I lay awake last night, some nine hours before my last exam scheduled for 9am this morning, and sometime between 12:01 and 12:37 (yes, AM) I realised that I was lying awake. This was only mildly perplexing – I’ve been studying late so my body clock is shunted forward (yes, again). But still, I have an exam the next same day and I find myself lying awake, staring at the ceiling.
I continued to lie awake and began to realise during these quiet moments of continued wakefulness the vastness of my current predicament. The room faded and diminished as I considered the first twelve months of the rest of my life.
In twelve hours, I considered, I would be finished yet another semester of my meaningful but prolonged and at times tedious pursuit of a law degree. I would then have four weeks of holidays with little prospect of much part time work but a whole lot of opportunity to relax, take deep breaths and widen my perspective.
It was at that moment I realised why I was still lying awake on the eve of another arbitrary milestone – because I really, really don’t want to stuff this up.
I realise the world is large and that there are many others around like me. While I have always been, and continue to be, a high achiever, I acknowledge that I’m not the sharpest mind in my class, my state or my nation, let alone the global community. But I lay awake and dreamed, with a little more hope and a little more ambition than previously, that I might become one of them and join the pursuit of shaping a better world.
It never fails to amaze me how small my worldview becomes at times – macro-focus on minor issues takes the beauty out of the vista. Perhaps it’s out of necessity, or perhaps I don’t know any better. And then, in moments of tranquility and crystal clarity, I realise my error.
In this realisation I urge you, too, dear reader…
Dream big, and then dream bigger than that.
Today was the day after the day after the Dancecorp National Dance Festival 2007. This year, having taken up ballroom and latin dancing classes once again, my dance partner and I got to enter the NDF competition and join in with all the fun activities that go along with it. And while we didn’t win anything in the competitive dancing, we had a great time. The significance of all this is that today was the day of our first dancing exam too, and it went wonderfully: 89% – Highly Commended!
It’s enjoyable to be becoming more and more proficient at something which is a bit different to the mainstream activities. It’s a simple matter of getting out and getting involved, because once you have it becomes obvious how much enjoyment can be had in return for such a little step as deciding to start.
(Pictures of the festivities can be seen in the new album…)
· · ·
Last night I visited some friends for dinner and got a chance to spend some time with their 7-month old son Nathaniel. They were most apologetic for his scratchy nature caused by overtiredness, but I wasn’t concerned in the slightest. I was simply grateful to be able to take part in the life of my godson again, and even a screaming child is part and parcel of the parental experience.
Despite his tiredness Nathaniel did manage to calm down enough to go through the bedtime routine, so I got to give him a bath and join in with the nighttime prayers. It was a profoundly holy and emotional experience to sit with such a vibrant young soul on my lap; to hear the great depth of love his parents express for him, night after night; to have him cuddle up in my shoulder or gaze into my eyes and reach out to touch my face.
The experience reminded me that my cerebral concerns about the present or the uncertain future are so worthless and empty compared to the reality of life and living here and now. Overanalysis of my little world has consumed the large proportion of my idle thought recently, and the moments I shared with Nathaniel before bed helped me, once again, to remember to draw my mind’s eye back and take in a wider perspective of the bigger picture.