In my post Pay Attention to the Universe, I was reminded of the joy that life has to offer, if only I can escape from my own head and into the present moment long enough to see it.
Last week I sat in my office (on my bed), trying to tune out the noise of the building site (I mean my house), laptop open, staring at the blank screen and willing myself to write, whilst the voice inside my head was enlightening me as to the myriad of reasons why I should just give up on writing now and save myself the disappointment.
My self-sabotaging reverie was broken by my husband, who took a break from sanding the ceiling to shout for me. My irritation spiked immediately: here I was trying to write (okay, thinking about it), and here he was summoning me downstairs, probably to put the kettle on (I have clearly pigeon-holed myself into a life of domestic servitude, a mental construct of my own making which I am currently working hard to punch holes through).
As I huffed and puffed my way downstairs to greet him he was unperturbed, and informed me simply, ‘you have a visitor.’
An unexpected visitor! At the door was a local gentleman I’d met the week before whilst walking in the village. After a case of mistaken identity, we struck up a conversation which somehow turned to poetry and our mutual enjoyment of the written word. My body gained that special kind of levity that comes when you make a connection with someone new, and I told him where I lived, in case he ever wanted to drop by with some of his poems.
I hadn’t thought much more about it, and yet here, at the very time when my unhelpful inner critic was telling me I may as well shut down my laptop and give up on this writing business, was the gentleman I’d met, who had very kindly taken time out of his day to drop by with a book of his own published poetry. Not only that, but a quick chat revealed there are many people living in our village who are creative in different ways, from poetry, to humorous anecdotes, creative writing and guitar making.
This conversation was a great reminder for me that we are all born to create. (Apparently, people get five times more joy out of a piece of furniture they’ve made, even badly, than something shop bought). That it should have come at a time when I was feeling disheartened with my writing was, in my mind, a gentle nudge from the universe to tell me to keep going.
Chatting with my unexpected visitor reminded me how much I love meeting new people, which is something I’d forgotten in the craziness of life (and lockdown). It’s a running joke amongst my family that I’ve inherited my Mum’s knack of striking up conversations with strangers, which she inherited from her mother. Once restrictions are lifted, I think I’ll make it my mission to chat to as many people as possible. The people around us are often the most interesting thing life has to offer, after all.
In the meantime, I shall continue to do my best to remain present and amenable to the opportunities around me, as the universe opens doors I might not realise are there, if I’m not paying attention.