So, what’s your problem; you get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning?
That corny little question, which I must admit I’ve been asked more than a few times in my life, acknowledges the reality that once we allow ourselves to get into a bad mood it can be very hard to turn things around. That’s one of the reasons I’m really looking forward to coming back to Botswana for a while.
You see, when I lived in Francistown I made a habit of getting out of bed early so I could gaze at the stars for a while and then ease into the day listening to the birds and watching the eastern sky come to life as the sun approached and then rose above the horizon. No matter how many problems I had to deal with, that little ritual helped put things in perspective so that I felt lucky to be alive to experience another magnificent day.
There are birds over here in England but the stars, the moon and the sun only make occasional appearances and contemplating the wonders of the clouds just isn’t the same for me… although it probably should be. And I guess that’s the point I’d like to make this week; there are always positive and amazing things to appreciate in our lives if we take the time to look for them, or perhaps more to the point if we slow down enough to take a realistic look at our lives instead of always wishing we were somewhere else or had more money, a better mate or more things.
I often allow myself to get irritated by the traffic here – actually, I got pretty pissed off at the number of cars and the driving experience in Francistown as well – but when I stop for a moment and think about it I have to admit internal combustion vehicles are incredible. Hook up a battery and starter motor, pour in some petrol, turn the key and off you go. And if I want a truly mind blowing experience I can look to the east where several tonnes of steel regularly take off and land at Birmingham International Airport. I sort of understand the principles of how that works, but I still can’t completely believe it.
But figuring things out and understanding them isn’t what I’m getting at here. All I’m saying is that I’ve found it extremely rewarding to simply be aware of what is going on where I am at any given moment. Yeah, I know, many of you are probably thinking, that’s okay for people with time on their hands, but I’m too busy and I have too many important things to do to just stop and pay attention to the present moment.
The funny thing is, if you do, you may well find that you see things more clearly and that you become more efficient and actually get more done when you start going again. Of course you may also find many of those seemly important things really aren’t worth doing except for the money; and if that happens, your life could get very interesting.
Okay, that’s it; time for me to stop.