Overwhelmed

Looking at now.

Looking at now. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Looking at now. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

When things don't work out the way I had imagined it is easy to know what I should have done but not so easy to imagine what I should do next.

I think it is profoundly unhelpful to churn over all the pieces for the sake of churning over all the pieces…but what to do with all that stuff?

Is looking forward even helpful?

Maybe it’s about looking at now?

Maybe that’s all I can do with all that I have done?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,282

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Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,281

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A little slower.

A little slower. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A little slower. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’d like to look forward and plan my next few months a little better.

Specifically, I’d like to look at the time that I have more control over and make some choices about what I want to do with that time.

I have this picture of sitting and sewing as I listen to stories.

Simple really.

I think it requires me to take the foot of the accelerator a little though to make it happen.

It’s been a big start to the year.

I think taking things a little slower would be nice right now.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,277

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I am blah.

I am blah. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I am blah. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am blah.

It’s not a very nice way to be.

Nor is it a disaster.

It’s just a bit in between.

Blah is a nowhere land.

It's not any of the strong emotions that I have clear names for.

It’s like a version of life jetlag.

Something about the rhythm of life feels out of sync.

And I just find myself…blah.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,276

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Not on my feet.

Not on my feet. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Not on my feet. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am not on my feet.

I feel all disoriented, discombobulated.

I don’t understand how all the bits fit together.

I don’t get how to make sense of it all.

I just don’t get it.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,275

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Democracy.

Democracy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Democracy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I really care about democracy.

It has snuck up on me how much it matters to me.

I want to understand how it works. And I’d like to live in a country where people are proud of their politicians and political system.

I’m most worried about how the way we consumer information impacts upon how we all feel about politics and politicians.

There is something heartbreaking to me about how effective spin and polarisation are in terms of winning the popular opinion.

I’m concerned that, because of how we interact with information now, fear is becoming easier to use to rally people to act against their own interests.

How can we have a healthy democracy at this particular moment of history?

I really care about democracy…because, when it is done properly, it gives almost everyone living in a society a voice.

And that’s fair, that’s how it should be.

Democracy really matters.

At any election it is most important that democracy wins.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,259

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The Rebel and the CEO.

The Rebel and the CEO. Drawing Luke Hockley

The Rebel and the CEO. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I am both a Rebel and a CEO.

I’ve got these two contradictory characteristics that can take me by surprise and, if not well managed, can derail me and the thing I’m working on.

The Rebel in me does not like being told what to do, or rather doesn't really like following someone else’s vision for how things might be done. I dig my heels in and find ways to resist the simplest request or most obvious instruction.

When I hit the CEO mode hard…well I become like an immovable object. I want this thing done and I want it done now. I might be prepared to negotiate how it’s done…but only for a very short amount of time, then I just want it done my way.

At my best these two-character flaws don't really get much air time. Up until now I haven’t had a name for them, but I’ve known them, or have been getting to know them. I’ve learnt how to set things up so that I feel heard and safe, I’ve learnt to make really clear choices about whether I am in a leader of a follower role and that seems to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

But when I’m tired, or hurt, or sad, or out of sorts for whatever reason…that's when things can get messy.

There are two extra, interesting things I have just realised.

My Rebel and my CEO are actually the same qualities in me acting out in different situations. My CEO is me when I am in charge, stressed and trying to get things done the way “I know” they need to be done, my Rebel is exactly the same thing…only I’m not in charge – I’m in a position of supporting someone else or there is grey around who exactly is in charge.

Also, I have realised that the Rebel and the CEO are reflections of excellent qualities that I have…at the wrong volume for the situation that I am in. They are both examples of my ability to see problems for what they are and imagine solutions that will cut through and get a result.

I really like that I’m able to do that. I really, really like it. Sometimes I’m doing it at the expense of myself and the people around me.

I like that a lot less.

A lot less.

I’m learning how to lead with kindness and how to trust the leader I’ve chosen to follow so that I can respond in a more balanced way.

The Rebel and the CEO are both outstanding characters…I just need to get better and calling on them at the right time and place.

That's all.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,247

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It’s a lot.

It’s a lot. Drawing Luke Hockley.

It’s a lot. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It's a lot.

A lot of amazing…but a lot.

Just need to remember to keep it on the down low whenever I can…so I have a chance to regenerate during this busy time.

So that a lot doesn’t become too much.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,242

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I can’t believe I’m back here.

I can’t believe I’m back here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I can’t believe I’m back here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m concerned that I have started repeating the same letters to you.

I sit down to write and when I think of what I’d like to write I often think…

“Oh, that again…I can’t believe I’m back here.”

It’s one of the more disconcerting things about this daily project.

There’s nowhere for me to hide from myself.

Here I am. Every day. Checking in.

I see patterns in myself much more clearly than I might have.

But also, sometimes I’m still lost in those patterns and can’t see any rhyme or reason to them.

I know they are repeating. I know I am back at some familiar and uncomfortable place…but don’t know exactly how I got here and what might help me get out of here.

I guess I have some more clues. I have a broader sense of what is going on. It has been about 3 years now of daily writing and it just surprises me that I am still repeating the same things with only a little bit of extra insight.

Shouldn’t I have myself all figured out by now?

Ha!

When I see that written down I get how that sounds.

Being a human is a complex, long term project.

That’s it.

That’s just how it is.

Strangely I find some comfort in that.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,225

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It’s a bit messy.

It’s a bit messy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

It’s a bit messy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The next few days are a bit messy.

I’ve got a few things that are half undone that need some love and attention…and I’m not sure I exactly have the time available to do those things and to do the things I know to do to keep myself well balanced, happy and productive.

Can I embrace it all?

Can I own the choices and find a compromise that gets me a bit of everything?

I don’t know. I really don’t.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,217

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.