Plan

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It’s a new word, as these things are measured, although none of us was alive when it started to be used. ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, being in a hurry to live, I will ignore the etymology for the time being, and that is difficult as it can mean so many things and link to so many concepts I have talked about already, like intent, motivation, practicality.

But for today, I will limit myself to a few observations on plans.

I was talking to a friend about being muddled, as it sometimes happen when you don’t have a plan of action. Being on the impulsive side, I immediately started to make the connections with spontaneity, on which there is already a blog article. But something didn’t sit right with that comparison. It is true that being spontaneous implies no plan, but it certainly doesn’t imply being muddled. Impulses are by nature quite clear, or so they appear to me. I don’t mean you have to give in to them, but it is clear what those impulses would have you do and the satisfaction that follows is linked to how well you have executed the clear instructions ๐Ÿ™‚

But if neither spontaneity nor being muddled imply a plan of action, is there a connection? I tend to think there isn’t. Being muddled means you can’t be really spontaneous, just caught in whatever life has decided to throw at you; in short, it means no control. Spontaneity links to making a decision without an obvious trigger, being muddled means that you react to a very obvious trigger.

So having a plan for the routines of life means that your brain can afford to be spontaneous when it comes to the opportunities of life. It also helps with those impulses by allowing you to remain in control. So once all the bills are paid and the weekend is upon you, you could say โ€œlet’s go travelโ€ and you won’t come back to disaster. You steer the boat, not let it blow this way and that way at the mercy of circumstances.

Some plans depend on the actions of others, or on enough time passing, or even on opportunities presenting themselves. So having a plan is also very good exercise for patience (or stubborness ๐Ÿ˜› ).

There is one more issue I need to plan for now. You see, once I develop a habit I am obviously reluctant to give it up. So before I acquire it I need to think very carefully if the habit will be beneficial in the long term or is just a short-term release/coping mechanism. It isn’t perfect, but you can add a coda to the action that will become a habit which tells the brain to regard said action as temporary rather than permanent. For example, I am in the habit of using same coloured pegs when I hang out the washing. The mild discomfort I feel when I break this habit isn’t really worth mentioning. The habit also doesn’t impact greatly on my life, maybe a minute more spent doing it this way. But having several habits like this might mean the difference between being content with life and being hemmed in by it. I know which one I’d choose, so I will plan my habits too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Patience

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A while ago I was writing about something I do not feel (jealousy). This time I thought I would write about something that I do not feel either but on a different note, or maybe with a different degree.

Patience is an interesting concept of โ€œstateโ€, almost the opposite of action if you will. And I have been writing about actions and consequences and the like for some time. In-action also has consequences, obviously, because you can never be separated from the environment in which action and in-action actually happen. And because we are not the only act-ors in our world.

So we can stay quietly in our corner and things will happen to us regardless. But patience is not so much in-action as the attitude towards the environment. Surprisingly, it is also linked to motivation (a force, rather than a state) that is the very base of action. Confusing, huh?

I think that patience is the very base of the consequence. The base of re-action, so to speak. Say a person is making your life difficult at work. Re-action can be: addressing the person, talking to colleagues, crying in the toilets, venting at home, skin complaints, anxiety, avoidance etc.

But at the base of reaction is the attitude towards that action that in turn informs the reaction. So if I am action oriented I will probably act in defense – retaliate. Others hunker down, retreat, withdraw โ€“ put up the walls metaphorically speaking. No action, as such, but a defense anyway.

I believe I do not have any patience. The absolute joy blooming in me when things happen exactly when I want them to (and the frustration when it doesnโ€™t) is ample proof of that! However, I do make a difference between patience and endurance. Probably because I see one as a state and the other one as a force. I am at ease with action and force, and I see endurance as a pushing back at pressure brought upon one. If the endurance is of the same intensity as the pressure then you may stand. Equal force, you know?ย 

And if endurance is a force just like motivation, the action it helps to bring into the world is stubbornness. This, I have an abundance of ๏Š

I use stubbornness instead of patience. Once I have my goal it is about finding the ways towards it, or resisting the pressures to change the goal. Using a much loved metaphor of mine, I use the intent as a rope towards my goal. I want to get there now (preferably 5 minutes ago) but if that is not possible for whatever unreasonable motive, then I will pull myself towards that goal regardless. So stubbornness is like motivation except it doesnโ€™t move you, it keeps you steady on your course.

Sail on, mate!

Learn

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Mulch the garden. You have better things to do than weed every single hour you are in the garden.

Don’t plant more than 2 courgette/zucchini plants. You still have the boxes of grated marrows from last year, which you had planned to mix in casseroles.

Enjoy the ranunculus. For the southerly will topple the heavily petticoated blooms to the ground.

Replant before the flowers appear. You do want fruits, don’t you?

Be merciless. That small plant you have ignored? It will take you half a day to cut it back in a year’s time. Yes, that includes jasmine.

Plants are resilient. Especially fig, in the place where you don’t want it.

Cover the strawberries. There are more birds than humans in your garden.

Scatter clippings over your beautifully raked garden bed. Your neighbours’ cats see your garden as the toilet anyway, do you have to give them a litter box as well?

Crush snails. Dig them in.

Try to crush slugs when they’re small, later only sharp implements can help โ€“ yuk! Or hedgehogs.

Speaking of hedgehogs, don’t poke your ungloved hands in a pile of leaves.

Speaking of hedgehogs again, go around your car in the morning and have a good look down the driveway. Those creatures are worth their weight in gold. Or slugs ๐Ÿ™‚

Be patient and resigned. You may never have the lilac and paeony you desire. But it’s worth a try.

Save the bumblebee queen. They are heavier and less delicate than honeybees. Your flowers don’t really care.

Ignore the roses. Once the delicate grafts have died down, the rootstock will outlast you. You may even get some rosehips.

Plant garlic. Nothing so satisfying as anticipating using it in 6 months’ time… except maybe actually using it and enjoying it โ€“ congratulations, you are now self-sufficient in garlic!

Consider visiting the open gardens during the festival. But only on good days. You will feel inadequate anyway.

Smell the hyacinths, daffodils, wait for the snowdrops, admire the cherry blossoms and stop to stare at magnolias. Rhododendrons will follow.

Encourage the pansies and the marigolds.

Go to sleep. ๐Ÿ™‚