Marica's meanderings

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The trickle down theory

One, two, three... how many drops does it take for a trickle to form?Flow isn't coming easily. I have come to realise I need to focus on the trickles - one after the other, slowly but surely - and this is okay. I am so impatient though. It is not about one thing. It is about everything. Just like learning, it doesn't happen in isolation or in any particular way. What I am going through at the moment is a learning experience. Why does it have to be so hard? My learners must ask this question too.

So often all we think about is the big picture. It seems so huge. How will we ever do this or get there? It can seem so daunting.We allow fear to take over and then nothing happens. Everything takes on mammoth proportions and we can't reason our way through it all.

What about the small bits that make up the big picture? When we set goals how often do we set small achievable goals and then celebrate as we complete each of these. One after the other they eventually build into that bigger picture and somehow it seems so much easier. The trickles do matter only we don't see it at the time.

I can't believe how many times I have explained this concept to my learners as they struggle to face the many challenges that confront them. Yet I so easily forget all this when it comes to me.

I remember vividly my experiences of giving birth. In particular I remember that first twinge and hint that labour was about to begin. The experience seemed overwhelming and I simply wanted it to be over. Then I realised that every contraction was taking me that step closer towards meeting my child. I would never have that particular contraction again. The next one would be different. I remember the sense of relief as a contraction ended and I could get myself together for the next one. Each contraction moved me closer to the birth of my baby as they gained momentum and their effectiveness increased. Things went wrong but I got through. Each birth experience was different and the three children I gave birth to were all different too. Creation is work.

Writing is creation as well. These are my words, my thoughts, my connections. They are personal to me even if the original idea or concept that got me started was someone else's. This is how our collective knowledge and understanindg of our world, and the experiences we have within it, are formulated and shared. It is a process. It doesn't just happen without some work of some kind. No wonder it is so consuming.

I have to face the reality that there is more to me and my life than my job. However, I do believe being an educator is an all consuming role which doesn't stop and start between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. I have a tendency to forget about ME. I need to respect and nurture all of me before any kind of flow can happen. I have been putting obstacles in the path of my trickles and this in turn interrupts the flow.

I have created so much pressure for myself as I try to improve myself professionally. I keep wondering why I am doing my Masters and why does it matter? Will it mean I will get a better paying job? Is that what I want? Will it mean I will be more respected professionally? Do I need to put myself through all of this? What is this all about?

I know why I am doing it. It is because this is what I want. I want it because it is a step I must complete to fulfill a dream of mine - to achieve a PhD. I need to remember this amongst the many things things that attack me on a daily basis. Why is it that I am even prepared to consider giving up something that is this important to me as a way of dealing with all the things that relate to eveyone else and their needs? I do not give up on things. It is not a part of who I am. Yet, I have been very tempted this time.

I am in the driver's seat here. If this is what I want then why am I allowing anything to get in the way? Why am I allowing my attention to be diverted? I can do something about this. I may have to take a few detours but that is a normal process. Creation takes time, energy and a vision. Sometimes these things get clouded out and we need help to let them surface again.

There are so many questions. As for the answers, well...

Something has happened. Things are different. I have cleared some obstacles and progress is being made. I have said "No" to some things. I have asked to be released from some commitments so I can focus on my writing. I have delegated work. I have decided what is really important and what will matter to me, now and in the future. After all, I am responsible for my own future. The world will continue if I take some time out.

I am now writing up my research. It is not coming easily but it is happening. Every day I feel it more and more. I have taken time off work and I love it. I am immersed in what I am doing while at the same time I have started to look after myself by eating properly, going for a walk, spending time with my son, being present. I have more energy and the excitement for what I am doing and the passion is slowly trickling back into my being.

So what is my ‘trickle down theory’ you might well ask:

New beginningsIt all starts with one drop. A trickle is there before you know it.
One drop is all it takes
Nothing ever happens in isolation
The second drop is there
The trickle has begun.

It doesn’t take much
For something to happen
In no time at all
Things are moving.

Flow is starting
Slowly
Hesitantly
Trying to find its way
Weaving, winding, transforming itself
Unsure where to go
Trying different things
Moving
Always moving.

The pace is increasing
Actually this is not so bad
Where am I?
What time is it?
Look how far I have come
This is fun!

Oh no, what is that
What do I do now?
I'm not going to stop
I'm going to get around this
Be creative
It doesn’t matter.Rainbows are a special reminder of the power of dropslets of water.
Different is great
It might be better
Keep going
You can do it

Some things I can do nothing about
Don’t fight it
Move on
Don’t let this stand in your way
There is always another trickle.

Flow is up to me
Not anyone else.

Trickle, after trickle
My tree is being nourished
Growth is happening
Celebrate!

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