Continue to push on through…

Push on through to the other side.

Push on through.

A full day today. A day completed.

But the feeling of distance continues to persist.

It is a mood that I can sense creeping in.

It is funny when you get to know yourself better. This reflection is the work that I have been doing for so long now.

I knew where to find the answer.

I looked backwards for advice.

What I had experienced before was this. It was the same.

So. I know.

I looked back to my previous notes and journals and read something from a critical moment from back then. 

The following was my journal entry.

‘My most recent motto is…

“push through the frustrations and negative thoughts.”

and get to the other side as quick as I can.’

That was something that I developed when I was under a lot of pressure about six months ago.

To give you the context, I live and work in Beijing, China. My two grown-up Children live back in Glasgow, and they have a steady life there.

We have a good relationship, and it could always be better, but it is workable because we would get to see each other throughout the year.

Parenting from afar is not easy. Trying to be a role model, a father, a parent, a friend or a protector…

Not an easy thing to do when 5,000 miles is separating us.

We use technology to keep in touch, but sometimes that just isn’t enough.

Anyway, six months ago, the pandemic had increased in Scotland, and the family were getting frustrated with each other. I was a million miles away and could feel it.

I could only offer advice, give an opinion and try and coach out some solutions. In the end, it would always be down to how they all got along in the moment. Those were the moments where I would not be able to be.

It was also a busy time inwork. China was coming out of the pandemic, and we were back working at speed. Things were not back to normal, and the whole idea of getting around, working and getting something that you need was never the easiest. During a pandemic. Double trouble.

My language skill in Mandarin is not great, and so I was not helping myself.

Put all that together, and it was a recipe for not being in the best place. Oh, did I forget? Throw in a niggling foot injury that was painful and distracting, and you get some more of the picture.

I had to kick myself. I was in a much better state than most of the world at this point, and I was safe, had a job, and so many other positives.

But that is the point. I lost sight of what I had in front of me, what I was focusing on for the long-term. I was wallowing in the crap of life, and that is like a fog for the brain.

It could have been a very easy spiral down. I have been there, and I bought the T-Shirt.

I was not going back there. So I chose to fight it.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else — you are the one who gets burned.”

A Buddhist saying on the ineffectiveness of anger.

When you get like that, it never easy to pull yourself out of it. I will always be in awe of the people that have pulled themselves back from the dark corners of life.

I know what I did to fight back against the mood. I had written it down in my Journal, below the heading.

The motto was “push through the frustrations and negative thoughts.” 

But there was more.

I listed the following points.

  1. Concentrate on the Positives.
  2. Sharpen your focus onto a few things.
  3. Take Small Actions that will move the needle.
  4. Write Sh*t down on paper and put it away.
  5. Be clear on who is setting the Pace. If it is you, relax.
  6. Talk to yourself. You are your own best Friend, remember that.
  7. Celebrate the day, Journal, and keep it ALL positive.
  8. Get measured Sleep – no more/no less than what you need.
  9. Keep Going. Push on through the feeling.

I did not write anything else. I didn’t elaborate on each of the points or give many more clues.

I have no idea why?

I think the points were self-explanatory, but they take a slightly different shape when I look at them now.

They are modernised in my head for the mood of today.

I know they started to work for me back then because I could see the changes in my journal entries the following days.

I know they will work for me now.

The idea of reading back is the other feature of journaling that I love, and that doesn’t always get talked about enough.

When you journal through the great times, the average and the tough times, then you have an emotional ready-reckoner at your fingertips.

I think I will expand on the points the next time they come around… another great feature of using an electronic journal is that you can see your year-on-years diary entries.

So I know they will come back around.

The thing is.

You have to put the entry in the Journal first.

That is the discipline.

That is number three on the list.

‘Take Small Actions that will move the needle.’

Could you do it now? Push on through.

I will. I am.

Beijing. China.

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