Today I will write on the following prompt: Would we be happier if we were living closer to nature?
It is easy to say a resounding YES to this question however I can only answer for myself. I love nature and enjoy watching the birds, kangaroos and cows that I sometimes spot through my back fence.
We had a full height fence and earlier this year replaced it with half-height to enable us to see what happens on the other side. It is just a small stand of peppermint trees based in the corner of a farm that has been partially redeveloped. It is fenced off from the public so we get exclusive viewing rights (along with some of our neighbours.
It is wonderful to stand in my kitchen and be able to see kangaroos nibbling on the grass. We get plenty of magpies, willy wagtails, silver-eyes and sometimes we get parrots (who annoyingly like to eat my geraniums).
Farmer Bell occassionally allows his black angus cows to graze in the area as well. They are big impressive animals that seem to freeze on the spot when they spot me looking at them.
With the warmer weather coming on we may get some reptiles visiting us as well. We have had two tiger snakes (deadly) in the past few years. We also get skinks, bobtail lizards and frogs.
Ours is a small ecosystem but so very easy to access. I find nature to be calming and inspiring and that has to be a good thing!
I did an exercise today that I think could be considered creative. I was actually feeling that “end of the year” tiredness and “not ready for the New Year” anxiety!
I decided to do a review of 2021. I was amazed to see how much has happened, both positive and negative. I have also experienced some personal growth that I didn’t want to slip through my fingers. I made a note of all the things I have learned (and the books I have read to support the learning). I want to be able to refer back to my list next year and refresh my memory.
I also did a bit of a plan for 2022. There are a few things I know I will be involved with so I did some mind mapping for each of them so that I can start doing some preparation now (to hold off some of that anxiety!)
I also reflected on friends who I hope will be part of my life in the New Year. I lost my closest girl-friend this year and she is irreplaceable. However I am open to new friendships in the year ahead. We all need friends and even more so as we get older, I believe.
Today I would like to share a piece of music that my husband, Tom, composed. At the start of the pandemic he taught himself to read music and has gone on to compose over 45 tunes on his computer using music composition software. He has done many online courses about the different aspects involved.
Is frustration a part of the creative process? Wanting to see the finished product unleashed?
I ask this as I am experiencing some frustration with a current project that I am working on. It is with a community organisation and I have spent quite a few hours developing a new website. It is ready to go “live” and people are waiting for that to happen. The only thing we are waiting for is the transfer of the domain name. This should be a simple process but it has hit a few hurdles (are hurdles part of the creative process too?)
Anyway I am waiting on an email from the new host to say that the domain name has been transferred. Once this has taken place I can then make the website live. I can see my work go public. I can get feedback and make improvements based on that. Hopefully the new website will create some new interest in the organisation.
I have been obsessed with checking my emails for that magic one to arrive that will make it all happen. So I think I have answered my own question. We can create something and get pleasure and satisfaction from that activity. The process of making it public is a separate part but an important one that enables us to share our creativity. We have less control over this part of the process.
I should remember the teachings of Stoicism that “some things are up to us; others are not.”
“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.” ― Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses
I thought it would be worthwhile to look more closely at what things are, and are not, in my control.
Things in my control
Things not in my control
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Such as: My perspective and opinions How I treat other people How I respond to how other people treat me What hobbies and interests I choose to pursue How much exercise I do What I eat and drink How I wear my hair, makeup, and clothes How I spend and/or invest my savings and my time What I study, read, watch or listen to What I choose to do in my garden How generous or not I am with my possessions and time Who I choose to spend my time with What values I have
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. Such as: Getting older Other people and their opinions of me Whether other people agree with me or not Whether other people listen to me or not Whether other people understand me or not Actions by other people The weather My genetic code The stock markets Other peoples’ actions Death and illness Disasters such as pandemics, bush fires, floods etc. Wars The past and the future