Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Halfway Mark

We're halfway through 2012... Six months to go before the end of the year (and according to some Mayan theorists, the end of the world. Methinks the world will definitely keep turning past December 21 but I am looking forward to the forthcoming 'human interest' stories at the end of the 6 o'clock news that will no doubt depict people preparing for the end of days in their kitted-up bomb shelters. Zany fun!)

Be that as it may, I thought that since we had reached the halfway mark, I'd commemorate the occasion with a point-check of sorts. Not an exhaustive checklist of resolutions but more of a "so you made a list of goals for that the novelty has seriously worn off and we're halfway to the year's end, how are you doing...really?"

So, holding up a mirror (which is never much fun), let's look at the battle scars this year has afflicted thus far.

Being a half-glass full kinda fella, lets begin with the positives...

In no particular order... I am at the midpoint of editing my novel - I've edited and rewritten this manuscript many times, each time chipping more rock away from the gem underneath. I read once that if you think you cannot edit your book anymore, then go over it one final time. This is where I am up to - and I am excited at the results so far; I have just returned from a little 4-day trip to Bali. I had a wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating time that was much needed; Whilst away I received the mock-up of my author website from my awesome website designer and I got tears in my eyes and goosebumps running up my arms - it signifies another step taken in the direction of my writing career - more on that to come; I am in better shape than I was when the year began - a continuing work in progress; and my new blog is slowly name the stuff that comes straight to mind.

And of course, the not-so positives...

Work is currently exhausting - Since February I've started at a new department and its been a steady menu of studying, lecturing, being critiqued, observed, examined, rinse and repeat. Strangely enough, I am halfway (there's that 50% status bar again) from getting my license and being let loose on the pilot and cabin crew population. Thank goodness for my wonderfully supportive colleagues; Illness has affected those in my immediate family. To respect their privacy, all I will say is that in the last six months diagnoses of cancer, Parkinson's, and spinal surgery/chronic pain has wobbled all our respective orbits; finances are nearly non-existent causing cumulative stress; and my time management skills have ranged from the sublime to the woefully inadequate.

All in all, I am taking stock, relishing the forthcoming opportunities, rededicating myself to my dreams, gratefully living a healthy and loving life, and stepping out to meet these next six months hopefully with a little grace and a little smile on my face.

Who's with me?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Observer Effect

It is a law of physics that the mere act of observation changes/affects that which is being observed.

There has been many experiments in the field of quantum mechanics - the science of the very small, where it has been proven that the electrons that surround the nucleus of an atom, which are non-local in nature (not in one precise point but rather in a cloud of potentiality) only condense to become local if they are being observed. So in essence they move from potentially being anywhere and everywhere in the orbit of a nucleus to a precise point only if someone is there to watch it.

I hope I haven't made an absolute mess of trying to break down ridiculously complex physics into basic language but I really wanted to post something which is scientific law and relevant to our everyday experience.

There are many examples where this law could be used to illustrate its veracity. I'll use creative license and talk about two such examples.

  1. A metaphoric example: Since this blog is partly about living one's dreams, I thought I would attempt to make a link between this immutable law and the act of achieving one's goals. As we continually make lists of things we like to see, do, have, accomplish, experience, etc, we create a field of potentiality; one that we continue to hone, refine, improve upon and so on as time goes by and our life experience builds. It just so happens that the actual achievement of said goal/s only comes when you have kept your attention on it (taking time, effort, opportunity, luck and the other nebulous bits) to bring the dream out of the ether into solid reality. What you think about you bring about we're constantly told...
  2.  A literal example: Since this blog is also about the creative endeavor - specifically writing, here is an example where I have personal experience... With writing I have repeatedly come across the advice that you should be careful about showing anyone your writing - whilst it is in its draft stages (the question of 'when is a book truly finished?' will be tackled in a future post). The reason being is that your reader/observer through your invitation will affect your writing through sharing opinion, asking a question, making a comment, omitting a comment, making a facial expression (real or imagined), and on it goes. Sometimes this can be to the benefit of the story and other times to its detriment - but either way, it will change the beast and affect you, the writer. It cannot be any other way. 
Food for thought, no? So keep it in the back of your mind that merely observing something or someone does have a powerful effect. The ramifications are awesome.