Do you ever just think to yourself ‘What’s the point?’ What is the point of doing anything other than what we are programmed to do. Life is life and if you are reading this you must be alive and of course I am alive because I am writing it. So we have established we have life. And if like me you are middle aged you have probably created a life that begins with something and ends with something each day which is sometimes a little beyond your control.
If you have children their needs and running the home generally are pretty much your main priority. If you have animals you will need to care for them too, feed them, exercise them etc; a house you will need to maintain it, clean it etc and pay for it with a job and so on. Life is full of things you have to do, everyday chores before you get any time to do anything else. The list can seem endless.
As I have aged I have lost my motivation to do anything outside of the framework of work, children and home. It’s not actually a lack of motivation more a question of time to do anything else. So at times I have asked myself, why do I want to do anything else at all, purely for the enjoyment of it? One of those things is using social media. I have thought what is the point in doing it many times. I honestly don’t know any other answer than ‘Why not?’ I am not feeling apathetic or depressed, although I have felt that sensation of not wanting to do anything at all in the past, with no interest in the things that I would usually find enjoyment in, I felt like there was no point to anything. But I’m not meaning it that way here; what I am meaning in this post is why don’t we just live instead of thinking about what else we could be doing on top of all the other things we have do. That’s progress for me. Less than 12 months ago I felt like I needed to ‘be’ something, have a title, be looking at beginning a new career or doing something other than what is actually needed to be done. And the good news is I now find happiness in all the things I have to do, admittedly, sometimes I feel more happy after I have done them than during, especially when it comes to housework, but generally I find joy in everyday normal life.
I love to take photographs and the main bonus about my photography is that I can take photographs anywhere, anytime, especially taking photographs of the things I see in my ‘ordinary’ everyday moments. I don’t go anywhere much outside of the farm these days and I love to document my days using words and pictures.
I think, for me, the point of doing anything is to do something that I haven’t been asked to do, been told to do, doing something I don’t have to do, that isn’t necessary to do. This something isn’t motivated by praise, money, fame or by anything other than to be doing something instead of doing nothing. Because if we decide to do nothing what would be the point of life at all? The point would be just to enjoy it, and I do.
I am satisfied. If anybody asked me what do I need or want or wish for? I would answer ‘Nothing.’ There is nothing, apart from a cleaner, that would make my life better than how I have it. This isn’t a look at me how great I have it, but it is a clear indication or how a peaceful mind is happy with whatever circumstances they find themselves in, it isn’t dependent on external circumstances at all.
And when I found myself there quite suddenly in such a peaceful state, during my period of retreat during Lent, I didn’t see any point to anything anymore, I was almost immobilised or perhaps I should call it cleansed of all the things I thought mattered, they didn’t matter anymore. There seemed no point in taking a photograph, or putting words to the pictures or even posting a photograph on social media. So what happened? I became institutionalised again I began posting again on Instagram and here I am still doing it. Why? What’s the point?
Definitely social interaction, laughter, making people laugh and other people making me laugh, connection, support, giving, sharing and belonging. But whilst using it, it is good to remember that when you open yourself up to using a tool like that, it is also used by many millions of other people; their energy, thoughts and behaviour are part of that media tool too, good and bad. Other people have their own agenda for using it. Some are searching for inspiration generally and feel inspired by others in a positive way. I am inspired by several people on Instagram, especially mothers of children with special needs, people who do things for charity, self motivated quietly talented people who start businesses from scratch. Knowledgeable, female farmers, artists and illustrators, young people who support and care for their parents, first generation farmers trying to make a go of it and many more. But sadly there are always the many who use social media in a negative way, they lie about their life, or bitch about someone else’s, some people copy and use other people’s photographs or ideas without asking and repost them or edit them and then pass them off as their own. Some people just want follows and likes and other people feed into that. One of my motos is ‘Do your best and forget the rest’ this doesn’t mean I don’t care about anybody else it means I just do what I love in my own humble way and I try not to worry about what other people think. People can lie to others but they can’t lie to themselves.
I do believe that sometimes it is necessary to do something outside of what I would normally be doing to keep my brain fresh and active. Similar jobs and roles with very little challenge or change can slow my brain down somewhat to a point where there are no markers to hang my brain onto anymore. For example some days when it gets to the evening I am not sure if what I did in the morning happened that day or several days before. Sometimes something that happened a month ago only seems like yesterday, time gets a little warped on a farm because the working hours are long and often seem to flow from one day to another with very little time in between. I remember years ago Keith saying to me ‘You’ll never be a farmer if you are a clock watcher!’ I was stood in the shippon and wanted to get finished milking because we were going out together that night and I kept on looking at the time for when I could go to get changed and ready to go into town. I do know what he means by that now. The jobs end when they are finished, it wouldn’t matter how many times I looked at my watch the cows were not going to get milked any faster!
Although there isn’t always a time to finish the day there is always a time to begin the day, and that changes a little throughout the seasons. But there is always a time of year for every seasonal job that is to be done on the farm and each one comes round again and again, on that we can depend.
Now I have established that I think it is better to do something, which is better than doing nothing, what still prevents me from doing that something?
GUILT with a capital G.U.I.L. & T.
As a mother doing anything other than what the children need me to do or what I am supposed to be doing, namely housework, or farm work or paperwork makes me feel guilty. Spending time writing when it is not my profession makes me feel guilty, I could be sat now with my daughter cuddling her on the sofa but I am not I am writing instead – GUILTY!
An avoidance tactic
I love it but I don’t have to do it quite so often as I do. I sometimes do it to avoid doing anything else.
Poor time management
Oh the dreaded thing called procrastination, a smartphone or iphone is the procrastination devil in disguise. It is so easy now to just Google something, Youtube something, Social media something, text someone, call someone, check an email … although all those things are something they drink time like a vampire drinks blood, time disappears in cyber world. So although I may learn something I have nothing concrete to show for it.
But when I write I don’t feel I have a choice, even though what I am writing is not necessarily creative I just get the impulse to write and the question What’s the point? doesn’t enter my head. I feel enthusiastic and motivated to write and for whatever reason, that is what I am supposed to be doing. And that, at the time, is what the point, is for me.
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams