After a small hospital procedure this morning in which I was knocked out with some fabulous drugs, I’m now home and wondering what to do with myself while I come down. Or is it up? I guess I’m actually coming up…
I’m not allowed to drive, drink alcohol, or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours, so I’m certain my specialist will be pleased to know I’ve rejected my 3kg iMac in favour of my lighter 800gm notebook to write this piece.
Without agenda, I am experimenting with what comes to mind while I’m under the influence. I’m going to make the most of these narcotics while they’re in my system. And it will be fun, or not, to look back and see if I have been less guarded writing in this state.
The date is 18 December 2015. There’s less than two weeks until year’s end; a time for reflection. A time for lots of other things too, including parties, shopping, and holiday preparations. None of which are front of mind today, so Reflection the topic shall be.
How was your year? Busy I bet. Yep, we’re all busy.
For me, the last two years haven’t been as frantic as those prior. It’s been quite natural to slow down and it’s not because I’m getting older, even though like you, I am. It’s because I’m getting choosier. And it’s because I’ve learnt some excellent lessons about capacity.
Capacity is real and it’s underrated. It’s a definite skill not to take on more than you can manage. It involves looking at what’s on your plate and assessing how much room remains, not just in area but in volume too. (How high do you want to pile?) It also involves looking, with wisdom, at what you’re about to add to your plate, and being realistic about the room it will occupy. And don’t forget to consider how long it’s going to be sitting on your plate. Over-commit yourself and it’s not just you that suffers the consequences. There’s a knock-on effect. In one way or another, spouses, children, parents, friends and colleagues ache from a person who is stretched too thin.
So think about capacity people. That’s all I have to say about that.
Now, that having been said, I do want more on my plate. Damn it. I really do.
My mum was right when she identified an excitable hyperactivity in me as a young adult and often expressed her disapproval by saying, “you’re never satisfied”. She hoped that this statement would somehow make me accept my lot and strive no more. She was relentless at convincing me to stop venturing and be still. But it never worked. Instead I would look at her with a confused, quizzical expression that accused her of not knowing her own child.
Isn’t it funny how we humans look at the same thing, and with our differing perspectives derive completely opposing thoughts and experiences? My mum saw my restlessness as a sign that I was not happy with what I had. And that upset her because having come from poverty, she was grateful for every thing she had. With that analogy I guess I can now see that mum thought I was ungrateful. I however see a difference in being satisfied, happy or grateful. But for mum these were one and the same.
Now, as a 48 year old, I still want more and I can tell you (drugged or otherwise), that it’s not because I’m ungrateful. I give thanks every single day. The reason I still want more is because there is more. I can give more. I can do more. And if I don’t move towards more, stagnancy will kill my spirit. And I will be one very, very unhappy camper.
I was not born to sit still. My soul is driven and I think I have inherited my dad’s entrepreneurial gene. As a young boy, through desperation to put food on the table, he trudged through the snow in below-zero temperatures of the Italian mountains selling his father’s handmade shoes from a wheelbarrow. My dad went on to learn the trade and I have wonderful memories growing up watching dad handcraft shoes in his little workshop at the end of the garden. My first experience as an entrepreneur was also as a young girl, knitting for shops that sold handmade items. Maybe I also inherited dad’s craftiness.
This topic stirs passion in me. And I have to be careful because passion can be uplifting but it can also transform to anger. But what the hell, I’m going to say this and I’ll blame it on the drugs if I have to.
It shits me to the eyeballs to have someone inadvertently ask me to rest on my laurels.
My laurels are my past. And today I’m working on today, which hopefully will lead to forming another legacy for my tomorrows. I’m bidding farewell to 2015 with a renewed vigour to foster the fire in my belly and create a plate that’s full to capacity with stuff that counts. In reflection of the past 12 months, I can see I’ve let myself down.
To be authentic is the best gift you can give to yourself and to those around you, whether they know it or not.
My mum, God rest her beautiful soul, eventually figured that one out.