Wednesday 6 November 2019

Stop, Start, Stop

I've started writing half a dozen posts today and not gotten very far, starting, stopping, starting and then deleting most of it. I can't seem to hold a sensible thought and then follow it to its conclusion.  I think the pace of modern life and scrolling through scraps on the internet have broken my brain a little.  Work is overwhelming in the range of work and the amount of information I have to soak up.  I am trying to work out how to manage and sort through it all.  This has never been a problem before, but my sector has never been so short staffed and underfunded in the twenty years I have worked for public services.

I've started reading again after a long gap, and although most of it is junk or easy read stuff, I hope it is  a path back to reading more rewarding things.

Two things plague me about my current gold-fish brain state.  Firstly, that we are trying to do so much – why should we.  The second that the internet and the current way of entertaining ourselves and taking in information is making us a little useless – impatient, bored easily, always looking for instant gratification in the form of bite size content and information.  Our attention span is shrinking and our patience for long form content or detailed information or knowledge is fading, whether that is being too lazy to write or too impatient to consume.

As to the first reason, this has been on my mind.  Work is too much, life is too much, we want to do everything and have done it by 30. What drives us? Where is the lack or loss that makes us keep charging forward trying to do more, or achieve more or prove ourselves in some way? What is it that doesn't even let us sit in peace for a while and do nothing without feeling guilt? Even when doing nothing is a condition for creativity and innovation.

This morning, I was thinking about this and feeling so much resistance to doing anything.  I feel like I have chased for long enough.  Tried to do so much for long enough. My work is starting to see the beginnings of this change in approach with a gentle move towards saying no to more things, deleting more e-mails without replying and declining meetings.  At home, I find myself spending more time cooking, reading and listening to my children. Everything else has taken a back space and more and more this doesn’t bother me.

All that we try to do, all the hustle and chasing of opportunity, all the hard work.  How much of it is worth the effort?  I feel as if I am being a little negative or demotivating, but I find often that my thoughts come to this: is it worth it? How will we be judged by Allah (SWT) for it, what return will we get for our effort?

Perhaps there are decisions I should have made long ago to let go of some things and stop fretting about - work stuff, the stress of parenting teenagers, feeling obliged to write, blog, crafts etc. But I think there is a time for everything and an energy I had that would not have been thwarted at the time.

But that energy is not quite there right now.  I wonder if it has dissipated, if it is blocked in some way or if it is lying dormant for the right thing to set it free and create that sense of flow that I feel far from right now.  I am going to stop chasing and hustling and open my heart and self to whatever comes this way insh'Allah.

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