Reflection: I’ve noticed that one thing that keeps me from saying yes to a new opportunity or direction (be it a volunteer request, work task, or membership) is the feeling that having signed on, I’ll be locked in F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The prospect of forever gets heavy in a hurry!
And, so, I’m playing with the idea of looking at life’s opportunities more as a series of projects – or experiments – each with a beginning, a middle and an end.
For example, I gifted myself with a pair of Nordic walking poles to start the new year. And, I set myself a project goal of taking them out for a hike on each of the first 28 days of the new year. Not forever – just for 28 days. And, so I did! And so it’s done. Not that I won’t do more…but it’s an option – not a burden.
I’ve set myself the goal of creating a series of 12 paintings under the umbrella theme of ‘Simple Pleasures. I’m halfway there, and enjoying the fact that experimenting with these images is neither a life sentence nor an endless commitment. It’s just plain fun at the moment.
This year, I’m planning to continue publishing Pause in the traditional format (like this) every second week. To spice things up, in the weeks in between, I’m going to play with a series of projects. First up will be a series of six short videos under the umbrella title, Pat Answers. They’ll explore questions readers have raised about the challenges of malaise and rekindling life’s spark.
What projects and experiments will follow remains to be seen. But there’s one thing I know for sure. I feel lighter already!
Action: The new year is underway. Where could you apply the idea of experiments and projects in your life – as a way to add variety without the burdensome weight and expectation of being locked in F-O-R-E-V-E-R?
Quotes Of The Week:
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not spend your life seeking security and then wonder why you never found happiness. – Robert Brault
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. – Seneca
At some point you must decide if you want to succeed or just be someone who was never to blame for anything going wrong. – Robert Brault
Resources Of The Week:
Here are a couple of websites that explore the idea of projects and experiments. Take a look and see what catches your fancy.
Readers Write: In response to the last message of 2015, How Happy Can You Be, Pause reader DL writes:
This story reminds me of my own daughter. My wife and I took to her to Gopherville, a small outdoor amusement park near Yorkton when she was one year old. When my daughter saw the goat in the petting zoo, she was absolutely, ballistically happy.
We caught that on camera. I still have a copy of that picture in my cubicle (30 years after the picture was taken). I put a caption under it: There is happy…and then there is Goat Happy! When was the last time you were Goat Happy?
I use this as an inspiration to always look for the joys in life. Maybe just once in a while you will get a chance to feel that excitement known to my family as Goat Happy.