Thursday, January 5, 2012

Being at Peace with Uncertainty

by Gigi Pandian

I'm a planner. I haven't run out of milk or any other staple in over 10 years. I plan vacations years in advance and buy airline tickets months ahead of time. I don't start writing a mystery until I have a plot worked out.

But this past year, I had to let go of all that.

And you know what? It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

When I wasn't healthy enough to go to the supermarket myself, my family and friends brought over groceries and made home-cooked meals. Giving up the control of being the one in the household to go to the supermarket was an adjustment. But it was amazing to learn how many people wanted to help.

When I couldn't travel, I had to cancel three upcoming trips. At first I was really disappointed, but I knew I had no choice. Once I accepted that, I realized there was a lot that I could do at home. Thanks to technology, I could work from home. That gave me a bit of normalcy. But when I wasn't working, what would I do with myself? I couldn't make plans that involved going out, so I lacked structure. And I didn't know how well I'd be feeling each day, so I had to take things one day at a time. That was the biggest challenge—not knowing.

But that's exactly what let me brainstorm about the projects that led me to create Gargoyle Girl Productions. And when I didn't want to be productive, I still didn't want to be bored. I took photographs of things around the house with a funky new camera lens, and hung out with my bookshelves full of books I hadn't previously had time to read. I had never before embraced giving up on books I wasn't into, but now I'm all about finishing only good books. Life's too short to spend time reading books we don't enjoy—or doing anything else we don't enjoy, for that matter.

When November rolled around, it was time for NaNoWriMo. But wait! I wouldn't be able to do my usual routine of spending National Novel Writing Month meeting up with a good friend at a cafe multiple mornings per week. This year, I was on my own. But I think that's part of what enabled me to write something completely different than I was used to.

Now I'm well enough to be going into the office, buying my own groceries, and hanging out a cafes. But there's still a lot of uncertainty in my life. I've always been mellow, and I'm glad it turns out that after being shaken up I've again found that place of being at peace. I still wish I could plan a bit more.... But based on how well I got through the second half of 2011, I'd say I'm doing pretty well being at peace with uncertainty.


Sophie Littlefield said...

now *this* is what I call an inspiring Year In Review. Cheering for you, pal...and yeah, I share some of the same planning (dare I say .... control) tendencies you do, and it's been a good lesson to watch you let go with grace!

Juliet Blackwell said...

I love this, Gigi. I hate to be trite and say you are an inspiration -- among other things, that title seems to carry a certain unfair *responsibility* with it. But it is true that challenges can open up opportunity, and you've certainly turned this illness into a challenge, and risen to meet it. Brava!

L.G.C. Smith said...

Lovely post, Gigi. Thanks. :)

Maddy said...

You certainly are and I love how you turn it on it's head and make it into an opportunity.

Gigi Pandian said...

Thank you Sophie, Juliet, LGC, and Maddy! I had a GREAT day today, because I managed to fit in a long walk in the hills above my house. I never explored the hills before I got sick, but it's wonderfully meditative.

Rachael Herron said...

This comes across in everything you do, my peace. You are so graceful in your peace with uncertainty. I admire you.

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