Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nothing goes according to plan, especially if you have too many!

One has a structure to one’s life, and hopes, as time progresses. It is according to some plan. However, many unforeseen events take over and ruin some of the best laid plans. Often a serious accident calls for a rethink of a strategy and that was one I encountered, that completely changed my course of action.

I was happy growing, going to homes in villages buying what I considered unusual items such as wild oranges from trees and transporting them and finally selling them to my customers. It was fulfilling, rewarding but very tiring and extremely strenuous as much of the work was done by me personally.

The unexpected accident on January 30th 2011 completely put paid to all that. My whole way of life completely changed. Not even having the only vehicle I possessed as it was condemned, and the insurance proceeds were not sufficient to even remotely consider a replacement, meant I had to quickly figure something else to do, to keep bread on the table. Independence disappeared!

I was fortunate in being asked to take on a new career in enabling a young politician with his work, and have now put all my energies in fulfilling his political ambitions, whilst at the same time taking some of the flack directed at him, and trying my best to perform under often trying circumstances.

This job is the art of the unexpected. Whilst agriculture was also the art of the unexpected weather, growing conditions, diseases, unpredictable harvest and price, this was of unexpected requests for assistance in unexpected quarters.

The job has turned into a social service project, aimed at not disappointing people who come for assistance, but who often ask for the impossible. It is all about juggling people’s expectations and when it is practically impossible to fulfill, ensuring that it is not your boss who the blame is directed at, as it is not his fault.

Just to quote one example, people believe it is only politicians who can fulfill the desires of those who wish to enter their kids into certain schools. There is very little one can do, as even when the relevant politician is approached, he signs a letter asking the local education officer to take note of the request. The education officer who handles it is the one making the decision, not the politician or minister of education, as the parents believe. So, all the best laid plans come asunder with this sort of expectation going unfulfilled.
It is therefore how one leads one’s life that is important, and in doing so reduce the obstacles in one’s way and grab hold of the crutches that help in achieving one’s objectives. It is always humans who are the biggest obstacles, and also humans who can theoretically contribute to one’s fulfillment.

Many would argue with that last statement, saying one must learn NOT to depend on anyone, and remove all desires from one’s mind. Well chum that is not me and that is not my philosophy. I know what I want, and I will try to get it without grabbing or forcing by making someone else uncomfortable.

In short I am still in search mode, I am still finding myself, and I am not still in that theoretical utopia of life. For those who don’t know me, I do not have kids, and neither am I married, so I am not carrying any weight with me and onerous conditions that I have to fulfill. This permits me to go for work, at 5am and get back home by 10pm and not feel I have deprived someone else of love and affection or duty. I can therefore comfortably commit the time, to the best extent of my physical constraints.

The lack of a companion to share one’s thoughts and the pluses and minuses of one’s day is a source of angst. I have yet come across any who would suit the bill even in a compromising way where one has to meet one’s desires halfway.
I put it down to the strange multi country outlook that is open, and critical, not hidden, and accepting anything goes. We can ask for what we want and we can give what we can, and we need to balance both of these with a suitable person who feels the same way. It is a need of equals. When one gives more than he receives not of the same, but on balance, the imbalance will not provide a long term solution, and instead lead to grief before long.

It is the latter attitude that deters the numerous possibilities put forward as a solution. Of course it goes without saying that the instant mutual attraction, a hoped for ideal has not happened and may never happen, so the compromise referred to above is the alternative and so a compromise balance that is needed.

A huge hike in the cost of living in an apartment in Colombo meant the biggest adjustment made in the year was to reduce one’s abodes by one, moving back to the relative calm of the farm, with the resulting cost and time of commuting daily from there, and contending with the traffic, meaning an early start is all one can do to avoid the stop start traffic nightmare; something I thought I was free of, and not to be repeated! On balance it was the right decision in the long term and adjustments will be made to make this the most practical solution.