Opinion

On reflection, acceptance and forgetfulness

You know you’ve had a busy year when by now when you should be reflecting on all that has come to pass, you merely think about a whole lot of nothing.

I guess that’s the stress-free perspective of someone with less time ahead than behind.

Because you can’t go back and change what you said or did at any given point in time, the ability to gain some acceptance of everything that has transpired, is how one acquires the ability to move forward.

And to be clear, acceptance is not forgetting.

While the mind does forget some things, it’s more forgetting than accepting. But maybe forgetting is a form of acceptance, albeit a convenient one. If you can forget, surely you can accept. It’s just that if you can accept, perhaps you aren’t necessarily capable of forgetting?

I think our widespread acceptance of electronics has been one of the things we’ve accepted readily that upon further review we shouldn’t have.

Electronics have brought both layers of convenience and complexity into our lives.

I believe, however, that it’s tilted ominously more to the complexity side of the scale.

The use of electronics makes us unable to “turn off” easily at the end of the day.

You know what I’m speaking of…

“I need to take the edge off.”

“I just can’t seem to unwind.”

“My mind is going a million miles an hour.”

These are some of the statements we make after we’re home or when we’re finished working.

To those who would argue taking the edge off is something we’ve been doing for countless generations, I would suggest the big difference is that today’s workers are abusing their eyes and staring at digital screens of one form or another for too many unhealthy hours on end.

Our phones are the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing at night. We’ve sadly accepted that as one of the prices of life in the 21st century.

So, why are we irritated when we close our eyes and we feel them twitching behind our shut eyelids, making it difficult to fall asleep within minutes of our heads hitting the pillow?

. . .

This time of year is naturally one to turn inward, take stock, project and plan what needs to be done in the one ahead.

While we are still connected to the grid each waking minute, we cannot correctly determine what will be our best course in the future.

No.

In order to do that our bodies and minds require what I like to call objective degrees of separation.

This is somewhat the equivalent of stepping back, but in my case, I’ve taken it a step back further:

I’ve easily not checked business email for over a week.

How can you truly be on holiday if you’re checking work stuff?

If you don’t make it your conscious choice to remove yourself mentally, spiritually and physically from those things that are not play, how can you have fun and free yourself from that which constricted, and dare I say, held you back in the year past?

The answer is you can’t.

You cannot recharge if you don’t just let your mind wander without limits.

My dog sits in the chair across from me with his chin on the chair arm.

He tranquilly stares at me.

I wonder what he’s thinking. Perhaps he’s reflecting on why I think reflecting this time of year is so important. Perhaps he’s perusing how convenient it is that I’ve allowed him an appearance in this missive.

No matter his mindset or view, he soon closes his eyes and falls asleep–I being the last thing he looks at or checks.

He must be on holiday.

Happy New Year.

May 2018 be the year we are all less offended.

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