Monday, January 10, 2022

Gaining Clarity in the Midst of Chaos


 I have a confession to make. It's bizarre. in November of 2019, while I was standing in the guest cottage I was struck out of nowhere by the thought, "how could I get out of doing all the things I've gotten myself into?" Just like that. In a flash. 

You might assume that I'd gotten myself into a lot of terrible things like I'd accidentally joined a Mexican drug cartel or I'd become addicted to gambling and owed a ton of money to loan sharks or something else equally nefarious. 


I was questioning how I could untangle myself from a pretty great bunch of things I'd said yes to over the past few years.  A few years ago my motto for the year was "Let the opportunity reveal the path." In that year and to some extent since then, I have been working on saying yes to new or challenging things. My introverted nature is to say no and I was working to overcome that. 

Old things that I had prioritized like serious reading and spending time each day in deep thought were edged out of my schedule by all the new things I was doing, all of which were challenging and enjoyable. I was having a lot of fun and hanging out with really cool and interesting people. At the same time, I was feeling ever more scattered and disconnected. While doing any activity I felt like there were 5 other things I should be doing. I was busier than I've ever been and definitely more social. I was having the time of my life but also wondering why I couldn't gain any clarity and constantly felt so restless. 

Sometimes my husband would say "You're doing too much." To which I would reply that I was not and reaffirm to myself that all I needed was to be more organized or something and go on to the next task. I loved every single thing I was doing! But as an introvert part of what makes life bearable is the time to process what's happening. I'd come to a point where one activity, many that involved other people flowed into the next and it felt like a pressure relief valve was clogged somewhere. But the fun kept me going and who wants to quit doing the fun stuff? 

Not this girl, that's for sure! 

Cue the pandemic: Within the first couple of weeks I knocked out every project I'd been trying to get to for a while. I was in a rush because "15 days to flatten the curve" right? 

Projects completed and lockdown extended (but hey only six weeks!) I turned my attention to the collection of books that lay around unread. I started with Marcus Aurelius and a few pages in I could feel my mind calm. I moved on to Churchill's History of English Speaking Peoples-The Birth of Britain. Thoughtful reading takes time to settle into and I couldn't do that while flitting from one thing to another. 

I also stopped writing on the blog and slowly extricated myself from social media. Instead of writing about, photographing, and sharing the garden on social media I was tending it and what's more, just being in it.  I worked in the garden because it needed tending not because something would make a beautiful photo. The joy of gardening returned. And beekeeping. And learning things quietly by myself. 

My extroverts are getting nervous just reading about it, I know. Stay with me. 

New projects are happening. But priorities have shifted, and many things that were valued in the past have been replaced with a sense of purposeful joy. 

More about that in a future post. 

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