Today, on the road just outside our apartment, a bus crashed into a parked car, pushed it along into two others, before skidding to a halt. We were unable to tell whether anyone was at fault or if it was simply an unfortunate accident. Whatever the case, it was definitely a surprise! Thankfully, from what we saw it seemed as if no one was injured. Traffic also seemed to continue flowing despite the stricken bus taking up one and a half of the three lane road. Sometimes a reminder like this is needed, to encourage us to pay attention to what we are doing, no matter how trivial the task. Things we do impact others around us, in ways big and small.
So, this bus incident encouraged me to think about things in my life I have control over and things I don’t. Often we feel we must wait for motivation to hit us before we do something. This is in contrast to putting our head down, working hard, and encouraging ourselves to be motivated. I’ve put intentional effort into doing this year. Not waiting to give my mind the time to think up an excuse, just doing the thing. It’s an odd thing in a world which can seem to be telling us to wait, especially before we engage in creative pursuits. When I sit down and edit some of my book, without setting an expectation about how much I will do, or how fast I will work, I make progress. If I give myself too much time to mull over how big the task is, I veer away and do something else.
Every few weeks I have a Skype call with a good friend from the UK. She encourages me to keep at it with my writing and editing, and sometimes I read through a piece of my latest work to see how it shapes up out loud. In return, I have started asking if she has picked up her guitar. On our call yesterday, she answered honestly that she had not picked up her guitar since we last talked, even though she said she would. (I also admitted that I had been slack in editing my novel manuscript.) When I asked the question, she immediately went and picked up her guitar, and played through a few songs right there and then. That had not been my intention in asking the question, but it was a beautiful thing to be able to share in her reengagement in musical creativity!
Some things we have control over. Many more things in our lives we do not. It is a lifelong process to manage our mental headspace to be ok with both streams.
We make choices everyday. Some affect only us, but most of affect a proportion of the people around us too. The best way to make these choices, to move through life in the most beneficial way, is through sharing love and kindness. This includes sharing kindness with people we are close with, our family and friends, and – almost more importantly – those we don’t yet know and might not get to know well in our lifetime.
Everyone is worthy of time. And everyone has beautifully different ways of sharing kindness. Please keep sharing your wonderful gifts.
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What choices led to good surprises in your life this month?
How do you manage unplanned for surprises?
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Go well into this coming week my friends.