• nicole calder

a few weeks ago, a situation came up between my partner and me. my partner was trying to explain her perspective and her reasoning, but no matter how much i wanted to understand, i just couldn't.

in retrospect, i suspect my inability to understand and to empathise was hindered by a fog of pain. i was able to rationalise her perspective, but i wasn't able feel her perspective. my head understood, but my heart did not. my heart was hurting.

in the moments of silence between our conversations, i found myself continuing to reflect on this situation. why can't i let this go? why does it bother me so much? but these questions were often answered with reaction and defensiveness; i was trying to justify my hurt. i wasn't able to see past my pain, no matter how much i wanted to. so how did i get past that block?

from a different situation. my mum received a message from someone she hadn't heard from in a while and i saw how much it meant to her. in that moment, i was able to see what my partner was trying to communicate; i finally understood her perspective. would i have been able to understand if i hadn't see this reaction from my mum? probably not. because i had a block with my partner; i couldn't see past my pain - no matter how much i wanted to. and sometimes, that's life. sometimes no matter how much you want something, you need something else, something not within your control, in order to achieve your desired outcome.

i've written about this with regards to hard work - often we need more than just hard work to achieve our goals; we need luck and an opportunity. in this situation, i needed more than just a willingness to understand. i needed a comparable situation; an opportunity. and i was given that. but i also had the openness and willingness which when combined with the opportunity allowed me to achieve the desired outcome; to understand.

sometimes just having the willingness is not enough. sometimes we need an opportunity too. quite often though, these opportunities are not within your control - all you can control is your receptiveness to them when they finally present. so how are you being open to those opportunities within your own life? and how can these opportunities help you to understand something in other areas of your life in which you feel stuck?

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  • nicole calder

my new year's resolution was to get my screen time to under 30minutes a day. the closest i got was 36minutes for a week. every other week, i've been between 1 and 2 hours. although i've significantly reduced my screen time, i still feel like a failure. why is it so hard to limit our screen time?

for many reasons. the first being the system lies. see, even if your phone isn't with you, but you receive notifications, each notification counts as screen time. so if you have message reminders, that's two lots of screen time your phone is docking you for. i've frequently reflected on my screen time and i can't understand it - when i've added up the individual categories compared to the total screen time, there's often a significant discrepancy. where is this extra screen time supposedly coming from? from notifications. from phone calls. from your phone lighting up.

if you have apple car play in your car, beware, that will also increase your screen time. even though the app is designed so you don't use your phone, which you won't need to, it will still count as screen time. when it connects to spotify? ding! screen time. gps navigation? ding! screen time. message notification? ding! screen time.

the addition of the screen time feature on the iphone is a cruel device. this feature gives the illusion that reducing your screen time is entirely within your control; everything on the phone is designed to help you achieve your goal...isn't it?

app restrictions - a great idea, but so easy to ignore. screen time - a great idea, but so easy to ignore. these big tech companies want you to fail. they've even designed these 'helpful' features with the intent to make you feel bad and fail. because if you fail, that means more screen time. more screen time means more money. once you've reached your limit, you're more likely to just say 'fuck it' and keep using your phone. a 'helpful' feature would be to have your phone cut you off, but why would they design these apps to help you? these big tech giants don't care about your life time, they care about your screen time.

we're all addicted to our phones. but it's not our fault. our weaknesses have been exploited for money; the root motivator of capitalism. the only way to 'beat' the system, is to not use the system at all. humans don't have the willpower not to use that which they have access to. that's why alcoholics aren't allowed alcohol in the house. so if you want to reduce your screen time? leave your phone at home and turn off your notifications. it's time to take control of our lives again.

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  • nicole calder

humans need structure. we need purpose. without either, we end up meandering through life, searching and seeking but never finding.

as i enter this new phase of my life where i am not working, not volunteering, not doing anything other than playing soccer, i find myself struggling. it's not that i don't have purpose, i do. the big-picture purpose of this time is to write my book, a book that i hope will add value to others' lives. the other purpose is to focus on my business. a business that i also believe will add value to others' lives. i have purpose, but i don't have structure.

every day, i have hours upon hours to write. i have what many others dream of having: an abundance of time. but it's this abundance of time that has become crippling. crippling because there's no urgency. no deadline. and no sense of achievement when i do write. see, my purpose is infinite; it's long-term. but humans need to feel purpose in their daily lives. we need to feel like the work we're doing is of value. is of meaning. we need reinforcement. checkpoints. we need to feel like we're contributing to something bigger than ourselves. i find myself writing 10 pages in a day, only to dread reading what i've written. writing a book is not like writing an instagram post. a book is lengthy. it requires edits upon edits upon edits. it requires patience. it requires structure. it requires things i've never really been good at.

when i write these posts, they're short and succinct. they have a point. everything is summed up neatly. a book, however, doesn't follow this structure. someone can read 200 pages and only remember one thing you've written. a book requires a commitment to the purpose without reinforcement along the way.

and it's this lack of reinforcement, this lack of contributing to something bigger than myself, this lack of structure that i'm struggling with. this experience is making me appreciate all the books i have read - we only ever see the finished product. we don't see the struggle. we don't see the journey. we don't see the torment. we don't see how eerily close someone was to giving up. something i find myself battling with every day.

humans need structure. we need a sense of purpose. we need validation along the way. without them, we end up feeling unfulfilled. unproductive. we end up questioning ourselves, our decisions, our lives. it's in this space i currently reside.

a space i'm trying not to succumb to. this book, my business, perhaps they're too much. too out of reach.

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