Sunday, 3 January 2010

Predictions are as dangerous as resolutions

and I will not be making any. I do not need predictions. This is not because I know what is going to happen. I do not. I do not think I want to know. There is no comfort in knowing what is going to happen. Knowing is not anticipation.
I was once introduced to a woman of Indian origin. She lived in Singapore and was visiting a friend in London. A group of us were invited to afternoon tea in order to meet her. She had a reputation for being able to see the future. The others in the group were anxious to "have their fortunes told". I told her, as politely as I could, that I would prefer not to know. I was anxious lest I hurt her feelings as she seemed a very pleasant person. As it turned out there was not problem at all. I think she respected me for my decision. Whether she could tell fortunes or not I do not know. If it is possible to foretell the future I do not want to have to live knowing that there is a disaster coming that I can do nothing about or having pleasure diminished because I have been aware that pleasure is coming. Yes, it is better to travel hopefully.
But there is list making of another sort. Is there any harm in making lists, even just mental lists, of things I would like to achieve? Well yes there is if I spend too long on the lists and do not get down to action. Nevertheless mental list making can be achieved while washing dishes, hanging out clothes, unlocking the tricycle or getting mail out of the letter box. Occasionally it will help to commit those lists, like shopping lists, to paper. They may not all get achieved. Like shopping, not all the items may be available or achievable. I might need to wait for an item or there might be alternatives and I need to be more flexible about such things.
There is one very important list. The list of things that have been started and not yet finished. Why have I not completed them? Do they need to be done? Do I abandon them? Do I complete them? In which order do I do them?
Then there is the question, "What have I undertaken to do for other people?" That list is important too, very important. The ordering of that list can depend on many things but it is a must do sort of list.
What would I like to do for me? There is a less room here for any sort of certainty. I tend to feel guilty about doing things just for myself. I'll need to think about that list.
There is also a list which could be described as "just for the fun of it". The things on this list almost always involve sharing with someone else or secretly doing something that someone else will enjoy - like planting the third lavender bush in the front garden last year and waiting for my father to notice it. He did but it took nearly three weeks!
I don't want predictions and I have enough to do without making resolutions. I will continue to make mental lists.


Rachel Fenton said...

"mental lists" - ha, there's a joke in there...somewhere......I thought fortune tellers had some sort of code or something which prohibits them from telling you bad fortune?I'll stick to reading my fortunes in the crackers...I like the sellophane fish that curl up in your hand and tell you how passionate, or not, you are...

catdownunder said...

Fish - passionate? I know they are good musicians (because of their scales).

Agnieszkas Shoes said...

i'm a great list maker, but only because my mind's a terrible terrible sieve and I'd end up in huge trouble if I didn't make them.

catdownunder said...

Ah Dan if you have handwriting like mine you need to remember what you would have written down - if that makes sense!