’s frustrating when you know the ‘right’ thing to do but just can’t quite seem to do it.

    Specifically, “I squander many days.” Is the most painfully relatable line for me. Honestly, I’m sure most people can appreciate that one.

    Thank you for sharing and writing this! 🙂

    One thing I like to remind myself is, zoom out, it’s getting better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      We are often too close to know the difference we’re making in our lives and the lives of others. I really like those two images, they do show what life can look like if we see the whole picture. There will always be setbacks as long as we are forging a path into the unknown, but as you so often say, Evan, these are opportunities for growth.

      Thank you for reading and offering your valuable thoughts. 😊

      Like

  4. gulfcoastpoet@gmail.com says:

    Hamish, this is a very well-written piece…organized, thoughtful, concise! ❤ I think you have grown more confident in the few months I have been reading your posts and are hitting your stride. It is good to hear that your book is near completion. That takes dedication! All the best! Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words Cheryl. My blog posts are a great opportunity to just write. In contrast to my poetry and stories, where my brain is constantly trying to edit as I go, I write the entirety of a post before going through a couple of times to edit.

      This community on WordPress has been instrumental to my growing confidence, and really leaning into writing about more personal and relatable experiences I’ve had. It is about time I thanked everyone who follows along with my posts and offers beautiful insights.

      Peace,
      Hamish.

      Like

  5. thewheelchairteen says:

    It’s great to hear you sounding so positive and optimistic. You have a very unique ability to be able to self-reflect and analyse your own behaviours which many people struggle to do. I’m quite an extreme person – I often swing between being on top of everything and having a great time, and being completely unproductive and hating myself for it. It often takes something extreme for me to swing from one to the other. I hope that the new schedule that I’ve created allows room for me to be able to find my middle-ground and live my life with a slightly more stable consistency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Consistency. So important to keep on believing we ate able to do the things we dream of. Not by simply dreaming but by putting in the hard work to make it reality.

      I pray you will have the perseverance to keep to your schedule, and be kind to yourself on the days when that is difficult. Peace to you.

      Like

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