Blessings # 22 – V is for Vision

I may have poor hearing but luckily my vision is pretty good. I have a pair of prescription glasses for distance but don’t actually NEED to wear them for driving. The optician recommended I have them for driving after dark or if I am tired. So they live in the glovebox and come out very occasioanlly. Similarly I wear ready readers if I am tired or doing close work or reading small print. Because I only use them for a few jobs and they are quite cheap I have a pair by my bed, some by my chair in the sitting room (for unpicking knitting!) a pair in the workshop and another in my studio. The Welsh Government funds more frequent eye tests for me than for most people – I would like to think they do this for me but I suspect it is as much because if I lost 2 senses I would be more demanding of services!

IMG_20200416_121244774

But vision is also about having a vision, envisioning, not in the religious sense of seeing angels or saints but imagining how things might be, how problems might be solved, being able to ask ‘What if..?’ (which I talked about in a previous post – you might like to go back and read it here if you missed it).

I am intrigued by the way some people are very good at creative thinking and others less so and how it can vary over a lifetime. I think it may be to do with our attitude to change. It seems particularly pertinent now when we have all had massive changes forced upon us. Do we long for ‘things to go back to normal’ or do we contemplate a ‘new normal’ or hope that that this is ‘pressing the reset button’? Response to change seem to lie on a spectrum from ‘bring it on’ to ‘over my dead body’.

wei chi

You may already know that the chinese character for crisis is Wei Chi. It is a conjoining of two smaller characters Wei means danger, Chi is the life force or, in this situation, perhaps better translated as opportunity. And therein lies the conundrum. Are we more aware of the danger? That leads us to dig our heels in, retrench, try to grab control, resist change. Or do we major on the opportunity? Can we envision something better rising from the ashes, become energetic and enthusiastic about a new future? Either extreme is unhelpful but somewhere in the middle – the cautious optimism point – lies a way forward in relative safety.

The colleague who introduced me to the idea of Wei Chi was particularly interested in it’s connection to grief. In order to move to something new we have to give up what was, accept that it has gone. That is as true of breaking a plate as of losing a loved one – the process may be longer or shorter, stronger or weaker but it has to be gone through. If we try to avoid it, circumvent it, deny it it will come probably back to bite us on the bum.

I have long been a change junkie! Or to put it another way I have a low boredom threshold! I am always trying new things, new ways of doing tasks, new arrangements of furniture, new hobbies, new recipes…. I need my less flighty friends to restrain me and help me face the loss of what was before racing on to the new.

One lesson that I have learned recently is to be clear about my vision for the future. When I started the work of planning to live long and well as I reach my later years (some people would say I have already reached them!) my friend Jasmine Dale encouraged me to draw a picture of what that old age would look like. Although I sometimes ‘Open mouth without engaging brain’ I generally have a pretty nifty censor on my words even if they are only spoken in my head. Being no artist my pencil censor is much less experienced so a drawing was more likely to get at what I really wanted rather than what I thought I ought to want. I drew it with coloured pencils – washed out and hard to see – then did it again in felt tips – better, stronger, more convincing. I saw that I had drawn THIS house so was assuming I would stay here. It made me question that and seriously consider the pros and cons of staying or various other places I could live. As you may have gathered I decided to stay here! But it revealed what the disadvantages of that decision were likely to be and what I needed to plan to avoid them.

IMG_20200416_122532353

It still looks a bit wishy washy!

That drawing has become my lodestar. All my big decisions are measured against it – do they take me towards it or divert me from it? Without a vision I would wander aimlessly and how would I know if I had arrived? I may even be ready to ‘ink it in’ by re-doing it bolder and more permanent!

I am so grateful that I can allow myself to dream big dreams and have the loving support of people who will restrain my wilder flights of fancy, help me think through my plans, make suggestions, and support me as I try to turn them into reality. Thank you to you all.

11 thoughts on “Blessings # 22 – V is for Vision

  1. Laurie Graves April 16, 2020 / 1:48 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes! What an excellent post. I will be rereading it. Maybe more than once.

    Like

      • Laurie Graves April 17, 2020 / 1:42 pm

        I am taking notes from this post. I am someone who is hardworking but not organized. Having a vision to work with is a very good idea. Perhaps this old dog can learn a new trick. 😉

        Like

      • Going Batty in Wales April 18, 2020 / 10:30 am

        Good luck and please tell me how you get on. The drawing was a new technique for me but has proved very useful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves April 18, 2020 / 4:47 pm

        Will do! I have so enjoyed your series and have even learned a few new tricks.

        Like

      • Laurie Graves April 19, 2020 / 12:26 pm

        You are coming down the home stretch.

        Like

  2. tialys April 16, 2020 / 3:35 pm

    I thought you’d put a trampoline in the centre there for a minute and the hammock is next to it so you could relax after flinging yourself about. 😉

    Like

    • Going Batty in Wales April 17, 2020 / 12:49 pm

      I did say I was hopeless at drawing! On the other hand maybe I should incorporate a trampoline?

      Like

  3. anne54 April 16, 2020 / 11:46 pm

    That’s a great mind map, and I can see how it informs your decisions. I am intrigued that you have drawn the boundary in leaves, assuming that you are containing your world, but there are lots of gateways for you and others to come and go. You could also title this post under “W for Wisdom”!

    Like

    • Going Batty in Wales April 17, 2020 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you Anne. I was surprised by the boundary too. I looked at the big piece of flipchart paper and without thinking picked up a green crayon and drew that wiggly line with its leaves. Then realised I was trapped inside it so added the gateways. Once I reflected on it I realised that whilst I love habving visitors including those who ‘pop in’, actually being able to withdraw from the world and manage what comes in – people, ideas, stuff… is very important to me. Since then I have started to plant trees round my boundary to give me that sense of privacy but I do not have a gate across the driveway!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s