I’m on my annual summer holiday, sitting by the pool and observing how me and my family respond to change of environment and how we react negatively or positively to it. Personally I have been smiling and laughing at all the new things I have witnessed and experienced, such as different food, wine and surroundings – but the two men in my life, Simon, my husband and Henry, my son, have been grumpy and I think a little distressed by the changes. What was expected I wonder? New country, new food, new surroundings!! Was it a shock to the system or just the reluctance to accept anything new? I’m guessing both. Looking for things to be unhappy about , like the air con. not working – it is now after less than 24 hours of being here and being offered alternative accommodation for the first night to compensate – all perfectly reasonable and acceptable!!
So here we are by the pool and I am reflecting happily that the plane didn’t crash and I am enjoying the company of the local feline population after giving them all of Henry’s pork – on the strength that they need it more than he does!
I’ve just read an article in the Telegragh by Jim Khalili where he states that ‘all TV documentary makers are obsessed with journeys’. Well, sorry Jim, so am I. Who cares about the end game / the destination? The journey takes as long as it takes, leads us to our conclusions, feeds our desires and let’s face it, we can’t get there without the journey. It reminds me of a conversation with my son last week, an academic genius (biased mum view of course) unsure about his future. He looked shocked when I said ‘forget the end game and worry about enjoying the journey as that’s most certainly the best bit’. The inadvertent message all his life has been – we expect you to do well because you’re clever – such pressure! In truth, it doesn’t matter what he does as long as it fulfils his needs, puts food on his table, pays his rent and most importantly, he can enjoy the lifestyle he has chosen for himself. In my view he is lucky to have the choice. He has travelled the world to date with his most recent employment and is now looking to fulfil other needs in his life.
Do we seek the pleasure or task… or does it choose us? I don’t know. I do know however, that acceptance of change or lack of it makes a difference to how we view the world and our lives. Our positive experiences allow us the ability to accept and embrace change for what it is so we can enjoy the journey and all it brings. Or we don’t accept and let the negativity get the better of us, causing us to withdraw and maybe feel a little disappointed or afraid. The small shift in perspective allows us some discernment and power to choose what we do along the way.
Our goals and expectations can mislead and distract us from the pleasure of everyday, taking those everyday splendours of the small things in life, or rejecting the very small pleasures that make the journey of life worth living. Visit the lifestyle website of our friend Sarah who explores the extraordinary chaos of everyday family life and enjoys every moment it has to offer.