I read an article by Umair Haque called “How to Have a Year that Counts” (thanks to a friend sharing the link on Facebook). The words that jumped out at me from that article were these:
“Our days count—and only count—when we may love more than we could before. Think about it: if you loved your partner, job, house, city, country, family, friends, ideas…less and less every day, how would you feel about your life? Like it was empty, futile, senseless: like it hadn’t…counted.” ~ Umair Haque, “How to Have a Year That Counts”
Lately, most of my attention seems to be focused on what I don’t like about my life, what I want to change, what I wish was different. Reading that article made me think about how this dissatisfaction and frustration is making me feel, as Haque said, empty and futile — as if all of my life is senseless.
There are things I’d like to change about my life that I don’t feel I can do anything about right now. For example, work fewer hours and live somewhere else. Someone might say that sure, I can change those things if I’m willing to take the risks. Well, I’m not — at least not in one fell swoop.
But I did start thinking of some questions I need to answer to get at what it is about my life right now that I don’t like. And what do I like? There are many good things about my life right now.
How can I take steps towards recognizing the good and what it is about these things that make me happy and thus, how to have more love in my life?
So here are the questions I’m working on answering.
- What do I love about my life and don’t want to change?
- What do I love, but would like to improve, increase, or want to alter in some way?
- What small steps can I take to put more of the “loves” in each day?
- What makes me feel frustrated or overwhelmed, or is something that I don’t like about my life?
- Which of these can I take immediate steps to eliminate? And what are those steps?
- Which ones can I see a way of eliminating or changing, but not right now?
Is there anything I can do to make the things I can’t eliminate or change more tolerable or to set some boundaries of time of how long things have to remain the way they are?
- Which ones do I not see any way at all of removing from my life?
In the best of worlds, I shouldn’t be able to come up with anything to fill in that last bulleted question. But since the frustration comes from feeling I have no control, that there are things I can’t avoid or change, that question is an important one to answer.
It’s a way of bringing out of the shadow the argument that goes on in my head between my more rigid, hopeless, starved-waif self and my wiser, warrior-woman self that shows up every once in awhile.
I have a feeling we don’t just go through these dry spells once and never hit a draught again. That it’s a cycle of life, like we have cycles of weather and seasons. If we suddenly figured it all out one day, what fun would that be?