Exploring Enough in the new normality

Although I started this blog over a year ago, Coronavirus lockdown has been the catalyst for writing much more regularly. It makes sense, I had plenty of time on my hands – but still, I’m happy that I was able to put it to productive use.

But that begs the question – will I continue writing as much now that things are returning to normal (at least for the time being)? 

Well, so far the signs have been pointing to ‘no’. The last post I wrote was almost two weeks ago, and time’s flown. Since then, I’ve been easily filling all my spare time with activities – seeing friends, chilling in the park, yoga class, dates, walking. And it’s been wonderful. The return to social contact has been too much of a draw, and has trumped any desire to sit down and write. 

Until now, of course. 

For the last two weeks, just enjoying the return to social contact has been ‘enough’. It’s kept me entertained, laughing, thinking, and moving. And frankly, although it’s a cliché, those simple pleasures have been even more enjoyable than normal, because I’ve missed them so much. 

To a degree, I’ve experienced a real sense of apathy towards writing over this period. It’s a combination of having other immediately rewarding things to do, and the gorgeous warm weather that I love but always makes me sluggish. But I’ve also felt a niggling sense that writing the blog was just pointless – or, perhaps not as dramatic as that, but it was just not that worthwhile.

But over the last few days, something has started to creep in again. And it’s coming back to a theme that I think is right at the crux of this blog – purpose. Both in the sense of ‘the purpose of the blog’ and also ‘giving me a sense of purpose’. So here are some thoughts on why I write:

  • This blog really helps me think about what’s important to me in life. It gives me a space to be mindful of what I’m working towards and to sit back and reflect on why.
  • It also helps me produce something that – I hope – might make others think. And so, as well as the sense of purpose I get from work, the act of sharing my writing makes me feel like I’m making a contribution to our currently very messed-up world.

  • I really believe that we – as in, humans – are going to have to radically change our behaviour if we are going to stop the massive destruction of our planet. And that by focusing on ‘enough’, we can dramatically reduce our consumption.

  • I also believe that we can become happier by doing so – by shifting our targets towards ‘enough’ instead of a constant sense of wanting more. I definitely think that I personally have benefited from the pressure that’s been lifted once I started to shift my aspirations away from neverending accumulation. And it takes a shift in our thinking, to see living with less as an aspiration – not deprivation.

  • As I say regularly to people – I like to share the posts, but ultimately I get a lot out of writing my thoughts down, whether I share them or not.

So, I won’t beat myself up for taking time off – after all, this is something I do for enjoyment – but I will take a moment to reinforce to myself that writing this blog is good for me, and hopefully, by developing my thinking over time, good for others too. And the sense of purpose that brings makes it worth the effort, every time.

A little final note here, for accountability to myself – from now on, I will post twice a week. Once during the week, and once at the weekend.