October’s pickings centre around persevering. Continuing well, or at least the best that you can. This isn’t to invite concern – life’s rhythms are more extreme than we would choose, but we are learning to keep our heads up while our feet keep walking on. We are fortunate; we know it is not forever.
This reflection on September is rather delayed as illness once again visited our house. We’re emerging out of it now, though to my slight dismay this seems to involve more opening of email inboxes rather than actually venturing outside. Something has perhaps gone a little awry there.
Life has changed. The rhythm of my working week has altered considerably. The same amount of hours in the day, but less flexibility in the filling of them. A lot of time for writing but practically none of it at my computer. This is a season, not a forever. I want to embrace what it is, and am learning to be ok with what it is not.
I began and ended July distracted by life’s unexpected twists and turns (more details in a future post). This seems to have left little mental space to explore a coherent theme; instead I’ve been a magpie, collecting varied ideas this month.
June has been a strange month. Starting with hints of gloriously warm summer days to come, it ended with thunder storms and a return to the wooly jumper. We’ve been exploring landscapes. Walking Devon cliff tops on foot; cycling up the Isle of Wight’s hills to attain a viewpoint of ‘the Needles’ stunning rocky outcrops. Once there, I mostly took photos of nearby rusting metal. Perhaps there’s no accounting for taste.
May was, perhaps, about investment. We began it in Northern Ireland, investing in our relationships with family and old friends. We ended it on a beach on England’s South Coast, flying kites and investing in our own wellbeing as the world fell away, leaving only colourful kites dancing on the wind as the evening’s light faded.
Reflecting on the past month shows me that April has been about considering perspectives. This round up is a little late as we spent the Bank Holiday weekend back in Northern Ireland, in the area where I grew up. Returning there is always refreshing, reminding me it can remain a home, even when I’ve built another here.
Looking back on a month when I was more fatigued and had my eyes on the prize of the Easter break, it is perhaps unsurprising that I collected videos to inspire and motivate me. Bringing together audio and visual, story and aesthetic, film can be both all-consuming and passive at the same time; an appealing and powerful combination for tired brains in need of spurring on.
Ah February, you seemed to disappear in a haze of busyness and an associated earnest pursuit of outdoor escape to counteract it. A few of the things that have spurred me on through the month have been:
Contemplating this article on ‘effective altruism’, a movement advocating the people ensure that the action, money and time dedicated to making a difference makes the biggest difference possible. I’m not totally on board with all of it, and neither is this article, but it does have five tips on how to genuinely make a difference.
I could claim that I launched this new series in January but in truth, it is merely convenient that the idea came together in my mind this month. That said, these are a few of the things that got me spurred me on through a potentially dejected month: