Delicious Ambiguity

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it,

without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Delicious Ambiguity.  

Gilda Radner

I’ve begun 2018 in a new mood. It’s a mood of ease, slowing down, and setting intentions before rushing into making rash New Year resolutions. On previous January firsts, my husband and I have sat with a year calendar and mapped out significant dates for the year–we call the process, making appointments for adventure.

We set an adventure every month, something we’ve never done before, somewhere we’ve never visited, a personal physical challenge–adventures. We put in meetings, commitments, deadlines, responsibilities, and bookings as well, but the overarching aim is to make sure that the year ahead is filled with faith, fun, friendship, family, and seasoned with serendipity.

Two years ago, we started something new. Instead of plunging into the New Year and moving on to the next without a backward glance, we decided to get our previous year’s diary out and go through each and every day.

We review every single day of the previous year and give it a rating.

Yes. Every single day. Some days were boring. The items might be mundane: Clean house. Do garden. Grocery shopping.

Other days were meetings with people.

Some days we’d be travelling in Europe, the US, Asia, the Pacific, Sydney, Melbourne, or Dunsborough.

After the review, we set our intentions for the new year–we are not big on goals set in concrete. We think they come naturally out of our big intentions. Our values, beliefs, and priorities in life are pre-commitments–non-negotiables if you like. The things we choose to do generally fall into these parameters.

For example, we believe that God has given us time, talents, and resources that we should gift to others. We give at least one month of our year as volunteers to an organisation, over and above any weekly commitments. Often, it is more than a month, but that is the minimum. My husband has travelled overseas many times to take photos of projects. I’ve run training programs for educators in Cambodia. It’s an adventure choosing how we spend this month.

Besides set plans, there’s also something delightful and delicious about having some ambiguity in life. It’s often in these spaces of ambiguity that spontaneity, freshness, and creativity thrive.

That’s why we leave space for ambiguity in the calendar. If we don’t intentionally leave space for spontaneity, our calendars fill up and we get boxed in when something interesting comes up during the year.

It seems counterintuitive to program in ambiguity, but it’s in these delicious spaces that purpose actually becomes clearer.

A year is a limited amount of time. It’s already January thirty-first and February is only a sunset away.

It makes sense to try and ensure that we use our time carefully, thoughtfully, and with intention.

It also makes sense to ensure that it adds up something meaningful and purposeful.

But, sometimes it’s fun to program some delicious ambiguity into your life and see what happens.

Here’s to a fantastic year filled with delicious ambiguity and adventure!

love, Elaine

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I love this post, Elaine.

    My girls have just gone to school today and, with the focus off them now, I feel an urgency about getting my routine for this year organised.

    But I also feel that I don’t have energy to do that right now, and I just need to let things unfold.

    Thank you xx

    • Elaine Fraser
      Posted January 31, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Leave some delicious ambiguity for a few days here and there. Xxx

  2. Ruth
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Love this Elaine. It really made me think about approaching planning differently.
    All the best for this new year to you and Steve!

    • Elaine Fraser
      Posted January 31, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      It’s a great thing to put in your calendar. Have a great year! Xxx

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