Some thoughts on 2020 and patience
I have not posted anything on this log for little under a year. That’s right in 2020 I have not updated my travel blog.
Stomp stomp stomp here comes the elephant…
A travel blog, or indeed travelling at all has been somewhat impeded by Miss Rona over the previous months. Let me be clear, I don’t wish to trivialize the upheaval that this time has caused for everyone. I am beyond grateful that I have my health, my family and a job, so the fact that my passport has been gaining dust is quite alright with me!
In fact, after years of constantly being on the go, or in the process of planning to travel, being settled has been a lovely change. I suppose like my passport I am also gathering dust… but in a cute way. Think less Miss Havisham and more an old momento sitting proudly on your shelf.
Though 2020 has been challenging, it has not been wholly bad. In fact, in a perverse way, I have rather enjoyed it sitting alone in my quarantine. Back in March in the UK we thought that this thing would last a couple of months. And yet here I am writing on the few days left before we enter 2021 and the UK is entering as strict a lockdown as we faced at the very beginning. But if there is one thing this lockdown has taught me is patience.
Patience with the world around you, and more importantly, patience with yourself.
Maybe it is the years of playing Sims when I was younger, but something within me was constantly seeking control. I wanted to know exactly how things were going to play out and when. And more importantly I wanted to be in charge of it. How these things actually happened wasn’t important, I just wanted the result I had envisioned in my head.
But life doesn’t work like that…
As I have got older I have realized the joy of accomplishment is in the striving and struggle to get there. If a 6-pack was easy to get everyone would be walking round with their washboard abs wearing crop tops in the height of winter. But they are not. It is exactly this rarity of achievement that makes it a desirable feat. We get that sense of achievement, whether it from be a master’s degree or finally perfecting that paining you have been working on for months. The sweat, the late-nights, the stuff behind the scenes that no-one else sees. And along with this effort, all achievement requires patience.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are we. Sometimes the things we want to achieve take way more time that we would like. Hell, sometimes we never achieve them at all. But we cannot rush anything good. We must be patient. Anyone who has ever done a yoga position that was way beyond their range will tell you, you hurt yourself if you rush and in reality it will delay your progress even further. We cannot push beyond what is supposed to be at that current moment. That is not to say we can’t strive to improve, but we must accept our what it is now.
It is not our job to force things to happen, nor do we have the ability. It is simply not within our control. You cannot force someone to marry you who simply doesn’t want to be with you. Nor can you force a career path that is not right for you. Fundamentally, you cannot force something to be what it is not. We can try, and we do, to push things to fit the way we want them to. We can spend our lives trying to fit a square shape into a round hole, but the more we jam those opposing shapes together the more exasperated we become. The more we ruminate about all the things we could be doing if Covid-19 didn’t exist, the worse the whole situation feels.
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.”
― Lemony Snicket
I am not saying we cannot control our lives. We are, after all, masters of our own fate. However, what I am saying is we cannot rush outside forces. Maybe outside forces sounds a bit hippy-dippy there, though I am not sure if the Universe of Fate is much better…
Much like we can’t force the actions of another human, we cannot control the world. We cannot decide when this thing is over, we simply have to ride the wave. I cannot press speed x3 to get my Sims to age up beyond the boring years. This is real life, and guess what, I can’t control anyone or anything but myself. And though at first, this loss of imagined control feels horrific, but the reality is it is liberating. This Virus will come and go as it pleases and for the time being we need to wait and be patient.
All we can do is ride that wave, hope for the best, and prepare an absolutely banging party for when this all blows over!
….so after a rather long rambling… ramblings* I should summarise all of this by saying although I had started this blog out with the intention of it being a travel blog unsurprisingly this has become rather waylaid in our Corona-virus times, and instead I will be writing some slightly more expanded and general pieces until I can get my big turtle backpack on once again.
*Is it plural or singular I really am not sure! In hindsight I should have thought over my domain name more.
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