Usually, the idea for the Monthly Musing comes to me some time during the month – something I’ve read or seen, perhaps triggered by a comment by my husband, a friend or one of my daughters, or sometimes just a random thought that will pop into my head whilst I’m walking the dog. This month, the idea has remained stubbornly elusive.
I’ve watched the days move closer to towards the end of the month, seeming to get faster and faster as the new month approaches, and still no idea has appeared. The pressure to produce something – anything – has intensified as the days have passed, not making it any easier as my (admittedly self-imposed) deadline approaches, but instead making it harder as I think of all the other things that are clamouring for my attention whilst I fruitlessly chase Monthly Musing ideas that seem to disappear like vapour on a sunny day as soon as I try to grasp them.
I know I am not alone in this situation. How many times have we not been able to remember something, knowing that it will come to mind when the information is not needed any more? Or racked our brains for a perfect gift only to know exactly what that is that we should have bought when we hand over something that we thought would be a good substitute for “perfect”?
In the end, with the last day of the month almost close enough to touch, I sat down and decide to write …. anything. What’s the worst that could happen? “Winwick Mum has no words for the Monthly Musing”. I knew that would be unlikely as I am rarely short of words - ask my husband, who was searching the house for earplugs the other day. I was about to be offended until he told me they were for a rock concert he was going to! – and sometimes, when we release ourselves from the pressure, the very act of giving ourselves permission to do so immediately changes the situation. Having no idea has turned out to be the idea for this month’s Musing and instead of writing nothing, I am writing something.
It can be a scary thing to take your hands off the metaphorical steering wheel and see what happens (don’t try this in a car!). Usually, I find that autopilot takes over and whilst I might not end up going in the direction I expected, the journey and the end destination are often better than I could have imagined. It’s ironic that the times I need to do this most are the times when I find myself gripping that steering wheel most tightly and it’s quite an effort to let go. We like to be in control, to have everything mapped out and to see exactly where our path will take us and for the most part that’s how we live our lives, and pretty successfully too. Just once in a while, it’s fun to see where the road takes you and I must try to remember that.