The unplugged voice

P1020880 bottlepostWow, it looks like a message in a bottle! And it was! We opened it carefully, used all our ingenuity to get it out of its container. Put it to dry on a paper towel, and waited eagerly to read the message. As it was, two young people had met, were sitting together in their car at the beach, and wanted to communicate how special it all was to the world. Facebook was not enough.The bottle was washed ashore in the first tide, just some miles from where they had been.

Let's go into the world!

Let’s go into the world!

It is still like that, and I think it will always be; the touch, the feel, the interaction between people needs to be present in the material world to be felt as significant. Even our social media, is social only as long as we know there are people out there. I do know when I have been to long at my computer because I get restless from lack of fresh air, but I never tire of hearing other people’s reflections on life, their stories, their joys. to me it not a question of plugged or unplugged, it is all about life.

Two in one, time for thought and a garden!

Two in one, time for thought and a garden!

I just looked through some of my pictures when writing this post, and I realized that I always do the same, writing, talking, reflecting, creating, caring, taking pictures, reading, traveling.

This is more like it!

This is more like it!

Either connected or unplugged, I always look for light, beauty, joy and truth.

And then there is totally unplugged coffee time

And then there is totally unplugged coffee time

While waiting for the answers

IMG_5622 skyerWould it not be nice if we could do the math of life first, then go ahead and fill in the unknowns in the equation, and then…just sail through life? Even when it is almost unbearable to wait for an answer, a solution, for healing or for success, that is just what we have to do. I listened to an inspiring talk on mathematics some days ago, which made me write this post on going on even when we do not see the end of the road. I borrowed an expression from the lovely blog of Gleaning the nuggets, I do not think luck comes to the prepared mind. I think the prepared mind is able to glean those small nuggets, to see the tiny steps that eventually will take me where I need to go. Not being able to see the whole road before me or remembering every bend until now is not really a valid excuse for not staying on the road, is it? I think the big answers, like” is this a road?”, and “where does it take me?”, also gets answered through the tiny nuggets, the small steps.

IMG_3323 childhood church

Listless is clueless

Mad Hatter Teaparty

Mad Hatter Teaparty

I was having some girl friends over, and some of us had quite a lot on our plates just then. You know that middle age means being in the middle of all ages did you not? There were parents, spouses, kids, grandchildren, obligations and careers, and we were in the middle of it all, comforting, helping, advising and supporting. We got to talking about how we tackled stress, and how we sorted our priorities. No one surprised the others by saying she made a list, because we all do that.

Too much to consider

Too much to consider

The interesting part is how we make different lists and how we make lists differently. One of my friends said the trick was to make a narrow list, just wide enough for a single item, that would convince her that one step at a time would guide her through her day, and it would. My mother used to go to the other extreme, the bigger sheet of paper the better. She would make columns for each hour of the day, allot tasks to each hour, and then force ahead, being sure that if nothing happened it would be possible to achieve it all.

Too much on you plate...

Too much on you plate…

Then of course, as most of the elements on her lists were living creatures who did not know that we were committed to paper, she was always behind her schedule. She found it comforting to know though that life was the messy part, not her planning. To me all sorts of lists are basic survival tools. My head is always filled to the brim with ideas, plans, projects, dreams and pictures. I can handle that, what makes me reach for my notepad is when worries are trying to take over.

Just one task at the time

Just one task at the time

If I think I really have too much to do, I use a list to tell me it is not true.To me list making is a way of making sure that the pieces of my life’s puzzle will fit together and make a beautiful picture in the end. I jot down every thought that comes to mind, not categorizing or sorting, just everything. Like emptying the puzzle box on a big table. The rationale is that if it is crowding my head it needs to get out so I can see what it is all about. Normally it takes only a couple of minutes to know that whats left in my head might stay where it is.

They do not really care about the fuzz

They do not really care about the fuzz

Then I start sorting. Normally the categories would be family and friends, work and church. These are the corners holding my picture together. Then of course there will be different projects to do and to remember. The surprise that always elevates me is that is normally boils down to the small details of the big picture. Thinking it over, having a look at the pieces that want to be in my picture I can confer with the picture on the box of the puzzle and say, sorry you do not belong, or I can turn it over and say, this piece goes with the border, so let’s just keep it out of the middle for a while.

Let's get to work

Let’s get to work

Doing this I also discover that life is just like the old jigsaw puzzles at our cabin. Someone has been lazy when sorting the pieces. Mostly you will discover that by emptying the box. As in life, I can easily  spot and remove the big, clumsy pieces that clearly not belong.

One big picture

One big picture

It get’s tricky though, sometimes you can make a piece from another box fit. Not quite, but almost. That is when I get stressed, that is when I sense something is wrong, when I try to fit something into my life because somebody has dumped it into my box. As I get older, I am learning. Doing what others should do is not taking responsibility, it is robbing someone else of the blessings to being allowed to  walk in the work prepared for them.

Different tasks

Different tasks

Of course, when nobody is shouldering the task, when there is a real emergency, that is something else. If not, I have learned it is wise to just wait it out, sorting through my pieces once more. Resting in the blessing that I will have time for what I am called to do, quietly putting the other pieces back where they belong.

First things first, as pigs see it

First things first, as pigs see it

The pictures are from the County Fair this weekend. Busy, teeming with life, everybody concentrating on their own tasks.

Teamwork

Teamwork

Everything in the air

Where are you going?

Where are you going?

It is so fun to organize…or rather it is so fun to start to organize. Starting this blog has been like pulling everything out of my closet, putting it on the bed…and then going to prepare dinner. Only to come back late at night and discover that my bed is piled high with clothes- how come? That’s why I gave myself this challenge two minutes ago, stop fiddling about with all the menus and gadgets I could put on this blog, just start writing.
Be true to my beliefs: neither writing, organizing or life itself;is about being perfect, it is all about being centered and focused, knowing where you are going, and being willing to stop doing the things that do not take you there.

Actually that is the basic step of all business strategy and life coaching.Sooner or later you’ll have to stop throwing ideas in the air and pick one. You have to choose, you have to start clearing away, you have to focus, to know what you need to take with you. If you really want to get somewhere, that is. Of course you may keep brainstorming or piling your bed with worn out clothes. It just is not enough.