Sunday, October 5, 2014

Justine's Journal #7

500 Words 52 Weeks

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

(meant to post yesterday, but internet availability let us down)

Week 7

'What would you like to hear about today? How was my week? I guess we start with that. The past week was a rollercoaster of emotions, but no highs or lows, merely up then down, and much of it had to do with energy, or the lack thereof. All of it was created in my mind, of course, for not much changed in my environment or circumstances. It’s such a stupid thing, really, that I prefer not to talk about it.

What do you want to hear about, then? It’s Saturday, after all, and either an off day for you (as in relaxing, not mood!) or it’s a day of running around trying to catch up on the stuff you simply can’t get do during your working week (very frustrating, I know!). The last thing you need is a depressing read, right?

Sorry to disappoint you. No, I’m not going to sit here and throw darkness at you, but I can’t be a little ray of sunshine when that isn't how I feel.

What I will do is offer you a challenge. I do this sometimes, to restore energy, to uplift my mood, to change the firing neurons in my brain, to distract me from an emotion or task I can’t face with good grace. Nothing taxing, just a matter of becoming alert and aware. You’ll be amazed what it does, whatever situation or space you find yourself in.

It’s like this: Choose an object, be it flora, fauna or man-made (‘object’ is a word loosely used – we don’t call a flower an object, after all!). Once you've settled on something, look around you and start taking note. Either you count how many of the same ‘object’ you see, or you track the diversity of the category you have chosen, perhaps listing the one’s you recognise and, yes, you’re allowed to pat yourself on the back for knowing more than you thought you did J

If you’re now thoroughly confused, allow me to explain my method and then you may be able to read between my lines.

My choice is generally birds. I am no expert, but I like to see how many species I am able to identify. Yesterday, for instance, I felt low and couldn't concentrate on anything long enough to achieve a satisfactory result. Moving to a window that faces the garden, I sat there and started watching.

Soon I had seen guinea fowl in the undergrowth, heard Egyptian geese, and noticed seagulls and hadidas (you probably known them as ibis) in the distance. I also saw sparrows, wagtails, starlings, a butcher bird, pigeons and a fair few swallows.

The act of looking and waiting and identifying actually served to lift my mood and when I left the window, I left it with a smile on my face. I consider that time well spent, and hope you will discover the same.

Right, no darkness and perhaps no sunshine either this day of posting, but a challenge is able to fire you. Trust me on this. Give it a go.'

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