In everything, I believe there is a 'counter' - an opposite, counteractive activity or thing that balances things out. For me right now, I think it's swimming. It straightens out my aching back and eases my tense hands, arms and shoulders brought about by long hours hunching over the workbench. I have no complains about what I am doing now, I love working on jewelry and time can sometimes standstill, then suddenly flew by so fast as i 'play' in my workshop.
Funny how, jewelry-making used to be my 'counter' when I was in my corporate job. It was my breakaway from the mental and emotional drain, a much better 'counter' than splurging on luxury items or binge-ing on pricey buffets or alcoholic drinks. Yes, that used to be my life.
In a recent trip to the CBD to meet a customer, I suddenly realised how distant I am now from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world. I guess I have become more recluse, more introspective, more in tuned with the intangible world around us like the peacefulness sloshing sound of my arms and body cutting through water when I swim or the artful form of a little brown twig on the bare concrete floor. There is so much beauty around us that I constantly struggle to find time to create pieces inspired by them. I wish I have more time or can work faster so the many designs I have in my head and sketchbook can materialise.
Swimming and jewelry-making are also my emotional 'counters'. I have become more at peace with the world. I learn to choose my battles and let go of things I know I can't change. It doesn't mean I am not hurt by their actions or words but I choose to not fight back. Why do so to harbor more unhappiness and prolong the pain of expectations unmet? Better to cut it off swiftly and just move on. Life is too short to focus and waste energy on the negatives. In our well-intentioned and much justified efforts to correct a misunderstanding or defend ourselves from being unjustly treated, it is at the end, just from our point of view. Maybe, and I've grown to realise, it's often not the case for the opposite party. Instead of trying to control or change how others think or treat us, lets just focus on controlling and changing our reactions and thoughts. Some things are better just left as it is. If it's meant to be become better, it will. If not, no matter what effort we do, it will backfire.
Letting go is perhaps the best 'counter' to living.
What are your 'counters' in life?