Insights I gained over the past six weeks
At last, the new year’s finally begun, and resolutions have – or haven’t – been made. During the past six weeks, I did something quite unusual for my doing: I took six weeks off. That is to say, I wasn’t in complete furlough mode; I spent a significant piece of said break recovering from a surgical procedure I’d planned along with it. I’d convinced myself that, after 9 years of passionate and hard work on my business, it was time to take some distance to think things over.
In these six weeks, I read books and watched Netflix series (a subscription which couldn’t’ve been used more extensively, I suppose), had lunch and drank tea with various people, had nice conversations, and sometimes I just didn’t do anything. To get some rest and to recharge: those were my priorities (alongside my children going through exams, and of course the holiday season). Because both my mind and philosophical nature never cease to be active, I wrote down some of my findings along the way – so I’ll share my list, from me, to you.
- The first fortnight or so, I had to deal with the ‘after-party’ of the narcosis, and after that, I was just tired. For a while, life was more beautiful from a horizontal perspective than from a vertical one. I found it quite astounding how my state of mind coincided with that which I’d been preaching all along: even when you’re living your passion, sometimes the body and mind just need to rest.
- There’ll always be annoying chores to do. New bills come in the mail, new obligations are pushed through (GDPR, acknowledgements, accounting …). My life doesn’t necessarily have to consist of avoiding such tasks, but on the other hand, it doesn’t have to consist entirely of getting them done either. Sit down, take a breath and continue. Stuff we don’t like will always be part of it: if that doesn’t apply to you, you’re probably dead.
- With an agenda that’s only half-full and has some medical appointments scheduled in it, chances are you’ll be waiting a lot. The great part is that this is actually possible: a delayed bus, a busy docter, etc… I’d never imagined waiting could be enjoyable.Besides, though I walked or took the bus, I was always perfectly on time whenever I needed to be; having small-talk every now and then felt relaxing and fun. An agenda filled to the brim with appointments one after the other? Definitely to avoid, I have promised myself. By taking it easy, one is more open to the world and fellow humans, as well as to oneself, a trait I want to hold on to. If I can’t manage to do so, I’ll have to get myself another cast (just kidding).
- Sometimes, I felt like I had to justify my abnormal behaviour; did I really need that much time to recover? I mean, the medical procedure had been fairly small, right? As an independent entrepreneur, I don’t get paid for any of my leaves – I hadn’t applied for such payment either, anyway – so I don’t have a financial compensation. So considering this, I don’t think it’s necessary to justify any of my actions. Some people couldn’t understand this reasoning, and posed deadlines anyway – confronting, if I may say so.
- Six weeks flew by. In a broader sense, life must fly by; spend your time wisely, pick the things deserving of your attention, time and energy, and leave everything else for what it’s worth. There are only twenty-four hours in a single day: be selective, you can only live the moment once.
- Admittedly: I’d needed way more time to figure out how to do everyday tasks using only one hand after having had surgery. My days were still full; i.e., I could fill my days quite well, since the fewer activities took more time to complete. Whenever I then thought about all of the things which’d be added to my schedule after getting back to work, my heart’d jump: for this reason, I’ve will compensate “to be added to” with “select and discard”.
- Working gives me a sense of purpose and direction in life: I find it quite fun, as well. Days without plans make me sluggish – that’s just who I am, that’s just what I need. Nothing more wonderful than having a career coaching session: after having been away for that long, it felt good to relive my passion.
- On foot, life’s slow. It forces you to carry and plan less. I will do this more often.
- Yes, I as well sometimes pause to think about if what I’m doing is still relevant to achieve my goals in life. There seems to be not just one single answer to the question of purpose, once again. Of course, you could reck your brain about this for six weeks, but the answer will never be concise; finding your purpose is a life’s work, in the end. You can, however, find pieces of the bigger puzzle of life in books, exercises, reflections, discussions etc… Don’t expect anything to give you that one and only clear moment of revelation.
On hindside, I definitely recommend going on a break – even with a cast around your arm. I’m now officially back at work and I hope to remind myself of the things I learned during this brief time in my life: who knows, they might even mean something to you!
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