This is Water
So I find myself sitting in a queue waiting for a haircut. Even though I can do the majority of my work remotely from this tablet I am feeling rather frustrated having to wait. In fact waiting for anything is one of my weaknesses. I like things to happen quickly or at least in a time frame controlled by myself. This got me thinking about life here in Port Alfred. We are pretty well taken care of. Everything in our town is less than a 5 min drive away, we never have traffic to contend with, even grocery shopping is relatively painless if you plan your time, so why am I now frustrated? My work is relatively up to date, I have no pressing appointments. I should be relaxing and enjoying this “free” time, yet I am struggling to let go. I feel that I need to do something other than just sit and wait, life is too short to sit around waiting. It got me thinking of a lecture I once heard by David Foster Wallace, This is Water
I have watched this clip many times and I get the message. I understand the big picture yet here I sit, four deep in a queue and getting increasingly frustrated as the time ticks by, and yet I have only been here for 30 min. So I will do my best to just relax and focus on my writing. No one here is engaging in conversation and it seems like the perfect time to get another post out.
Welcome writers block……Now that I have my mind set on writing something productive I am at a loss for words. The irony of it, when I was frustrated I could not write down my thoughts fast enough and yet now I seem to have none.
So who would have guessed, the four people in front of me seemed to magically get done in about 10 min and one of the people opted out as they were about to get into the chair and the next thing I knew I was done with my hair cut and back on the way to the office. So the rest of this story now continues a day later.
This is water. Boredom, routine, frustration, is this really what life is about for the majority of people? I have experienced these exact feelings before. I have gone through long periods where I questioned the point of it all. I have been stuck on the treadmill of life winding down the clock wondering what the greater purpose is. I was during one of these times when a client invited me to go listen to a guest speaker, Tania Adams, at the Port Alfred Business Forum. Something changed on that night when I listened to the talk by Tania, something inside me woke up again and started searching for the passion, the energy, the life force that used to drive me to take charge of my destiny. I needed to choose. Either continue along the path I was on or choose something different. I was in a pretty comfortable space but I was not growing, and when something is no longer growing it is dying, and that was how I felt. I was slowly dying, I was losing the joy of the simple things, I was becoming cynical of my job, our town, our country and the whole game of life, yet I managed to keep up the impression that all was ok and life was just passing by one day at a time.
I chose that night to take control of my own destiny and not be left adrift at the mercy of chance. I knew that I could either carry on carrying on or actually get out there and reawaken the passion of life that used to rage within me. The following few weeks I mulled over my options, I spend hours in deep thought about what really gets me motivated, yet I was not able to break through. I then contacted Tania and discussed life coaching. After our initial meeting I decided that this was what I needed, yet it seemed unaffordable and I was not sure I would be able to make the breakthrough I needed. I decided to try it out anyway, yet I dared not tell anyone about it. I could not bear to face the critics if I embarked on this journey and failed. So on the 28 June 2011 I went for my first coaching session which was on Joy, Anger and Sadness and Controlling the Fire within, I knew from day 1 I was on the right track. The first course was over 12 sessions and by the end of that I was ready to take on the world. Over the 4 months of coaching I had written more business than what I did in the 10 months before. I had regained my rhythm, found the joy in my work, and reignited my lust for life. I had learnt how to make conscious decisions in my daily routine that transformed the way I looked at my life. I was a far happier individual. I was present to those around me again. I was able to consciously decide how to react to certain stimuli.
It all sounds rather simple, but the reality of it is I need to make this choice over and over again every single day, hundreds of times a day. I have to be aware of my thoughts and my reactions. I have to tell myself to Stop, Think, Do as my son taught me. The truth is I fail more times than I get it right. I get frustrated, bored, irritated, peeved and flat out pissed off at times. I am ok with that though, for me I get to reflect and choose again. I get second chances. I know that every morning I wake up I have a choice of how I am going to respond to what life throws at me. At the end of each day I get to reflect on the consequences of my choices and I need to stand up and be accountable for my decisions.
So as David Foster Wallace says, it is not about life after death we need to focus on but rather the Life before Death.
How are you going to choose to live today?
Is this how you met and fell for Tania?
Hi Robyn. I had met Tania before this talk but I did not know what line of work Tania did. I was at a place in my life where I needed intervention and I found that through coaching. What the coaching work did was make me question the way I did things and the way I let people walk all over me and use me as a safe place to keep returning to. It was not Tania that influenced my decision to leave my wife. If you knew me and the relationship I had in my marriage you would possibly understand that I had reached the point where I could no longer continue to carry on with the way things were. I am not going to blame either spouse for the demise of the marriage as I am well aware that it takes two people to make or break a relationship. If you are genuinely interested in the facts surrounding the breakup of the marriage I am happy to tell you my side of the story right from the time I first got involved up to the series of events that finally drove me to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life.
At all times my coaching engagement with Tania was all ethical and in fact not once did we discuss any of my private life as at the time the only thing I was focused on was saving my business.
I fell for Tania after our coaching had ceased. I fell for Tania after I had made the decision to leave my wife. The fact that I did not have the guts to leave immediately was very immature of me, but I was afraid of what awaited should I have left. One of the main reasons that I did not leave the first or the second time I wanted to was because of pressure from my family. They begged me to keep trying to make things right for the sake of the children. I succumbed to the pressure of my family and went about trying to play the role of a caring husband and father. However in a loveless relationship where your friends spend more time out partying with your partner than they do with you do, one eventually cracks. The turning point came one weekend in Cape Town with two good friends. I was driven to the point of seriously considering suicide as that seemed like the only way out of the relationship for me. I asked my friend to drive me home and I decided then and there that regardless of the outcome I was never going to feel like that again. I wrote my wife a letter telling her that there were no more chances and should she stay out partying all night once again I would leave for good. Three days later I packed a bag and I have never looked back. I have regained my close relationships with my family that were strained during my marriage. I have now found my soul mate who has become my best friend. I am alive, I am happy and I am living the consequences of my choices. I have to take the good with the bad, but I can assure you that the good and healing I have experienced over the past two and a bit years since separating from my wife have been a blessing. I can once again smile with my eyes and not just my mouth.