Hi! This is our third blog post/podcast combination for the season and second live voice podcast. I’m pleased to be able to bring you a little slice of author life/world and some advice. I’m your host, E Jean Simpson, Author portion of A & J PEI Treasures. Welcome from the beautiful Island Province of Prince Edward Island Canada. Today, I am going to talk about how one question can change your whole understanding of things and maybe help you develop a goal worth working on.
I had seen a question from the local news on how things were different since the pandemic. They wanted to know how people’s priorities had changed. I decided to make a reply. It was how I was working on my several different projects (e-books, blog, websites) and such, pretty standard parts of my life that have opened up since COVID started. The question that came from the news agency was how this represents a change in my priorities? It took me a minute because I had not consciously determined why I was doing it other than I love writing and photography and wanted to share it with the world or whoever would listen…but there was more that I hadn’t verbalized or consciously thought of.
Then, like a bolt out of the blue, I realized something. The priorities for me had been about how not to be a victim of COVID or of life. Everyone is talking about getting back to normal and, in all this, with my pre-existing condition, I have had to scale back leaving the area. I understand that everyone has bad days … but it seems the comments online all center around being ‘trapped inside’ or ‘locked up’ and can’t wait for things to get back to normal. How it is traumatizing and depressing. At the same time, is back to normal really what we want to go back to….think about society and the disparities. Consider something like racism, it’s made the news quite a bit…do we want to go back to the way things were or do we want to come back as better, more improved human beings. As I continue, you will find the there are choices that we could make and that who we come back as is one of the choices we could be making right now. Not when this is all over, when things get better, but right here and right now. We can set our goals for the future. Have something to look forward to.
I suddenly realized, for me, it was part of my being determined not to be ‘locked up’. Not to feel ‘trapped’ and not to be victimized by my situation. William James is often quoted as saying, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” It is one of the things that keeps life from getting out of control. It is valuable to work on. You see, since I started working on my e-books, photography and websites and blogs, I find myself noticing everything around me. The beauty of the birds, the flowers, the snowflakes, and the companion animals we have. The quiet of a snowy day, the water, the sunset and the myriad of things that make up our daily life. Not that I didn’t enjoy them before, but now I take the time to appreciate them. I write about them, I share them. It has given me some tranquility in a time when there is a lot of terrible things going on. It has allowed me to work on finding who I am without the hustle and bustle around me. Without the constant noise of society and the rat race which seems sometimes to be more rat and not a lot of race.
Please don’t get me wrong, it is normal to have bad days. Everyone has them. However, if it becomes the only focus to have things back to normal and how horrible things are right now, then one loses the moment and we live only in the future. If it is seen as an opportunity, then you try to find ways to improve and move forward. Is it fun, do I enjoy the situation? No, I don’t like the situation, but the situation isn’t there to be liked or disliked. It is there whether or not we like it. So, given the situations is what it is, we have to make a choice on how we want to cope with it. Yes, some day this situation will be over. I guess part of what we need to decide is who do we want to be by then and how do we want to get there? It doesn’t depend on being out and about, it depends on who you want to be when this is over. It depends on what you want the world in the future to look like. It isn’t going to change for the better if we just sit and wait for things to be over so we can go back to how things were.
I decided not be a victim of my situation. My body makes it necessary to stay safe and keep out of public as much as possible. Some are forced to do this more so than I. But, the question isn’t when will we get back to normal….maybe it needs to be do we want to get back to normal or do we want to create a better normal to get back to? For me, I have time to do my writing, photography and other tasks that I share. I can focus on my photography and writing and crafts and getting to be the best person I can be. Of course, I cannot change the world, but I can change who I am. If this helps to inspire others to look toward making a better future and putting their time to be productive and find better ways, then I have done a service. I have learned to be happy with myself and with my art and with striving to be a better version of myself daily. I continue to develop different things and run my websites. It isn’t a competition. It never was. I am an author, and I am me.
Be realistically unrealistic and know that you are enough. Learn to be the best you can be. Find hope in the snowflakes, snow banks, flowers, birds, animals and whatever the world has to offer. See the beauty around you and know that you can add to that. You can create a better world, but not if all you do is wait for the world to get back to normal….maybe we need to work on being better than normal…or at the very least better than we were yesterday.
It’s not about getting back to normal….normal wasn’t working for some of us. It’s about getting out of this situation a better, stronger and more improved person. Everyone can do this in one way or another. The choice is up to you.
Thank you for reading my blog post and for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures! Also available on Anchor Podcast: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/One-Single-Question-et12lo