If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military, my weekly emails will help you.
Last week I decided Wednesday’s were not a good day for writing, I end up doing other mid-week activities, I am tired and the writing does not get done. So, as an experiment, and to avoid giving myself too much of a hard time, Wednesday’s would be a non-novel writing day.
And the first Wednesday I tested this out was no exception and proved the rule – It was manic today.
A few months ago at the start of all the covid-craziness, choices were not hard – If I said “yes” to a call, I was saying “no” to… well, nothingness. Simples.
In fact, so simples, that I ended up doing too many zoom calls because I was inadvertently filling the void lockdown had created.
“Action is the antidote to anxiety” (Scott Perry, Creative on Purpose). However, I learned very quickly it’s easy to mistake all that action for productivity. I would caveat the statement with – “Purposeful Action…”
And so my behaviour changed towards the actions I was taking. Before saying “yes” to something, I would ask myself, “What is the really for?”
If it was to merely fill a void – it was a no.
If it served to help me grow and interact with other people who needed my help – it was hell yeah!!!
But today was different because it was scuppered by circumstances outside of my control and I was unable to meet a promise I had made to attend a call.
Previously, a failure to attend some calls has been due to the loose / informal agreement to attend or I simply decided I did not want to go. But today I was unable to attend and it was not because I decided. Which has been a rare occurrence in recent months.
I might add, this is also the first day of the tentative lifting of the lockdown restrictions and already… old habits of running around like a headless chicken have returned with a vengeance, it seems.
I was sad about not making the call and missed the interaction with the group that has become somewhat of a good habit. My dog groomer was running late… which made me late. And I was faffing about getting the dogs while the call was happening and sent a quick message to let them know I would be absent.
Then I almost missed the next call I was booked to attend. This one had even more consequences, and not just for me. I had promised to attend the inaugural zoom for a new Nourishment Circle organised by a friend, I knew she was nervous and wanted me to be there. If I wasn’t, I would have let her down.
And even though the circumstance were outside of my control, I had to find a way.
As the call would be starting while I was driving. I considered, how could I still be there – to listen and talk, whilst maintaining safety?
My mother was a passenger and did the necessaries on the phone and my phone has CarPlay so would be handsfree with some basic zoom functions appearing on the dashboard screen (that was a new learning point as I did not realise it would do that). I also kept the video off so not to distract others and the mute on to prevent driving noise. They also knew I was driving which explained my lack of video.
Plan B – Had my mother not been with me, I could have dialled into the call before I started driving and been there ready for the start or pulled over in a safe place.
This also allowed me the time to get to my destination and finish the call with video and meet everyone properly.
The dilemma here was not whether I should attend the call or not.
It was whether the circumstance I had available to me would be enough for the group to still feel like I was present.
It was. The call was great and we are meeting again.
In recent weeks I have heard – “I / We can’t…”
And then a situation forces you to think of possible solutions. I had hoped this approach would stick…
And now the situation dictates, changes are once again afoot. And lots of sentences uttered have begun with those words – I can’t…, without the purposeful follow up.
Think of it like this:
I can’t do X…Y…Z… (the blockers)
But I can do A…B…C… (the enablers)
So I will then do 1…2…3… Let’s GoGoGo!!! (the actions)
As a side note. I can’t be cross, my groomer has only just reopened and she’s getting to grips with new ways of working and she’s back to working solo as there’s not enough space to have her assistant help her.
Sounds to me like a lady who has looked at her “can” options and is courageously testing her “will”.
And now my fur babies are all beautiful and trim.
Unlike their mummy, who is in desperate need of a cut and highlights and will happily wait that one out, until the time is right and safe.
Now it’s your turn…
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