When you are waiting for your first child to be born and your life to change forever (again), you can decide to pass time by focusing on all sorts of other things, maybe even go workaholic about it. Or you can decide to just be ready and focus on all sorts of other things, only insofar as they serve not to keep you restless.
But they must not drain you or become an escape. They must not cover for your anxiousness about what may or may not happen, if you have any.
I’ve opted for the ready-approach, even though it costs me and there’s isn’t really credit enough on my account to warrant not taking in any new customers right now. But it’s a good choice and I’m not straying from it. It will serve me well, I’m convinced, esp. in the weeks to follow the birth.
I’ve been warned by others not to pretend I can do everything else while we settle into this new life of ours with a new third life who is our sole responsibility from now on 24/7. And I heed that.
So I am mostly at home these days, cleaning up with Char, throwing out and sorting out the last stuff. I do a little bit of client work remote – brush up this website or that. Or I blog, like now. Or write. I should also draw a bit again. That vow has become increasingly fragile, and this is as good as time as any to get back to it.
You can always draw and use that as a focus and it will give you energy, and be easy to leave when the bells sound.
If you can’t draw, then I bet there’s something else in your life along those lines, which will keep you awake and focused but not tire you. Maybe a hobby you’ve neglected for too long, but which is good for your soul.
It’s not always a good thing not to be distracted by your client calendar’s demands or similar. It takes discipline both to keep the calendar away but also to keep something meaningful in its stead, which can serve as a focus. And then take those naps, while you are at it. You don’t know when you are going to be up all night.
What I mean, though, is that because there is more time you have to use meaningfully without some set agenda, then you can also slip and begin to brood a bit about things you’d otherwise overlook or suppress, at least if you’re like me.
Today, for example, I thought for the nth time about whether or not this blog will ever make any difference to anyone. But then I tried to do the math, also for the nth time. Put a new formula on my doubt, try to confront the doubt with actual numbers instead of allowing it to just be that: A Feeling Of Doubt.
And I mean, if I write one piece every day, and if I make one meaningful comment (addition) every day to another person’s blog – as I have also decided to do and have done for a few weeks – then at the very, very worst, I will end up with:
- 14012 uplifting blog posts of my own
- almost 14000 uplifting or meaningful additions made to other people’s blogs.
All other things being equal, of course. But isn’t it always … ?
At any rate, those numbers feel powerful, even if they are spread out over almost 40 years.
But when I think about it, it seems inconceivable that I will not reach more people over time, and give something of value to them via my words.
There will be a rise in traffic from search engines slowly, but over time.
There will be, and I’m banking on this, a rise in visitors via my networks – people who recommended this blog to each other.
There will be a rise in steady visitors (and people I visit) because, quite simply, I will become friends with them over time – other bloggers.
So what are we talking about here over time? A hundred thousand unique visitors, who get something meaningful from the blog – not just bounce away?
That doesn’t seem inconceivable, over 40 years. It’s only a few thousand visitors per year.
Even the lousiest of websites about the oddest of topics do better than that.
And that feels more powerful to think of. And it feels like it is dissolving this heavy sense that what I’m doing right here and now is worthless.
Confronting doubt with time. Enforcing the perspective of time. Asking: What if I take persistent action like this over time? How much is possible? How much is it worth?
Blogging and its worth to other people isn’t the only area of life where you can use this kind of thinking to dissolve doubt, spur action, feel hope.
Force yourself to see the future. That you create.
I have to do it again and again, because doubt is a persistent enemy. But as I persist against the doubt, of what I am worth and what I can contribute, then it does get easier.
It is the kind of persistence that ultimately wins.
Your doubts must never be allowed to just grip you and tell you things are like this or that feeling, especially the future.
The future is not set, but you have to force yourself to imagine it in a very particular way, finding an argument why it will be in a certain way, and making that feel plausible. Then you break it up – the doubt.
Because doubt seems to be defined by its ability to freeze us in time. It can tell us that this moment is all that exists and that your efforts to change the future can’t really matter for that reason.
Well, it is a lie. And if somebody is lying you in the face, your natural instinct should be to tell them flat out why they are wrong.