When I was in my teenage years, I’d often be romanticising about some girl that was far beyond my ability. One night, talking amongst the lads, I commented off-hand that I had an eye for spotting good-looking ladies, and a friend (a friend!) instantly responded, ‘it’s a shame they don’t have an eye for spotting you, isn’t it?’ As far as withering put-downs go, that’s up there!
I’m often asked about motivation: why and how do I do things? As far as my soul-searching goes, it doesn’t go back to a childhood moment of chastisement or “I’ll show them attitude”, of which I’ve had an incredible amount to draw on. Indeed, when looking at my teenage years, it is mostly full of embarrassment, yet this is just how the memory works: punctured by moments of heightened emotions, of happiness, sadness or cheeks of radish red. Don’t even get me started on having to ask the best-looking girl in my year out in French class, in French, as ordered by the teacher. Jesus-F*cking-Christ!
But regardless of these ghosts in the machine, I rarely ever think about them. My biggest competitor, motivator and critic are the same person: me. It is constant, incessant improvement. I feel healthier than I have in years, I’ve read a great deal too this year (thirty-five books), way more than any year previous, and there are always tiny elements of a book that inspire me utterly and keep that motivation going. So, at my most lazy, when I hug the couch, tea in hand and just thumb through a book, my body is taking respite but mind looking for a spark. One thing I have noticed though is that my mind and body are addicted to walking: I need to get out and about for an hour or two a day, becoming restless and unhappy without it. And once I’m walking, my mind is running: either listening to audiobooks or podcasts, music, TED Talks or speaking with friends. From these acorns big things grow (I’ve written about daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly lists before!)
What next? A few changes in 2020, my surroundings to start with: I’ll be spending the next few months out in the United States. Although I’ve enjoyed it, perhaps less time reading will allow me to increase focus on health, writing and photography, relationships and my career. Will see what happens. For those that have this blog read over the years, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions per say (if you want to do something, go to it, don’t wait!), but I do believe in being very grateful for everything life has afforded you. Despite constant lists of things I’m yet to do, I’m eternally grateful for the now.
Best wishes for 2020 x
Writing and writing...