It’s been a scary couple of weeks.
Think Twice and Speak Once
I’ve never been a particularly quick thinker. Where others seem to be able to construct razor-sharp arguments and pithy witticism on demand, I’ve always been at by best when I’ve had the chance to think about what I’m about to say or do, preferably over an extended period of time with periods of rest in between.
I know from experience that my first opinion of anything unfamiliar is likely to be wrong.
Now, there’s nothing unusual in that, per se. Jumping to the wrong conclusion is a universal human pastime. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more aware that I just enjoy life more when I give myself time to ponder things before forming an opinion.
Of course, you handle crises as they happen—stopping to contemplate existential questions when everything is burning down around you is just dumb. But after the fire has been handled and the crisis averted, you need to give yourself plenty of time before you can figure out what it means and what you think of the consequences of said crisis.
The bigger the crisis, the longer the pondering period. And when the course of life throws several big things at you at once, then it’s time to sit down and take your time before deciding.
Just over a month ago, I returned to Montréal after spending July in Iceland with friends and family. I felt energised and ready to deal with some of the very thorny issues we’re facing at work.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, shit happened and now I’m back in Iceland, helping a family member recover and being thankful that full recovery is just a matter of time and patience.
None of us have really had the time to digest said event or react in any other way than gratitude towards the amazing people who work in the Icelandic healthcare system. And they have been truly amazing.
I’ll return to Montréal in just over two weeks' time but it’ll take me a while to digest the events of the past month. I’m not even sure I’ll have the emotional space to even start that pondering for a few weeks.
I think that my sense of what is and isn’t important has been adjusted somewhat. I just don’t know in what way yet or what that means going forward.
I think I know where my mind is heading, but I won’t be sure for a few more months.
Which is as it should be. Thought takes time. As does change.
(I apologise for being a bit vague in this post. I have a few relatives who are minor public figures in Iceland, and Icelandic society is very small and prone to gossip, so giving out too many details would be a bit irresponsible.)