Monday, 6 January 2014

Food for Thought

I seem to get on numerous people’s mailing lists, often newsletters I had no intention of signing up for.  Every now and then I do a big purge and follow all the instructions to unsubscribe, though some people are very persistent and don’t make it easy. 
But I do keep some that I find interesting, although I often just skim and then delete.  One that I have hung on to, although I really don’t  remember how I got on their mailing list is from Adoley and Jim.  And right now I’m very glad that I did.  
I have been feeling a bit unsettled, as I often do when a new year comes along (and by implication a clean slate).  I have been wondering whether I should make some major changes in my life.   One change that I am making is in my volunteering.  I have regretfully decided, after quite a few years, to stop helping with a children’s literacy programme at a school in a severely underprivileged area.   I loved the children (and loved the fact that they tend to be touchy feely kids who always come for hugs and cuddles),and loved feeling I was being of some use to them, but unfortunately I have found that I have picked up so many viruses and bugs that my health seemed to be being compromised.  All children seem to carry lots of infections but it seems much worse with these children, many of whom live in tin shacks so it’s hardly surprising.    I seem to have had numerous infections over the last few years, far more than I ever had when teaching full time, and the severe chest infection and asthma that I had in October was the final straw.  So I reluctantly decided that this form of service was not for me any longer.  I am still exploring avenues where I can be of use but where I will not be exposing myself to so many infections.   I’ll have to leave this one to people whose immune systems are more robust.

Back to the point I was trying to make.  At the start of this year Adoley asked what she called ‘three critical questions’.  They were
1.  What do you do that really matters?  (this one attributed to Mother Theresa)
2.  What do you want to experience this year?  What feeling or quality do you wish your (area of life) to express?
3. If you were to die today, what is the one thing that you didn't get to do that you would regret?

 I have been doing some deep soul searching on these.  The first question seems to pertain directly to my volunteering – I really need some clarity on that.    The second one I’m not sure of – I do intend to work on various areas of fitness and core strength this year – I have already embarked on a home exercise and stretching programme in addition to my twice weekly kundalini yoga, and my twice weekly aqua aerobics (though this one is still on Christmas break).  I am also giving serious thought to completely changing my writing – the genre, the location, even to writing under another name.  I have several ideas but haven’t quite narrowed them down yet.

It’s number three that I am spending most of my time on.   What would I regret most?  It’s not travelling – I really have never had the travel bug.  While I enjoy seeing new places I accepted years ago that you can’t go everywhere (try telling our elder daughter that! J).  Perhaps it would be never having held my grandchild, but that ‘s really not up to me.   We have two amazing daughters for whom I am grateful every day of my life.  They have given us so much happiness that even if they don’t give us grandchildren we can have no cause for complaint.    So perhaps it should be something  that I can actually control. 

 Then is occurred to me that perhaps what I am doing wrong is thinking that the three critical questions need three separate answers.  Perhaps if I can find the right answer to the first question it will answer the other two as well.    Whatever it is I shall keep on with my soul searching.  Thank you Adoley – you have really given me food for thought.

Till next time J