jusummerhayes

First things first

Good morning.

Today's post is surprisingly short — famous last words!

I didn't have the best night's sleep: a trip to the little boy's room; being too hot — the duvet is too heavy for this time of year; and my mind, despite trying to count each breath, was like a whirling dervish. I did eventually settle but not before I'd lost about two hours sleep (I try not to look at my watch so I may be a bit out) to my disturbance.

But this title and (for me at least) all it connotes was what stuck.

Of course, if you've read Stephen R. Covey's book "7 Habits" you'll be familiar with the idea/concept but for everyone else, all I think it's really saying is to focus on the most important thing having, of course, worked out the direction of travel — the late Mr Covey liked to conjure up leaning ladders against putative walls from memory.

Right now, it seems that there are a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands. I'm guessing it's related to CV19, where across nearly all sectors people have either lost their job or have been furloughed (the latter is only from a UK perspective — other countries may have similar schemes).

And my question is simply this:

What's the best use of your time?

This, as you may have guessed, is also apposite to me by dint of the absence of work. Sure, I could be reading about lots of legal issues — I am to an extent — but with said reading, you need to have an outlet or an application. Right now, apart from a very limited email list — nearly all my team have been furloughed — there wouldn't be much point. That means I've got a bit of time on my hands. Mostly, I'm keeping on top of the house, spending time, in person and virtually, with my wife and children and trying to keep in contact with as many of my family as possible — I've reverted to writing more letters, which I enjoy in any event.

(For the record, I know I'm truly blessed, and I take none of it for granted. Of course, if I'd lost my job, I'd be running around trying to find any work and, no doubt, would be in a very different place emotionally if not physically.)

As to the rest of the time, I know that I need to be more considered, more focused and more disciplined; at the moment, it's too haphazard.

But wait up, Ju, didn't you previously say you can't will your will?

Yes.

And that's still the case. I mean, the fact that I get up at some ungodly hour is not something I will. Yes, it might be a habit I'm loathed to give up but as woo-woo as it sounds, I'm touched by something beyond the ken of my experience and I'm very happy to go with the flow; I accept it for what it is, which is a gift. Others, including my wife, may think it a curse.

In the old days, I'd now be whipping out a book, scribbling furiously and, no doubt, coming up with an action plan. 

Not now.

No. 

Instead, I listen.

Yes, I listen to:

my inner self — I realise that when my mind is quiet life just is.
how I feel — do I need to recharge my batteries?
where I'm drawn — it's nearly always towards something creative.
and (of course) my questioning, left-brain self that interjects as the voice of reason.

Not very concrete I know but right now the preponderance of thoughts and feelings — I've still to summon the energy — are around decorating the inside of the house, sorting out my office and old papers, writing my book, writing poetry (I've managed two days on the typewriter and about five on Tumblr) and detailing, at least in my head, our Exit Plan that includes an agreement with my wife on the actual life we will be leading and living in the future. Yesterday, she spoke to me about an off-grid place close by that a work colleague had developed. That appeals to me greatly and once the lockdown has partially lifted, sufficient for us to mosey over, I can then report in whether their plan is replicable locally or, as I suspect, we may have to look further afield?

I suppose if there's a takeaway to this post — sorry to cut it short (I did say it would be short) — it's to ask yourself if first things first should be your guiding hand right now or if there's a better way to order your life? Of course, if you're retired or living the perfect life then all this 'hacking your life stuff' may be irrelevant but then again, perhaps once in a while we need to check-in and ask ourselves if our attention (at least), even in or especially in these troubled times, is placed in or on the right area(s).

Take care.

Blessings, 

Ju

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