Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The gap between "could do" and "do"

For a while, now, I've been thinking about what I should write in this blog.  I have a new blog at adropofcrystalwater.blogspot.com, where I record the little things I do while learning to take care of myself, mainly so that I can keep a count of how much I get to donate to charity:water.  It's not very much of a motivation, but it's something, and having it public keeps me accountable.  But as reading material, it's rather dull.

In this blog, though, I'm used to writing random musings, mainly for the purposes of putting my personality out there, I guess.  I've actually been preparing a series on "what I believe" for this blog, but at the same time wondering if it was worth writing on that subject at all.  Sure, I have interesting beliefs, some of them worthy, some of them silly, and some of them downright painful, and I'm good at explaining things ... But I don't want to be that person who tries to convert people to her belief system, just for the sake of having people agree with her.  I'm no evangelist, and so the idea of writing down what I believe doesn't seem like something that would be entertaining to others.  All it would do is let me clarify my thoughts.

So, if I'm not only going to write about what I believe, what can I write about?  Well, one of my strengths is brainstorming for exhaustive lists, so here goes:

All about me:
- what I believe
- what I want
- what I like
- what I hate
- what I love
- what I've seen
- what I've heard
- what I've noticed
- what I've thought about
- how I feel
- what I've been told
- what I've done
- what I wish for
- what I avoid
- what I'm afraid of
- what I know
- what I've learned
- what I've read/been shown
- what I remember

The world around us:
- what other people do
- what other people say
- how things work
- what things mean
- what other people might think
- what might help other people
- how people interact with each other
- what consequences actions might have
- about places
- about people I know
- about people I've met or noticed
- about imaginary places
- about imaginary people
- about situations and emotions
- about objects, aesthetics and functions
- about concepts and relations
- about things to do

Of course, many of these things link together.  So, for example, a discussion of something I've seen might link in with what I've thought about it, what kind of beliefs I have and why, and what I know about how things work.  It's more than likely that in attempting to write on one topic, I would branch off into tangents that range through each of the others and expand n them.  The problem is that I can't write down everything I'd like to, because there simply isn't enough time to collect all my thoughts and put them into words; and I'd like some universal theme.  And there, I have to make a choice.

Looking at the two lists above, a couple of things stick out at me.  Firstly, I'm most comfortable writing about things that relate to myself.  There are a few reasons for this, but mainly it's because I've recently gone through a period of spending a lot of time alone, trying to learn about myself, and also because I've always had an inclination towards analysis and reflection.  Also, there's a sense of uniqueness to it, as though I'm something of an expert: hardly anybody else is going to write from my point of view.

The second thing I noticed is related: In order to write about anything other than myself, I feel that I would have to go out and experience things more than I currently am doing.  I tend to involve myself in what other people think and feel, rather than taking detailed observations of other aspects such as the words they say, the way things look or where things are.  On the other hand, I also have an interest in technology and science, which makes me interested in how things work, and how to explain them to other people so they'll understand.  But actually going out and observing these things, finding people and concepts and situations, seems to be work that would take more time than I have. 

The irony of this is that to look at my life at the moment, I would seem to have nothing but time.  I'm currently unemployed, but in a relatively comfortable situation supported by my husband, in a middle-class society, so in theory I'm free as a bird.  I have very few actual obligations, and mostly my time is my own.  I have reasonable physical health, and an active mind that feels relatively flexible, so in theory I could be doing ... anything I wanted.  But what I'm actually doing is ... not very much at all.

It's the diversity of choice that is becoming a problem for me at the moment.  The list of things I could write about is a pale reflection of the seemingly-infinite list of things I could be doing.  But I cannot do everything I could do; I cannot even do everything I want to do; there isn't enough time in a lifetime, let alone enough time to fit it all in now.  As always ... I have to choose.

I hate choices.

So, for once in my life, it's time to focus my thinking - and my writing - on the choices I make.  And because I tend towards reflection and thought rather than action, to the point that I end up doing very little ... I need to turn around and focus on what I want to do.  Because all this thinking and analysis can come to nothing, if I don't actually do anything as a result. 

I will, of course, be bringing all my thoughts and reflections to the table in making these decisions about what I want to do, and when.  And when I've done something, and have something to show for it - only then will I be able to tell you about whether my beliefs and opinions are worthwhile.  But until then, I'll concentrate on writing the story of how I decide what to do, and how well I can carry it out.

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the angel Jean