Sometimes I imagine my life a bit like a fire alarm drill. Does that sound a little cray cray? Nah, not at all.
Take the example of a fire alarm drill at work. A voice comes over a loudspeaker. It’s usually a loudspeaker that you didn’t know existed in the building and you’re not exactly sure where it is.
Life and the need for a change can be like that. You know there might a message through life’s fire drill loudspeaker at some point that will require you to act, but you are not exactly sure when or from where that instruction will come.
You can be just “trudging” through life when an external or internal voice, like our own fire drill loudspeaker says “you gotta move, do something different”. Whether or not we listen to that voice can be the difference between living a life we want or just existing.
The next thing that happens in the work fire drill scenario is that everyone gets up and has differing responses. Some laugh. Some sigh. Some complain “do we really have to do this?”.
When I first knew that the funding for my job wasn’t continuing I felt like my fire alarm drill response was a daily occurrence. I felt disrupted and annoyed. But I knew it was also an opportunity.
Just like a work fire alarm drill is an opportunity to get outside in the carpark and stretch your legs. Have a chat, a laugh, for some a cigarette. The point is, it’s not a real emergency but a routine change, prompted by the need to prevent emergencies.
I like to think of life changes like changing jobs or homes, or cities like a routine change. Sometimes if we don’t do it, there will be an emergency of sorts. For me, if you are in the same pattern at home and work and it feels like you are in a holding pattern, then maybe you need to change something. A routine change of some sort.
Change is always uncomfortable, but if we make it routine change, like a fire alarm drill, we manage our thinking about it better. It’s not an emergency, it’s a routine change to preventing one.
I spent yesterday unpacking my car and organising my life. Then I went for walk and had coffee in an awesome café, The Feedback Café (pictured above). Booze, blues and coffee. It is an awesome funky, quirky spot to hang out. Oh, and bought a book.
I then cooked a hearty meal for my housemates (who I am immensely grateful for) and a couple of their friends. I feel at the moment the urge to hurl myself in life, into job applications and walking the streets of Melbourne to find what organisations are out there.
But I recognised that I need to bring to routine to this change. So I made my space comfortable and enjoyed the awesome creative people around me.
My new little office/bedroom is in a bright, cheery, timber floored room in a sleepy inner city suburb of Melbourne.
There is more to see and do within five blocks of me than I have experienced for a while.
I can go out the door and be surrounded by cafes and bookshops and art in no time at all.
I am enjoying this change, although it was prompted by life’s interrupting and annoying loudspeaker.
It feels right. It feels like the right kind of challenge.
The loudspeaker of life is not making huge announcements at the moment, but there is static in the background that says “get organised and things will fall into place”.
I believe that is because I am prepared to let life deliver me whatever change, challenge or opportunity is next. I will act towards directing that a little, but I am quite okay with being at the mercy of life’s fire drill loudspeaker.