Friday, December 4, 2009

Untangling the Complicated Life: Freedom Awaits Upon Change

“As rope and cords tangle when they’re being unravelled, so does life, inevitably; haphazard storage practice in housekeeping correlates with insufficient diligence and life planning—a messy life. Then again, at times, there’s just too much on!”

Recently I was tangled myself; this was in the debate over health and social risks and benefits of the fly-in/fly-out working life, relating particularly to individual family impact. Whilst it was a relatively ‘easy shot’ to back a clever and insightful play, it was less easy to determine the effectiveness of certain companies’ success in ameliorating the health, safety and social risks.

Notwithstanding, the reasonable and salient point was made:

“For those people who go into this fully informed and whose relationships are firm etc with a definitive plan this type of work can be highly beneficial. It is often those people/families who do not prepare and investigate the issues who struggle.”

–Dr. Dawn Darlaston-Jones (Head of Psychology, Notre Dame University.)

We’d narrowed down the terms of reference to a fly-in/fly-out working philosophy but the same principles regarding diligence and planning hold basically everywhere in life.

In life, when we invest significant effort and resources it often finally begins to flow well. When it flows easily, keeping it going is not that hard, but when we back off we get increasingly stuck in a stodgy mess that we inevitably trudge through. I most recently discovered this afresh as I juggled a chaotic three-week period only to subsequently lose most semblance of internal balance. Inwardly I was rushing life.

Our lives are metaphors for a long strand of cord or rope. If we use the rope but don’t return it nicely coiled for the next person we end up upsetting them, or if it’s ourselves, we’re inconvenienced trying to untangle the mess. Then there’s the extra effort required, and we often baulk from effort, don’t we? We’re inclined to procrastinate.

And this speaks mostly of the virtue of diligence or plain hard work—the willingness to go the hard yard. It’s unavoidable if we’re to live well. Quite simply maintaining an ordered life is the best insurance against needing to untangle things unnecessarily. This is the minute-by-minute discipline of diligence.

Most inspiring of all is the inward peace we establish, and the allowable vision that’s afforded. And, wow, what a view life can present from that position.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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