Always Starting Again

Perhaps is a new and sudden way of being.

Like satisfaction not yet begun or some other kind
of kindness:

a more gentle one?

Adam Clay, Start This Record Over

Back in the middle of lockdown I wrote a post about the challenges and benefits of Starting Again. I read it again this morning. I realise now I missed an even larger point. Perhaps because I was stuck. Perhaps because starting again felt unrealistic when we were all stopped, I failed to point out:

We are always starting again.

Every day, every hour, every meeting, every call and every message is a chance to start again. Most likely, whatever history we are carrying into that moment is not even on the mind of others. People are busy, distracted by the own challenges and issues and juggling their own priorities. They aren’t holding your history with the reverence that you might like.

We have all had the moment. You are following up on the last conversation and the other party gives you a blank stare. Your critical opportunity has gone from their mind. Your offence has been forgotten. Whatever the significance to you, time has made it insignificant to others.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Heraclitus

The flowing river of time washes away a lot. We have the chance to deepen connection, share more context, start on a better foot, be better prepared, make amends, to build anew, to improve and to grow. We get to try again, try harder, stop or change course. We learn and grow. So do our colleagues and counterparts.

We can use that onrush of renewal to make today special and different. We can reinvent, recreate and renew. Take the opportunity of starting again or it too will be washed away.

Leave me awhile and I will recover
In darkness and in night.
It was too soon for me to discover growth in the light.

Mabel Dodge Luhan, False Start

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